Vape Juice Viscosity — How to Make Your Vape Juice Thicker or Thinner
Finding an e-liquid that hits the nail on the head for you can be tricky. A lot of it has to do with vape juice flavors — some you like, some you don’t. And some are jackpot incarnate.
But, a lot of times, it’s the feel of the vape juice that’s a bit… off. It doesn’t really fill up your lungs. It’s not full-bodied. Or it’s too full-bodied.
All of this has to do with how thick – or thin – your vape juice is. This is called vape juice viscosity. And it can make or break your vaping experience.
That’s why, in this post, we’ll focus on some of the things you can do to get that vape juice viscosity just right. Because it is something that can be tweaked.
Here’s what we’ll focus on:
·What is e-juice viscosity (and what’s e-juice, for that matter);
·Why is vape juice thickness (or vape juice thinness) important;
·3 ways to make your vape juice thicker;
·5 ways to make your vape juice thinner.
Let’s dig into it.
What is E-Liquid Viscosity?
Wikipedia defines viscosity as “a fluid is a measure of its resistance to deformation at a given rate”.
Basically, it’s why syrup is thick and water is a-flowin’.
The higher the viscosity of an e-liquid, the worse the absorption properties get since it means that the liquid is too grimy to be absorbed the right way.
Essentially, thicker juices can’t carry flavor properly. But, they produce more vapor. And vice versa. We’ll get deeper into that in a moment, but that’s the heart of the debate — and the reasons behind why some vapers prefer thicker vape juices, and others prefer thinner vape juices.
What Goes Into an E-Liquid (Well, Usually)?
The two compounds which make the base of an e-liquid are:
· Vegetable glycerin
· Propylene glycol
Other ingredients include:
·Throating agents (rarely)
Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
Derived from vegetable oils, this natural chemical’s main role is to suspend other ingredients. VG is also called a base liquid (cause it’s usually one of two predominant ingredients, the other one being PG).
Vegetable glycerin’s defining characteristic is its sweetness, thickness, and the propensity to create bigger clouds. It provides a much smoother feel on inhale than its counterpart, which makes it more suitable for sub-ohm vaping.
Propylene Glycol (PG)
This odorless and somewhat tasteless substance can be found as an additive in various foods, drugs, and everyday items such as toothpaste and antifreeze.
It has been declared safe for consumption by the FDA. Again, PG is a base ingredient – like VG, it takes up the most space in your vape juice. PG and VG can be mixed in different ratios, but the most common one 80% PG to 20% VG + flavorings and nicotine.
It’s the flavorings that make your vape juice pop, right?
That’s why e-juice manufacturers are going all out on them. Right now, there are more than 7,000 kinds of vape juice flavors out there. Some of them are synthetic. Others are natural. Some are delicious. And others are gross.
Sweeteners, throating agents, souring agents, and other additives can also be found in some e-juices. Their main purpose is to basically boost up the flavor — make it sweeter, more pronounced, or more acidic, depending on the additive used.
Nicotine is the final and optional ingredient in an e-liquid.
When you purchase a bottle of e-liquid, it is up to you to decide with how much (if any at all) nicotine will the liquid be diluted. Both naturally and synthetically produced types of nicotine are used.
Nic salts have recently become popular in use with pod systems.
They provide a much more pronounced throat hit, and are suitable for people who desperately want to lay off cigarettes for good but need a very similar experience to do so.
Why is Thinness (or Thickness) of Vape Important?
As I mentioned above, there are several reasons why you want to pay attention to the thickness and thinness of your vape juice.
Here are the four most important ones.
Smooth hit. Harsh hit. And everything in between.
How your liquid behaves has a major impact on how it feels when you’re vaping. High PG – thinner vape but with more of a throat hit. High VG – fuller vape, not so much throat hit.
Liquids that are richer in VG have a smoother feel but a slightly weaker flavor. You can always turn up your wattage a little bit in order to compensate.
The Vapor Production
High VG vape juices are better at producing thicker, better clouds. Pure VG is the best if you’re interested in cloud-chasing. However, if you take this route, you’re losing out on flavor. For better flavor, juices that are at least 50% PG tend to perform better. Generally, most vapers opt for 75% PG and 25% VG to get the best of both worlds.
Sometimes, certain e-liquids can clog your coils which results in poor flavor, short coil life, and sometimes even dry hits.
Not all coil cotton wicks can withstand all e-liquid viscosity levels. Thinning out your juice is useful if you feel that it is too viscous for your wick. If you are using a smaller pen-style vaporizer, it’s best to stick to 50/50 VG/PG liquids.
Thickening out your juice on the other hand can help reduce tamp down on leaks since the increase in viscosity will not allow the juice to flow freely.
If your tank is constantly oozing through the ports, messing up everything that you have in your pockets (from your keys to your phone), consider using a thicker vape juice.
3 Ways to Make Your Favorite Vape Juice Thicker
Add pure VG
As we have established in the sections above, VG is much more viscous than PG. Adding more pure VG into your vape juice will significantly improve the density and the size of your clouds.
However, the downside to adding more VG is that it will dilute the flavor and possibly lower the nicotine level.
Add VG based flavoring
In order to boost up the flavor of your juice look for flavorings that are suspended in VG. This may be a bit of a challenge since most commercially sold vape juices are suspended in PG.
Put it in a refrigerator.
Placing your vape juice bottles in a refrigerator (especially during the summer) can significantly thicken them out.
5 Ways to Make Your Favorite Vape Juice Thinner
Thickening out vape juice is a pain (as you can see). Generally, you’re stuck with using PG or chilling it out until you get to the desired consistency.
But… if you want to thin out your vape juice, you have more options.
Let’s find out what those options are.
Propanediol or PDO for short is a PG alternative. Since it has some of PG’s characteristics, PDO is an effective preventive measure for impending allergic reactions.
It is, however, a bit more expensive and slightly weaker in terms of carrying flavor than PG.
Add about 5-7% of distilled water into your liquid. Make sure you use purified distilled water from a pharmacy, and do not use tap water.
Deionized water was used by vapers in the recent past, but it’s not recommended anymore because de-ionisation only removes the water’s minerals and not the bacteria. It’s not designed for food consumption.
Aqueous Glycerin (AG)
This PG alternative is basically VG but diluted with 20% of distilled water.
The benefit of adding AG to your liquid is that it will lower its viscosity to that of a 50/50 VG/PG liquid, which can definitely prolong your coil life and improve the smoothness of your vape.
This one is for all you boozers out there! I’m guessing you didn’t know that you can add a drop of vodka to your juice to thin it out?
Well, you can.
Adding about 5-7% of vodka to your e-liquid will thin it out nicely. This is why many vapers suggest using vodka to clean coil heads.
But don’t go overboard. Usually, 5 to 7% of alcohol will thin out your vape juice nicely. Any more than that will burn your throat right off. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Keep in mind that adding vodka will also slightly increase the throat hit.
Water For Injection (WFI)
Used frequently in medicine, WFI is sterilized and contains no additives. WFI can be found in local pharmacies, and there’s no danger in adding it to your vape juice (but keep it to a 4-6% mark).
Tweak Your Vape Juice Viscosity to Get the Most out of Your E-Liquids
So what are the key takeaways here?
Well, for one, it’s that the flavor is not just affected by the flavorings… it’s also affected by other vape juice ingredients.
And the second takeaway is — play with your vape juice viscosity to create a vaping experience that suits you.
Thinning out a vape juice (or thickening it) is not difficult, and it can make a huge difference. If you’re into cloud-chasing, go with high VG juices. If you’re into superb flavor, give that high PG a chance.