While the idea of mixing e-liquids yourself may seem daunting, it is not as complex as it appears, however there is some trial and error at play. Some people want to create their own e-liquids because they want to save money, while others want to develop flavours of their own and others are just interested in the excitement of experimentation, yet there are some important factors to bear in mind. Firstly, as the concentration of nicotine is higher when mixing your own e-liquids, you need to take extra care to avoid accidental poisoning. Here, we look at how to get started with DIY e-liquid mixing.
What you need to know before you start
Before beginning with mixing your own e-liquids you need to remember that it can be risky and you should do plenty of research before you get started. You never need to use pure nicotine, and you should always stick to less than 60 mg per ml. You can use rubbing or isopropyl alcohol if you need to clean up a spillage. You should also be well prepared by purchasing all essential items like safety goggles, latex or nitrile gloves and containers before you make a start. You will need to calculate the strength of your liquid before you begin. You can do this by dividing the amount of nicotine in mg by the liquid’s volume in ml. You can use a calculator to find the result.
You should always wait until you have some experience with vaping before trying to mix your own e-juice – a minimum of 3 months experience and preferably at least a year. The more experience you have, and the more familiarity with the basics of using e-liquids, the more you will appreciate the safety issues surrounding mixing your own.
Before trying your hand at mixing your own e-liquid from scratch, you should try experimenting with mixing some pre-made e-juices. One advantage of this is that you are effectively limiting the nicotine concentration of your e-juice and therefore will run no risk of accidental overdose or poisoning. Although it may not be as much fun to mix pre-mixed e-juices, you can still achieve a unique creation with minimal risk and effort.
How to do it?
E-liquids only contain four ingredients: Nicotine, flavourings, PG (propylene glycol) and/or VG (vegetable glycerine).
Nicotine which is available for mixing your own e-liquid comes in varying strengths between 48mg and 72mg. This is far too strong to be used without dilution and therefore it is not recommended. If you wanted an e-liquid that had a strength of 1.2%, you would need to use a quarter of the 48 mg nicotine as 48 divided by 4 equals 12.
When adding flavourings to your e-liquid you will need around 15% in order to achieve a pleasurable taste.
The ratio of VG and PG that you use in your own e-liquid will depend on your personal preference. More PG will give a stronger throat hit while carrying flavours more effectively, while a higher ratio of VG will produce more vapour with reduced flavour. A good ratio to begin with is 70% PG to 30% VG as this gives a decent balance between vapour production, flavour and throat hit.
If you want to mix a 10ml bottle of e-liquid with a 12mg nicotine content and using a ratio of 70% PG to 30% VG, you will require the following:
- 5 ml of 48mg nicotine solution
- 5ml flavouring
- 3 ml PG
- 3 ml VG
Once you have perfected this, you can try experimenting with varying ratios of flavouring, VG and PG to find your perfect taste.
There are certain pieces of equipment you will require to create your own e-juice. These include:
- PG/VG base
- Unflavoured nicotine
- Depending on the flavour you are trying to create you may require ethyl maltol or menthol crystals
- Latex or nitrile gloves
- Protective trays for spillages
- Cleaning equipment
- Rubbing alcohol
Is it safe?
If you take care to do your research properly and find out all about the safety aspects of mixing your own e-liquids, it is a perfectly safe activity. You can minimise any risk by wearing safety goggles and gloves, and remember to thoroughly wash any area of skin or clothes that come into contact with nicotine or menthol crystals since they are skin irritants. You should also seek medical advice if this occurs. The primary source of risk when you mix your own e-juice is calculating the strength of nicotine in your DIY liquid, however there are plenty of e-liquid calculators that you can use to calculate your creation’s strength and the necessary quantities you require to produce your preferred strength. It is always important to avoid using pure nicotine as it can be potentially fatal. Spilling pure nicotine onto the skin will allow it to seep through the system and cause serious medical consequences. Therefore, you should only use diluted nicotine at 54 mg/ml which is much safer to use.
If you do plenty of research before you begin mixing your own e-juices, avoid using a high strength nicotine base and ensure that you have all of the essential equipment prepared, you can safely make your own concoctions. Although some math is required, e-liquid calculators are now available that will do the hard work for you. However, if you can understand the theory behind the calculations, you will be protected from making calculation mistakes and will not always need to use technology to create your own mixes.