I don’t know about you, but I personally love vaping because it gives me the absolute freedom to experiment.
Especially when it comes to e-juices. Did you know that you can even make them yourself? And try as many cool flavor combinations as you want?
Well, if you are as adventurous as I am, let’s learn together how to make your own vape juice at home!
Ingredients You Will Need
Making vape juice at home involves a specific set of ingredients. But don’t worry, you don’t have to search for any weird or exotic components. Instead, you are going to need:
Propylene Glycol or PG serves as the base for e-juices. You can use it as the 100% base component or mix it with VG (which is our next ingredient) in different proportions. PG is an organic compound and it is federally approved. It can be found in many household products, including food, personal care, beauty, and pharmaceutical products.
Also, it is transparent and odorless. This means it will not affect the flavor of your homemade vape juice.
And the best thing is:
Propylene Glycol offers a rather strong throat hit, which some users really like.
But you should also know that, although quite rare, some people may experience Propylene Glycol allergy symptoms.
Another vape juice ingredient that works as the base of the liquid, Vegetable Glycerin is derived from vegetables (hence the name), which means it is natural and safe for you.
Here’s the kicker:
VG is much thicker than PG and has a subtle sweet flavor. And this should be taken into account since the scent of VG can influence the flavor of your e-liquid.
But because Vegetable Glycerin is thicker, it results in bigger, denser clouds when compared to PG. It also provides a smoother feel and does not irritate the throat as much as PG does. Again, the majority of vapers prefer to combine VG and PG for their e-juice base.
Here, you have two options:
You can either make your own flavoring or buy special concentrates for your DIY e-juice.
The first option is recommended for more experienced users. So, if you are trying to whip up some homemade e-liquid for the first time, you might want to go with the second one – i.e., buy special flavorings.
Now, it is better to get the ones designed specifically for inhalation and not the food-grade ones. Thankfully, there are many companies these days that offer a wide range of flavor concentrates.
A quick tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors. You might find the flavor you love the most and vape on it all the time, but this may result in a condition called vaper’s tongue. So, mixing and matching is probably more beneficial. Plus, it’s much more fun!
Distilled water (optional)
Although you don’t necessarily have to use it in your DIY e-juice recipe, distilled water may come in handy if you want to make 100% VG-based e-liquid. Because Vegetable Glycerin is quite thick, it is recommended to dilute it with distilled water. Vodka may work too but it adds a stronger throat hit.
Diluted nicotine liquid (optional)
Usually, nicotine liquid comes mixed with PG for a diluted effect. However, you can find PG/VG based nicotine liquids as well. The strength levels vary too. As a beginner, you need to be extremely careful with this component since nicotine poisoning is quite common when you don’t know how much you need. Start with lower levels (8-11 mg) and experiment carefully with the amount. If you want to make vape juice without nicotine, simply skip this ingredient.
THC concentrate (optional)
You will need this one only if you want to make THC vape juice at home. You can dilute the waxy THC concentrate with your PG (a few drops), heat them up for a few seconds (you can use the microwave), and mix the ingredients together.
Using 100% Vegetable Glycerin can be bad for your equipment since this liquid is very thick and results in a lot of gunk buildup. And using 100% PG means not enough clouds and harsher inhales. So, it is clear that, when used as e-liquid base, these two components kind of balance each other out.
Equipment You Will Need
It really is true that you can make vape juice with household items. Well, you might also want to buy a couple of extra “tools” but they aren’t that expensive. So, here’s what you will use:
These will be used to store your homemade e-liquid. You can go for simple small plastic bottles or fancy glass droppers, whichever works for you. The most convenient and cost-effective option is small plastic drip bottles. Also, getting something with a childproof cap is a necessity if you have kids.
Keep in mind that using extremely small bottles (10-ml ones, for instance) will make it really hard to deal with measurements. Regular 50-60-ml bottles are usually the most convenient option.
These will come in handy when making large batches of e-juice. You might want to get some special graduated cylinders or simply a couple of measuring cups for easier measurements. Or, you can get larger storage containers with lids and mix everything in them.
First of all, they will simply keep your hands clean. Moreover, when working with nicotine, a pair of rubber or latex gloves will protect your skin from the unwanted nicotine absorption (in case of an accidental spill).
Now, these DIY vape juice supplies are extremely important if you want your measurements to be correct. They allow users to extract the exact amounts of ingredients by volume. It is best to use individual syringes for Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, and each of the flavorings. This way, you will get the clearest measurements and the purest flavor. Moreover, syringes are easier to use when you have small bottles. You can mark each syringe using a sharpie or keep them in separate labeled Ziploc bags.
Paper towels or napkins
There might be occasional spills. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So, keep some paper towels or napkins by your side for quick clean-ups.
You can use these to mark your bottles, containers, or syringes. Sticky labels aren’t expensive and can be found in pretty much any stationary store.
Kitchen scale (optional but highly recommended)
This utensil may seem like an unnecessary investment, but it can guarantee exact measurements and correct mixing parts. Besides, kitchen scales aren’t that expensive and will come in handy when making other homemade stuff, so you might want to consider getting this helpful tool.
Protective goggles (optional but highly recommended when working with nicotine)
Now, this might seem like too much, but trust me:
A pair of goggles is a necessity when you work with highly concentrated nicotine (and if you plan to make DIY e-juice regularly).
You see, nicotine is dangerous and can cause many negative effects if it gets in your eyes. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
This tool can simplify the process immensely. An online calculator helps you figure out all the measurements you need in order to get the desired e-juice. For instance, it can help you calculate the perfect amount of nicotine for the desired strength.
You can also find out the exact PG and VG measurements for the needed ratios (for instance, you want to try the 65/35 PG/VG ratio). It might sound complicated, but all you have to do is fill in the info, and the calculator will do the rest. There are desktop programs, iOS and Android apps, and simple calculator websites you can use.
How to Make Vape Juice Step by Step
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to learn how to make e-liquid at home. The process is fairly simple and does not take too much time. It includes the following steps:
- Prepare your e-juice bottles. Set them on the table and get ready to fill them up.
- Determine how much nicotine you need. You can either use a special e-juice calculator I’ve mentioned above or calculate everything yourself. Here, follow one simple rule: multiply the desired e-juice volume and the needed nicotine strength. For instance, if you want a 60-ml bottle of vape juice with 8-mg nicotine level, you need 60 * 8 = 480 milligrams of your diluted nicotine liquid. If you’re a fan of vaping without nicotine, skip this step.
- Add the nicotine to your e-juice bottle. Put your gloves on, extract the nicotine from its container, and transfer it to the e-juice bottle. Again, using a syringe is probably the most convenient way.
- Add the flavoring. This is when it gets tricky, especially if you are a beginner. Getting the right amount and combination of flavors is the matter of trial and error. So, just to be on the safe side, start with just one flavoring and add no more than 10% of it (of the total vape juice volume). So, if you are making a 60-ml bottle of e-juice, add 6 ml of flavoring. Then you will steep the e-liquid, test it, and if there’s not enough flavor, add more.
- Prepare and add the base. It should be Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, or the combination of both. Here, it all comes down to your preferences. If you use pure PG, you will get a cleaner taste, a very strong hit, and smaller clouds. A 100% VG base will result in huge clouds, but it can also alter the taste of the e-juice and make the cleaning more challenging. Experienced vapers recommend 70/30 or 60/40 PG/VG ratios, so you might want to start with those. Again, a simple online e-juice calculator can help you figure out how much VG and PG you need exactly for your specific ratio and e-liquid amount.
- Mix the ingredients. Once you have added your base, close the lid of your bottle or container and shake it vigorously. I sometimes use it as an anti-stress exercise and shake all my troubles away.
- Let your e-liquid rest. Steeping the vape juice for at least 24 hours is very important. This process will allow the ingredients to blend and the flavors to set in. You can then test the e-juice to see whether it needs some adjustments. Some vapers prefer fresh e-liquids and don’t steep them. But in my experience, steeped vape juices taste much better and richer.
Now you can enjoy vaping on your own homemade e-liquid. If you want a visual guide, check out this cool tutorial by Super Deluxe, which also includes an easy recipe of the DIY e-juice flavoring.
Important: Even though this tutorial is great and easy to follow, you need to be careful with the coffee flavoring. Extracting the flavor like that is not the safest option since coffee produces oils. And when you inhale those oils, they can coat your lung tissue and cause inflammation. So, try using a special vaping coffee flavoring instead, just to be on the safe side.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Homemade E-juice
When it comes to making your own e-juice, be prepared to go through a learning curve. Such a DIY project really requires a lot of practice. And to help you during your journey, here are a couple of tips and tricks:
- If you don’t know how much liquid nicotine you need to use for your home vape juice recipe, consider comparing it to regular cigarettes. For instance, 8 mg of nicotine in your e-liquid would feel like smoking ultra-light cigarettes. 11 mg is the same as light cigarettes, 16 mg is equal to regular ones, and 24 mg is like smoking strong cigarettes. Obviously, 36 mg of nicotine would feel like smoking unfiltered cigarettes.
- If you have PG allergy, you can try the 70/30 VG/PG ratio. Such an amount of PG is not likely to cause a reaction but will help dilute the Vegetable Glycerin a bit.
- Make sure you clean your equipment after each use. You don’t want any old residue to ruin the flavor of your vape juice.
- Using a kitchen scale eliminates the need of syringes. You can just mix right there in your bottle by adding the drops of ingredients and measuring them on the scale at the same time.
- It is helpful to take notes every time you make a new mix. You see, when writing down all the measurements, it’s easier to find the perfect recipe for your desired e-juice. Besides, what if you make a perfect batch but forget how much you’ve added there? That would be frustrating.
- Don’t hesitate to use online resources. There are tons of recipes you can try and many experienced vapers you can talk to online on forums like this one If you need support.
- Don’t add too much flavor. Usually, less is better. Too much can actually make your e-juice flavorless.
- It’s a good idea to wear an apron when mixing your e-liquid. This way you will protect your clothes from occasional spills.
- If an accident happens and you aren’t wearing an apron, rinse the dirty spots on your clothes with clean water. But make sure you do that right away.
- When following specific recipes, be careful with substituting the flavoring brands. You see, one company’s “Banana” flavor might taste like fresh fruit, while some other brand can make their “Banana” flavoring taste like banana candy. So, when substituting the brands, you might end up with a completely different flavor. Especially if the recipe involves mixing multiple flavors together.
- Keep in mind that there’s no perfect or correct PG/VG ratio. You just need to find what works for you the best.
- To preserve your nicotine fresh, you might want to divide it between smaller bottles and keep them in the fridge.
- Some tutorials say that you need to warm your liquid nicotine up before mixing. However, it isn’t a necessity. Even if you keep it in the fridge, it will mix in just fine.
- Fruity or menthol-based flavors don’t really require steeping and have a potent taste right away. But dessert-like, sweet e-juices need at least 24 hours to steep.
My Best Fool-Proof Recipe
Now I want to share my favorite e-liquid recipe with you. I’ve been using it for quite a while and even though I love experimenting, I always come back to this recipe. I call it Peach Cheesecake.
- 75/25 VG/PG base. I prefer more VG for a smoother taste, especially for this sweet, dessert-like flavor. To get a 30-ml bottle, I usually take 18 ml of VG and 7 ml of PG.
- Diluted nicotine. I use the 12-mg strength, but you are free to get as much or as little as you want. Just keep in mind that nicotine has its own flavor and will affect the way your e-juice tastes.
- 2 ml of the Bavarian Cream flavoring.
- 1.5 ml of Cheesecake Crust flavoring.
- 1 ml of Whipped Cream flavoring.
- 0.5 ml of Juicy Peach flavoring.
I mix all the ingredients together and let the juice steep in a dark place for at least 3 days.
Are you ready to test your very first DIY e-liquid recipe? What flavors would you like to use? Feel free to share your own tips and recipes in the comments down below!