Vaping has become a very popular trend, with vape stores popping up all over the country. Thanks to the surge in popularity, making DIY e liquid is easier now than it ever has been before. All you need to do is gather the materials, which you can easily find at your local vaping shop, purchase a few pieces of equipment and you can begin experimenting with different formulas and combinations. Finding vape juice DIY tools and calculators is also incredibly easy. Making your own e-liquid is perfect for those who want to become more involved in their hobby, or who are tired of the existing e liquid brands and flavor choices available to them and want to try something new.
What You Need
At first, you need to invest in numerous items to get yourself started. Keep in mind that making your own e-liquid ultimately saves you money, so you can make back this investment in no time. To begin, you should obtain the following:
• Propylene Glycol (or PG). This is one of the two diluents in your e-liquid formula, and an essential ingredient. The nicotine and flavorings you use are very highly concentrated, making them hard to vape on their own while still enjoying it. Adding PG and Vegetable Glycerine (or VG) help make the substance you create much more palatable. PG has no affect on the flavor of liquid you use, but it can irritate the throat with repeated use in high concentrations. Most DIY e-liquid recipes call for a mix of PG and VG, expressed as a ratio. You can commonly find 50/50 and 70/30 variations in pre-made formulas.
• Vegetable Glycerine (VG). VG is the other diluent used in e-liquids. It is a bit thicker than PG and has a sweet aftertaste, which can impact the flavoring you use. It is easier on the throat than PG, but it does take longer to heat.
• Diluted Nicotine. If you plan on vaping with a fluid that includes nicotine, you need to find diluted nicotine. Pure nicotine requires special equipment and safety suits to handle, so make sure you only purchase the diluted variety. You should also take the time to ensure that you are buying high quality nicotine. The substance degrades quite quickly when exposed to sunlight or the air, and can take on a different taste. In most cases, a 100 mL bottle of 72 mg per mL is enough for beginners. In most cases, nicotine is diluted in a PG solution, which does impact your PG/VG ration.
• Flavoring. The flavoring determines the taste and smell of your e-liquid when it is completed. There are thousands of flavors available, and an endless array of combinations. You can combine multiple flavors when making your liquid or you can purchase one-shot mixes geared toward those who mix their own liquid.
In addition to the ingredients themselves, you also need to invest in a few pieces of equipment. This vape juice DIY equipment helps you with the mixing process, as well as measuring out the ingredients so you can be precise with your recipe. While there are two ways you can make e-liquid, mixing by volume and mixing by weight, mixing by weight is much more accurate, so you should ensure that the scales you choose are sensitive.
• Scales. As mentioned, if you plan to make e liquid yourself, you should invest in a set of electronic kitchen scales. Make sure you choose ones that are high quality, as the amount of each ingredient you use needs to be precise. The scales must go to 0.01g, at a minimum, if they are to be effective.
• Storage Bottles. You need to store the PG and VG separately. E-liquid pros recommend storing them in individual squeeze bottles with nozzle tips, so you can easily add these ingredients to your e-liquid recipe. In most cases, a few 100mL bottles should suffice for your PG and VG. Storing your nicotine requires different types of containers. Using amber bottles with droppers helps to slow down the speed the nicotine degrades at, while the dropper helps give you more precision when adding this ingredient to your liquid.
• Syringes. People who want to mix by volume should invest in a wide range of syringes. PG and VG requires 10mL syringes, while the nicotine and flavorings need 1mL syringes. Experts also recommend getting 14 gauge needles to ensure that working with VG is clean and easy.
• E-juice Bottles. It is a good idea to invest in a range of sizes, from 10mL to 50mL. You can use the 10mL bottles for your early experiments, so you can try out a range of flavors and recipes while you work out which ones are your favorites. Once you figure out which ones you prefer, you can start making larger quantities and storing them in the 50mL bottles.
• Labels. Never forget the recipe, concentration, or flavor of a particular formula by labelling every bottle you make. The labels you purchase should be removable, so you can wash and reuse your bottles, but also durable enough to stay put while you use the liquid.
• Gloves. Nicotine can be absorbed through the skin, which can create irritations at best and painful reactions at worst. Make sure you use a pair of gloves to protect your hands against spills when working with nicotine.
How to Make E-Liquid Yourself
Once you gather all the materials and the equipment you need, you can start to make e liquid yourself. Make sure you do so in a ventilated area, covering any nearby furniture in the event of spills. If you are unable to find a well-ventilated space, consider using a face mask to protect you against inhaling the nicotine concentrate.
Step One: Nicotine
While you do not need to add nicotine to your e-liquid recipe, most people do. Figuring out the volume required does take a bit of math, especially if you are not working from a pre-existing recipe. There are a ton of websites such as eLR, Steam Engine, and EjuiceMeUp, that can help you determine the right amount of nicotine to use. Without technological assistance, you can use the following formula:
(Strength in mg per mL) X (Volume in mL) = Amount of nicotine in mg
For example, if you want to make 50mL of 5mg/mL e-liquid, your formula is:
50 X 5 = 250mgs of nicotine
Next, you need to calculate the volume to use:
(Amount of nicotine in mg) ÷ (Strength of diluted nicotine) = Volume to use
Continuing the same example, if you have 25mL of diluted nicotine, your formula is:
250 ÷ 25 = 10mL is the volume of diluted nicotine to use in your 50mL bottle.
Transferring the nicotine to your bottle is a bit tricky, so be sure you wear gloves and work over a covered surface. It is best to use your syringes and draw a little more than you think you need. When transferring the nicotine to the bottle, make sure you only depress the plunger until the exact amount you need is included.
Step Two: Adding Flavors
Your next step is to add the flavoring. Generally speaking, it is recommended to use about 10% flavoring. For example, if you are making a 50mL bottle of e-liquid, you need 5mL of flavoring. Make sure you use a different syringe than the one you used for the nicotine when adding the flavoring to your mixture.
It is also important to only add the recommended amount of flavoring. More is not going to make your liquid taste any better. In fact, adding too much can dilute the taste, ruining your batch. Mixing flavors does not always work out as expected either, so make sure you start by mixing a small batch before going on to waste a lot of flavoring on vape liquid that tastes awful.
Step Three: Add Your Base/Diluent
To complete your liquid, you need to add your VG and/or PG. As mentioned many types of diluted nicotine use PG, which can affect the ration you want to use. Some people prefer using only VG if the concentration of PG in the nicotine is high. Others prefer to stick with a 50/50 or 70/30 ratio.
Whichever amount or combination you decide, you must then mix it and add it to your liquid. The amount you use depends on the amount left in your bottle. For example, if you were creating a 50mL bottle and had used 16mL of diluted nicotine and 5mL of flavoring, you need 21mL of PG/VG for the mixture to be complete. Once you follow those three steps, all you have to do is shake the bottle and let it steep. Experts recommend you give the e-liquid at least 12 hours to settle before use.
Making your own e-liquid can be a fun and inexpensive way to get more involved in vaping, and to customize your vaping experience. You can find most of the equipment and ingredients mentioned at your local vaping store, or you can order them through Amazon with ease. If you’ve never tried to DIY e liquid before, you should give it a shot today.