Is it really necessary to steep your e juice?
Great e juice, like any great wine, needs time to really shine. In most cases e juice needs to be steeped in order to get the best vaping experience out of it. There are exceptions to this rule, generally called shake and vape juice. These mostly consist of basic fruit flavours and menthol juice.
When it comes to e juice that contain many flavouring ingredients, especially those that contain cream, custard, chocolate, bakery, dessert or tobacco flavour components steeping becomes very important. Time is needed for the flavouring components to blend properly. Very complex e liquids will not be near their best if this process is not allowed to happen.
Depending on the flavour profile of your vape juice, steeping time can be as little as 2 to 3 days or as long as 14 to 21 days. This may seem like a lot but the reward is really worth the patience. The added pleasure of vaping a well-steeped e-liquid shouldn’t be underestimated.
How to steep your e juice
There are many theories as to what is the most efficient steeping method. Impatience has led to many methods being tried to speed up the steeping process of vape juice.
Speed steeping is sometimes advocated via hot bath, ultrasonic bath, rice cookers, the list is quite long and sometimes quite amusing.
In our experience nothing works anywhere near as well as just time. All the speed steeping methods for e liquid that we have tried have yielded disappointing results.
Our recommendation for steeping is quite simple, the most difficult part is patience. Vapers typically find it hard to just let a bottle of e juice stand in a cool cupboard for any period of time once it is made. The need to try it is extremely high.
E-liquid steeping method we recommend
Our recommended e-liquid steeping time is as follows:
Depending on the flavour profile of the ejuice let it steep for:
Fruits, fruit/menthol mixes – 2 to 7 days
Dessert/Beverage – 7 to 14 days
Bakery / Coffee / Tobacco – 14 to 21 days
These are guidelines for best results, but if you have to, by all means try them sooner. If you find any harshness, steeping will normally get rid of it as the components blend.
Some speed steeping methods:
Here are a few speed steeping methods for e juice if you wish to try them for yourself. We do not advocate their efficacy. Note: PET bottles have a low tolerance for heat and are prone to distortion if heated up. Use glass or HDPE/LDPE bottles if you want to heat steep.
A hot bath
This is quite a popular way of steeping your ejuice and also one of the simplest.
- Fill a container with warm water. Use warm, not boiling hot, water as excess heat will break down the eliquid.
- Place the bottles in a zip-lock bag and seal tightly. Remove as much of the air in the bag as possible, then submerge the bottles in the bath. If you have too much air in the bag it will float and the bottle will not be covered by the water.
- Remove plastic bags – wipe off any excess water on bag- then remove the e juice bottle. Shake well until bubbles form. Remove the cap and allow the e juice to breathe for 30 minutes. Put cap back on.
- Put water into the container inside the ultrasonic cleaner – be careful not to spill water over the rest of the machine as it can result in electrical shock. Wipe off the machine before plugging it in.
- Put your bottles in a plastic zip-lock bag, make sure they are properly sealed and remove as much air as possible, otherwise the bottle will float in the water. Then submerge the ejuice in the water.
- Turn on the ultrasonic cleaner and let it run for around 30 minutes.
- Remove the bag with e-liquid – wipe off excess water on the plastic bag or you might ruin your label – shake vigorously until bubbles form, remove the cap and let it breathe for half an hour or so, put cap back on.
Slow cooker or crock pot
- Fill the slow cooker with water.
- Put your ejuice into a plastic zip-lock bag and make sure you seal the bag properly so no water can get in. Also make sure you get as much air out of the bag as possible, otherwise your bottle will float on top of the water.
- Use the Low setting on your slow cooker – as a higher setting will be too hot for the ejuice – and place the plastic bag with your bottles inside.
- You can leave it in the slow cooker for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. (You can test after 2 hours to see if you are happy with the result)
- Remove the bottles from the slow cooker, wipe off any excess water on the ziplock bag. Remove the e juice bottles, shake well until bubbles form, and remove cap to allow your e juice to breath for 30 minutes. Put cap back on.
- Put rice – dry and uncooked – into a microwave safe bowl.
- Use the microwave to heat the rice until the rice is hot. Be aware if the rice is too hot it can distort PET plastic bottles and degrade the nicotine and flavouring used in the juice.
- Put your bottles of e liquid in the rice, making sure you completely cover them with the rice.
- Leave it to stand until the rice has cooled down, open the bottle of e liquid and check if it has steeped enough, if not repeat the process.
- Once you are satisfied with the result, remove the bottles and shake vigorously until bubbles form. Remove the cap and allow the e liquid to breathe.
- In the summer you can use your car to steep your e-liquids.
- Put your bottles in the car, usually in the glovebox. You can put them in a plastic bag if you wish.
- Leave them in the car for around 3 days.
- Remove bottles and shake well until bubbles form, remove the cap and allow the e juice to breathe for around 30min to an hour. Put the lid back on.
- Put bottles in a plastic zip-lock bag, trying to remove as much of the air as you can
- Put the bag and bottle into a sock and tie a knot or use a elastic band. Make sure it is tight and secure.
- Place the sock in your dryer and use the low setting, leave it for about 10 – 20 minutes.
- Remove the bottle from sock, shake very well, remove the cap and allow the juice to breathe. After 30 minutes put lid back on.
A word of caution: If you use plastic bottles in the dryer, there is a real chance your bottles will melt and your dryer will be full of e liquid and melted plastic. If you use glass, the bottle might break resulting in not only e liquid spilled everywhere, but also pieces of broken glass!
We would certainly not recommend this method to anyone! You could be trying to clean your dryer for days or weeks to come.
- For the microwave you need to use glass bottles because the plastic bottles might melt, or at least distort, especially PET bottles.
- Put the bottles into the microwave, and set the timer for 10 seconds, on the high setting.
- Remove bottles, shake well until bubbles form, remove the cap and let it breathe for 30 minutes. Put the lid back on.
- When the eliquid has cooled, check if it is steeped enough. If you are not satisfied with the results yet, you can repeat the process.