Finding the best e-juice flavor is a never-ending quest, but one filled with delicious flavors, from mouth-watering fruits and devilishly sweet desserts though to cocktail and cereal-inspired flavors.
More than any other area, though, taste in e-liquid is subjective, and saying that any specific blend is the best e-juice is a little like saying that something is the best meal. You might think you can’t taste anything better, but somebody else will recoil at the slightest taste.
To cut through this subjectivity and produce a comprehensive list of the best vape juice flavors on the market, we surveyed vapers to get their view on what the best vape flavor is, and we’ve used the results to put together this list and a few others relating to specific types of flavor.
Additionally, this post will also include some tips on finding the best rated vape juices for your tastes and some recommendations from expert vapers, so you don’t have to rely on the votes from the community if you want to explore some more vape juices.
Top 10 Best E-Juice Flavors
So which vape juices made the cut? What’s the most popular e-liquid flavor on the market? Our poll attracted almost 5,000 votes from ordinary vapers, and these were their top picks for the best vaping flavors you can find.
10 – Dragon Banana Berry by VaporFi
VaporFi has been a big name in the vaping industry for some time now, and their e-liquid offerings keep getting better and better. The company used to offer several different lines of juice, with some “premium” style lines and other more standard fare, but now you have the option of ordinary liquids and salt nicotine ones, with the same flavors available in each format.
Dragon Banana Berry is the most well-loved VaporFi juice, offering a unique and well-crafted combination of fruit flavors that gives tons of sweetness but some sharper notes to take the edge off too. As the name suggests, the liquid combines dragonfruit, banana and berries, with the banana balancing out the sharpness from the berries and the dragonfruit giving the whole thing some extra character. As an ordinary e-liquid it comes in a 60 ml bottle, containing either 3 or 6 mg/ml of nicotine, for $16.95, or you can pick it up in a 30 ml bottle with nicotine salts for $17.95, which has either 18, 36 or 48 mg/ml of nicotine.
9 – Strawberry by Jam Monster
Jam Monster has a pretty tight focus for their e-juice: it’s just jam of various types laid over a toast backdrop. But that’s really underselling it, because on each of the juices the toast is surprisingly well-captured, with a realistic flavor and a touch of butter to the flavor to really bring it to life. The juices come in huge 100 ml bottles, with options of 0, 3 or 6 mg/ml of nicotine, so they’re really intended for sub ohm tanks or rebuildables, but the quality of the flavors is hard to fault.
Strawberry is the classic flavor in the line-up, but it’s also the one that really knocks it out of the park. The strawberry is sweet and realistic, with enough of a punch to the flavor that you can’t miss it when you inhale but not so strong that it overpowers the buttered toast base. It’s a great one for an all-day vape if you’re a fan of strawberry, and the toast really pulls it away from the multitude of other strawberry vape juices on the market. It costs $16.95 for a 100 ml bottle.
8 – Cavendish Blend by Black Note
Black Note has some excellent options in their line-up, but Cavendish makes this best vape flavors list for the realistic tobacco taste and a subtle, natural sweetness underpinning the whole thing. Black Note makes naturally extracted tobacco (NET) e-liquid, which basically means that they steep real tobacco leaves in PG and VG to extract the authentic flavor for their e-liquids, rather than depending on artificial flavorings like most of the tobacco juices on the market.
Cavendish is a very well-known tobacco, especially for pipe-smokers, and it has a distinctive aromatic flavor as well as a soft, sweet baseline. The best juice in their selection is very much down to personal preference – the Virginia option is also great, for instance – but Cavendish strikes a great balance between complexity of flavor and being gentle enough to still be enjoyable if you aren’t a tobacco connoisseur. It has a 50/50 PG/VG ratio, and comes in either 0, 3, 6, 12 or 18 mg/ml of nicotine. You can pick it up in a 60 ml bottle for $33.
7 – Hawaiian Pog by Naked 100
Naked 100 has an impressive line-up of e-juice, but Hawaiian Pog takes the eighth spot on this best e-liquid countdown for its well-executed blend of pineapple, orange and guava. The juice is slightly tart, but this blends with the sweetness from the fruit, striking a balance that many vapers keep coming back to. It’s the ideal juice for someone who loves a fruity flavor but gets a little bored with the standard set of options.
The juice comes in a fixed 70% VG mix, and you can pick it up with 0, 3, 6 or 12 mg/ml of nicotine. You can pick it up in 60 ml bottles, for $17.95. We also have a full Naked 100 e-juice review if you want more information.
6 – Butterscotch Reserve by Glas Basix
Glas as a company may be more well-known for their high-end mods, but they also offer some of the top e-juice flavors in the industry through their Basix (or BSX) line. These juices are available both in standard and nicotine salt format, and although there are many options that could make this top 10 e-juice flavors list, Butterscotch Reserve is the stand-out option from their line-up.
Butterscotch Reserve takes a lot of inspiration from the classic RY4 juices, which blend tobacco with caramel to produce a tobacco flavor that translates well to e-liquid without having to extract the flavor directly from tobacco leaves. The juice combines an RY4 base with additional caramel and butterscotch, producing a liquid that still offers enough tobacco taste to keep smokers happy, but is considerably smoothed out by the sweetness and richness of the other components. You can pick up a 60 ml bottle for $13.95, either in 0, 3 or 6 mg/ml of nicotine.
5 – Mother’s Milk by Suicide Bunny
Mother’s Milk is a legendary vape liquid from Suicide Bunny, and it just placed above Blue Voodoo in our best vape juice flavors poll with 67 votes (working out to about the same percentage of the vote). Suicide Bunny is a Texas-based e-juice mixer, that got its start from the creator Pip’s desire to see e-liquid become as awesome as she knew it could be, as well as to make something to help her husband kick his three-packs-a-day smoking habit. Suicide Bunny uses only high-quality, American-made vape flavors in their juice, and values quality above all else.
Mother’s Milk is a rich, creamy and smooth custardy dessert flavor with sweet strawberry on the exhale (with some vapers also picking up touches of spice), and it’s been a runaway success with vapers. The flavor has earned a rating of 4.5/5 on Giant Vapes from over 1,200 reviews, and a 3.7 from 83 reviews on JuiceDB, showing that – while some think its legendary status has led to a little too much hype – it’s a widely-loved flavor that firmly deserves its spot on the top 10 list.
Mother’s Milk comes in 60 ml bottles for $25.99, a per ml price of between 43 cents, putting it towards the upper end of the price range. It’s available in 0, 3, 6, 12 and 18 mg/ml of nicotine (and sometimes 1.5 mg/ml), and has a PG/VG ratio of 30/70.
4 – Shurb by Jimmy the Juice Man
With 75 votes in our best e-juice flavors poll – 2.5 percent of the total vote – Shurb by Jimmy the Juice Man comfortably places in our list of the top 10 e-liquid flavors.
Jimmy the Juice Man is based out of Chicago, and got his start because he loved “premium” juices but wasn’t so hot about the financial premium you pay for them. He started selling his mixes and quickly found himself overwhelmed by the demand from vapers, before partnering up with Giant Vapes to help ramp up his production.
Shurb is Jimmy’s most popular e-juice flavor, a blend of raspberry, lime and orange with heaps of sugary sweetness that aims to offer the flavor of rainbow sherbet in e-liquid form. Vapers praise its smooth, not-too-sweet flavor and the balance with the sour, citrusy notes, widely calling it an all-day-vape and the sort of juice they’d recommend to anybody and everybody who asks. It’s currently rated at 4.5/5 on Giant Vapes from 227 reviews.
Shurb is available in 0, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 mg/ml of nicotine, with the standard PG/VG ratio being 40/60, but the 3 mg nicotine option is max VG. It’s available in 60 ml bottles from Giant Vapes, priced at $25.99, for a cost per ml of 43 cents.
3 – Fuji Apple Strawberry Nectarine by Pachamama
Pachamama is the fruit-focused brand from the same company that made Charlie’s Chalk Dust, and they have a fantastic line-up of both ordinary and nicotine salt e-juices. The flavors tend to combine fruits, with plenty of exotic options in the mix and plenty of care clearly having gone into the flavor choices and combinations.
Fuji Apple Strawberry Nectarine makes this best e-liquid flavors list because it combines flavors that complement each other beautifully without detracting from each other or competing for prominence. You notice the apple most when you first take a puff, but the strawberry and nectarine come through as it continues, adding more sweetness and depth to the flavor of the juice. While many of the Pachamama flavors could be somebody’s favorite, Fuji is one that it’s hard to not love. You can pick it up in a 60 ml bottle for $13.95, with either 0, 3 or 6 mg/ml of nicotine, and it’s also available as a nicotine salt e-liquid at $13.99 for 30 ml with either 25 or 50 mg/ml of nicotine.
2 – No. 32 by Beard Vape Co.
Beard Vape Co. was founded in 2014 but they rose to fame in the e-liquid industry pretty quickly, initially putting out a line-up of juices with numbers for names that really made vapers stand up and take notice when it came to flavor. Number 32 is the juice from the line-up that makes it onto our list of the most popular e-juice flavors in the industry, thanks to its nostalgia-inducing funnel cake flavor.
The juice is a cinnamon funnel cake, and the funnel cake replication is really impressive. This alone brings you back to your youth, but the sugary cinnamon accompaniment is what transforms it from a standard e-juice into something really special. It might not be for everyone, but if you like dessert-style juices and enjoy cinnamon, it’s definitely one to try out. The juice has a PG/VG ratio of 30/70 (so 70% VG), and you can get it in 0, 3 or 6 mg/ml of nicotine. A 60 ml bottle of Number 32 costs $15.99.
1 – Boosted by Boosted E-Juice
Boosted E-Juice’s namesake juice won our poll by a massive margin, with 591 votes putting Boosted as the most popular e-liquid flavor with almost 20 percent of the total vote. Astoundingly, it even beat out “Other,” which represents the thousands upon thousands of juices we didn’t include on our shortlist put together.
The Denver, Colorado-based vendor Boosted E-Juice got its start in late 2013 to early 2014, made by long-time vaper Cory Vigil, who drew on his knowledge of crafting delicious food to put together some mouth-watering vape juice flavors. After some initial testers received glowing praise from vapers, he soon found himself working non-stop to keep up with the rapidly growing demand.
Boosted is the fourth creamy strawberry e-liquid in this top 10 – which says a lot about the tastes of the vapers (at least the ones who voted on our poll) – aiming to bottle the authentic flavor of a strawberry milkshake (the kind you’d imagine getting from a 50s-style diner) in e-liquid form. Both elements of the flavor come through strongly, and the balance between the two is excellent (tipped ever so slightly in favor of the cream).
In reviews, many vapers call this an all-day-vape and it’s hard to even find anybody who didn’t love it. There are some, somewhere – which is why it stands at 4.5/5 on Giant Vapes with over 500 reviews – but the overwhelming consensus from vapers is that this is a must-vape e-liquid, and it deserves its spot as the best vaping flavor as ranked by our readers.
Boosted is available in five nicotine levels (0, 3, 6, 12 and 18 mg/ml) and comes in a PG/VG ratio of 40/60. You can pick up a 60 ml bottle for $22.99, putting the price at 38 cents per ml: for the best vape flavor on the market, it’s well worth the price.
How We Chose the Best E-Liquid Flavors?
Choosing the best vape juice flavors is a little bit like trying to choose the best movie or the best album: no matter how objective you try to be, there will always be an element of subjectivity in the decision. But we’ve been reviewing e-juice for this site since 2012 and vaping as individuals for even longer, tasting hundreds of flavors each year. In previous years, we’ve conducted polls of vapers to find out the most popular juices and devices, and we’ve been intimately familiar with the industry and culture for almost a decade now.
The choice of flavors for this list is based on all of the above, as well as the user reviews from sites such as Direct Vapor, Giant Vapes, Vaping.com, Element Vape and many others, taking into account both the score and the number of reviews a juice has received. We also looked through forums and other websites for their suggestions and recommendations. While there was no strict process, all of this was considered before we made our final decisions.
Generally speaking, we were looking for multi-tonal flavors, made with high-quality ingredients by a reputable and reliable company. The juices don’t have to be “all day vapes” but they should be something you don’t get sick of right away, and we also tried to avoid options that are overpriced or just shooting for “prestige” over flavor. Polls and user reviews were especially useful for this.
So while we’re not saying this is the definitive list, it’s a great starting point for finding some of the most popular vape juice on the market, especially if you find something up there that is in line with your tastes.
Top Vape Juice Flavors (As Recommended by ECR Staff)
The 10 vape juices above represent the best vape flavors as chosen by our readers, but it goes without saying that they only scratch the surface of what’s available to vapers. So to give you more options for great juices to try, we’ve put together a top 10 of our favorite juices here at EcigaretteReviewed:
Unicorn Milk by Cuttwood
This made the main list, and although we try to minimize overlap when we put together these recommendations (after all, we’re looking to give you more options), it’s one we felt was well-worth another mention as one of the most popular e-liquid flavors for us. The flavor is described in fairly pretentious terms – it’s not just strawberries and cream, there are four types of cream – and although we think it stretches what the juice has to offer a little far, the balance of strawberries and cream in Unicorn Milk is excellent, and it’s definite all-day-vape for us. The juice costs $11.99 for a 15 ml bottle.
Lava Flow by Naked 100
Naked 100’s Hawaiian Pog made the main list, but Lava Flow takes our personal pick as the top vape juice flavor from the mixer. The blend of strawberry, pineapple and coconut works surprisingly well, with the strawberry and pineapple giving a great mixture of sweetness and tartness and the coconut providing a pleasant backdrop to the whole thing. It comes in either 0, 3, 6 or 12 mg/ml of nicotine, with the standard 70% VG mix making it a great juice for producing big clouds. You can pick up a 60 ml bottle for $17.95.
Milk and Honey by Cosmic Fog
This is the most popular offering from Cosmic Fog by a long way, and the mix of marshmallow and honey-sweetened milk is a definite winning combination for us. The flavor might sound like too much sweetness, but it’s just right for our tastes – sweet enough to make every puff a delight but not so much that you can’t vape it for too long. The honey component to the sweetness helps it avoid a nasty, synthetic candy taste too: it comes off as an authentic, natural sweetness. A 30 ml bottle of Milk and Honey costs $21.95.
Churrios by the Milkman E-Liquid
The Milkman’s churros and nutty, honey-infused milk blend – with a touch of cinnamon sugar for good measure – earns a spot as one of the best flavors for us here at ECR: it’s one of those flavors that sounds great on paper but manages to live up to the impression when it comes time to vape it. For anyone who loves bakery flavors and cinnamon, this is an absolute must-try, and it’s a definite all-day-vape for us. You can pick up a 30 ml bottle of Churrios for $18.
Monkey Business by VaporFi (Reserve Collection)
The Reserve Collection sees VaporFi transitioning from producing run-of-the-mill juices to being a more “premium” mixer, and Monkey Business ranks among the top flavors for us. The juice blends a creamy, custardy base with banana, producing a flavor that’s fairly simple but is executed beautifully, with the balance shifted a little more towards the cream but the banana still coming through with each puff. It’s a little too heavy to be an all-day-vape for us, but as an occasional treat it’s a great juice. A 30 ml bottle costs $9.99.
Castle Long Reserve by Five Pawns
Castle Long Reserve is pretentious in the extreme, claiming toasted coconut, roasted almond, two different types of vanilla, brown sugar, Kentucky bourbon and “charred oak” as the components to the flavor and charging a hefty $37.50 for a 30 ml bottle. But we love it. Everything comes through perfectly, producing a symphony of flavor that – while the description does go too far – makes it a fantastic juice for a rare treat. It’s only available periodically, though, but you can pick up the standard version of Castle Long for $27.50 a bottle, which is still delicious.
Prelude by Black Note
Our soft-spot for tobacco rears its head again with the choice of our best e-liquid flavor. Prelude by Black Note is a Virginia tobacco blend, with a soft, mellow taste (particularly in comparison to some of their other offerings) backed with touches of sweetness throughout, making it a perfect all-day-vape for tobacco lovers and a great juice even for vapers who normally don’t go for tobaccos. As a NET (naturally extracted tobacco) mixer, the flavor is unbeatably authentic, and if you’re a fan of tobaccos, this is about as close as you’re going to get to the genuine taste. It’s quite expensive, though, at $29 for a 30 ml bottle.
Finding the Best Vape Juice, Staying Safe and Other Tips
The lists above give you a selection of specific juices to try out if you’re looking for your new favorite flavor, but there’s only so much you can get from a prescriptive set of recommendations.
Although polling ordinary vapers makes the main list about as objective as it can be, there is an undeniable element of personal preference when it comes to choosing the right juice for you.
So how do you go about finding your own favorite?
And when you’ve found a juice you love, how do you get the most out of it? How should you store your juices? Is steeping worthwhile? How do you stay safe when it comes to e-juice?
We’ve put together some additional advice and recommendations to answer these questions.
Guide to Choosing the Best Vape Juice Flavor
Choosing the best vape juice flavor isn’t quite as straightforward as choosing good devices and atomizers, because all you really have to go on is the flavor description, reviews from vapers and facts about the mix such as the PG/VG ratio, but there are a few things you can look out for to choose the right juices.
Vape Juice PG/VG Ratio
The PG/VG ratio isn’t going to make something go from being the best e-juice to sucking, but it’s an important part of your individual preference, so it’s better to find juices that match up to it if you’re looking for a favorite.
Most vapers prefer something around a 50/50 mix, but if you’re a fan of high-VG e-juices, for example, this can help narrow your options down and help you settle on a juice to try out. Similarly, if a company offers an 80/20 PG/VG mix, if you find PG a little harsh or too thin in consistency, you’re unlikely to be particularly impressed with the experience of vaping it, even if the flavor is good.
Specialty Flavors and Types of Flavor
One simple thing you can look out for is the types of flavor on offer from a vendor and whether they specialize in any specific type of juice: for example, P.O.E.T. focuses on café, bakery and drink flavors, and Black Note is a tobacco specialist mixer.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be better at it than a vendor that makes all types of flavors, but it’s a strong suggestion that they’ll be a little ahead of the pack in their chosen niche.
Decoding E-Juice Descriptions
The descriptions for different e-liquids range right from simple statements of the main components of the juice – often giving little more information than the flavor’s name – right through to the pretentious, Five Pawns-style flowery descriptions of how the juice uses “seven different varieties of vanilla” and things of that nature.
The problem is that juices with simple descriptions can be absolutely amazing and ones with overly complex, flowery descriptions can be completely disappointing: so how can you use the descriptions to pick the best e-juice?
Although the juices might not quite live up to the descriptions, a more complex, flowery description is an indication that there are more notes in the flavor than you’d get with a simplistic juice.
For example, Mt. Baker Vapor’s Black Cherry e-liquid gives you just that: a black cherry e-liquid, whereas Wastegate from Boosted e-Juice is described as “a creamy, fresh, raspberry-infused cheesecake, that’s drizzled is raspberry puree and topped off with a scoop of sweet vanilla ice cream.”
The complex description won’t always be justified (apart from in rare cases of a truly awesome juice), but it does tell you that the flavor from Boosted has more different components than the one from Mt. Baker.
This doesn’t always make a better juice, but if you’re looking for the best e-juice you can find, you’re much more likely to hit on one you love if you opt for multi-component juices, and ambitious descriptions are a big indicator of that.
Reviews and Recommendations for the Best E-Juices
However, there’s only so much you can do to find the best e-juice if you don’t taste it for yourself, so recommendations from other vapers – especially if you know you have similar tastes – are absolutely invaluable. You can spend hours searching for the best e-juice but never find something as good as if you’d just posted up on a forum for recommendations or used lists like the ones above.
If you have a vendor you know you like, you can also use the user reviews on their site for the same purpose: if a juice has a high rating and lots of reviews, you can be pretty confident that it’s something special. You can also use sites like JuiceDB to explore some new options and read what vapers think of the different options.
Go to Your Brick and Mortar Vape Store or Use a Subscription Service
Although vape stores only carry limited selections of juice (at least in comparison to online vape stores), the advantage is that most will let you sample the different flavors they have on offer. This makes taking a trip down to your local vape store more than worthwhile if you’re looking for the best e-juice for your tastes: it takes the guess-work out of the equation and lets you base your purchases on first-hand experience.
E-liquid subscription services like Craft Vapery, Zodist and Zamplebox are the next best thing. Even though you have to pay for the juices, you tell the company your flavor preferences and their experienced juice connoisseurs send out blends that they think will match your tastes. You might get a miss every so often, but you could easily hit on your new favorite e-liquid using one of these services.
Test Results – Does the Juice Contain Diacetyl?
One thing that’s worth considering for many vapers is what goes into the juice you’re inhaling. It might be argued that some of the best e-juice actually does contain ingredients like diacetyl and acetyl propionyl (which have been linked to lung disease) – with Five Pawns being a perfect example – but many vapers wish to avoid these chemicals for obvious reasons.
The best thing to come out of the recent diacetyl in e-liquid scandals is that more juice companies than ever are releasing test results on their juice so that we no longer have to take their word for it when they say their juices are diacetyl-free.
Cigarettes do contain a lot more diacetyl than e-liquids, so if you aren’t personally worried about the risk then that’s your decision. However, it’s been called “an avoidable risk,” and if you want to avoid it, then sticking to companies with test results up makes a lot of sense.
It is worth stressing, though, that if you class the best e-juice as the one that tastes the nicest, a little bit of acetyl propionyl or diacetyl will probably make you enjoy a juice a bit more. The only problem is your lungs won’t enjoy it as much.
How Much Should You Pay for Vape Juice?
Prices vary wildly, from the very cheap – Mt. Baker Vapor, for example, where $6.49 can get you 30 ml – to the downright expensive – Five Pawns, for example, which is $27.50 per 30 ml – and anywhere between.
As always, it’s not my place to tell you how much you’d be happy paying for an e-liquid you enjoy. Many vapers have enjoyed Five Pawns despite the fact it’s almost 92 cents per ml, but it goes without saying that it isn’t necessary to spend that much. You might have noticed that Five Pawns didn’t even make the top 10 list, but the winning juice costs $19.99 for a 30 ml bottle (about 67 cents per ml). More expensive doesn’t always mean better.
The same basic rule applies to cheap vape juice, too: just because it costs less than other options doesn’t make it bad. Vape Wild charges just $7 for 30 ml, but they still have legions of vapers who love their juices. Vendors like this are the exception rather than the rule, but it shows that it’s not always right to discount a brand from your search for the best vape juice because of low prices.
Based on the prices for 30 ml bottles of the vape juices in our top 10, the average price is 60 cents per ml, working out to just under $18 for a 30 ml bottle of some of the top e-juice you can find. If a mixer charges more than that, there’s a chance you’ll be over-paying when you could find something equally enjoyable for less money.
The best (more general) advice – aside from checking out reviews of the juices to see what vapers are saying – is to shoot for something mid-range, at around $15 to $20 for 30 ml. There are still a lot of bad juices in this price range (and you shouldn’t stick to it rigidly), but for a general rule of thumb it should steer you in the right direction.
Putting it all Together – Choosing the Best Vape Flavor
It’s worth stressing again that choosing the best e-juice flavor is much more of a trial-and-error process than finding yourself a good mod or atomizer. If you can’t try the juice out before buying it, there’s a chance you won’t even like it, much less have found your new all-day-vape.
If you can try some juices out, then your chances of making a good purchase will increase dramatically, but the advice in this guide will also help to steer you in the right direction. Here are the key pieces of advice in bite-size form:
- Find a Suitable Vendor: If you can identify a vendor well-known for or specializing in your favorite general type of e-liquid (e.g. desserts or fruits), then you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding something you love.
- Learn Your PG/VG Preferences: Finding a PG/VG ratio in line with your preferences doesn’t impact the taste, but will improve your experience.
- Aim For Multi-Tonal Flavors: One-note e-liquids can be tasty, but they generally lack the depth and complexity of e-juice with several elements to the flavor.
- Taste the Juice if You Can: A taste-test of a juice you’re considering will tell you a lot more than reading juice descriptions or even looking at reviews ever can.
- Trust Companies with Lab Test Results: If you’re trying to avoid diacetyl and acetyl propionyl, companies with test results confirming their absence are by far preferable to those who just claim to not use it.
- Shoot for Mid-Range Prices: Price is a fairly reliable indicator of quality in e-liquid, but there are so many exceptions that there’s no reason to choose the highest-priced e-liquids. Many excellent juices are available for between $15 and $20 per 30 ml, and the average cost based on our top 10 was around $18 for a 30 ml bottle.
How to Store E-Juice
Once you’ve found a flavor you love, storage is vital to keeping the flavor in optimum condition. If you don’t store your juice properly, the flavorings can degrade or undergo changes, which can have a negative impact on the taste.
This is closely related to the topic of steeping (which is covered below), but first it’s good to know how you should store your e-liquid if you want to preserve the original flavor as much as possible.
Heat, Light and Air – The Flavor-Killers
The core advice for storing e-liquid is that you want to keep them away from excessive sources of heat, light (especially direct sunlight) and air as much as possible.
The reasons for this vary a little – heat is a more general issue that can lead to flavorings degrading, whereas light and air mainly affect the nicotine – but the core lesson is that a cool, dark place is best for your e-liquid.
This is all fine when you aren’t using the juice, but when you’re taking a bottle or two around with you for a day of vaping it’s not so easy to avoid heat and light, in particular.
Thankfully, small amounts of exposure to heat and light won’t have too much of an impact, so you don’t have to worry too much about it in most cases. You don’t want to leave your all-day vape out on a table in direct sunlight day after day, though.
Glass Bottles vs. Plastic – Air Permeability and Headspace
The problems with exposing e-juice to air make the decision between glass and plastic a little complicated. On the face of it, glass is the better choice, especially for long-term storage.
This is because, although it seems nothing will get through a plastic juice bottle, they are slightly permeable to air, which means little bits can get through and interact with your juice. This isn’t a huge deal, but since glass doesn’t have this problem, it does give it an advantage.
The only downside to glass is the issue of “headspace” – the air above the e-juice when it’s partially empty. With a plastic bottle, you can squeeze the bottle before putting it into storage to minimize the amount of air in contact with the juice, but obviously this isn’t possible with glass.
On balance, for long-term storage, glass is still probably the best choice, but a high-quality plastic bottle will also get the job done well. Ideally, if you’re storing your e-juice for a very long time, you should do so with the bottle full, or the excess air squeezed out of the top.
Safe E-Liquid Storage
Finally, as you will undoubtedly be aware, you need to keep your e-juice away from kids and pets. Nicotine is poisonous, and if a young child or a curious dog gets access to your juice, the result could be tragic.
Child-proof caps help, but they are far from a foolproof solution – in fact, they’re really only “child-resistant,” which means that if a kid has enough time, he or she will be able to open a bottle.
This is why it’s vital to store your e-juice in a location not easily accessed to animals and kids. Considering the benefit of cool, dark places for e-juice storage, a high cupboard out of direct sunlight is ideal, but a locked box or a container on a high shelf are also suitable choices.
How Long Will My Vape Juice Last?
As things stand, the “best before” date you’ll find on bottles of e-juice is something of an educated guess. PG and VG both have a long shelf life – around 2 years each – but specific flavorings can pass their prime much quicker. Because there will be many different flavorings used in an e-cig juice, this makes it pretty hard to estimate how long a juice will last.
In general, the conclusion reached by most mixers is that your juices will be good for a year from the mixing date. However, if you store them well, it’s entirely possible that your juice will still be good to vape after 18 months or even longer.
Don’t worry too much about vaping “expired” e-juice, though: the flavor will suck, and the nicotine content might decrease a little, but overall there don’t seem to be any health risks.
Steeping Your E-Juice
“Steeping” e-juice is the e-juice equivalent of letting wine or whisky age and improve with time. In many ways, it’s a process of purposefully breaking the storage rules above to take advantage of what happens as e-juice gets older.
Steeping can help round out some of the harsher elements in a flavor and bring others to the forefront, and most vapers stand by it as a method of improving an e-juice.
So how do you do it?
The basic process can be broken down into two components, steeping and breathing. Steeping e-liquid is effectively just like ordinary storage, except you vigorously shake the juice at least daily.
This allows the flavor components to fully mix together, so the flavor molecules bond to the PG and VG and are carried to your tastebuds more effectively when you vape. Aside from the shaking, the main difference between steeping and ordinary storage is that many vapers put the juice into warm (but not hot) water to speed the process along a little.
The other main component is allowing your e-cig juice to “breathe.”
This is just leaving the cap off your bottle for a few hours (but no more than 12). As we pointed out above, this can degrade the nicotine content of your juice and the flavor, but the first things to disappear will be the more volatile elements, so any alcohol-like tones can be softened out by letting your juice breathe.
Combining these two processes is the main approach to steeping. You can alternate between steeping and breathing until you find the “peak” for a particular flavor.
There is no definite timeline for steeping, because it’s all down to when it suits your tastes. Some juices may be perfect for you right out of the bottle, but others might take a month of steeping or more to really start to shine.
Generally, at least two weeks of steeping is recommended, but periodically tasting the juice will give you an idea of when it’s at the right point for you.
E-Liquid Safety Tips
Finally, there are some important things to keep in mind when you’re refilling or otherwise handling juice. The core point is that nicotine can absorb through your skin, which is why nicotine patches work, and also why tobacco pickers used to get “green tobacco sickness.”
If you spill some e-cig juice, you should clean it up immediately with warm, soapy water. Not only should you clean any off your skin immediately, you should also remove and wash any clothing you’ve spilled juice on, and make absolutely sure that you’ve cleaned any surfaces where e-liquid has been spilled.
You can minimize spills by being careful when you’re refilling tanks and handling e-juice. Position the dripper spout of your juice bottle carefully, so the liquid only gets into the tank and doesn’t go down the central tube, which could lead to leaks and juice potentially getting on your skin.
There’s no reason to be especially worried about e-juice spills – nicotine can pass through your skin but it really isn’t that efficient a process – but it’s important to take them seriously and clean up right away.
E-juice is very much at the heart of vaping. It contains the nicotine we crave and the flavor that we love, but as well as finding the right flavors to help you remain smoke-free, learning how to look after your juice and keep your family safe is essential.
In a nutshell, finding the right vape juice is a process of experimentation guided by recommendations and research, and staying safe is all about recognizing the potential danger and exercising your common sense. Both of those, though, are often easier said than done.
If you want to learn more about e-liquid safety, we have a whole section dedicated to the topic in our safety series, and if you want some more juice suggestions, check out some of our best of lists for best premium vape juice brands, best VG e-juice, or specific types of flavor (like tobacco e-juice and menthol e-juice).