Shelf Life of
Powdered Milk

How Long Does Powdered Milk Last?

Powdered Milk Shelf Life

How long does powdered milk last? Powdered milk is real milk that has been heated so that about half of the milk solids evaporate. A package of powdered milk will list the ingredients of nonfat dry milk and vitamins A and D3, other products with lists of ingredients are not the real deal. As usual, if you take out the moisture you drastically increase the shelf life of the product allowing you to always have some milk on hand. The shelf life of powdered milk is mainly influenced by its exposure to heat and moisture. So how long does powdered milk last?

When properly stored at or below 40° F, containers of powdered milk last for the time periods indicated in the table below:

(Unopened) Pantry
Past Printed Date
Powdered Milk lasts for 2-10 Years
(Opened & Mixed) Refrigerator
Powdered Milk lasts for 4-5 Days




Of course, powdered milk lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. But remember powdered milk, unlike a lot of other dairy products, usually has a best by date  which is the last date by which a manufacturer will vouch for a product’s quality, not its safety. Because of this distinction, you may safely use powdered milk to compliment your favorite meals even after its best by date has lapsed.

How to tell if powdered milk is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent food borne illness. Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your powdered milk has gone bad. Some common traits of bad powdered milk are discoloration, it will begin to have a yellowish tint, and an odor. If an odor or discoloration appear in your powdered milk, then it should be discarded. 
There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled milk, so always remember to practice proper food safety and enjoy your powdered milk prior to its expiration. If your powdered milk has gone bad, check our substitution page.

How to store powdered milk to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the shelf life of powdered milk. Keeping powdered milk in a cool and dry place is essential to extending it’s shelf life. Powdered milk should be stored in airtight containers in the pantry, the original box is not the best storage vessel for powdered milk. For example, powdered milk stored in its original container will last about 2 years beyond its best by date while the same product in an airtight plastic container should last about 10 years if kept away from heat.
Freezing powdered milk is a great option, but it is highly recommended to place it in vacuum sealed containers for the longest shelf life. This sealer is highly recommended for freezing any foods to extend their shelf life. Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

What to do with too much before your powdered milk goes bad?

What if you have extra powdered milk and don’t want it to spoil and go to waste? Your best bet is to vacuum seal and freeze as mentioned above. Or, you can use it in recipes that call for other types of milk – for proper amounts see our Substitution pages.

How long is powdered milk good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does powdered milk last? That depends. How long do eggs last? In general, powdered milk lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient it is mixed with. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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What are our shelf life resources?

Our shelf life of powdered milk content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scour the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of milk.

*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the powdered milk shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is intended as an opinion and not a substitute for the advice of your qualified health care provider.  Please drink responsibly!