Does Cooking Spray Go Bad? Your Guide to Keeping Your Spray Fresh!

Cooking spray is one of the most convenient kitchen products you can have. It can simplify cooking, prevent sticking, and make cleanup a breeze. If you’re an avid cook, you might have wondered whether and how cooking spray can go bad. In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about cooking spray and give you an ultimate guide to keeping your spray fresh.

What is Cooking Spray?

In simple terms, cooking spray is a product that contains oil or other substances in an aerosol can. It is designed to coat the surface of cookware to prevent sticking during cooking. Cooking spray is convenient as it offers an excellent substitute for butter or oil, without the added calories. You can use it to cook anything from pancakes to roasted vegetables.

What is The Shelf Life of Cooking Spray?

There’s no definitive answer to this question. The shelf life of cooking spray depends on several factors, including the brand, the ingredients, and the storage conditions. Most cooking sprays come with an expiration date that ranges from 18 to 24 months. However, this date is just a guideline and not a hard and fast rule. The shelf life of cooking spray can be affected by exposure to heat, moisture, and air.

Factors That Affect the Shelf Life of Cooking Spray

Below are some of the factors that can affect the shelf life of cooking spray:

  • Temperature: Cooking spray should be stored at room temperature. If exposed to high heat, it can break down and become rancid, leading to off-flavors and odors.
  • Humidity: Moisture can also affect the shelf life of cooking spray. When exposed to high humidity, cooking spray can become sticky or clog the nozzle, rendering it unusable.
  • Exposure to Air: Exposure to air can also affect the shelf life of cooking spray. When exposed to air, the oil in the spray can become rancid, leading to off-flavors and odors.
  • Ingredients: The shelf life of cooking spray can vary depending on the ingredients. Some oils, such as olive oil, may have a shorter shelf life than others, such as canola oil.

How to Tell if Cooking Spray Has Gone Bad?

Cooking spray can go bad, and it’s essential to be able to tell if it’s no longer safe to use. Below are some signs that your cooking spray has gone bad:

  • Off-flavors and odors: If your cooking spray smells rancid or has an off flavor, it’s a sign that the oil has gone bad.
  • Changes in Appearance: If you notice changes in the color or texture of your cooking spray, it’s a sign that the oil has degraded.
  • Clogged Nozzle: If your cooking spray won’t spray or sprays unevenly, it may be because the nozzle has become clogged with oil.
  • Expired: If your cooking spray is past its expiration date, it’s best to discard it.

How to Store Cooking Spray?

Storing cooking spray correctly is essential to keep it fresh and safe to use. Below are some tips for storing cooking spray:

  • Store at Room Temperature: Cooking spray should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and direct sunlight.
  • Avoid Humidity: Moisture can affect the spray’s quality, so avoid storing it in a damp or humid environment.
  • Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes: Avoid storing cooking spray in environments with extreme temperature changes, such as in the refrigerator, garage, or car trunk.
  • Keep the Nozzle Clean: To avoid clogging, clean the nozzle regularly with warm water and soap.
  • Follow Expiration Dates: Always check the expiration date of your cooking spray and dispose of it when it is expired.

How to Use Cooking Spray Safely?

Cooking spray is an excellent kitchen staple, but it’s essential to use it safely. Below are some tips for using cooking spray safely:

  • Use as Directed: Always read and follow the directions on the cooking spray can.
  • Avoid Spraying on an Open Flame: Cooking spray is flammable, so avoid spraying it near an open flame, such as a gas stove or grill.
  • Avoid Spraying Directly on Cuts, Burns, or Irritated Skin: Cooking spray may cause skin irritation and should not be sprayed on cuts, burns, or irritated skin.
  • Avoid Overheating: Do not exceed the recommended cooking temperature when using cooking spray. Overheating can cause the spray to break down and release harmful compounds.

The Bottom Line

Cooking spray is a great kitchen product that offers many benefits. However, like all food products, it can go bad, and it’s essential to store and use it correctly. By following the tips provided in this article, you can ensure your cooking spray stays fresh and safe to use.


1. Can cooking spray go bad?

Yes, cooking spray can go bad if it’s not stored correctly or has expired.

2. How long does cooking spray last?

The shelf life of cooking spray can vary from brand to brand, but most cooking sprays last for about two years.

3. How can I tell if my cooking spray has gone bad?

If your cooking spray has an off-flavor or odor, a clogged nozzle or is past its expiration date, it’s likely gone bad and should be discarded.

4. What can I use instead of cooking spray?

You can use butter, oil, or parchment paper instead of cooking spray.

5. Can you recycle empty cooking spray cans?

Most curbside recycling programs accept empty cooking spray cans, but it’s best to check with your local recycling company to confirm.


  1. United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage.
  2. American Heart Association. (n.d.). Can cooking sprays be bad for your health?
  3. Good Housekeeping. (2020). How to store cooking oil.
  4. Cleveland Clinic. (2020). What’s the deal with cooking sprays? Are they healthy or not?
  5. Cook, M. (2018). How to tell if cooking spray is bad.
  6. Proctor, A. (2020). How Do You Store Cooking Spray?

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