How to Make Vape Juice: A Complete Guide for Beginners
E-cigarettes or traditional vape devices are designed to evaporate e-juice. Vape juice can come in various flavors, nicotine strengths, and ingredients, depending on the preferences and needs of the vaper. Some vapers prefer to buy pre-made vape juice from online or offline stores, while others like to make them at home. Making vape juice can have many benefits, such as saving money, customizing your flavors and nicotine levels, and unleashing your creativity. However, making vape juice can also be challenging, especially for beginners. You need to know the essential ingredients and tools for making vape juice, how to mix them in the right proportions, how to steep them for better flavor, how to fill your cartridge or tank with your vape juice, and how to store them properly for longer shelf life. In this article, we will guide you on how to make vape juice step by step. We will also give you some tips and tricks on making your DIY vaping experience more enjoyable and safe. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you will find something valuable and exciting in this article.
How to Choose Your Base Liquid
The base liquid is the carrier of your flavor and nicotine. It is also the main component of your vape juice that determines the taste, throat hit, and vapor production of your vaping experience. The base liquid comprises two main ingredients: propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG). PG and VG have different properties that affect the quality of your vape juice. PG is a thin, transparent liquid with a mild, sweet taste. PG is responsible for carrying the flavor of your vape juice and providing a solid throat hit. PG also has a low viscosity, so it flows easily and does not clog your device. VG is a thick and viscous liquid that has a slightly sweet taste. VG creates dense vapor clouds and provides a smooth throat hit. VG also has a high viscosity, which means it does not flow easily and can clog your device. The ratio of PG and VG in your base liquid can vary depending on your preferences and device. The common PG/VG ratios are:
- 50/50: This balanced ratio provides a good balance of flavor, throat hit, and vapor production. It is suitable for most devices and vapers.
- 70/30: This high-PG ratio provides a strong flavor and throat hit. It is suitable for low-wattage devices and vapers who prefer a more intense vaping experience.
- 80/20: This high-VG ratio provides a smooth throat hit and thick vapor clouds. It suits high-wattage devices and vapers who prefer a more cloud-chasing vaping experience.
Choose the best PG/VG ratio for your base liquid based on your preferences and device. You can also experiment with different ratios to find the best suits you. Moreover, you can buy high-quality PG and VG online or offline from reputable vendors. It would be best to look for USP-grade or pharmaceutical-grade PG and VG that are pure and safe for vaping.
How to Choose Your Nicotine Strength and Type
Nicotine is a stimulant that satisfies your cravings and provides a satisfying vaping experience. The nicotine strength and type can vary depending on your vaping style and nicotine dependence. The nicotine strength is measured in milligrams per milliliter (mg/ml) or percentage (%). The common nicotine strengths are:
- 0 mg/ml or 0%: this is a nicotine-free option for vapers who do not want nicotine in their vape juice. It is suitable for vapers who have quit smoking or enjoy vaping only for flavor and clouds.
- 3 mg/ml or 0.3%: shallow nicotine option for vapers who want minimal nicotine in their vape juice. It is suitable for vapers who have reduced their nicotine intake or use high-wattage devices that produce more vapor.
- 6 mg/ml or 0.6%: low-nicotine option for vapers who want moderate nicotine in their vape juice. It is suitable for vapers transitioning from smoking or using low-wattage devices that produce less vapor.
- 12 mg/ml or 1.2%: medium nicotine option for vapers who want a substantial amount of nicotine in their vape juice. It is suitable for vapers who are heavy smokers or who use mouth-to-lung devices that mimic the sensation of smoking.
- 18 mg/ml or 1.8%: high-nicotine option for vapers who want a substantial amount of nicotine in their vape juice. It suits vapers who are weighty smokers or need a strong throat hit and nicotine buzz.
- 24 mg/ml or 2.4%: this is a very high nicotine option for vapers who want an extreme amount of nicotine in their vape juice. It is suitable for vapers who are hefty smokers or have a high nicotine tolerance.
The nicotine type is either freebase nicotine or nicotine salts. Freebase nicotine is the most common type of nicotine used in vape juice. It is extracted from tobacco leaves and chemically modified to increase its potency and stability. Freebase nicotine has a high pH level, which means it is alkaline and harsh on the throat. Freebase nicotine also has a slow absorption rate, which means it takes longer to reach the bloodstream and deliver the desired effects.
Nicotine salts are a newer type of nicotine used in vape juice. They are derived from the natural salts in tobacco leaves and mixed with acids to lower their pH. Nicotine salts have a low pH level, making them acidic and smooth on the throat. Nicotine salts also have a fast absorption rate, reaching the bloodstream quickly and delivering the desired effects.
The difference between freebase nicotine and nicotine salts affects the nicotine delivery, throat hit, and flavor of your vape juice.
- Freebase nicotine delivers a more gradual and steady dose of nicotine, which can be satisfying for long-term vapers. However, freebase nicotine also produces a harsher throat hit, which can irritate some vapers. Freebase nicotine also tends to mute the flavor of your vape juice, especially at higher strengths.
- Nicotine salts deliver a more rapid and intense dose of nicotine, which can be satisfying for short-term vapers. However, nicotine salts also produce a smoother throat hit, which can be less satisfying for some vapers. Nicotine salts also enhance the flavor of your vape juice, especially at lower strengths.
How to Choose Your Flavor Concentrates
The flavor concentrates are the taste and aroma that make your vape juice unique. They are the most fun and creative part of making your vape juice, as you can mix and match different flavors to create your recipes. Flavor concentrates are highly concentrated extracts of various ingredients, such as fruits, desserts, candies, tobacco, menthols, etc. They are not meant to be vaped alone but mixed with your base liquid and nicotine to create your vape juice. Flavor concentrates come in different types: natural, artificial, organic, synthetic, etc. They also come in various forms, such as liquid, powder, crystals, etc. They also have other qualities, such as strength, purity, shelf life, etc. You can buy high-quality flavor concentrates online or offline from reputable vendors. It would be best if you looked for food-grade or vaping-grade taste concentrates that are safe and suitable.
How to Mix Your Vape Juice by Weight or Volume
Mixing combines base liquid, nicotine, and flavor concentrates to create vape juice. You can mix your vape juice by weight or volume, depending on your preferred method. Mixing by weight is measuring your ingredients by their importance using a scale. This method is more accurate and convenient than mixing by volume, as you do not need syringes or pipettes to transfer your liquids. Place your mixing bottle on the scale and add ingredients until you reach the desired weight. Mixing by volume is the method of measuring your ingredients by their volume using a syringe or a pipette. This method is less accurate and convenient than mixing by weight, as you need to use different syringes or pipettes for each ingredient and transfer them to your mixing bottle. It would be best to account for the air bubbles and residue in the needles or pipettes.
- Use a clean 30mL mixing bottle with markings on the side.
- Add 6.15mL of PG to the bottle using a syringe or a pipette.
- Add 13.35mL of VG to the bottle using a syringe or a pipette.
- Add 1.8mL of nicotine liquid to the bottle using a syringe or a pipette.
- Add 4.5mL of flavor concentrate to the bottle using a syringe or a pipette.
- Shake the bottle well to mix all the ingredients.
How to Steep Your Vape Juice for Better Flavor
Steeping is the process of aging your vape juice for better flavor. It is similar to how wine or cheese improves over time. Steeping allows the ingredients of your vape juice to blend and mature, resulting in a more complex and balanced flavor. Steeping is not necessary for all vape juices, but it can enhance the flavor of some vape juices, especially those with complex or dessert flavors. Steeping can also reduce the harshness of some vape juices, especially those with high nicotine or PG levels. Steeping can be done in different ways, depending on your preferred method. The standard techniques of steeping are:
Agitating: This represents the most straightforward and swiftest method of steeping. Vigorously shake your vape juice bottle for a few minutes to thoroughly blend all the components. You can perform this procedure multiple times throughout the day until you achieve your desired flavor.
Aerating: This entails exposing your vape juice to the air, which allows certain ingredients to undergo oxidation. Open your vape juice bottle and let it rest in a superb, dark location for a few hours. You can repeat this step daily until your desired flavor is achieved.
Warming: Applying heat expedites the chemical reactions within your vape juice. Place your vape juice bottle in a warm water bath or a slow cooker for a few hours. You can repeat this heating process once a day until you attain your desired flavor.
The time and frequency of steeping can vary depending on the type and quality of your vape juice. The general rule of thumb is:
- Simple or fruity flavors: These flavors do not need much steeping, as they are already flavorful and fresh. You can steep them for a few days or a week at most.
- Complex or dessert flavors need more steeping, as they are more prosperous and layered. You can steep them for a few weeks or a month at most.
- Tobacco flavors are more subtle and nuanced and need the most steeping. You can steep them for a month or more.
You can tell when your vape juice is ready by tasting it periodically. You can also observe the color and smell of your vape juice, as they may change over time. When your vape juice reaches the optimal flavor, you can stop steeping it and start vaping it.
You can also use some tools to help you steep your vape juice more effectively and efficiently. Some of these tools are:
- Magnetic stirrer: This device uses a magnetic field to continuously stir your vape juice without opening the bottle. It can save you time and effort from shaking your bottle manually.
- Ultrasonic cleaner: This device uses sound waves to create bubbles in your vape juice that burst and mixes all the ingredients well. It can also heat your vape juice slightly to enhance the steeping process.
- Vortex mixer: This device uses centrifugal force to spin your vape juice rapidly and create a vortex that mixes all the ingredients well. It can also aerate your vape juice slightly to enhance the steeping process.
You can buy these tools online or offline from reputable vendors. You should follow the instructions and precautions of each device carefully when using them to steep your vape juice.
How to Fill Your Cartridge or Tank with Your Vape Juice
The filling transfers vape juice from your mixing bottle to your cartridge or tank. You must do this carefully and correctly to avoid leaks, spills, or clogs that may ruin your vaping experience. The cartridge or tank is the device that holds and vaporizes your vape juice. It consists of two main parts: the coil and the reservoir. The coil is the heating element that vaporizes your vape juice when you activate your device. The pool is the container that stores your vape juice and feeds it to the coil. Depending on the type and design of your cartridge or tank, you can fill your cartridge or tank with your vape juice using a syringe or funnel.
Here are some general steps on how to fill your cartridge or tank with your vape juice:
- Ensure your device is turned off and disconnected from any power source.
- Unscrew or remove your cartridge or tank's top cap or mouthpiece.
- Fill a syringe or a funnel with your vape juice from your mixing bottle.
- Insert the syringe tip or funnel into your cartridge, tank's fill port, or hole.
- Squeeze or pour your vape juice slowly and gently into your cartridge or tank until it reaches the fill line or the maximum capacity.
- Remove the syringe or funnel from your cartridge or tank and wipe off any excess vape juice.
- Screw or attach your cartridge's top cap, mouthpiece, or tank back on.
- Wait a few minutes to let your vape juice soak into the coil and the wick.
- Attach your cartridge or tank to your device and turn it on.
How to Store Your Vape Juice Properly for Longer Shelf Life
Storing is keeping your vape juice in good condition for extended use. You must do this carefully and correctly to avoid any degradation or contamination that may ruin your vaping experience.
The shelf life of your vape juice depends on various factors, such as ingredient quality, storage conditions, usage frequency, etc. The general rule of thumb is:
- Base liquid: PG and VG have a long shelf life of about two years, as they are stable and resistant to oxidation and bacterial growth. However, they can still degrade, especially if exposed to heat, light, air, and moisture. It would be best to store your base liquid in a cool, dark, and dry place away from these elements.
- Nicotine: Nicotine has a short shelf life of about one year, as it is unstable and prone to oxidation and bacterial growth. However, it can still degrade faster, especially if exposed to heat, light, air, and moisture. It would be best if you store your nicotine in a cool, dark, and dry place away from these elements. You can also keep your nicotine in the freezer to extend its shelf life.
- Flavor concentrates: Flavor concentrates have a variable shelf life of about six months to 2 years, depending on the type and quality of the flavor. However, they can still degrade faster, especially if exposed to heat, light, air, and moisture. It would be best to store your flavor concentrates in a cool, dark, and dry place away from these elements.
You can tell when your vape juice is expired by observing its color, smell, and taste. If your vape juice changes color significantly, smells bad or off, or tastes bitter or sour, you should discard it and make a new batch. Label your vape juice bottles with the date, ingredients, ratio, strength, etc., to keep track of your vape juice batches and their expiration dates. Safely dispose of your vape juice by following simple rules and precautions. Here are some general tips on how to dispose of your vape juice safely:
Refrain from disposing of your vape juice down the drain or in the trash, as it poses a potential threat to the environment and wildlife should it infiltrate the water system or soil. Properly dispose of your vape juice at a designated hazardous waste facility or a recycling center that accepts e-waste.
Avoid reusing or recycling your vape juice bottles, as they may carry residue or bacteria capable of contaminating other liquids or materials. Ensure the responsible disposal of your vape juice bottles at a designated hazardous waste facility or a recycling center that accepts e-waste.
Do not distribute or sell your vape juice to others, as it can be harmful or addictive, especially to individuals unaware of its ingredients or effects. Keep your vape juice for personal use only, and refrain from sharing it with anyone else.
How to Save Money by Making Your Vape Juice
Making vape juice can save money compared to buying pre-made e-liquids for sale from online or offline stores. The initial costs of purchasing the ingredients and tools for making vape juice can be offset by the long-term savings of DIY vaping.
Here are some general tips on how to save money by making your vape juice:
- Buy in bulk: Buying in bulk can save you money by reducing the unit price and shipping costs of your ingredients and tools. You can buy in bulk from online or offline vendors that offer discounts or deals for bulk orders.
- Compare prices: Comparing prices can save money by finding the best deals or offers for your ingredients and tools. You can compare prices from online or offline vendors selling similar products or services.
- Use coupons or codes: Coupons or codes can save you money by giving you discounts or rewards. You can use coupons or codes from online or offline vendors that provide them for their products or services.
- Budget your expenses: Budgeting your expenses can save you money by controlling your spending and saving habits. You can budget your expenses by setting a limit or a goal for your monthly or yearly vaping fees.