So you’ve been vaping for a while now, and you’ve heard about DIY e-liquid, or maybe you saw this pop up on your news feed and you were curious. DIY e-liquid is a community of its own and ranges from everyday hobbyists to vendors trying to make a living. Now it’s your turn to take a step further in vaping and learn how simple and cost-effective DIY e-liquid can really be. Let’s begin by seeing what exactly makes up your juice. There will be approximately four ingredients in every e-liquid you vape:
- Propylene glycol - a colourless organic compound with a slightly sweet taste. The toxicity of PG is very low, and only large amounts of it are likely to cause any noticeable harm.
- Vegetable glycerine - another colourless and odourless liquid that is quite viscous. It has many applications in the food and pharmaceutical industry.
- Flavour concentrates - the same ones used in food. There can be many flavour concentrates in your juice or even none at all! It all depends on your personal preferences here.
- Finally, nicotine - the most hazardous substance you will be dealing with, as it is a poison. Always use gloves when handling nicotine and be sure that you have the correct quantity in your e-liquid, because it can potentially be very dangerous!
Next, we’ll take a look at the equipment you’ll need:
- A precise syringe - one that is calibrated to take a small measurement relative to the amount of juice you want to make. For example, with a 10ml bottle you will want a 1ml syringe; with a 50ml bottle you will want a 10ml syringe, and so forth.
- A glass beaker - you can optionally have two of these; one for making the mix, and one for pouring your base liquids (PG and VG) into so that they are easier to draw into the syringe.
- An e-liquid bottle - usually just a PET plastic bottle or a glass bottle if you want to be fancy. Glass is arguably better as it is less reactive than plastic and will not cause any change to the flavour, but this difference is usually negligible.
That’s it! We are ready to get started. Clear yourself a little space on a desk or a table, lay out your ingredients and equipment, and grab a recipe. If you want to make your own recipe, then you can use a calculator tool such as the e-liquid calculator on our site. Otherwise, there are plenty of recipes to find online and try out. In this example, we are going to use the Dragon Ball recipe that you may have seen in Eli’s DIY Drops. The recipe is a 30/70 PG-VG e-liquid containing 8% TFA Bubblegum, 5% TFA Ripe Banana, 4% CAP Sweet Strawberry, and 3% CAP Vanilla Custard. Punching this into the e-liquid calculator, we can create a 10ml recipe. This one includes my preference of 2mg nicotine content:
- 0.6ml PG
- 7ml VG
- 0.4ml Nicotine (note that this is for 50mg PG nicotine, yours may be different)
- 0.8ml TFA Bubblegum
- 0.5ml TFA Ripe Banana
- 0.4ml CAP Sweet Strawberry
- 0.3ml CAP Vanilla Custard
There. Now we can crack on with the mixing, which is actually much simpler than coming up with the recipe. Take your syringe and draw 0.6ml of PG - this can be made simpler if you decided to bring an extra beaker to pour the PG in to first. Transfer this to your mixing beaker, then pour any excess PG back into the bottle. Now, give the beaker a rinse to avoid cross-contamination and do the same with the VG and Nicotine. Your flavour concentrates will either be free-flowing or nibbed. If they are free-flowing, go ahead and add them to your mix. If they are nibbed, you have two options- add them by drops, which I won’t be covering here, or take some small pliers and pull the nib off to go ahead as usual. So you’ve added everything to your mix. Great! You will now have to pour this into your e-liquid bottle or draw it into your syringe and transfer it that way. Make sure you get as much of the liquid into your bottle as you can so that the ingredient potency remains the same. Now shake up that bottle and disturb the mix a little, before throwing it into a dark cupboard for the next few days. This process of allowing it to sit and naturally combine all of the ingredients is called ‘steeping’ and I’ll cover that in another guide. One thing you should know is that the longer you allow your e-liquid to steep, the more accurate and potent the flavour will be. If this guide helped you to make your first e-liquid, great! If you know some friends who are also looking to create their own e-liquid, then share this on your social media using the buttons below! All ingredients and tools used in this guide can be purchased on the Make My Vape store, check it out!