Steeping e-juice is a well-known but confusing term within the vaping community. While many people have heard the word “steeping” tossed around at their local vape shop, only a few vapers genuinely understand the methods behind how to steep e-juice. Steeping, in the simplest terms, is aging e-juice for maximum flavor.  At Om Vapors, we pre-steep all our e-juice, but sometimes customers may receive a fresh batch of e-juice. Just in case this happens to you, or you decide to take up DIY, we’ve put together this guide to demystify the art of steeping e-liquid. In our e-juice steeping guide, we will cover the history of steeping, typical applications, food and beverages, the science behind it, and nearly twenty methods to bring out the best flavor in your e-juice.

What Is Steeping E-juice?

If you look up the definition of steeping in the dictionary, you’ll receive a generic response stating that steeping is soaking foods, spices, or other solids in water to extract flavoring. In reality, steeping e-liquid is a very different process and this term can be misleading to people familiar with the original definition. Within the vaping community, steeping your vape juice is blending a variety of liquids and aging them for the best taste. Let’s compare steeping in food and drinks versus steeping e-liquid.
Steeping is used to create many items that we consume every day, including but not limited to beer, tea, and meats.  If you’ve ever made tea, then you’ve steeped something. Have you ever marinated anything? If yes, then that’s steeping as well. Slow cookers are an even better example of steeping. Yum!

If you can relate to any of the above scenarios, then you’re well on your way to becoming a steeping guru! If you’re an astute learner, then you’ll notice that heat is commonly applied to extract flavors more quickly.
The process of steeping e-juice is a bit different than the traditional definition implies. When you steep vape juice, you are essentially allowing the VG, PG, flavoring, and nicotine to mix evenly. In addition to this, steeping lets the alcohols or any other volatile components that are used in your e-liquids evaporate. Last, but not least steeping your e-liquid speeds up oxidation, which is the process of oxygen combining with the nicotine and flavor concentrates. This process darkens the color of the juice and makes the flavor profile more robust over time.
In addition to oxidation, e-liquids that contain sugars may go through a process called the Maillard Reaction depending on the length of time that the e-liquid steeps The Maillard Reaction is a chemical reaction between the sugars and amino acids, that enhances the flavorings.
As you can see, steeping e-juice is critical to achieving the best flavor profile possible and is a widely used method by vape enthusiasts. While heat and other methods may help speed up the process the most critical factor is time.

Why Steep E-Juice?

Steeping is an essential part of the process of creating e-juice.  Nine times out of ten a steeped vaped e-juice will be much more enjoyable to vape than a fresh e-juice. Steeping is especially crucial for dessert, custard, and tobacco flavors. While steeping is preferable for most vape juices, some creations are “shake and vapes” meaning that they are good to vape right out of the gate. Even those “shake and vape” e-juices benefit from steeping, however.  Steeping a juice lets it reach its full potential, releasing a much more pronounced flavoring and smoother inhale.

Although steeping is essential for making DIY e-liquids, e-juices that you purchase from a company can benefit from steeping as well. Whenever you are buying e-liquids they are either made to order or mass-produced. In addition to this, they are shaken up during transit causing them to be mixed even more thoroughly. However, some flavors may not be fully developed even after a month or two of steeping. It’s perfectly fine to steep them for an additional amount of time. Conversely, e-liquids that are made fresh to order are going to require at least two weeks of steeping time, so put your juice up and be patient. It’s worth it in the long run!

Steeping Vape Juice – Science behind the Practice

Several customers have asked me if there is any science behind steeping. While there are no quantitative studies, I found a qualitative experiment carried out by the Ashtray Blog.
During the Ashtray Blog’s study, they sent steeped and unsteeped e-liquid to a selection of vapers and asked them to rate the flavor and throat hit of their juice on a scale of 1-10. Their study was a single-blind study, meaning only the researchers knew what was different about each bottle. Also, to control for error, they gave the same flavor to each vaper. Ashtray Blog found that the flavor of steeped e-liquids compared to unsteeped was rated 8.11 to 6.33 respectively. The throat hit was rate.
This small study shows that steeping may have a significant impact on your vaping experience. As the saying goes, “good things come to those who wait!”
Ways to Steep E-Juice: 3 Similar But Commonly Confused Methods
There are several methods to age e-juice which fall under the broad category of “steeping.” These are steeping, breathing, and streathing.
You can age your e-juice by steeping it which is placing it in a cool dark place, breathing which is removing the cap and allowing it to oxidize, and “streathing” which is a combination of both. We will go into detail on each method below.
How to Steep E-Juice
Steeping e-juice is simple. It involves putting your e-liquid in a cool dark place such as a dresser drawer, the back of your closet, a cupboard or a cigar box. To expedite the process, we recommend shaking your bottles at least twice a day. While shaking your e-liquid can speed up the process, the truth is that steeping takes time. Test your e-liquid once a week until you are satisfied with the flavor.
How To Breathe E-Juice
Breathing and steeping are sometimes confused as being the same thing, but breathing is an entirely different process. To let you e-liquid breathe, remove the cap and drip tip from your bottle and let it breathe for 2-4 hours. E-juices that contain alcohol will benefit the most from breathing, since exposing alcohol to air speeds up the evaporation process. If you are going to breathe your e-juice for an extended period, we suggest no more than 24 hours in a single setting. To avoid spills, make sure that the e-juice that you are breathing is in a place that it is not likely to get knocked over.
How To Streath E-juice
“Streathing” is a combination of breathing and steeping and differs slightly from both the parent processes. The first step to streathing your e-liquid is to put it in warm water for 15-30 minutes. Once the e-liquid is warmed, you need to remove the tip and cap from the bottles and let them breathe for a minimum of two hours. Next, you cap the bottles and squeeze them to remove the excess air. Afterward, store the vape juice in a cool dark place to age for at least a week. Test the vape juice, and if it’s not to your liking, repeat the process until you feel that is ready to vape.
The process of heating your vape juice makes the vegetable glycerin less vicious and allows the e-liquid to mix more thoroughly. Thinning out the solution enables the flavor molecules to blend more quickly, thus shortening the length of time that you need the e-liquids to be steep. Once your vape juice is cooled the consistency will return to normal, and you will have a more mature flavor profile.
How Long Does Steeping E-Juice Take?
Determining how long you should steep your vape juice is relative, although the flavor profile of your particular vape juice should be taken into consideration. Dessert flavors, creamy flavors, and tobacco flavors take the most amount of time to steep. Contrast those with fruity flavors and less complex recipes that can be ready to vape immediately after mixing. We recommend at least 2-4 weeks steeping time for dessert flavors and 3-7 days for fruity flavors.

While most fruity flavors steep relatively quickly, citrus flavors such as lemon and lime take a little bit longer to steep. The reason that citrus flavors take longer to steep is that they tend to be a little harsher out the gate.
If you purchase e-juice from a shop, check your bottle for a “born on” or expiration date. Vape juice has a shelf life of two years. So, if it’s only been a month or two since the e-juice was produced, then it may benefit from a steep. Old juice, on the other hand, most likely will not improve by steeping.

The point of steeping your vape juice is to achieve the taste that is right for you, if your vape tastes good for you then steeping it further is not necessary. Some people let their vape juice steep for a couple of weeks, while others may wait six months. The choice is yours!
Vape Juice Steeping Methods:
Listed below are nearly twenty alternative methods that you can use to steep your e-liquid. Keep in mind, not all these methods are the most practical and some require you to keep a close eye on your vape juice and equipment.
Method 1: Steeping your E-juice In A Hot Bath
Many DIYers swear by this method and is one of the most commonly used practices to steep e-liquid.
1.Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water. Avoid making the water hot to touch. Temperatures that are too high may erode the flavor of your vape juice
2.Seal your bottles in an airtight bag
3.Remove your bottles once they reach room temperature
4.Uncap your bottles, to let the e-liquid breathe
5.Recap your bottles and shake them vigorously
Method 2: Steeping Your E-Juice In A Shallow Bath
This method is similar to method 1, except that you will not wholly submerge your e-liquids in water.
1.Fill a container with enough warm water to submerge your bottles halfway
2.Remove the cap and drip tips from your bottles to allow them to breathe
3.Remove your e-liquid once the water is cool
4.Put the drip tip and cap on the bottles and shake well
Method 3: Steeping Your E-juice Using A Slow Cooker
1.Fill your crockpot with water
2.Place your e-liquid bottles in Ziplock bags and submerge them in warm water
3.Turn your crockpot on to the lowest setting
4.Leave them in the crockpot for at least 30 minutes and no longer than two hours
5.Remove your e-liquid from the crockpot, uncap it for a few hours, then recap and shake well
Method 4: Steeping Your E-juice Using A Slow Cooker And A Bowl
1.Place a heat resistant bowl in your crockpot and fill it with warm water
2.Put your bottles of vape juice into the bowl
3.Use the lowest setting on your crock-pot and leave for thirty minutes to four hours
4.Uncap your bottles, recap them and shake them vigorously
Method 5: Steeping Your E-juice Using Your Car 
If you live in a warm climate or it’s summertime, then you can steep your e-liquids in your car
1.Place your vape juice into a sealed bag to prevent leaks
2.Insert your sealed vape juice into your glove box
3.Remove your vape juice after one day
4.Uncap your vape juice to let it breathe, recap, then shake well
Method 6: Steeping Your E-juice Using A Space Heater
1.Place your space heater on the lowest setting
2.Place your bottles far away enough from the heater to become warm. Take caution when doing this with plastic bottles
3.Leave them for 30 minutes to an hour, let them cool then shake them vigorously.
4.Repeat as necessary
Method 7: Steeping Your E-juice Using A Space Heater And A Mason Jar
1.Set your space heater on low or medium
2.Put your bottles in a Ziplock bag then seal them in the mason jar
3.Position your mason jar a foot away from your space heater
4.Heat for up to four hours
5.Uncap them to breathe, recap, and shake well
Method 8: Steeping Your Vape Juice Using An Electric Dryer
1.Place the bottles in a Ziplock bag and remove the air from the container
2.Insert those bagged bottles into a sock and seal the sock with a rubber band
3.Place the sealed sock in the dryer and run it on low for 15-20 minutes
4.Remove the bottles, uncap them, let them breathe, then cap and shake well
Method 9: Steeping E-juice Using Your Microwave
1.Place your bottles in the microwave and heat them for 10 seconds on low. Be sure that your vape juice bottles are in microwave-safe bottles
2.Let your e-juice breathe by uncapping it, recap, and shake well
3.Test out your e-liquid and repeat if necessary
Method #10: Steeping Your E-juice Using Hot Rice
1.Fill a microwave-safe bowl with dry rice
2.Heat the rice until it is hot
3.Place your bottles of e-juice in a separate bowl and cover them with rice
4.Once the rice is cooled check your vape juice
5.Let your e-liquid breathe, recap, and shake well
6.Repeat as necessary until you achieve the desired taste
Method 11: Steeping Your E-juice Using A Coffee Mug Warmer
1.Place your e-juice bottle in the coffee mug
2.Cover them in dry rice
3.Place the cup on the warmer for 1-2 hours
4.Breath and shake you e-liquid
5.Repeat until you are happy with the flavor
Method 12: Steeping Your E-juice Using An Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner
1.Fill the jewelry cleaner with water as specified in the manual
2.Place your e-juice bottles in the water
3.Heat for 30 minutes
4.Let the bottles breathe and recap
5.Shake well and repeat as necessary
Method 13: Steeping Your E-Juice Using A Candle Warmer
1.Place your e-juice in the candle warmer
2.Let it sit for thirty minutes to an hour
3.Breathe, shake and repeat as necessary
Method 14: Seed Steeping
Seed steeping is where you take a portion of steeped vape juice from the same recipe and add it to a new version of that same recipe. The more mature that the steeped e-liquid is, the better your seeded juice will be.
1.Using a syringe, remove 10 percent of the liquid from e-juice that has already steeped
2.Next, remove 10 percent from the fresh batch
3.Add the 10 percent of the steeped juice to the fresh juice
4.Shake well
5.Let it sit for a week
Method 15: Steeping Your Vape Juice Using A Magnetic Stirrer
A magnetic stirrer may expedite the steeping process many folds. It works just like a fast mixer, allowing air to interact with vape juice components at a higher speed than traditional breathing.
1.Uncap and untip your e-juice and place the metallic stirring beads into your e-liquid solution
2.Place your e-juice on the mixer and stir for up to 30 minutes
3.Cap the bottles and let them sit overnight
4.Streath your bottles the next day and let them steep for 1-7 days
5.Repeat these steps if you are not satisfied with the flavor
Method 16: Steeping Vape Juice Using A Laptop Or Computer
This is amongst the worst methods for steeping your e-juice and should be used with caution. Spilling e-juice on your laptop or computer may cause permanent damage. Since laptops and desktop emit hot air, they may assist with steeping.
1.Keep the e-juice near the exhaust for your laptop or desktop while you are working
2.When you are finished working shake you vape juice well, and let it breathe
3.Repeat if necessary
There you have it! Now you know sixteen creative ways to increase the speed of the steeping process. Some of the methods that we listed are more commonly practiced than others and while a couple that we mentioned are a little left field. However, if you follow the instructions, they will all work. However, if you are not comfortable using any of these methods then have patience, your e-liquid will get better with time.
You can get creative when figuring out ways to steep e-liquid. However, safety comes first! Pick a method that suits you and perfects it over time.
Let’s Wrap Up This Flavorful Discussion
To summarize

Steeping your e-juice enhances the flavor profile greatly
Steeping is a result of oxidation, a process in which the oxygen in our air interact with vape juice, causing the flavors to meld together and change colors over time
Anecdotal evidence and lose research suggests that vapers prefer steeped e-liquid over fresh. Another reason to purchase our e-liquids! Hint hint…;)Not all flavors require steeping, but certain flavors need it
Conventional methods of aging your e-juice include steeping, breathing, and streathing
You can use many appliances around your house to expedite the steeping process
Steeping requires patience
I hope that this guide answered many of your questions about steeping.

“Breathe Easy!”