Last fact-checked 16 October 2020 | Report a factual error on this article
Starting to lose track of your shortfill collection? We’ve all been there! Half-full bottles of e-liquid have a habit of multiplying over time, and if you’re not organised, you can waste a lot of money on perfectly good vape juice.
As your e-liquid collection grows, storage becomes more and more important. Properly-stored e-liquids should last for years. Keep them in a cool, dark, secure location and you’ll get a better tasting vape, save money on spoiled juice and keep kids and pets safe, too.
The Types of E-Liquid Storage you might need:
Whether you’re an avid collector or a tired parent (or both!), there’s a simple, cost-effective storage solution for you.
The first thing you should do is think about what sort of a vaper you are. If you like one particular all-day-vape and you bulk-buy your shortfill, then your storage requirements will be totally different to someone who drip-vapes a wide range of flavours.
Volume Storage (Large Shortfill Bottles)
When you bulk-buy your favourite e-liquid, you save a lot of money, but you also end up with pints of shortfill e-liquid in your home. It’s a great way to get the best price on premium vape juice, but it all has to be stored somewhere.
A kitchen or desk drawer is probably too shallow for the larger bottles — you’ll most likely need some cupboard space. Pick a cupboard far away from radiators, boilers and hot cooking areas, as any exposure to excess heat is going to shorten the shelf life of your shortfill. If you’ve got kids, then pick up a couple of cabinet latches or child safety locks, just so that your e-liquid is kept out of reach at all times.
Variety Storage (Small Unicorn Bottles & Nicotine Boosters)
If you're an RDA user, you’ll know that there’s no greater pleasure than exploring all the different flavours that vaping has to offer (learn more about drip vaping and RDAs here). After a few months of dripping, you’ll usually find yourself looking out on a sea of half-full unicorn bottles. This is an expensive way to vape if you can’t keep your vape juice collection organised.
If you just need a way to keep 5 or 6 flavours organised then an anti-slip drawer lining, ideally in a lockable drawer, will work perfectly for you. For larger collections, a cutlery tray or haberdashery box could be just what you need. The key thing to remember is that your collection must be kept out of reach of children at all times, and transparent sides are a bad idea (you want to store e-liquids in the dark, ideally).
Keeping e-liquids away from children
E-Liquids should always be kept out of reach of children and pets. The simplest way to do this is to treat your vape juice bottles the same way you would treat cleaning products or medicines. These four easy-to-follow steps will help you keep e-liquid out of reach of tiny hands: footnote 1
- Keep e-liquid bottles out of sight. If kids can’t see your vape juice, they won’t be tempted.
- Keep e-liquid bottles out of reach. Locked drawers, cupboards with child-resistant catches and high shelves are ideal.
- Move e-liquid out of reach if you are called away while you’re refilling your vape device. Your e-liquid storage plan should cover what happens if the doorbell rings.
- Dispose of empty containers safely. Don’t just drop your spent unicorn bottle in a wastepaper basket — take it out of the house and put it directly in your wheelie bin if you have to.
For more information on child-proofing your home, take a look at the The Child Accident Prevention Trust website, capt.org.uk. CAPT’s free resources and publications on home safety and poisoning prevention can be found at the link below:
Our Advice: Don’t Store E-Liquid In The Fridge
You should avoid exposing your e-liquid to extreme heat or bright sunlight, but that doesn’t mean you have to chill it. In fact, storing e-liquid in the fridge or freezer can have a detrimental effect on your vaping experience, and it might end up costing you more in the long run. Here are the three main reasons why not to chill your vape juice...
1: Vape juice can lose its flavour in the fridge
If you’ve ever kept honey or maple syrup in the fridge, you will have noticed small sugar crystals form in the container over time. This process is called crystallisation, and it can happen in e-liquids when they’re stored below room temperature.
The main ingredients of e-liquid (Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin) are very stable and can ‘handle the chill’ of a fridge without suffering from crystallisation footnote 2 , but the same can’t always be said of the flavourings that get added to that VG/PG mix. If some parts of your e-liquid’s flavour start to crystallise, those crystals won’t soak through your wick and reach your heating coil. That’s why a refrigerated vape juice doesn’t always taste right.
2: Chilled e-liquid makes your atomiser work harder
Most homes in England are at least 18°C indoors, whereas a fridge is usually 3-5°C footnote 3 … that’s a temperature differential of around 15°C. If your vape device is constantly having to heat up your e-liquid by an extra 15°C just to reach ‘vaping temperature’, that’s going to put added strain on your batteries and your coils. Over time, you’ll spend more on your hardware by vaping straight from the fridge, which will wipe out any savings you were planning to make by extending the shelf life of your e-liquid.
3. Condensation can form inside the unicorn bottle
As you vape your way through a bottle of e-liquid, you create an empty space inside the bottle. Warm, moist air sneaks in to fill this empty space, and this air can create condensation inside the bottle when you leave it in the fridge. Condensation messes with the flavours and the consistency of your vaping experience and it’s completely avoidable. Just keep your e-liquid at room temperature all the time!
How long can you store e-liquid?
E-Liquid is very stable stuff, and it doesn’t ‘go off’ in the same way that food or drink does. What does fade, over time, is the nicotine strength, the colour and some of the flavour.
Most e-liquid should last for six months or more, and it should still be safe after the expiry date. If you’d like to learn more, we’ve explained how e-liquid expiry dates work in our recent mystery boxes article.
We hope this article has given you some ideas on how best to store your e-liquid. Just remember the simplest solutions are often the best ones!
Stay safe and happy vaping!
- John Boughey
Links & Citations
These tips on how to keep e-liquids safe from children have been adapted from the NI Direct website’s article titled “Keeping children safe from poisonous substances”. Yo ucan read their advice in full at the link below:
“Chemically, glycerine is a trihydric alcohol which is very stable under most conditions, but which can be reacted to form many derivatives. Physically. it is a clear, almost colorless, viscous, high-boiling liquid miscible with water and alcohol, and like these materials, a good solvent. At low temperatures, glycerine tends to supercool, rather than crystallize. Water solutions of glycerine resist freezing, a property responsible for glycerine's use as a permanent antifreeze in cooling systems.”
See page 6 of “Glycerine: an overview” by the US-based SDA, published in 1990 and available at the link below:
Public Health England recommendations use 18 degrees celsius as a benchmark indoor winter temperature. Their full advice can be found in “The Cold Weather Plan for England”
The Food Standards Agency states that “Your fridge should be 5°C or below.” You can learn more at https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/chilling