What Is Shortfill E-Liquid?

If you’re one of the many millions of people enjoying The Vape Life in Europe and the United Kingdom, you’ve undoubtedly noticed a new type of product when you’ve shopped for vape juice over the past few years. That product is shortfill e-liquid, and it has the potential to make your vaping experience dramatically more convenient if you tend to go through a lot of vape juice.

Do you use a large volume of e-liquid? Do you find yourself buying big bags or boxes of 10 ml bottles every week? If you answered “yes” to those questions, shortfill e-liquid has the potential to transform your vaping experience and should definitely become a part of your routine.

So, what is shortfill e-liquid? Why does it exist, and how do you use it? Those are the things you’re going to learn from this overview.

What Is Shortfill E-Liquid?

A shortfill e-liquid is a large bottle of e-liquid that’s only partially full and is sold without nicotine. You’re unlikely to find shortfill e-liquid at vape shops outside Europe and the United Kingdom due to a law called the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). Shortfill e-liquid was created specifically in response to that law, which regulates the vaping industry in those regions.

Shortfill e-liquid is always sold in bottles larger than 10 ml. The two most common sizes are:

  • 60 ml bottles containing 50 ml of e-liquid
  • 120 ml bottles containing 100 ml of e-liquid

Because shortfill e-liquid is sold in bottles that are partially empty, vape shops may sometimes refer to shortfill e-liquids by the amount of e-liquid contained in them rather than by the bottle size.

For reasons this article will shortly explain, shortfill e-liquid never contains nicotine. If you happen to prefer nicotine-free e-liquid, you can buy shortfill vape juice and use it right out of the bottle. If you prefer to vape with nicotine, though, you’ll need to add nicotine to the bottle yourself.

A nicotine shot or “nic shot” is a 10 ml bottle of flavorless e-liquid with nicotine. The most common strength for a nicotine shot is 18 mg/ml, although nic shots with lower and higher strengths are also available. If you want to add nicotine to a bottle of shortfill e-liquid, you’ll need at least one nicotine shot. Typically, you’ll fill all of the empty space in a shortfill bottle with nicotine shots, using one shot for a 60 ml bottle or two shots for a 120 ml bottle. If the nicotine shots have a strength of 18 mg/ml, that’ll give your shortfill e-liquid a final nicotine strength of 3 mg/ml after mixing.

Nicotine shots are always very inexpensive. Some vape shops bundle them with shortfill e-liquid to keep the buying process as simple as possible and to remove some of the confusion that new vapers may have about how to use shortfill vape juice.

Why Do Companies Make Shortfill E-Liquid?

If you’re a newer vaper, you might be wondering why companies would bother selling e-liquid and nicotine separately when they could just combine the two in a single bottle as they do with 10 ml e-liquids. To answer that question, we need to go back to the Tobacco Products Directive, which sets limitations and restrictions for the vaping industry in Europe and the United Kingdom.

Specifically, the TPD includes a requirement that no e-liquid with nicotine can be legally sold in bottles larger than 10 ml.

When the TPD was first instituted, the bottle size limitation made perfect sense. In those days, vapers typically used e-liquids that were much higher in nicotine than the products that are common today. A 10 ml bottle would usually provide enough e-liquid for more than one day of vaping; keeping bottles small helped to prevent accidental nicotine poisoning by ingestion.

These days, though, the demand for large e-liquid bottles is much greater than it once was. As sub-ohm vaping has become more popular, people have upgraded to devices with greater and greater vapor production. In the process, they’ve reduced the nicotine strengths of their e-liquids while increasing the quantity of vape juice that they use each day. If you use a vape mod with a powerful sub-ohm tank, 10 ml of e-liquid simply isn’t very much. You may actually find that you use more than 10 ml of vape juice in a single day. At that point, the 10 ml bottle size limitation becomes very inconvenient.

Convenience is the reason why shortfill e-liquid exists. If you need to stuff your pocket full of small bottles just to be certain that you’ll have enough vape juice to last the day, you’ll probably love shortfill e-liquid because it’ll replace all of the small bottles with one large one that’s much easier to carry.

How to Use Shortfill E-Liquid

Now that you’ve learned what shortfill e-liquid is and why it exists, it’s time to learn how to use it. To get started, you’ll need one bottle of shortfill vape juice and at least one nicotine shot. For a final nicotine strength of 3 mg/ml, use one 18 mg/ml nicotine shot for a 60 ml shortfill bottle or two shots for a 120 ml bottle.

  • Open the bottle of shortfill e-liquid and remove the bottle’s nozzle. If the nozzle is very tight, you may need to place a thin tool under the lip running around the bottle’s rim and wiggle gently. Be careful not to spill the e-liquid.
  • Open one or two nicotine shots and squeeze the entire contents of the shot(s) into the shortfill bottle. When you’re finished, the shortfill bottle will be full. Recycle the empty nicotine shot bottles.
  • Replace the shortfill bottle’s nozzle. Make sure that the nozzle is on very tightly. If the nozzle is loose, it may pop off when you squeeze the bottle.
  • Close the shortfill bottle tightly and shake it well. After you shake the bottle, the e-liquid will be fully mixed and ready to use. Fill your tank and enjoy.

When you use shortfill e-liquid, it’s important to remember that the ingredients may potentially separate over time. That’s because shaking a bottle manually doesn’t produce quite the same result as the industrial mixing machines that e-liquid companies use. To ensure that the nicotine remains evenly distributed throughout the bottle, it’s a good idea to give the bottle a quick shake every time you fill your tank.

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