Does Soy Sauce Go Bad? Answered!

Last Updated on June 11, 2022 by

Today, we will answer the question Does Soy Sauce Go Bad? in detail.  Soy sauce is a popular condiment (especially in Asian cuisine), and many people are curious about whether it might spoil. That’s a great question since there are quite a few folks who argue that it can’t go bad. Do they have a point? Not fully; nonetheless, the odds of soy sauce becoming bad within a few years after purchase are slim. So, does soy sauce go bad?

Soy sauce is high in salt, and such an environment is not conducive to the growth of microbes. Soy sauce goes bad after a while, but it takes a long time to do so. Soy sauce is noted for having an unlimited shelf life, making it ideal for self-preservation. This occurs as a result of the sauce’s high salt content. Sodium eliminates bacteria that may ruin soy sauce, ensuring a long shelf life.

Does Soy Sauce Go Bad?

Soy sauce doesn’t degrade readily but doesn’t keep its quality indefinitely. An unopened bottle will keep for several years beyond the written date, but once opened, the condiment will keep for approximately a month at room temperature and maybe half a year in the fridge.

However, your soy sauce will still be OK to use after that time has passed, but somewhat less flavorful. That implies that if you have an open bottle lying in storage for months, the best thing to do is taste it to see whether it has gone bad (more on that in a moment).

Soy sauce will not get bad as long as no water or other ingredients have been added. That implies that keeping it firmly wrapped almost prevents it from spoiling. Let’s imagine you saw some yeast-like floaters in your soy sauce and chose to see what they were before throwing it out. It’s good for you since they don’t ruin soy sauce (but may alter the flavor).

Floaties In White

This white floating item is called film yeast (not mold), and it’s yeast that can develop in very salty settings (like soy sauce). Although this film yeast does not cause food poisoning, it may alter the sauce’s taste and fragrance.


Here’s how you handle the white floaties problem:

Remove the white floaties from the sauce using coffee filters or something similar. Examine the taste. Continue to use your soy sauce if it tastes OK after removing the film yeast. If it isn’t, toss it out.

Signs Of Spoilage

Soy sauce eventually goes bad, but it might be difficult to know when it does. We have a simple method for determining whether or not the soy sauce has gone bad.


The smell is the first thing that draws your notice when you lift the lid. The aroma of soy sauce is unmistakable. As a result, you’ll be able to identify immediately if anything is wrong.


When was the last time you tried raw soy sauce before using it in a recipe? Almost certainly never. We all do that, but it’s not a good idea! Only when we eat sushi do we get a raw soy sauce flavor. Because of the fermentation, soy sauce has a salty, somewhat spicy flavor. It has a good flavor to it.

When a sauce becomes rotten, it becomes exceedingly acidic and frequently too harsh to eat. So, before using it in a recipe, taste it.


Soy sauce comes in various colors, from light brown to dark, nearly black. What you need to pay attention to is whether or not there is a color shift. If your sauce started light brown but has since darkened, it has either oxidized or ruined.

The simplest method to figure out which one is to try a little soy sauce. It is also possible for the reverse to occur. If you keep dark soy sauce in direct sunlight, it will become transparent with time.


It may seem unusual that mold can grow on soy, but it can. Soy sauce is a condiment that has been fermented. This implies it’s made by putting mold on soybeans and letting them ferment for months.

However, some fungi may alter the flavor or odor of soy sauce. We don’t want them to have any effect on the quality. Mold might form if the lid is not properly closed. So, if you see something unusual, don’t use it.


Soy sauce varies in consistency from medium to light, depending on the brand. If your sauce seems overly thick or chunky, it’s time to toss it in the garbage!

Is It Necessary To Keep Soy Sauce Refrigerated?

You don’t have to refrigerate soy sauce, although it’s a good idea. Soy sauce keeps its finest quality for at least a few months if refrigerated, but only about a month if left at room temperature once opened.

Put another way; if you don’t use soy sauce very frequently, it’s usually best to store it in the fridge. Furthermore, well-known brands such as Kikkoman and Kamada advocate refrigerating soy sauces after opening to maintain the highest quality.

However, if you leave your soy sauce out of the refrigerator, nothing untoward should happen. Soy sauce, as I said in the section on spoilage, should be safe to use even if it isn’t kept in the fridge. The worst-case situation is that its quality will degrade faster than you’d want, and you’ll have to go to the shop and purchase a new bottle sooner than you’d like.

Our 5 Key Tips for Storing Soy Sauce

Even though soy sauce has a long shelf life, it must be stored correctly to ensure that it remains that way. Soy sauce is perhaps the simplest of the kitchen condiments to preserve since it requires very little work. Here are our top five tips for extending the life of your soy sauce:

1. Keep It Sealed: The best way to ensure that your soy sauce lasts as long as possible is to keep it sealed. Keep the soy sauce bottle in its original condition and a cold, dry location.

If the bottle is kept sealed, it may last 3-4 years beyond its expiration date. We buy a variety of soy sauces in bulk and store them in our cupboard for years.

Moving the sauce to a finer and more attractive bottle may be tempting, but don’t do it! We can maintain the best taste by keeping the original packaging.

2. Airtight Jar/Bottle

If you’ve already broken the seal and used some of the soy sauce, transferring it to an airtight container or jar is the next best thing.

We prefer glass bottles since they are more environmentally friendly and sturdy. Not to mention how elegant glass bottles are! Always keep the lid covered to prevent oxygen from reaching the soy sauce.

3. Consistent Temperature: This shouldn’t be a problem unless you live in a highly tropical region. When the temperature is steady and stable, soy sauce remains at its finest. As a result, avoid putting your soy sauce bottle too near to the oven or stove. Temperature fluctuations will wreak havoc on your sauce.

If you store your soy sauce near or beneath windows, it will be damaged by the sun. If you keep soy sauce in a heated atmosphere, it might go bad months before its expiration date.

4. Pantry or Basement: Soy sauce should be kept from direct sunlight and away from heat. The pantry is a fantastic location to keep things. If you don’t have a pantry, consider storing your food in the basement.

This may not be the greatest solution if your basement is wet. The most important thing is to keep soy sauce cold and dry.

5. Refrigerator: Because of the consistent temperature, many people store soy sauce in the refrigerator. When you don’t have a way to manage the temperature in your home, putting soy sauce in the refrigerator is the best option.

Does Soy Sauce Have Alcohol?

Soy sauce has no alcohol in it. Because of its strong flavor, many people think soy sauce contains alcohol. However, this flavor is obtained by a fermentation process. The starch in the soy sauce mixture is broken down into sugar during the fermentation process, and the sugar eventually converted into alcohol. Soy sauce’s alcohol isn’t added; it’s part of the process that transforms soybeans into soy sauce.

Can Soy Sauce Make You Sick?

Too much soy sauce, like any other substance, may make you ill. Any dietary item consumed in moderation is beneficial to our health. When we overdo anything, it has negative repercussions. Soy sauce contains a lot of salt and amines like histamine and tyramine. You may have harmful effects if you ingest too many of these chemicals.

Sweating, itching, stomach problems, migraines, dizziness, and bloating are some symptoms. Because of the high salt level, your blood pressure may rise. So, the next time you get sushi, think about your soy sauce dip.

Conclusion on Does Soy Sauce Go Bad?

As you may be aware, soy sauce may go bad, although this is quite unusual. Eating for many years is safe if kept correctly, but it’s best to utilize it within 2 to 3 years since the quality deteriorates with time.