Have you ever left a bottle of e-liquid rolling around in a drawer, only to come back to it weeks or months later to find that it tasted a little off? Or like nothing at all?
It's happened to most vapers at one point or another, especially when you're new and still in the phase of "I must try all the flavors!" because some will inevitably get left behind. Then a rainy day rolls around, or you're almost out of juice, and you remember where you stashed it.
And it's nothing but one big flavorless disappointment.
By the time you're done reading this post, you'll know exactly how proper e-liquid storage works and, perhaps more importantly, why it's so important to store e-liquid properly.
Here's what you'll learn:
None of the above requires any fancy storage equipment, expensive cases, or anything else you aren't likely to have. At the most, we may recommend picking up different bottle types (colored glass) that could run you a few dollars, but that's about it.
Two quick points.
If you tend to use up your e-liquid within 7-10 days, you probably don't need to do anything special to keep it fresh. Keep it in a cool, dry area away from children or pets and you're all set.
The Premium High VG e-liquid that we have here at Velvet Cloud is ready to be enjoyed the moment you receive it. While some users may choose to do so, no steeping or aeration will ever be necessary.
Anyway, let's first discuss why e-liquid goes bad and what the culprit is.
Imagine that a friend asked you to look after a fine bottle of wine for them while they were on a trip for a few weeks. Not being a sommelier of any description, you decide to pop the cork out and put the wine in a warm room where sunlight can blast it all day. How do you think that wine would taste by the time they got back?
Needless to say, your friend would probably be pretty upset.
While e-liquid and wine are obviously quite different, the same principles apply. Air, light, and/or heat can absolutely wreck the flavor of your e-liquid. If you try to vape an improperly stored e-liquid after too long a period of time, it's going to either taste like nothing or really, really bad.
Interestingly, note that the nicotine content of your juice (if you have any) is unlikely to degrade quite as quickly as the flavoring. So, if you ever find yourself in a situation where all you have is "spoiled" e-liquid but you still need a fix, you're typically still good to go. It's just going to be pretty nasty and we wouldn't recommend it.
These things change it chemically.
Well, let's tackle air first, because that's the hardest one to avoid (obviously) but it's also the least troublesome.
Basically, air will oxidize the product and impact the flavor profile. A little bit of air won't have a noticeable effect (e.g., the empty space at the top of your bottle, opening the bottle to use it, and so on). Some vapers even aerate their e-liquids by leaving the cap off for 1-2 days to change the flavor profile (generally to reduce the strength of a too-powerful flavor).
However, introduce too much oxygen, and you're going to have problems. What really sets the oxidation process into full swing is exposure is UV light, AKA sunlight. The lights in your room or office will have an effect too, but nowhere near as much as natural light. UV light excites molecules, which causes chemical structures to change. Translated, that means sunlight is bad if you want to keep your flavors the same.
Heat will have a similar effect as UV light. Higher temperatures excite and change the chemical structure of your e-liquid, and too much of it will result in a bland flavor at best. We know someone who once forgot a bottle of their all-day liquid of choice in the glove compartment of the family car for three days. Pair this with the 100-degree-plus California heat and, well, you can guess how that worked out.
Avoid heat, light, and air as much as possible to preserve the flavor profile of your e-liquid.
Consider short-term storage to be longer than about a week but less than a month. In these situations, pick a cool, dry, and dark place. High up on the shelf of an unused cabinet should do the trick. Make sure your caps are screwed on tightly. If you're using plastic bottles, squeeze as much of the excess air out as possible, then screw the cap on tightly.
Long-term storage is any period of time exceeding one month. Switch your e-liquids over to tinted glass containers. The tinting will keep light out and the glass will prevent the plastic from allowing any air inside (plastic is more porous than glass). Next, put your e-liquids in the fridge. The cold temperature will slow down the molecular structure of the liquid, which will significantly slow down any changes that might take place.
A note on storing your e-liquids in the freezer: you can do it, and in some cases it may even be preferable. PG liquids aren't likely to entirely freeze over, but max VG liquids like ours might—so the fridge rather than the freezer will be more than good enough.
...Because once you try our max VG liquids, you'll be so blown away by the quality and flavor they won't last very long!
Just kidding. Sort of.