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A Beginners Guide To E-liquid

You may have just bought your first vape, or perhaps you want to make the switch from smoking to vaping, but need more information on all-things e-liquid before you take that plunge. If that sounds like you, we have created the perfect guide for you. From the basics of what an e-liquid is and how to choose the best vape juice for you, to learning how to make your own and become a vaping pro.

In this guide, we will cover:

How To Choose The Right E-liquid For You

  • What Ratio PG/VG Should I Choose?
  • What is The Most Popular Vape Juice Flavour?
  • Which Nicotine Strength is Right For Me?
  • Choosing The Right E-liquid For Your Tank

Taking Care of Your E-Liquid

  • Care and Maintenance

Bonus Information

  • Can I Mix My Own E-Liquid?
  • How To Steep Your Vape Juice

What Ingredients Are In E-liquid?

E-liquid contains 4 main ingredients, which are vegetable glycerine (VG), propylene glycol (PG), flavour concentrate and nicotine. Let's take a closer look at what these ingredients are:

Vegetable Glycerine (VG) – Vegetable glycerine is a natural liquid extracted from plants. It's widely used in food and cosmetic products because it is known for being gentle on the skin and non-toxic. This thick, syrupy liquid is used to produce vapour when heated and enhance the sweetness in your e-liquid.

Propylene Glycol (PG) – Propylene glycol is a thinner liquid, added to e-liquid to create the throat hit that smokers crave and can carry the flavourings well. It can also be used as a food additive in some food products and is non-toxic.

Flavour Concentrate – The flavour concentrate is made from synthetic flavourings and gives e-cigarettes their wide variety of tasty options. Whether you prefer sweet-tasting juices like strawberry and blackcurrant or prefer tobacco and menthol flavourings, there's sure to be an e-liquid that's perfect for you.

Nicotine – Nicotine is the ingredient in traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes that has addictive properties, so is often added to e-liquids to satisfy cravings for those who have recently converted from smoking to vaping. Adding nicotine is optional and can be customised based on your individual preferences. In most e-liquids, nicotine is extracted from tobacco leaves, and is then mixed with flavourings and diluents to create the final product. However, we do also offer zero nicotine vape liquids.

How To Choose The Right E-liquid For You

What Ratio PG/VG Should I Choose?

An important choice to make. When you buy you first e-liquid it is a good idea to work out what ratio VG/PG is best for you and your kit. It can be difficult to know how to choose the best vg and pg ratio without knowing what those ratios mean.

As you can see, when using a pod kit or cigalike, it is better to stick with 50/50 or lower VG. This helps to keep the coils working well and stop early burnouts. For standard vape pens it is best to use 50/50 to 30/70 PG:VG. This will let you get the most out of those kits, and produce more vapour too. If you have a larger vape kit, then try sticking to 50/50 to 20/80 PG:VG. These kits are made for larger clouds, and the higher VG will help you to do this, without risking early burnouts.

  Direct Lung / Sub Ohm Restricted Direct Lung Mouth To Lung
Vapour High Medium Low
Throat Hit Low Medium/High High
Taste Low/Medium Medium/High High
VG/PG Ratio High VG 50/50 High PG

Your vaping style will also affect the ratio you should choose. There are two main vaping styles: mouth-to-lung (MTL) and direct lung (DL). Most new vapers start with MTL vaping, because it's more similar to smoking cigarettes. Below are the different vaping styles and the best e-liquid ratio to suit:

Mouth To Lung (MTL)

This vape style is often found on cigalikes and vape pens, but you can get larger MTL tanks too. You will get a tighter inhale from any MTL e-cig. This is popular with vapers that want the experience to be as close to smoking as possible.

The best ratio to use in a MTL vape is anything from 50/50 to a higher PG. This is because the coils inside cannot handle high VG, and can burn out fast.

Direct Lung (DL)

A popular vape style with those who love large clouds, direct lung is found on bigger vape kits and tanks. You get a much more open inhale from a DL vape, taking the vapour directly into the lungs. Most high powered e-cigs will have a DL tank fitted as standard.

The best e-liquid ratio to use for DL vaping is anything from 50/50 to a higher VG. This is due to the coils having bigger wicking areas to absorb thicker VG liquids.

What is the most popular vape juice flavour?

Menthol e-liquid is popular for those who love icy hits or are ex-smokers new to vaping. It isn’t just mint flavours though, you can get a range of fruit and menthol mixes too. This makes menthol one of the most popular flavours you can buy. If you are new to vaping and used to smoke menthol cigarettes, this is an ideal place to start.

Tobacco flavours are popular with those who want their vape experience to stay as close to smoking as possible. With an earthy and strong tobacco flavour, this range is great for new vapers that want to feel like they are still smoking.

If you aren’t sure where to start, fruit and spice is a good one to visit. Most people like fruit flavours and there are plenty of options. From crisp apple, sweet strawberries and tropical mango, this is great if you want to break away from menthol and tobacco.

Sometimes the best option is something sweet. Here you can find lots of sweet and dessert flavours. If you enjoy a cake or like sweet shop style treats, you can find all that and more, without worrying about the calories!

Which nicotine strength is right for me?

When you’re new to vaping, choosing the right nicotine strength can be a difficult decision to make in the beginning, but the right strength for you will all depend on your personal needs. For example, if you are an ex-smoker or you are trying to quit smoking regular cigarettes, it might be easier to base your vaping nicotine strength on the number of cigarettes you usually smoke per day. As a general guide, we recommend that:

  • Light Smokers (under 10 Cigarettes per day) - The best nicotine strength for light smokers is 0.3% or 0.6%
  • Average Smokers (10-20 Cigarettes per day) - Average smokers should go for a nicotine strength of 1.0% or 1.2% in their vape juice
  • Heavy Smokers (20+ Cigarettes per day) - Heavier smokers will find that a higher nicotine strength will suit them best, so we recommend a 1.8% or 2.0% strength to start with.

Don’t forget, you can also choose zero nicotine in certain ranges if you prefer not to have any in your e-liquid.

Choosing the right e-liquid for your tank

It is a good idea to make sure the liquid you use is right for your tank. Some liquids are best suited for some tanks than others, and there are some you should avoid altogether.

If you use a plastic tank, some flavours can cause them to fog up and even crack over time. Try to avoid citrus e-liquid flavours like orange, lemon and lime. These liquids can contain citric acid which can bind to the plastic. This could cause the tank to ‘fog up’ or in worse cases, crack.

If this happens, don’t be alarmed. It is just the combination of citric acid and heated plastic that can expose flaws in the material itself, causing the tank to become damaged. This is why it is best to avoid certain acidic flavours to stop this from happening.

This has nothing to do with VG or PG, so feel free to carry on using the best ratio for you.

Taking Care Of Your E-liquid

Now you know the important options for choosing the right e-liquid to suit your needs, it’s also useful to know how to take care of them so that you can make the most of it. Taking care of your e-liquid is often overlooked, but if you plan on using it for a while it’s good to be aware of the best practices to keep your liquid fresh and tasty.

Our e-liquids are low maintenance but there are a few tips and tricks that you can do to ensure they perform at their best, such as:

Correct Storage:

  • Keep away from direct sunlight - e-liquids are best kept in a cool, dark or dimly lit space
  • Avoid leaving the product out in extreme temperatures - we recommend storing in a room temperature cupboard or drawer.
  • Avoid leaving the lid open for too long - if exposed to too much oxygen, the nicotine inside the e-liquid will oxidise. While this will not affect its flavour or performance, it can turn the liquid a darker brown colour.
  • Keep in childproof containers

Cleaning:

  • Ingredients such as VG and some flavourings can cause a build-up of residue and make the inside of your vape tank clogged and sticky, causing the coils to gather the build-up and work less effectively. You should keep this cleaned regularly for best results.
  • If you have high levels of VG in your vape juice or prefer sweeter flavoured e-liquid, we recommend cleaning your coils and tank when you next switch your juice.

Does vape juice expire?

E-liquid can expire after two years, but probably not in the way you think. Each bottle will have an expiry date or manufacture date on them. After the e-liquid has been manufactured it has a shelf life of around two years, but e-liquid is also ‘shelf stable’. This means that it takes a long time to reach a point where you shouldn’t vape it.

For more information you can read our blog called Does E-liquid Expire?

Bonus Information

Did you know that you can also mix your own e-liquid to include the perfect amount of ingredients for your preferences? Once you have been vaping for a while and know your preferences, you could take your vaping to the next level and make your own vape juice!

Can I Mix My Own E-liquid?

You can mix your own e-liquid very easily. Doing this is a great way to save money and gives you the freedom to choose whatever you want. All you need is the diluents (PG and VG), flavour concentrate and nicotine. Nicotine is optional and you can even get better flavour if you choose not to use it. We stock a great selection of DIY e-liquids and are sure you will find something to suit your needs.

If you want to take a closer look, check out our complete guide on how to make your own vape juice. We even have our very own mixing guide to give you the best advice when making your own e-liquid.

How To Steep Your Vape Juice

Steeping can greatly increase its flavour and is very easy to do. Simply store your bottles in a cool, dark place for an extended period of time to ‘steep’ them. It will help mature the flavour within and draw out the more subtle layers.

As you can see, the longer you leave e-liquid to steep, the darker the colour can become. This is normal and can indicate when it is ready to use. Steeping time varies depending on the flavour though, with most fruit based liquids needed around a week, while tobaccos could do with 2-3 weeks before they are ready. Not all liquid will change colour either, so don’t worry if this does not happen.

Be careful not to leave the liquid too long, because it can actually make the flavour too strong, or degrade it to the point of no flavour at all. It can take time to find the sweet spot while steeping, but it is worth the end result.

Steeping your vape juice is not something you need to do, but it can make a favourite flavour taste even better, so why not give it a try?

Closing Thoughts

This was our beginners guide to e-liquid to get you started on your vaping journey. We hope that you found it helpful and now feel more confident about choosing the right e-liquid for you. With such a wide variety, there really is something for everyone.

If you have any unanswered questions or want to find out more about vaping then check out the rest of our support page or read through our E-liquid FAQs. We also post regular articles on our blog including reviews about the latest releases from top brands.

Our friendly customer service team is always happy to help using the live chat function in the bottom right corner Mon-Fri 9am-4:45pm.

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