What to consider when making your own ejuice
If you vape heavily, you might have thought about making your own eJuice to save money. Many people do, but there’s a significant safety factor, and there’s math.
Nicotine is easily absorbed through skin and can make you very sick. Always wear latex gloves and appropriate clothing when mixing eLiquid. If your eyes are sensitive, consider protective eyewear.
If nicotine gets on your skin, wash for 10 minutes with soap and water. Wash clothing spills right away and thoroughly clean surface spills. Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid fumes, and dispose of hazardous materials properly.
Supplies and Costs
Dedicated online DIY suppliers have all you need, and places like Amazon have basic materials. Larger quantities are cheaper, but starting small is wise until you know if you’ll continue mixing.
Propylene Glycol: Buy USP grade only. A pint, which is two cups or about 500 mL, will run $10 to $15 on specialty sites; Amazon has twice that size for the same price. A 250-mL bottle is anywhere from $5 to $9.
Vegetable Glycerin: Buy USP food grade only. Prices are comparable to PG but perhaps slightly less.
Liquid Nicotine: Comes in an unflavored base of PG or VG and concentrations of 24 to 100 mg; you’ll dilute it to your normal strength. Strong concentrations last longer but cost more and are more toxic. You might start with 36 to 60 mg and a small quantity. A 30-mL bottle of 60-mg concentration costs about $7; 60 mL is about $9; and 120 or 125 mL costs between $10 and $12. You’ll need a few mL of nicotine base per 10 mL of eLiquid mix, depending on your final strength.
Distilled Water: This is only necessary if you use VG alone, which is very thick. Distilled water is a couple dollars per gallon. Some people use Vodka or Pure Grain Alcohol (PGA) for thinning.
Dropper Bottles: Choose 5- to 30-mL bottles with childproof caps to hold the mix. A pack of 50 plastic 30-mL bottles with childproof caps costs about $20. Specialty sites cost a bit more, but you can buy just a few at 50 to 75 cents each.
Syringes: A slip tip is easiest for filling dropper bottles. They’re available with 1- to 10-mL barrels and average about $1 or less each; you might want varied sizes. Also, test how many drops there are per mL for each syringe; about 20 drops usually equals 1 mL.
Flavoring: Buy USP grade from a vape-supply place since some food-grade flavorings are toxic when inhaled, and some cheap places use unsafe ingredients. Flavor prices range from about $2 to $5 for a 10-mL bottle. Start small with a few single flavors before trying blends. You’ll use mix concentrations from 5 to 20 percent, but start low. Five-percent concentration in 10 mL of eLiquid equals roughly 20 drops.
The Math in Making Your Own eJuice
The easiest way to determine mix amounts is with an online calculator. Some even help you see the unit cost. Enter all the specific details to see how many drops or mL of each ingredient you need. Measure each ingredient into your dropper bottle, cap it tightly and shake very well. Add a label if you like.
Experimenting with DIY eLiquid can be fun. You will save money over time, and you’re free to make small quantities to test new flavors. However, there’s a lot to buy, and you’ll regularly deal with a highly toxic substance; the wrong mix could make you sick, making all the effort far from worth it.