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Do Smudge Sticks Expire – 6 Facts

Do you want to buy many packs of smudge sticks at one time (for later use) but don’t know when they will expire? 

I like smudging and buy a lot of varieties of smudge sticks (mostly sage). Like many other things, they do expire. Most sellers mention the expiry date on the smudge stick packets. But, if you don’t store them correctly, they’ll go bad well before their expiry period. 

In today’s read, I’ll answer:

  • Do smudge sticks expire?
  • How to store smudge sticks correctly? 

How long do smudge sticks last? 

Smudge sticks do have an expiry date, and they last for a short while.  

So, when you buy them, you should have a look at the packet to get more information about it. 

I’ve seen many people using the smudge sticks even after they’ve expired. Well, that doesn’t harm anyone, but the effect will not be the same (as the fresh ones). 

Below, I’ll explain key facts about using smudge sticks before or after the expiry date and how to store them correctly (without compromising their quality):

1. Freshness of Herbs

The sellers use different herbs (like lavender, sage, or cedar) to make smudge sticks. 

When you buy these smudge sticks and use them immediately, the ritual will turn out to be “wow” just because the herbs are fresh. 

Trust me, the whole atmosphere will feel the freshness!

On the other hand, if you’ve bought smudge sticks and plan to use them later, the herbs will not remain fresh (just like fruits and veggies). 

Even if the expiry date is far, I’ll recommend you use the smudge sticks right after you buy them. There’s no point in keeping them just to burn them years later!

2. Quality of Herbs

If the herbs used in the smudge sticks aren’t well-dried, you can’t expect them to bring peace to your ritual. Yeah, that’s the fact, sorry guys! 

Just as high-quality ingredients make a meal taste better, using well-dried herbs in smudge sticks makes them work like magic!

So, before buying, you should have a proper look at the smudge sticks. If they’re discolored, the herbs are not well-dried, and you need to avoid them (the expiry date won’t even matter).

Also, look for phrases like “carefully dried” or “properly harvested,” and I assume you’ll be good to go! 

Just a side note: These varieties may cost you a bit more, but they’ll be worth it!

3. Storage Conditions

No matter how far the expiry date is of your smudge sticks, they’ll go bad if you’re not storing them properly!

That’s why you need to find a nice, cool spot to store your smudge sticks. Make sure to avoid places that are too hot or too cold. In short, a room with a stable, comfortable temperature is more than perfect.

There’s more! If your smudge sticks come into contact with moisture, they’re ruined. Period! 

So, I always use airtight containers or resealable bags to store my precious smudge sticks!

4. The Lifespan of Herbs 

Different herbs have different lifespans. This means some of them might lose their effectiveness sooner than others!

Take sage, for example. It has a powerful aroma and is definitely the number one option for smudging. But its scent says bid adieu to you a bit faster than other herbs! 

Even when you’re not burning them, they’ll fade out (feel like expired) just by sitting in your drawer!

On the other hand, cedar and lavender smudge sticks are quite popular for their super long effect and aroma (with their calming qualities). 

Their powers will remain intact for a longer time, which will give you more bang for your buck! And it’ll be easy to store them, too. 

5. Refreshing Expired Smudge Sticks

Many experts believe that they can revive old and expired smudge sticks with a few crazy tips and tricks! Well, that’s interesting to hear. Right? 

For example, they use the light of the moon to refresh the power of smudge sticks. 

Here’s the thing: The experts place the smudge sticks under the moonlight, which refreshes the herbs. They claim that the moon’s energy adds an extra kick to the smudge stick’s powers.

And it gets even more exciting! Some people place their smudge sticks near crystal balls (known for their cleansing properties). The idea is that the crystals share their good vibes and make the smudge sticks even more powerful.

On top of that, the natural elements (like earth, air, fire, and water) are also thought to refresh the smudge sticks. 

For example, gently passing a smudge stick through the smoke of a candle can add a touch of fire energy.

Now, here’s something that totally works for me 100% of the time! 

Before burning the smudge sticks, I clear my intentions and make up my mind as to what I expect from them, and guess what? Whatever I think about, I achieve it (slowly but surely). 

One more thing! You can even try to blow out some prayers on the smudge sticks to increase the spiritual effect. People say this works. Well, why don’t you try it and see it for yourself?

6. Personal Preferences 

Some people are not the biggest fans of the strong aroma of the smudge sticks. So, they intentionally burn an expired or old bundle of them for a milder scent. 

As the scent is light, the energy of the smudge sticks will also be weak. 

These people prefer the milder energy because it suits their needs, and they find it perfect for their atmosphere. 

Here’s something interesting! When the aroma of the smudge sticks is on the gentle side, you can add other scents (like incense or essential oils) to them. This creates a customized fragrance profile suitable for your liking!

Ending Words!

And here’s how I wrap it up! I told you 6 interesting facts about whether smudge sticks expire and go bad. 

Smudge sticks bring an amazing vibe when you’re feeling low and down. They are instant saviors, and who knows? They might connect you to higher powers and sort out all your worries (once and for all)!


  • Kaylee Vaughn

    Kaylee is the Founder of She has set up and run two homesteads, a one-acre in Idaho, and her current two-acre dream homestead in the Pacific North West. Her qualifications include a Permaculture Design Certification from Oregon State University, and she is a Gardenary Certified Garden Coach. Kaylee currently produces at least 80% of her own food. She contributes to our site through articles, training and coaching to our clients. You can read more about her at