You might have enjoyed vaping for quite some time. However, you feel unsatisfied with the flavors and e-liquids that you have used lately. Perhaps you are looking for a specific flavor and just can’t find it anywhere. Well, why not make it yourself: learning how to make vape juice shouldn’t be that hard, right?
In fact, that’s actually true! Making vape juice is fairly straightforward, just like cooking a dish from a recipe. Plus, most ingredients you’ll need for making your DIY e-liquids are readily available in your kitchen. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in and learn how to make vape juice in the comforts of your home!
Ingredients and Materials Needed
When we say that it’s easy to make vape juice, we mean it. The ingredients you’ll need to make DIY juice can be found in your kitchen, or on a quick trip to the groceries. Here’s a quick checklist:
- Propylene glycol (PG)
- Vegetable glycerin (VG)
- Vape juice flavor concentrates (optional)
- Nicotine (optional)
- Water or vodka
Propylene glycol might sound unfamiliar, but it’s actually a common food additive that you’ll find in a variety of packaged foods. It is generally recognized as safe to use by the FDA. You’ll find USP-grade PG in specialty stores in the baking section, or in farm supply stores (since they are also used as a livestock health supplement).
Vegetable glycerin is just your regular glycerine but is sourced from plant products (soy, palm, and coconut oils). However, regular food-grade glycerine used as a sweetener in some foods will work just fine.
Additionally, some vape shops sell pre-made bases, which already have PG and VG in their solutions.
You can find vape juice flavor concentrates in your regular vape shops, although you can also make these yourself. If you want to save some time, you can buy a few concentrates with a variety of flavors from your local shops, or make an entirely unique flavor right at your home. However, this ingredient is optional, especially if you’re on your first try or you want a flavorless e-juice.
You can also find liquid nicotine diluted with PG or VG in your local vape shops, although they are optional, especially if you want nicotine-free vape juice. Most nicotine will come in a concentration of 36 mg/mL or 48 mg/mL, although other ratios will be readily available. We recommend avoiding high-strength nicotine since it is still a poisonous substance.
Vodka can be an amazing addition to your DIY e-liquid, adding a throat hit to your vape liquids, especially if you’re going for a nicotine-free liquid. However, distilled water is absolutely usable.
Ingredients to Avoid
If you are experimenting with some other substances that you might want to add to your e-liquid, we highly recommend staying away from these:
- Essential oils (or any oil substance)
- Very high-strength nicotine
- Certain types of flavorings that are not widely used in DIY vape juice
Equipment to Use
For convenience, you also need to prepare a few pieces of equipment for storing, mixing, and measuring your ingredients.
- Glass or ceramic bowl
- Stirring spoons
- Kitchen gloves
- Plastic or glass bottles
- Pipettes or syringes/scale
Methods of Measuring
There are two main methods of measuring ingredients. As a beginner, you’re likely to prefer measuring by volume. That means that you’re taking measurements by milliliters (mL). Although there is nothing inherently wrong with measuring by volume, you do need pipettes and syringes for this method.
However, measuring by volume has been generally considered to be less accurate than the next method, measuring by weight.
Measuring by weight means that you are taking measurements of the ingredients in grams (g). To use this method, you need to have a scale.
Whichever method you use, the calculators will provide measurements both in mL and g so you can choose the method that you are more comfortable using.
Making Your First Vape Juice
If you are trying to make your first vape juice, we recommend that you start with a simple e-juice. You can start with a basic plastic bottle, and fill it with 25 mL of PG and 25 mL of VG. If you have a vape juice flavor concentrate, slip in around 10-20 drops of it. Let it sit for a while.
You have now made your own vape juice. Granted, it is nicotine-free and it is unlikely to taste anything special. But hey, that shows that you can indeed make vape juice right in your kitchen.
Getting Serious: Preparation
Now that you have gained some confidence from a quick test run, you’re ready to go full vape juice enthusiast/chemist (okay, maybe chemist was a bit of a stretch).
If you are serious about DIY vape juice, then we highly recommend that you use an e-liquid calculator. These are online resources that automatically calculate the amounts you need to put into your e-liquid by specifying the characteristics of the resultant e-liquid.
You can find web-based calculators, such as the E-Liquid Recipe, which is one of the easiest to use and most popular among DIY vapers. Other options are the offline desktop application eJuice Me Up and the Android app Vape Tool.
Getting Serious: Making Real Vape Juice
Now we’re finally making that homemade vape juice that you’re probably craving right about now. Here are the steps to making that personalized vape juice:
Step 1: Get the measurements you need
Pull up your preferred calculator, then start inputting the data in there. At the basic level, you will need to input the following information:
- Amount of e-liquid you want to make
- Desired PG/VG ratio
- Nicotine concentration
- Nicotine strength of the e-liquid
- Percentage for flavoring
We recommend that you do not go over 20% for the total percentages of all flavoring, because more flavoring does not necessarily equate to a flavorful vape juice.
Once you got that information in, let the calculator do its thing and list down the measurements needed for each substance. We recommend that you keep track of these measurements so that you can readily recreate the juice if it’s to your liking.
Step 2: Pour the nicotine
When handling nicotine, we recommend that you wear rubber gloves for safety purposes. First, get the required measurements for your nicotine solution. We recommend that you use slightly less amount than what the calculator says since too much amount of nicotine is a worse mess that’s harder to fix than too little nicotine.
Step 3: Pour the flavorings in
This step is basically the most important part of making your own DIY e-juice. After all, this is why you’re trying to make one yourself: you want to make that perfect flavor of vape juice that tastes just right and hits just right. Therefore, we encourage you to consider this step properly.
Most people will try a variation of several flavorings added together in certain amounts, although we recommend that you start with 1-3 flavors and go from there. This step will largely be a trial-and-error system of finding the right concentrations.
Similar to the nicotine solution, we recommend that you add a tad less flavoring than what the calculator suggests. A batch with too much flavoring is nigh beyond saving while adding more flavor is easier.
Additionally, when mixing in more than one flavoring, flavors may interact unexpectedly when mixed together. Because of this, adding more of a certain flavor may not result in what you expect it to. But I guess that could also be the fun of this hobby, so feel free to experiment with various concentrations, as long as you don’t go over 20% of the entire juice.
Step 4: Pour the bases
The PG and VG base will finish the solution, so simply follow what the calculator tells you to put for them. Calculators are especially useful for this part since they also consider the amount of PG or VG diluted with the nicotine solution when coming up with the measurements.
If you want a more diluted solution, you can also add water into the calculator and pour the indicated amount in. A base with 10%-20% water will suffice.
If you want to add a stronger throat hit to your vape, adding vodka instead of distilled water will do the trick.
Step 5: Shake and mix your juice
This step is fairly straightforward: just do the good ol’ shake for the bottle to make sure that the ingredients mix evenly.
Step 6: Temper or steep the vape juice
Steeping is an important step in DIY vape juice making since it makes sure that all the ingredients in the juice are thoroughly mixed. Certain flavorings will also taste better when steeped for a certain amount of time, going from days to weeks or months.
Most recipes will have a recommended steeping time, but if you are experimenting, you can try using the juice right away and see if you like the flavor as it is. If you do, you can effectively skip this step and use the e-liquid.
To steep the juice, you simply need to store it in a cool, dark place, with the cap off to let the volatile compounds, such as alcohol, in your juice, vaporize into the air. You can also place the juice in a bowl with hot water for a few minutes, which will speed up the steeping process.
DIY vape juice can be quite an interesting hobby for vapers, and thankfully, there is an enthusiastic community who are willing to help you every step of the way. You can now experiment with various flavors and find the one that you’ll like the most, or simply change up your vape juices every now and then with different flavors.