Everything to Know About E-Liquids
Have you ever wondered about the alchemy behind those delightful clouds or puzzled over the perfect vape juice for your kit? We’ve pulled together an in-depth guide to take you through the vast ocean of vaping and supply you with the knowledge, tools, and confidence you need to find the right e-liquid.
What is Vape Juice?
Vape juice (commonly known as e-liquid) is the lifeblood of your vaping device. When heated by your vape kit, it's the fluid that transforms into the vapour you inhale and exhale.
Choosing the right vape juice is essential for a satisfying vaping experience. The right blend offers a consistent throat hit and flavour profile.
What’s Inside Vape Juice?
E-liquids are a fascinating blend of science and flavour, each component playing a distinct role. Here’s a breakdown of the core ingredients found in vape juice and the purposes they serve:
Propylene Glycol (PG)
PG is a colourless, odourless liquid that acts as a carrier for flavour. It provides the throat hit many smokers and vapers seek and emulates the sensation of traditional tobacco smoking.
Usually, e-liquids with a higher PG ratio are thinner in consistency and can be absorbed more easily by the wick in your vape coils.
Vegetable Glycerine (VG)
VG is a thicker, sweeter liquid that produces dense vapour clouds and softens the throat hit.
E-liquids with a higher VG ratio will produce thicker clouds – ideal if you enjoy ‘cloud chasing’.
From fruity profiles to dessert-inspired delights, flavourings are responsible for the vast selection of e-liquid tastes available.
Typically safe for consumption, these flavourings are similar to those used in everyday food products.
Nicotine is an optional component that gives the stimulant effect sought after if you’re transitioning from traditional smoking. It has numerous strengths to choose from, allowing you to pick or gradually reduce your nicotine intake.
Choosing the right nicotine strength is essentially based on your previous smoking habits and desired effect. Too much can be overpowering, whereas too little may leave you unsatisfied.
VP/PG Ratio Explained
At the heart of every e-liquid is the VG/PG ratio. This delicate balance between vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol defines the character of your vaping experience. This ratio determines the vape juice's thickness, and the throat hit's intensity, and the vapour clouds' richness.
Why are there different levels? It’s all about personal preference and device compatibility. You should use a higher VG ratio if you’re a cloud chaser using a sub-ohm device.
On the other hand, a dominant PG blend provides a sharper throat hit reminiscent of traditional cigarettes – perfect if you’re seeking a more authentic smoking sensation.
Some of the most popular VG/PG ratios include:
70/30 (VG/PG): With a predominant VG base, this mix emphasises thicker clouds and a softer throat hit. Perfect for high-wattage sub-ohm vaping.
We have our own e-liquids that are a hit with our customers, and you can pick from nicotine salts, bar salts, freebase nicotine, high VG bar flavours shortfills and nicotine shots.
Nicotine salts, often abbreviated as ‘nic salts’, are made from the natural nicotine salts found in tobacco leaves. Delivering a smooth throat hit, they are commonly found in strengths like 5mg, 10mg and 20mg. Nic salts provide quick nicotine absorption and can satisfy cravings quickly if you’re transitioning from smoking.
Freebase Nicotine E-Liquid
The classic choice for many vapers, freebase nicotine e-liquid offers a pronounced throat hit. They’re available in a wide range of strengths, from 0mg to 18mg, so you can precisely dial in your desired nicotine level.
Shortfills are larger bottles of e-liquid without nicotine, leaving space for adding nicotine shots, or ‘nic shots’, to reach your desired strength. You can customise your nicotine level by adding nic shots to a shortfill bottle. It’s a DIY approach that offers versatility in tailoring both nicotine and flavour intensity.
Vape Kits and E-Liquids
Matching your vape kit with the perfect e-liquid is akin to pairing a gourmet dish with a fine wine. Both should complement and elevate each other. Let’s delve into the harmony between popular vape kits and e-liquids:
Pod Kits and E-Liquids
Often sleek and portable, pod kits typically operate at lower wattages. This means a more direct, concentrated nicotine delivery is needed for satisfaction. Due to their design and wattage range, pod kits are best paired with nic salts and freebase nicotine. The smoothness of Nic Salts, especially at higher strengths like 10mg and 20mg, provides rapid nicotine satisfaction. Whereas with Freebase Nicotine, users can get that traditional throat hit if they wish.
Sub-Ohm Vape Kits and E-Liquids
Known for their cloud production and richer flavour profiles, sub-ohm kits function at higher wattages. This leads to more vapour being produced with each puff. These kits are best paired with high VG shortfill e-liquids. The thick consistency optimises cloud size, while lower nicotine levels prevent a too-harsh hit, ensuring each inhale is smooth.
How does Vape Juice turn into Delicious Clouds?
We appreciate vaping may seem complex at first, but it’s a straightforward process of heat and evaporation. Follow this step-by-step guide:
The Vapour Process
Pressing the button on your vape device sends power to the coil and heats it up. The e-liquid, which is in contact with the coil, warms up and evaporates, turning into vapour.
Role of Vape Coils
The coil in your vape is crucial. It’s essentially a heated element that comes into direct contact with the e-liquid. As heat increases, the e-liquid evaporates. Different types of coils can vary in vapour production.
Are e-liquids safe?
E-liquids, especially those manufactured in the UK, are subject to rigorous safety and quality standards. The TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) governs their production, making sure that only safe and approved ingredients are used. Manufacturers are required to list all ingredients and prohibited substances, like certain harmful additives, are banned from use.
That said, you’re safer buying e-liquids from reputable sources like Vape UK. This is because counterfeit or improperly mixed liquids could pose health risks.
What strength vape juice should I use?
Picking the right nicotine strength is essential for getting the most out of your e-liquid. Your ideal strength will depend on several factors, such as:
Smoking habits: If you’re moving away from smoking, consider your previous smoking habits. Heavy smokers might start with higher strengths, while occasional smokers might opt for lower concentrations.
Device type: Ex-smokers would prefer small and discreet devices like Pod Kits, which can deliver efficient nicotine satisfaction in various strengths.
Nicotine Satisfaction: The purpose of vaping is to decrease your nicotine intake over time. Starting at a comfortable level and then slowly stepping down can be an effective approach.
Can my e-liquid go off?
E-liquids do have a shelf life, normally around 1 to 2 years from the production date. Over time, the flavours may diminish, or the liquid might undergo separation. Certain factors can determine its longevity, including:
Storage: E-liquids are best stored in cool, dark places. Excessive heat or direct sunlight can degrade the quality faster.
Ingredients: Some flavour ingredients might have a shorter lifespan than others. Natural flavours can degrade faster than artificial ones.
Nicotine Content: Over time, nicotine can oxidise, changing the flavour of the e-liquid. This doesn’t make the e-liquid unsafe, but it can alter the taste.
Can I mix different e-liquids together?
Many vapers like to experiment by mixing e-liquids to create custom flavours. If you’re considering this, there are some things to bear in mind.
Make sure both e-liquids are from reputable sources.
Consider the nicotine strengths. If you mix liquids with different levels, this will give an average of the two strengths.
Think about the VG/PG ratios. Combining e-liquids with different ratios can affect vapour production and throat hit. As always, when mixing, begin with small quantities to test the results.
Can I travel with my e-liquids?
Yes, you can travel with e-liquids, but there are some guidelines to follow. If flying, airlines allow e-liquids in your hand luggage as long as they are in containers of 100ml or less and fit within a resealable clear plastic bag.
Keeping e-liquids in their original packaging is also advised to prevent leaks. Always check the specific airline regulations before flying.
Why does my e-liquid sometimes taste burnt?
A burnt taste while vaping can be attributed to a few reasons. The most common cause is a ‘dry hit’. This occurs when the wick inside your coil isn’t fully saturated with e-liquid. This can burn the wick and result in a nasty taste.
Ensure your tank has sufficient e-liquid and that you allow enough time for the coil to prime when refilling. Regularly changing worn-out coils can also prevent this issue.