DIY E-Liquid: How-To, Part 1

One of the most satisfying aspects of DIY vaping is that you get to make your own e-liquid, and formulate it according to your own taste. But, as soon as you see all of these percentages, ratios and measurements flying about, DIY can sure seem overwhelming! So, what is E-liquid, and what is the best way to make your own?

Basically, an e-liquid is a liquid you use to vape. An e-liquid may or may not contain any nicotine or flavor, but it will contain one of two base liquids: propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG). Nowadays, most pre-mixed e-liquids combine them. Most of the premixed e-liquids we sell here at ecigExpress have a PG/VG ratio of 70/30, and you can choose your unflavored nicotine liquids be PG, VG, or 50/50.

There are two ways most people make their own DIY e-liquids: customizing a pre-mixed liquid, and making your own. This article will discuss customization.

To customize your pre-mixed e-liquid, you will need:

  • Some e-liquid
  • Propylene Glycol and/or Vegetable Glycerin
  • A syringe or an eye dropper
  • An empty bottle
  • Concentrated flavor (optional)
  • Unflavored nicotine e-liquid (optional)

Because this article is all about the concrete details, let’s assume that you want to make a 10ml (same as 10cc) batch. 10ml is a good volume for testing purposes, and it won’t commit you to a massive re-mixing project if you add too much of something.

Exercise 1: Let’s say you have a strawberry flavor, and you want to turn it into strawberry-watermelon. This kind of modification is fairly easy: just use your syringe or eye dropper to add a drop or two of your concentrated watermelon flavor to 9ml of your strawberry e-liquid, and after you mix the ingredients (by shaking the bottle vigorously) you’ll have a 10ml batch that should be good to go!

Exercise 2: Let’s say instead that you have a pre-mixed flavor that you really like, but you want to change how it feels when you vape with it by having it be a less throaty, and a lot smokier. Essentially, you want to change your PG/VG ratio from 70/30 to something more balanced, like 40/60. Here’s where it gets tricky:

First, make sure that your unflavored nicotine e-liquid has the same nicotine strength (measured in mg/ml) as the e-liquid you are adjusting. 6 ml of your 70/30 e-liquid, added to 4ml of your VG e-liquid, will give you a PG/VG ratio of 42/58. How did I calculate this? I added 4ml of pure VG to 6 x 0.7ml of PG and 6 x 0.3ml of VG, which results in 5.8ml of VG and 4.2ml of PG in every 10ml batch of e-liquid, ready to mix and vape.

The problem with this method is that if you had used a nicotine-free liquid to change the texture, this mixing method would have diluted my nicotine level. And any way you cut it, this mixing method will dilute your flavor.

The lesson we learnt here? If you’re going to adjust your e-liquid, be very, very careful. Because it’s so complicated, there’s a point when it’s actually easier to make your own from scratch. Stay tuned; we’ll discuss that in part 2.

If you guys have any advice to give, don’t forget to chime in using the comments section below!

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