Tips for Storing Your Nicotine E-Liquid
If you’ve been vaping for some time, chances are you keep more than one bottle of nicotine e-juice. You know, just in case of emergencies.
After the proposed ban regarding buying nicotine e-liquid and shipping from New Zealand to Australia, having your stash tucked away gives you a sense of security, knowing you won’t have to wait too long to have your fill.
However, nicotine liquids, or e-juice, are consumable.
This means it can spoil. Having your stash is fine, but having it go bad while locked away somewhere is the worst. E-juice is usually composed of Propylene Glycol (PG) and/or VG, nicotine, and flavour.
While PG is not susceptible to bacteria, nicotine and flavours are.
This means storing them properly is a must.
What Causes Nicotine E-Liquid to Go Bad?
Nicotine and most flavours are made up of natural compounds, which break down and go stale if left to the elements.
Like most perishables, e-liquid is affected by heat, light, moisture, and air.
Too much heat, too much light, too much moisture, and prolonged exposure to air can hasten the rate of decomposition.
UV light and heat start a chemical interaction that will cause the molecules of flavouring ingredients to break down. This results in the juice altering in taste and not generally in a good way.
Nicotine reacts with oxygen to produce cotinine, reducing the nicotine level in the juice. Again not good.
It’s your job then to make sure you limit these factors.
When properly stored, nicotine e-liquid can last up to two years from the date of manufacture. Most bottles will probably be consumed at this time, but it gives you a nice buffer to avoid stale vape e-liquid.
The kind of flavours used in the juices manufacture plays a role, and some decay faster than others. The best way to know if your e-liquid hasn’t gone stale is to smell it first.
Most juice manufacturers recommend that storing your e-liquid at room temperature (65 to 72 degrees F) is optimal.
Fridge or Freezer Storage
If you wish to store your stash inside a refrigerator, ensure the bottles are in an airtight plastic bag or bottle.
This is to ensure no moisture gets mixed in your e-juice, and it also protects the other contents of your refrigerator from the e-liquid.
Be aware that while your e-liquid won’t ice up completely (unless you use 80% VG and up), it will thicken up.
If you use a bottle of e-liquid straight from the fridge, let it thaw a little at room temperature before use.
Short Term Storage
If you don’t care for using your fridge or freezer to store your e-juice, you can also use any dark, cool place to store it. These can be inside a cupboard or closet. Ensure it is high enough to be out of reach of children or pets.
E-juice contains nicotine which can be hazardous to little children and pets.
They might accidentally ingest or get some of the solutions onto their skin or eyes. This can be unpleasant to the skin, so practice proper safety.
If you have a basement, you can also store your stash there since the basement is usually the coolest part of your home, especially if you live in a hot and humid area.
A cupboard in the basement is perfect, keeping out light and air. Make sure the caps on your bottles are screwed on tightly unless you are steeping, which we’ll get to in a bit.
Long Term Storage
There may be times when you’ll have to store your e-liquid for longer than just a couple of months. Either you still have lots of prior stock on hand, or you are saving them for a rainy day.
If this is the case, keeping them stuck inside a cupboard may not be the best way to keep them fresh.
Many merchants sell tinted, airtight bottles just for this.
If you feel you’ll need to store your nicotine liquid for an extended period, transfer them inside these special tinted bottles to ensure you limit its exposure to light and air.
These tinted bottles are relatively cheap and worth investing in several bottles.
Whether you need to store your e-juice long-term or not, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What About Steeping?
If you’ve read or heard about steeping vape juice, you might think it’s better to leave the cap off your e-juice to let the nicotine liquid steep properly. While this is true to an extent, you can over-steep e-liquid, resulting in a flavourless stash.
Storing your e-liquid with the cap on is best unless you need to steep it first. If you just bought a fresh batch of e-juice, you can leave them with the cap open inside your cupboard or cabinet only until it is adequately steeped.
After the steeping process, you should put the cap on and make sure it is as airtight as possible to prevent excess air and moisture from coming in.
Of course, this also helps prevent evaporation, which can leave you with less than what you have.
In short, steeping can improve flavour and is good practice for every new batch of e-juice. But make sure you keep track of it lest you end up with a stash of stale nicotine liquid.
Unless you vape one bottle of nicotine liquid at a time, only purchasing the next one once your old one is empty, you don’t need to bother yourself with these storage tips.
However, practising the above can keep your stash fresh if you plan on keeping several bottles of e-juice at a time. Nothing is worse than opening a new bottle of e-juice and finding out it has gone bad.
You’ll know when it smells and tastes terrible, but you wouldn’t want it to get to that.
Proper storage is not only for the sake of your vaping pleasure but also keeps your e-juice away from young kids and pets, which can cause more problems down the road.
Being a responsible vaper is more than keeping your e-cigarette or mod clean. It also means taking proper care of your nicotine liquid.