One of the questions many vapers find themselves asking is if they should try their hand at making their own e-juice. Making your own e-juice offers two distinct advantages over buying ready-made e-juices. The first is price. On average, DIY e-juice costs about $1.00 per 30ml bottle. With many vendors charging over $10.00 per 15ml bottle, DIY e-juice can bring significant savings. The other part of the appeal of making your own e-juice is the ability to completely customize it to your personal tastes. Many vapers already mix the ready-made e-juices that they buy in search of the perfect vape. DIY e-juice steps this up a notch by allowing for a level of flavor and nicotine customization that you just can’t find in ready-made juice.
Before looking at the process for DIY e-juice, vapers need to be aware that nicotine concentrate is extremely poisonous if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Most DIY e-juices use a nicotine concentrate that is meant to be diluted with the other ingredients. Special care MUST be taken to avoid skin contact with nicotine concentrate, as it is easily absorbed through the skin and can cause serious illness and even death. Because of this, many DIY e-juice makers prefer to use a lower concentration nicotine base of around 40-60mg, thereby minimizing the toxicological risk. It’s very important to work in a well-ventilated area, wear gloves, wipe up any spilled undiluted nicotine and wash all spills with soap and water.
If proper safety procedures are followed, DIY e-juice can be safe and cost-effective. Initially, you will need to purchase your flavorings, nicotine base, propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG), and some syringes with metric measurements on them in order to ensure that you are using the proper amounts of each ingredient. This can be done online, or at local stores depending upon where you live.
The big question that needs to be answered when making your own e-juice is how comfortable you are with flavorings and mixing your own ingredients. DIY e-juice, like ready-made e-juice, is made by mixing nicotine, flavorings, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin. E-cigs can be made with either an exclusively PG or VG base, though most vendors and DIY e-juice makers use a blend of both. PG is a thinner liquid than VG, so solutions containing a higher PG ratio won’t gunk up coils as quickly as high VG solutions. PG also produces a stronger “throat hit”, which makes the experience of vaping these juices similar to smoking tobacco cigarettes. VG is thicker and slightly sweet, making it especially popular in sweeter e-liquid flavors. While VG doesn’t produce as large of a throat hit as PG, its consistency results in more vapor. PG and/or VG are needed to “transport” the nicotine to the lungs for absorption. DIY e-juice offers the advantage of allowing you to customize the PG/VG ratio of your juice to give you the perfect balance between throat hit and vapor production. Several online calculators can help you with proper measuring of your e-juice.
You should also consider which kinds of flavors you prefer. The type and amount of flavorings used in e-juice is crucial, and when beginning to make your own e-juice, you should expect to take some time to find the right balance for you and your vaping devices. Don’t be afraid to try flavors from several different manufacturers. With enough sampling you will find the taste that you are after. And remember, the liquid flavoring component of vapor is completely safe for you. The flavoring elements that you should be using are the same that are used in candies and other food. If you shop around you can find options that are made from all natural, and even organic ingredients.
If you are still unsure about whether DIY e-juice is for you, check out a build-your-own e-juice option from vendors like Mount Baker Vapor. The Build Your Own e-juice option lets you try out flavors and PG/VG ratios, creating “DIY” e-juice without having to actually do the mixing. It does cost more, but it will give you an idea of the ratios that you prefer.