Cost of e-juices is usually considered to be one of the significant drawbacks of vaping. Some setups, like sub ohm ones, may easily burn up to 12 ml of vape juice per day. And if you prefer premium liquids, like Suicide Bunny, Cosmic Frog or Cuttwood you can end up with a substantial amount, resulting as a hole in your budget. Also in some cases, you will be unable to find the exact mix you are looking for available in your area at the moment, or maybe it doesn’t exist on the market at all. And this is when you start thinking about your vape juice.
How to make a DIY e-juice
For every problem out there, there is a solution. Homemade DIY juices are very common among vapers and are quickly becoming not just a hobby or even more for some community members. With tutorials available online and a little dedication you can make your homemade e-juices that are as good as the ones available in store, for a tiny percentage of cost and also while having complete control over what level of nicotine, VG and PG ratio as long as flavor.
Here is a simple guide to making homemade e-juice on your own.
What is DIY vape juice?
All vape juices consist of four elements. VG or vegetable glycerin, PG propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavoring. In simple terms, to make a vape juice at home, you have to mix them all in proportions you prefer. You don’t even need to use all of them in some cases. For example, if you prefer vape juices with no nicotine or maximum VG e-juices that works best with sub ohm atomizers.
You may add other elements to your vape juice, but we are going to cover them in our next articles. To keep things simple this time, we are going to go with the basics first. In general, technical terms may seem difficult for beginners. However, it is not a rocket science. You don’t have to get a degree in chemistry or go through extended training to make your vape juice. It is way easier than you may think it is.
How to make your e-juice?
I tend to compare it to cooking. To cook something, you have to go shopping first. You have to buy your first kit with all components needed:
Propylene Glycol (PG) – is a very common food additive, used in cosmetics, toothpaste or medications. PG has been used in various ways since its development in the early 1900s. PG is producing a stronger vapor than VG, but lower vapor amounts. We recommend buying 500 mL or a liter, to begin with. Make sure it’s pharmaceutical grade, totally clear and with no additives.
Vegetable Glycerin (VG) – is a food grade additive developed from palms. It is a thick liquid in comparison to PG and makes a lot of vapor. VG vapor is generally on the mild side of the spectrum. This will likely be the significant part of your vape juice, especially if you’re into sub-ohm vaping. We’d recommend buying at least a liter, to begin with.
Nicotine – depending on your preferred levels of nicotine, the amounts needed may vary, however for beginners we recommend to go with at least 100 ml bottle of 72 milligrams per milliliter. It is important to remember that handling and storing nicotine may be dangerous for your health. Nicotine may cause sickness when it contacts with your skin. Also be sure to save nicotine packaged and away from air and other external conditions. If you are planning to make non nicotine vape juice, you can skip this part at all.
Flavor Concentrates – this element is what makes your vape juice taste precisely as you want it to. There is an enormous amount of products in this category, to begin with, and they also can be combined to produce endless unique flavors for you unique e-juice.
Once you have the ingredients, you also need appropriate tools to make your ideal juice possible. There are two unusual ways to make vape juice. First one is mixing by volume and the second is mixing by weight. Now we are going to introduce you to both of them accordingly, but first, let’s look at some pieces of equipment you might need to make you vape juice at home comfortably.
Scales – well, as straightforward as it is, you need to make sure that your measures are precise. For mixing by weight, it is essential for you to get scales with a precision of at least 0.01g. This is enough for you to operate with basic and even advanced DIY recipes.
Storage Bottles – Store your essential ingredients like Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) in plastic bottles with nozzle tips. It is going to add a lot to your productivity as long as you can quickly add to the jars with no complications. When it comes to nicotine it is recommended to store it in amber glass bottles – this helps to slow the process of degradation of the element itself as well as allows for more precision.
Syringes – more important when mixing by volume. Usually, you will need to get a couple of 10-milligram syringes for main elements and 5 to 10 syringes of one milliliter for flavorings and nicotine. We also recommend to buy some needles; they are going to be handy when dealing with really thick VG.
Vape Juice bottles – These are mostly available at your local Walmart or Target. You will need a couple of 10ml for your essential mixes and trials as well as some 50ml ones for the recipes that you feel more confident about.
Labels – you can buy a label maker or even cheap label stickers that you can put on your bottles. Keeping track of all flavors and ingredients is essential.
A step-by-step guide to making your vape juice.
If what you are planning to make is going to be your first mix, it is best to start with a simple recipe. The easiest way to get started is one-shot concentrates. You can find a wide range of one shot recipes online as well as on our website. However, if you know what you are looking for, you can jump right in and try it on your own. One important thing to remember, whenever you are making a new mix be sure to have detailed notes behind, so you can change things up in the future and make improved versions of your juices.
Recipe and ratio
Most important when looking for a method to recreate is to go with what sounds great. For this example, we are going to take a recipe for a famous strawberry milkshake vape juice recipe called Mustard Milk that most likely was created by a Reddit user and is one of the most popular DIY e-liquids on the market. To make everything clear, we need to only go through one thing.
TPA – abbreviation for The Perfumers Apprentice, one of the biggest flavor manufacturer. Important to know when going to TPA, you need to use their product line called the Flavor Apprentice for DIY projects.
TPA – Strawberry (6%)
TPA – Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (6%)
Reddit post suggests for this mix to go with VG/PG ratio of about 70 VG to 30 PG, making it suitable for sub ohm devices as well. However, in this case, you can also go with 50 / 50 mixes if you are looking to use it with regular vapor cigarettes or you can even make a max VG option. Here all you wish for can be made how you prefer.
The next step is to determine the amounts of each element you want to use in your mix. It may seem complicated at first to do by hand. However, as always internet comes to rescue. There a numerous online vape juice calculators that can do all the numbers for you automatically. We recommend three most used by us vape juice online calculators: ELR, EjuiceMeUp, and Steam Engine. ELR is easy to use and cloud-based (pun intended). It allows you to access your recipes from any device online. And Steam Engine, as well as EjuiceMeUp, are more comprehensive and complicated at times.
With all the options, all you have to do is open the create recipe page, and put in relevant details concerning each element of your mix. This will get you a nicely arranged table with weight, volume, and percentage. E-liquid-recipes.com is also a great calculator for your combinations that combines all the practical functionality with the ease of use. You can save all of your vape juice recipes online and make them private or public. We recommend providing the community with your ideas to make them spread.
When it comes to mixing you need to get ready first. The chances are that it is going to get dirty. Make sure you choose a clean room with no kids or pets around. It is recommended to use gloves and plastic trays to avoid spillage or at least make it less harmful.
The best way to measure weight is by grams. First find out what is the weight of your empty vape juice bottle, by putting it on scales and setting it to zero or write it down and subtract the weight from whatever formulas you are using in your mixes. Now you can add your ingredients by dropping them into your bottle. You have to keep track of the amounts in grams. Then, add nicotine by using a dropper or syringe. You have to wash your syringes before using them for every new ingredient. Using equipment that is not cleaned correctly may cause cross-contamination. The final weight of your mix should match that of your online calculator table.
For this method, you are likely to need individual 1ml syringes for every element you are using. Check the amount in every syringe and then add them to your mixing bottle. This method is considered to be less precise than weight-based mixing.
So now you have your first mix ready, what’s next?
Labeling – make sure you put all the relevant information concerning the recipe on your mixes such as date, flavor percentage, nicotine level and PG / VG ratio. Make sure you save all of your recipes in some form comfortable to you. The most significant mistake that beginners have when trying to find the perfect mix without any idea how to recreate it.
Steeping vape juice – some mixes need a specified period for the flavors to blend in and settle. However, this is mostly the case with DIY vape juices containing multiple flavors combined. Amount of time needed for a mix to be ready is different from mix to mix, however, some cream based blends may require up to 4 weeks to reach their best. There are multiple ways to speed up this process, but no specific research can prove their reliability.
Testing – once the wait is over, your freshly made e-juice is mixed and steeped; it is time to try it out. The best way to try and test your homemade e-juices is with dripped or rebuildable atomizer. Remember, resistance and temperature have a significant effect on how your vape juice tastes. For example, a liquid that tastes one way at 90W on a 0.2ohm is likely to feel different in a 1.8ohm vape at 15W.
Notes – your testing will bring you additional value if you take extensive notes on every nuance. This will help you to enhance your recipes based on your experience.
Storage – there are a couple of general rules when it comes to e-juice storage conditions. Keep it away from direct sunlight, heat, and oxygen. Make sure your storage area is dark and cold and be sure pets and kids are not around.
Finding new vape juice recipe ideas.
After making a couple of your mixes, make sure you don’t stop. There are tens of thousands of different flavor variations available on the market, and once you have all the tools and a little experience you can recreate most of them at home. You can find multiple tutorials on the DIY e-juice subreddit as well as on some online vape juice calculator websites, like ELR.
Clones – cloning premium vape juices is a popular trend in the DIY community. Some are more successful at this than others, and you can also find recipes that will allow you to replicate your favorite products.
If you are not sure where to start looking, Myfreedomsmokes even sells a DIY vape juice starter kit with everything you need to get started. So by now with all the information you have, go ahead and create the best vape juice that you were always hoping to get!