DIY e-liquid – the Process
Are you a vaping enthusiast? You have probably noticed that one of your most significant expense in vaping is the e-juice. Depending on your vaping setup, you can burn through your e-juice supply quickly—especially with a sub-ohm. If you buy boutique brands of e-juice, the price will be a bit higher. What do you do when your vaping shop is out of the brand you use? You may buy an inferior product, or leave the store with nothing at all.
Do you want to save money and ensure that you always have a generous supply of juice? Then you can make e-liquid yourself. Many vaping fans have turned DIY e-liquid into a fascinating hobby. With some easy instructions and an initial investment of supplies, you will have a vaping juice that would rival any brand at your local vaping shop—only costing much less. Plus, you control the ingredients and nicotine levels. Try these simple steps for vape juice DIY:
Basic DIY E-Liquid Supplies
There are four main ingredients for most vaping liquids: vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), nicotine, and flavoring. Here is how these ingredients work:
- Propylene glycol: This is an FDA-approved additive that is found in many products we use. As an e-juice component, PG turns to vapor and provides a “throat hit” of flavor—like smoking cigarettes. PG works with VG to make the nicotine inhalation a pleasant experience. You will need at least a liter of pharmaceutical-grace PG.
- Vegetable glycerin: To give your DIY e-juice its characteristic thickness, you must add vegetable glycerin. VG is a product made from vegetable oil, and is a common ingredient in food, medicine, and beauty products. You need a liter of VG that is a pharmaceutical grade for vape juice DIY. Unlike the tasteless PG, VG lends a bit of sweetness to the vaping liquid.
- Nicotine: If you are replacing your smoking habit with vaping, you probably want some nicotine in your DIY e-juice. Feel free to leave this ingredient out of the mix if you favor a nicotine-free e-juice. As a novice e-juice blender, a 100 mL bottle of 72 mg/ mL strength should be sufficient. Keep in mind that nicotine oxidizes quickly, so keep your bottle shut tightly and store it away from light. Nicotine can also be poisonous, and should be kept out of the reach of children or pets.
- Flavorings: Here is the fun part! There is an almost infinite number of flavor combinations that you can concoct for your DIY e-juice. You will need food-grade flavor concentrates. Some vape juice companies sell their favorite flavor concentrates to DIY customers. Make up some copy-cat batches, or create a unique taste blend. You are limited only by your imagination.
- Electronic scales: While there are a few creative vaping aficionados who make DIY e-juice buy volume, the most precise way is to measure ingredients by weight. You need a set of electronic scales that will go to 0.01 grams. Most department stores have them, and they are not that expensive.
- Personal Protection Equipment: It can be dangerous to have liquid nicotine splashed on your skin or in your eyes. Always wear protective goggles, rubber gloves, and a rubber apron when mixing your DIY e-juice. If you have an assistant, be sure that he/she also wears protective gear.
- Bottles for storage: Since the nicotine is light-sensitive, you should store it in an amber glass bottle with a dropper. The PG and VG can be put into clear plastic squeeze bottles meant for condiments.
- DIY E-Juice bottles: Buy two different sizes of plastic bottles for your vape juice creations, like a few 10 mL ones and some bigger 50 mL ones. Many natural food stores and websites sell them cheaply. You will also need bottle droppers to make mixing ingredients easier.
- Labels: Here is another chance to showcase your creativity. Buy a pack of appropriate size labels, available in the office and school supplies of most department stores. Find some attractive design on the computer, and a matching font, and print labels for your e-juice. Labels not only let you know what is in the bottle, but it also makes your DIY project look more professional.
Let’s Get Started Making DYI E Liquid
First, you will need a suitable e-liquid recipe. Ask experienced vape liquid makers for recipes, or find some deliciously flavored ones online. Once you have found the recipe you want and have purchased the necessary ingredients, you can start the process.
- Choose a clean work area for your creation, and set up all the equipment you will need. Have a few fresh towels in case of a little spill. For safety reasons, be sure your work area is not close to children or pets. Put on your protective equipment.
- Dilute the nicotine: Most vape juice DIY enthusiasts use a nicotine strength between 8-18 mg; however, you can mix it as high as 36 mg, or make your e-juice nicotine-free. There are several free nicotine ratio calculators online to make this step easier.
- Mix the base: The e-juice recipe you use will give you the weights for both PG and VG. Usually, the ratio is 50/50 or 80/20. You can adjust according to the thickness you want. That will come with experience.
- Now, add the flavorings of your choice and put a lid on the bottle. Shake it vigorously for a couple of minutes.
- Aging: Also known as steeping, the DIY e-juice gets more complex flavors if you let it age in a dark cabinet with the cap off. The oxidization mellows the taste, like a good wine. This step is up to you. If you like the taste of your homemade juice as is, then use it as soon as you make it.
Remember these additional hacks when you make your e-juice:
- Keep careful notes of the weights and amounts of each ingredient you use when you make your first batch. Imagine how frustrating it would be to create the perfect blend, but not remember the specific ingredient amounts. Good notes help you replicate your favorite e-juice recipes.
- The best flavoring agents are ones made especially for inhaling. You will get a more authentic flavor than by using flavorings meant for food or confections.
- Join an online community geared toward vaping enthusiasts. Experienced members will be happy to share recipes and great tips for vape juice DIY.
- When you first make e-liquid yourself, a common mistake is to make too much. Work in small batches, so you can experiment and have a margin for errors. If you make a mistake with a little quantity of e-liquid— it is no big deal. If you must throw out a big batch, it can cost valuable time and expensive ingredients.
- With a little experience, you will quickly learn how to tweak the PG and VG measurements for denser vapor clouds and preferred throat hits.
- Keep all your ingredients and equipment safely out of the reach of kids and pets. A locked cabinet would be the optimal choice.
Discover the joys of making your own e-juice while you save money. Be patient with yourself, because it takes some time to learn the best techniques. Once you have mastered the hobby, you can share it with other people who enjoy vaping. Homemade e-liquid also makes great gifts!