Oxidation of E-Juice and Flavor

E-Liquid is a staple in the vaping industry, whether you are a retailer or user. As it is the one main item that stays constant in vaping, it affects vapers of all kinds, whether they use box mods or pod systems, MTL or DTL vaping. Aside from leakage and spills, e-liquid can become a worry when it begins to turn dark as this is the substance that we, as vapers, are putting into our bodies. This changing of color is nothing to be afraid of, as it is a natural process that happens to e-liquid for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a deeper look into e-liquid and the things that can affect it for darkening.


E-Liquid can turn dark for a variety of reasons. One of them being artificial sweeteners or sugars. Just like how making caramel uses white sugar and heat to make thick brown caramel, the same concept applies to e-liquid. E-liquids that are overtly sweet, will usually have added sugars or sweeteners within turning the liquid to a darker shade than the clear e-liquid we are used to seeing. In addition, heat from the coil will speed up this change, as the e-liquid is vaporized by a heating coil structure within. Inevitably, this heat will radiate out from the coil heating element and to the tank, slowly changing the color of your filled e-liquid.


Another big aspect of e-liquid coloring change is the storage. Storing e-liquid in a cool dark environment will definitely play a big factor in the development of flavor and color in an e-liquid. E-Liquid undergoes a process of steeping, an oxidizing process that helps flavors develop. This process can produce some coloration, but greatly enhances the flavor. The issue with this is that some manufacturers will pre-steep their e-liquid, making them ready to vape out of the bottle at their optimal flavor level. Other manufacturers will simply bottle the e-liquid without steeping, allowing the buyer to steep the e-liquid to their desired degree. Taste is heavily subjective and this can affect the taste of the e-liquid especially if it has not been steeped by the manufacturer. Please note that with the addition of excessive oxygen, nicotine and flavorings within e-liquid can and will eventually deteriorate, contributing to the darker color. Finding the sweet spot between steeping and totally destroying the e-liquid to maximize flavor. Thankfully, the window between the two is large and should be done according to taste.

To steep e-liquid, you would allow the e-liquid to sit in a dark place over the span of a few days, occasionally burping and shaking the bottle by allowing fresh oxygen to enter the e-liquid, while removing the degassed vapors. This allows the flavorings to develop and mix with the other ingredients within your e-liquid blend. A general rule of thumb is the more complex your e-liquid is, the more it will benefit from steeping. This holds true for many tobacco or cream flavors, and strangely applies to banana flavors. 


Shipping can also affect the color of e-liquid. Whether the e-liquid is moving from the manufacturers to us, or from us to you, many of these packages or boxes can be spending time in hot semi-trucks, warehouses, or delivery vans, depending on your location and weather conditions. This heat can definitely play a part in altering the color of e-liquid, resulting in a darker shade of e-liquid that you may be accustomed to. Do not fear, as it should not have sat long enough to deteriorate the quality of e-liquid or compromised any of the flavor.


Another thing to take into account for e-liquid is that we are currently in the middle of a pandemic. Although it seems like a separate issue, the vaping supply chain has been affected during this global pandemic. Some manufacturers have weathered through better than others, but there have been quite a few changes of nicotine suppliers and other essential components of e-liquid and vape hardware as well that have to be sourced elsewhere. This can play a contributing factor in flavor of e-liquid. At Elementvape.com, we look to source the freshest e-liquid possible, to ensure the proper shelf life in consideration of our valued customers. Our Purchasing Manager and Receiving Team keep a sharp eye for best by dates and maintain a strong policy in regards to the e-liquid that we purchase for sale to the vaping community. However, if you would like a deeper look into your e-liquid and further information, feel free to contact the manufacturers and reference the batch number that can be found on the bottle or packaging.

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