4 things that will last in your pantry indefinitely

​In your kitchen, there are four foods that can last years without going bad -- if your store them properly.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read

Salt is a food that doesn't go bad.

Alina Bradford/CNET

There are four pantry all-stars you should stock up on whenever you see a sale. You don't need to worry about them expiring before you get around to using them, because they stay good for years. A bargain hunter's dream, right?


Scientists have found perfectly good honey in Egyptian tombs that are thousands of years old. Honey has a high acid content, a very low moisture content and several other chemical factors that keeps it forever fresh by inhibiting bacteria growth, according to the Smithsonian.

If your honey gets crystals in it, simply warm it up for around 30 seconds in the microwave and it will be as good as new.

Just make sure you keep your honey in a jar with a lid that screws on tightly to keep out insects, moisture and impurities. Also, make sure you don't get bread crumbs, jam or any other food bits in your honey. The bits will mold, which will get mold in your honey. Moisture in your honey will also make your honey go bad, so keep it sealed and don't dip wet utensils into the jar.


Salt is another food that doesn't go bad. It's even used as a preservative for other foods, like meats.

Salt keeps well in its original container. If you live in a humid part of the country, though, move your salt from its carton to a resealable plastic bag or a storage container with a sealable lid to keep out moisture. If you don't, your salt will stick together and become solid.

White rice

As long as your rice is in a container that keeps out moisture, bugs and rodents, it will last indefinitely. Remember, this only applies to white rice. Brown rice has a shelf life of only three to six months.


White granulated sugar won't go bad if it is stored properly. Take it out of the paper bag it comes in and put it in a storage container that will keep out moisture and pests.

As with rice, there's only one type that lasts for years and that's white granulated sugar. Brown sugar and powdered sugar have a shelf life of just 18 months.

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