Clearing the Air About E-Liquid “Steeping”

in wc

I’m going to risk the age-old adage and make an assumption: I bet most of you reading this have explored other sites to learn about e-cigarettes. Maybe not to buy them, but rather to learn e-cig terminology, best practices and whatnot.

Since that went so well, let’s make another assumption: In your quest for e-cig knowledge, you’ve come across the term “steeping,” related to e-liquid. This common but misguided practice centers on the idea that nicotine-based e-cigarette liquid needs proper time and environment in order to achieve its intended flavor.

Common Misconceptions About E-Liquid Steeping & Storing

You’ve probably heard tales of how cool, dark environments are the lifeblood of a “proper” vaping experience. Maybe you’ve been told how steeping allows flavors to ripen, like a fine Malbec, or that a well-steeped tank is more potent and strengthens the nicotine.

You heard wrong. But don’t fret. You’re not alone. Let’s go through three of the most common misconceptions about this ultimately meaningless practice, so you don’t get fooled into treating your tanks like Cuban cigars…

Misconception #1: Steeping Will Allow E-Liquid Flavors to Meld

The truth about steeping e-liquid and flavor melding

By definition, actual steeping describes the soaking of a solid in liquid (usually water) to extract flavors or to soften intensity. The most common example is tea leaves being soaked in hot water.. Solid leaves + hot water = steeped tea. E-liquid mixtures don’t “steep” because they don’t involve solids.

While your White Cloud e-cig tanks have a good shelf life, we don’t recommend letting them sit any longer than necessary. The flavors we create – and all good e-liquid, for that matter – should be perfectly mixed from the get-go. Just get them, open them, and enjoy them. Your tank should taste just as flavorful when it’s made as when you get it, and as it does weeks later. If you have a tank that doesn’t taste right when you open the box, it’s a bad e-liquid mixture.

Misconception #2: Steeping Will Increase E-Liquid Potency

E-liquid steeping does not increase potency

Much like it is with flavor, letting your tanks sit for extended periods only ages them and renders them less effective. Over time, your liquid will darken (something devout steepers claim is a key benefit), but that isn’t flavor enhancement; it’s nicotine degradation, and it’s not particularly pleasant. This degradation will not only negatively affect an intended flavor, but it will reduce the potency of your e-liquid.

When this occurs, it’s basically breaking down the nicotine compounds of your e-liquid and lessening its overall effect. That means less satisfaction and lower-quality vaping. It may seem that you’re getting a stronger throat hit from aged tanks, but chances are you’re actually experiencing the delightful palate cleanser known as degraded nicotine. Let’s just say there’s a reason it’s not one of our e-cig flavor options.

Misconception #3: E-Liquid MUST Be Stored in Complete Darkness to Taste Right

E-liquids do not need to be stored in complete darkness

This is only partially misguided.

According to many sources, if e-liquid even sees the sun before use, it will lose all flavor, potency and ability to satisfy. Also wrong. How do we know? Because we put plastic WINDOWS on the sides of our e-tanks, and they hold up pretty well in public.

Now, there is some merit to this thinking. Yes, a tank full of e-liquid is fine in daylight and a hot day; however, if you tend to stock up on tanks in bulk, it’s not a bad idea to follow these suggestions:

  • Store your extra e-tanks in a cool and dark place. This doesn’t mean a damp corner of the basement. But perhaps a closet shelf or desk drawer would do the trick. Too much direct sunlight or excessive heat may negatively affect your liquid’s potency and flavor.
  • Do not remove e-tanks from packaging until ready to use. If you do, see the previous suggestion. It would be a real shame to waste a pack of e-cig tanks because you wanted to line them up like soldiers on your windowsill. Just keep them in the box until it’s time to come out and play in order to reduce oxygen exposure.
  • Refrigerate e-tanks, if needed. Notice I said, “if needed.” Ninety-nine times out of 100, a person’s home maintains a perfectly fine temperature in which to store e-cig tanks. But for that sweltering 1% — we’re looking at you, Guy Who Raises Burmese Pythons in the Living Room – who buy large quantities of e-tanks at once, a little refrigeration might slow down the natural aging process of your e-liquid, preserving flavor and potency for longer durations. It’s rarely necessary, but a viable option under the right circumstances.
  • What NOT to do: NEVER store your disposable e-cigs or e-tanks in the car on a sweltering hot day, and NEVER store them in the freezer, either – unless you love flavorless puffs. E-cigs should be kept at room temperature, between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, there you have it – a widely-revered vaping myth, debunked by science. So, if you’ve been sitting on a 50-pack of e-tanks, grab a crowbar, remove them from that windowless sub-basement, and start enjoying them like we intended – flavorful and satisfying, right from the outset.