What’s so wonderful about e-cigarettes is not just that they are less harmful than tobacco ones, but that they are highly customizable to suit your needs. The choices out there are endless – automatic vs. manual batteries, high resistance vs. low resistance cartomizers, variable voltage, and more. With the e-liquid itself, you could choose between varying concentrations of nicotine, and thousands of flavors from menthol to mint. If you aren’t happy with the experience you get with an e-cig cartridge, you can even get rid of the filler material and drip e-liquid in yourself. And here’s the best part – if you are a seasoned vaper, you can even try to make your own e-liquid. A popular hobby among many power vapers, making e-liquid at home isn’t as hard as it sounds, as long as you keep safe and understand what you’re dealing with.
E-liquid, or e-juice, mainly consists of five ingredients – propylene glycol (PG), water, nicotine, glycerol, and additional flavoring. For those who suffer from PG-related allergies, vegetable glycerine (VG) can be used as an alternative. PG or VG make up 70% of the e-liquid, acting as a vaporizing base (nicotine does not vaporize on its own). For home-made e-juice, the main ingredients you need to purchase are PG/VG, distilled water, e-juice flavoring, and commercial nicotine juice. You would need to purchase these ingredients individually and mix them up in certain ratios, depending on how strong or flavored you would like your e-liquid to be.
PG/VG is available in stores such as Walmart, in the form of Glycerine. It’s the same stuff that some people use to soften their skin, but you need to make sure you buy the one marked USP grade, which means it is food grade glycerine. VG tends to be of a thicker consistency than PG, so you might need to use a bit more water to thin it out. It’s important that you use distilled water, because tap water might contain unwanted impurities. Nicotine juice is available dissolved in a PG/VG base for purchase online in varying concentrations (mg of nicotine/ml of fluid). You can go for unflavored nicotine juice at whatever concentration you are comfortable with. Beginners are generally advised to start at 50mg. Apart from these ingredients, you will also need a few mixing supplies like clean, empty bottles and 1ml to 10ml syringes that help with drawing out and measuring liquid.
Now, you could be making e-liquid with or without nicotine, it is completely up to you. A general rule of thumb to follow for e-juice without nicotine is: 70% PG/VG + 15% flavoring + 15% water (optional for thinning). With nicotine: 60% PG/VG + 20% nicotine juice + 10% flavoring + 10% water (optional). This is of course, just a general guide. The actual amounts you use would also be influenced by the concentration of nicotine juice you are starting with, and the end concentration of e-juice you want to achieve. One of the best places to start is with an e-juice recipe calculator, like this one: http://www.todmuller.com/ejuice/ejuice.php. It makes your life easier by saving you from doing the math.
It’s always best to mix e-liquid in small batches, for the best and safest results. Also, nicotine is considered a toxic substance in high concentrations. You must not allow it to touch your skin or splash into your eyes directly; it’s best if you wear a pair of gloves and goggles while working. It’s also best not to work with nicotine juice when kids or pets are around. Rinse off any nicotine from your skin immediately and visit a doctor if any negative reactions persist. If you are careful though, you could have a lot of fun making your own e-liquid at home.