By Alyssa Strong
Whether you can’t seem to find the perfect new all day vape or are just flat out tired of paying over $20+ per bottle, the struggle with ejuice is real. If only there were some other way to get a great tasting ejuice for a reasonable price. Oh wait, there is. DIY E-juice is a fantastic alternative if you are trying to watch your spending or if you simply have always wondered what it would taste like if you took x and mixed it with y. Hell, it could simply just a fun hobby for you to do on the side. It doesn’t matter what your reason may be. Think of it as the culinary arts of vaping. Once you learn the process and with a little guidance, you will be making store-quality products in no time.
DIY Ejuice is made using four ingredients: diluted nicotine, flavor concentrates, and PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerin). We are going to briefly take a look at what these ingredients are exactly and why they are used in the making of e juice.
- Diluted Nicotine: This is not a necessary ingredient to make homemade e juice. There are plenty of juices out there that have zero nicotine in them. If you are a traditional tobacco smoker turned vaper however, then this is an absolute must for your DIY ejuice. Generally e-juices come in levels of 3mg, 6mg, 12 mg, 18mg, 24mg, and even 36mg sometimes.
- Flavor Concentrates: Last, but not least, you will need to add some flavor to your juices! There are countless flavors to choose from that you will never get tired of creating your own personal flavor concoctions. The possibilities are absolutely endless!
- Propylene Glycol (PG and) Vegetable Glycerin (VG): Propylene Glycol is a non-toxic, thin synthetic It is a flavorless ingredient that allows for no interference with e juice flavoring. PG provides the user with a decent throat hit, comparable to that of a tobacco cigarette. Since propylene glycol has a thinner consistency, it is not ideal for someone primarily focused on vapor production. PG is more for those who favor flavor over vape clouds. Unfortunately, propylene glycol is known to cause allergic reactions for some users.
Signs of Sensitivity:
- Throat irritation
- Sinus Problems
- Shortness of breath
- Upset stomach / nausea
- Skin problems (dry skin, rash, itchiness)
- Numbness of the face and tongue (in severe cases)
If you start experiencing any of these side effects, you may want to consider switching over to a higher VG based e juice and/or consult your physician.
Vegetable Glycerin is a thick, natural substance. Since it is derived from vegetables, naturally, VG does have a sweet flavor in it, meaning that your e juice flavor will be altered a bit. While it may alter flavoring, VG is great if you happen to be a notorious “cloud chaser” in the industry. The thick consistency is what makes it possible for the user to produce massive vapor clouds.
Previously, manufacturers offered their products with solely propylene glycol bases. VG was only offered to be the alternative if you were allergic to PG. That is now a thing of the past however! It is now almost impossible to find an e-juice on the market that is 100% PG. VG/PG ratios are commonly found to be 50/50, 60/40, 70/30, 80/20, or MAX-VG. The most popular PG/VG ratio would be 70% VG / 30% PG. What does that mean exactly? It means that you can now enjoy an e juice product that offers both massive clouds, as well as premium flavor.
- Ingredients, as previously stated above: diluted nicotine, PG (propylene glycol), VG (vegetable glycerin), and flavor concentrates.
- Safety supplies: Channel your inner Walter White.
- Rubber gloves – to keep your hands safe from any contact with the nicotine juice.
- Safety goggles – to prevent any nicotine liquid in your eyes, which can lead to blindness.
- Safety apron – to insure that you do not ruin any of your clothing while mixing your ingredients.
- Storage bottles: 100 mL for your PG and VG is the most ideal. It is recommended that you have storage bottle with nozzle tips to easily add to bottles.
- Syringes: You will need a decent selection of syringes. Get 10 mL syringes for your PG and VG, as well as 1 mL syringes for the diluted nicotine and flavor concentrates.
- E Juice bottles: You may want to start off with smaller 10 mL plastic bottles in the beginning as testers and then make your way to 50 mL bottles.
- Labels: Labelling your homemade ejuices allows you to re-create and/or enhance a previously made concoction. This is greatly recommended as you will most likely not remember every mixtures’ exact measurements.
To find out what the proper measurements will be for all your ingredients, I recommend using eLR. It makes the process much simpler than calculating on your own to ensure the correct amount is used. Not only that, but it can be used from any device that has internet capabilities. If, however, you would rather make all the calculations on your own than the formula to use are the following:
- (Strength in mg/mL) (Volume in mL) = Amount of nicotine in mg
Example: Let’s say that you want to make 50 mL of 4mg/mL ejuice. You are going to need 50 x 4 = 200mgs of nicotine for your 50 mL formula.
- (Amount needed) / (Strength of diluted nicotine) = Volume to use.
Continued Example: If you have 100 mg/mL diluted nicotine, you will need 200mg / (100 mg/mL) = 2mL. If you have 25 mg/mL diluted nicotine, you will need 200 / (25 mg/mL) = 8mL.
- The recommended measurement for flavoring is about 10%.
Example: If you are make a 30 mL, you will need 3 mL. If you are make a 50 mL ejuice, you are going to need 5 mL.
- Remaining mLs
Example: You have added 8 mL of diluted nicotine and 5 mL of flavoring, which leaves a remaining 37 mLs for your PG/VG ratio. These ratios vary based on your personal liking. As previously stated, there are a variety of different ratios you can use, so the math is different with each one. If you want a 50/50 ratio than you would divide the remaining 37 mL in half for equal portions. If you want a 70/30 ratio though, you would need to make further calculations. The same goes for 80/20, 60/40, and so on.
- Only attempt to mix your own DIY e-juice after you have done the full proper research!
- ALWAYS purchase from reputable companies!
- You will never need pure nicotine! The use of even one mL can be potentially fatal.
- When handling nicotine juice, ALWAYS use protective clothing (rubber gloves, goggles/face shield, apron). You can go blind if it gets in your eyes. It is extremely important to always take precautionary steps to avoid any harm.
- If any spills occur, rubbing alcohol is extremely useful for cleaning up the mess.
- Use separate syringes for all of your ingredients. This will prevent any cross-contamination.
Now that you have all the required information for creating your own DIY juices, it is time to get your hands dirty (not actually, that would be very unsafe). Make sure that you have all your safety clothing on! Using either the recommended measurement calculator or your own calculations, you will use the individual syringes you have and mix all the ingredients together. When mixing in your flavor concentrates, you should add the flavoring with just a few drops at a time. This will ensure the best flavor results. Tadaaaaa! You will now have your very own homemade DIY e-juice!
The hard part is over, but wait, you aren’t done just yet. You will need to take a few more steps for aftercare, as well as notating information that you have done for later replication or use. Most of the steps can be done within minutes, while the other can require a certain amount of patience on your part.
You will want to label your mixtures as soon as you are finished mixing them. This step is something that most people forget to do. If you don’t label all of your homemade e juices and end up liking one, how will you know how to re-create it? If you don’t generally make e juices often then it can be easier to go off memory. If you tend to make a variety of them though, it would be extremely difficult to remember the ratio for each individual flavor you make. So be sure to label the VG/PG ratio, flavor percentage, nicotine level, and the date you created it.
- Steep: the process in which you allow your e liquid to “age” or mature in the bottle.
This process allows the flavoring to blend and settle. Just like a fine wine, some ejuices such as dessert flavors can need up to four weeks to reach its full potential. Other flavors, such as fruity flavors, may not require steeping at all. Shake up the bottle, leave the cap off, and allow the formula to just sit and “breathe” for a way days or weeks.
Next, it is time for the delightful taste test! Take into consideration what tank and mod you are using, as flavors can vary based on what device and accessories you are vaping with. Since this is your own creation, it will become much easier for you to invent flavors that are more accommodating to the mod you own.
Lastly, heat and sun can have an extremely negative effect on e-juice. To prevent any alterations, be sure to store your juices in a cool dark place. You don’t want to have put in all that effort of making your own DIY e juice just for it to get damaged due to improper storing.
Find New Recipes
Once you have finally mastered the art of DIY e-juice, what do you do? Share it with your friendly vaping community of course. The easiest way to do so is via the Internet. There are so many DIY forums out there that there is no doubt you will find the one you ultimately favor.
While the DIY community is large, I would recommend taking a look at the sites listed below. They are full of thousands of other DIY e juice creators! Not only does this help you immensely get the word out about the unique and delicious e juices YOU have made, but if also gives you the opportunity to see what others in the community are creating.
Reddit – There is a subreddit made specifically for your DIY e juice needs. You will be able to not only find hundreds of flavor variations to re-create, but you also have the opportunity to speak with other DIY vapers and see how exactly they handle their process of re-creation. Give tips, take advice, and most importantly, have fun with it!
eLR – We already discussed this site as a great tool to use for calculating the right measurements, but you can only find a plethora of different recipes on here as well for your next flavor concoction! Be careful though, just like on Reddit, these recipes are shared by other vapers in the community. So that means that they may not be the greatest of flavors. You can use their recipes for inspiration, or even look for ways to further enhance what they had created.
Cloning – After sometime, you may find yourself tiring of trying to create a variety of new and unique flavors. Another take on DIY e-juice is that you have the opportunity to re-create the same flavors that are currently being offered on the market. Test your skills and see if you can master what the big dogs are creating in their labs!
Forums – You can even use the forums posted above and ones that you find on your own for further inspiration! With all the other DIYers in the community, you are able to ask for tips, suggestions, advice, etc. Don’t ever be scared to ask for assistance or ideas. The people in the vape community tend to be quiet open and welcoming. I am sure you will receive tons of feedback on what your next challenge should be.
With that, you can now go on your own and become a growing DIYer in the vaping community. While you may not immediately become the master of all things DIY ejuice, you are one step closer. If you enjoyed this article, go ahead and share it with some of your fellow vapers who may be over the struggle. Also, feel free to leave a comment below about your DIY ejuice experiences and maybe some of your own personal recipes!