Oops, You Accidentally Left that Bottle of E-Liquid Opened
An open bottle of e-liquid can be quite an unsettling sight. If you stock up on e-juice in bulk, you might find that once in a while you discover that a bottle has been sitting without its cap on your shelf for quite a while. Or, maybe, you lost the cap and have been letting it sit somewhere, hoping to use it up before it’s no longer good.
If your bottle of vape juice has been without its cap for a while, you don’t necessarily need to panic. There are a lot of things to take into consideration before determining whether or not that juice is simply no good anymore. This guide will help you figure out what to do.
What Happens When You Leave Your Bottle of E-Liquid Open for Too Long?
Vape juice likes to stay in a closed bottle. That’s because oxidization occurs when oxygen enters the e-liquid. This changes the molecular composition of your e-liquid, meaning that certain molecules evaporate, allowing other types of molecules to exist in stronger concentrations.
So, what does that mean? If your bottle of e-liquid has been open for too long, certain flavor and nicotine molecules will eventually dissipate into the air. This can leave you with a vape juice that has a poor flavor and doesn’t deliver nearly enough nicotine to satisfy your needs.
But, before we explain how long it takes for your vape juice to be “unvapeable,” we have to explain how oxidization works.
Steeping vs. Leaving a Bottle Open
Most of us have figured out the importance of steeping a vape juice after purchasing it. This process involves storing e-liquid bottles in an environment that promotes the perfect amount of oxidization to occur. Most juices are not properly steeped before they make their way to your home, meaning that there’s a lot of unnecessary molecular activity going on in there.
Steeping an e-juice is a lot like aging a wine. Over time, trace amounts of oxygen allow the flavor to become more concentrated as unnecessary molecules bond with others and evaporate. Steeping your juice, therefore, brings out its best flavor and makes the nicotine more potent.
But, there’s a difference between steeping your vape juice and letting it over-oxidize due to leaving off its cap. While wine tends to taste better with age, simply leaving an open bottle on your kitchen counter can leave you with a vinegar-like flavor that’s disgusting, not to mention a total evaporation of its alcoholic content. This is a lot like what happens when we leave our e-liquid bottle unopened for too long. As oxidization goes on, its flavor weakens, and the nicotine evaporates into the air.
Does Vape Juice Actually Go Bad?
Just because your e-juice has over-oxidized doesn’t mean that it’s gone “bad.” It doesn’t actually go rancid because none of the ingredients are prone to decomposing. Instead, it just won’t deliver the vaping experience that you want.
When is it Time to Throw Out a Bottle of E-Liquid That’s Been Open?
If your bottle of e-liquid has been open for a while, give it a good sniff. Can you still smell the flavor profile that it’s supposed to have? If so, try vaping it. Does it hit properly? Does it taste harsh or unpleasant? Does it produce any vapor? Are you getting a good amount of nicotine?
Another way to tell if your e-liquid has over-oxidized is by looking at it. If the color is unusually dark, it’s probably been left open for too long.
By answering these questions, you’ll know if that e-liquid is still worth vaping.
It’s Not All Waste
If you do decide that your e-liquid is no longer worth vaping, at least you can save the bottle. Pour out the remaining vape juice and give the bottle a good rinse in hot water. It might come in handy at a later time.
Don’t Be Too Worried
While e-liquid can over-oxidize if its cap is left off for too long, it won’t make you sick. It’s up to you to decide if it’s still worth vaping or not.