Performing a quality test is important in all matters of life. Whether you’re buying a new TV, car, or even grocery items, you don’t jump to buy things immediately upon seeing them or hearing about them. The same method of analysis should be applied to your e-juices because they work as fuel to give power to your vape devices. The e-cigarette industry and vape marketplaces are filled with the best e-juices and a variety of flavors to choose from, but you can’t just add each of them to your cart. So now the question arises, on what metrics should you gauge the quality of your e-liquids? to begin with, there are actually a lot of ways you can determine e-juices quality. A few of them are listed below.
It would be best if you got your facts straight with respect to the manufacturing process of your e-liquid. In order to do that, you can browse through the website of your e-liquid brand or ask the store owner/ vendor yourself about the constituents of your e-liquid and its manufacturing process. Your e-liquids should always be pharmaceutical grade; in the US, e-liquids are listed as USP grade. It should not contain any sort of contaminants that are crossed off or banned by the FDA, like any metal, aldehyde, diacetyl, etc. it should be strictly quality and temperature controlled and thoroughly lab tested. The amount of transparency that an e-liquid brand provides you directly reciprocates the amount of quality you get in their products.
Quality of Nicotine:
e-juices have four basic ingredients: propylene glycerol (PG,) vegetable glycerol (VG,) nicotine, and artificial or natural flavoring. All of these ingredients perform their job and make up for a complete product. Nicotine is the ingredient that gives it strength and helps people who are addicted to it curb their cravings. Nicotine also comes in different forms and quality levels, such as freebase nicotine, nic salts, etc. During the manufacturing process of e-liquids, if nicotine is left exposed to the surrounding air, it reacts readily with it and gets oxidized. Oxidized nicotine gives a really peppery taste to your e-liquids and degrades the quality of your e-liquid altogether. It’s also a sign that tells that your e-liquid is expired or not appropriate to use.
The taste of your e-liquid holds value too and is a good reference point for its quality, but the taste is highly subjective and varies from person to person. Still, there are a lot of factors about the taste that can be objectively true about e-liquids. Most brands with highly complex flavor profiles tend to put more artificial flavors and sweeteners in their e-liquids than usual. As a result, the e-liquids create a lot of gunk in the coil, which ends up destroying the coil. The consistency of your e-liquid matters too, because thinner e-liquids tend to leak out of your device, while thicker e-liquids reduce the coil’s longevity.
Now you might wonder how you could tell what the e-liquid tastes like without testing it. To get a rough estimate or idea about the flavor of your e-liquid before purchasing it, you can either:
- Read the reviews of other customers
- Try sample packs of bottles of e-liquids at the store
Reviews by Other Customers:
While elsewhere, yes, the old adage of “You get what you pay for” holds true, it is not always the case with e-juice. Reading the reviews would help you get an idea about the flavor and taste, but it won’t be really helpful because everyone has different taste buds and what one person likes or holds esteem could have an opposite effect on the other. A lot of basic flavor profiles like simple fruit flavors or tobacco or mint flavors have a proven consistent result, and they taste the same to almost everyone. But you can still get a good idea about other quality indicators like e-liquid consistency and its effect on vape gear and coil longevity.
Sample Batches of E-Liquids:
Other than relying on reviews, if there’s a vape store near you, you can visit it and ask them to give you samples of the e-liquids of your choice. A lot of vape stores are quite welcoming and will give you an overview of the quality and taste of products, along with other recommendations. Still, it’s extremely hard to keep track of the entire inventory of an e-liquid store for the shopkeeper. Hence you can try out the flavors yourself and get an idea about them on your own. In addition, a lot of vape stores have a separate aisle for best sellers to help indecisive customers to make their decision based upon the experiences of other customers.
Steeping and Its Effects On Flavor:
Some e-liquids, upon purchase, would taste different and give you a chemical-like pungent smell. It’s not because they are out of date or degraded, but it’s a sign they need to be steeped before use. Freshly made e-liquids have the same issue, but they give you the best results and flavors upon steeping. Each e-liquid has its own steeping time ranging from 1-3 weeks, after which you can use them without getting a bad taste. But if your pre-steeped e-liquid is giving you a chemical-like aftertaste, then it probably has some imbalance in its composition.
Remember that the price of an e-liquid doesn’t necessarily vouch for its quality and is definitely not a good indicator of it. It all comes down to vaping what you like. When you buy a premium or good quality e-liquid, it should only mean that it’s made in the best quality and temperature-controlled environment with a team of people who are aware of ISO/GMP. Creating remarkable blends takes time and effort, with constant remodeling and countless reiterations. But afterward, it’s only a matter of branding and the way the product is marketed.