E Liquid: Nicotine and Oxidation
Unless you're an experienced e-liquid mixer, the concept of nicotine oxidation probably isn't one you regularly encounter. Still, it can have a big effect on the quality of your juice, so let's spend a few minutes exploring what it means, and how to avoid it.
First, Wikipedia defines oxidation as "the loss of electrons or an increase in oxidation state by a molecule, atom, or ion."
Does that mean absolutely nothing to you? Good, we're on the same page. Moving on…
As e liquid nicotine extract (both plant-based and lab-formulated) ages or is exposed to heat, light, or oxygen, it oxidizes. That is to say, it degrades in quality. The first thing you'll notice is that the color of the liquid it's suspended in darkens noticeably. The nicotine will also acquire a sharp taste that's often described as "peppery."
If you've ever left a bottle of e liquid in a hot car for a few days (particularly if it has a nic level of 6 mg/ml or higher), you may have noticed that you'll come back to a darker, possibly thicker juice inside the bottle. This is partially attributable to sweeteners crystalizing, but it's also affecting your nicotine base.
Why is this a bad thing? First, the obvious – you probably didn't spend your hard-earned money to get harsh tasting premium juice. Further, the "gunkier" e liquid that results could result in premature coil failure, which is a big deal if you're paying upwards of $3 apiece for the disposable coils newer high-end clearomizers demand.
How do you avoid oxidation? On your end the job is pretty simple, but the problem is that you don’t control what happens with your e liquid before it arrives in your hands. Since oxidized nicotine is often considered spoiled, it's sold cheaper than top-quality product and often finds its way into bargain-basement brands of e liquid.
One way to avoid this situation is to deal with trusted vendors of top-shelf liquids – we're sure there are others out there, but we pride ourselves on being one of the biggest and best online shops around. With the volume we process and frequent clearances on older stock, there's no chance of getting an outdated bottle from Breazy. Plus, we test our product lines before deciding which products to stock, which also allows us to provide a juice review catalog nearly as massive as our selection.
Look for more in the next few days on how to avoid oxidation and premature aging that will keep your liquid in top shape from the time you crack the bottle until you're squeezing the last drops from the bottom of a new favorite. Happy vapor trails!