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Save this and that like condoms (rubber caps) in which new cartridges are protected. They'll come in handy, especially to refill carts. For that matter, save the little rubber caps you get with V2 blank cartridges. With DIY you never know when you might want to switch something for something else.
How to clean batteries: grain alcohol and a Q-Tip at the threaded end of your battery. I think I've seen once a week recommended somewhere. Good luck. Try never, as I've never cleaned batteries to make them work better. That's because good batteries covered with brown gunk work just as well with no real difference in performance (not exclusively, if one insists to be a Pea Princess about it). Otherwise, a general cleaning is useful if you notice brown spots on your fingers where you hold your stick. You can also use ethyl alcohol. If you use isopropyl alcohol you'll want to be sure it's evaporated before you vape. Blech.
How to know when carts need refilling: no vape, or bad taste, from heating dry wadding. You should be able to refill most new cartridges (blanks) at least 10 times. I reuse them way more than that, until they're gone, because I'd rather waste pennies of cheaper juice than cartridges which cost $1.00 a piece. O yeah, exhaust them until they don't function at all. You can use some cartridges long after the clear plastic wrap begins to peel off. When the white (or colored) layer below starts to come off, meaning an unusually good cartridge, then I toss it, since teeth on bare metal isn't quite pleasant. As mentioned, that doesn't stop some vapers. They cut a sticky Avery label to size and wrap the filter again. When a filter no longer delivers at least an hour of vaping I toss it in the wash container. Be mindful that cleaning it may destroy it. If I've already cleaned it once I toss it out.
How to refill carts: You can pop the caps (any) and drip 15 to 18 drops of ejuice down the inner wall. Zero waste. If you don't like popping caps there is another method. You'll waste a drop of eliquid that way because you have to blow it out. But it's easy and quick. Push down on the cartridge slowly, perhaps a few times. Wriggle it and wag it to get it really juiced, but don't squirt yourself in the eye. Nor let juice overflow the hole in the cartridge upon refilling or it will sputter upon vaping. Absorb excess with wadded tissue, also blowing any excess out the other end.
How to know when carts need cleaning: when they are full but don't vape right. Cleaning cartridges is very easy. Pop the caps with a pair of tweezers and boil ten minutes in water. Give the caps, submerged in vinegar, 30 seconds in a microwave. Washing cartridges will totally destroy some of them. But you should be able to reuse the remainder at least 5 times. As mentioned elsewhere than in this detour, prefills that one can purchase over the counter are great, very light as well. But their prices hover near that of cigarettes by usage comparison. So I buy one only when I'm feeling especially rich, which ain't often.
How to know when carts need to be discarded: when they're full but don't vape right after cleaning once. As commented elsewhere, some vapers never toss cartridges, replacing the inner wadding with such as fluval, polyester fiberfill, teabag sacks, etc.. Some also replace the adhesive wrapping around the filter when it wears away. For myself, that's taking DIY a bit too far. But you've those options if you wish to make vaping even cheaper than it already is. The main reason I vape is because my fiddle stick is my sense of security and it's relatively inexpensive. Once I have to join the elite, as it is with cigarettes, vaping and I will have to part ways, I doomed to become a weeping woman a la Picasso.
Think the battery you've got isn't working? It may only need resetting, which isn't uncommon though something a pain in the neck. Delicately lift the little plate (atomizer) at the cartridge end of the battery with tweezers. It will raise just a wee bit. Your ECig should then function as before. You can ruin the atomizer if you're too rough, so the barest touch does it.
Storage of DIY ingredients: refrigerator with two exceptions: I leave finished juices countertop. Flavor "develops" with time at room temperature. Most, but not all, flavors should have a shelf life of a couple of years. As for nicotine, it should go in the freezer, as it will begin breaking down over a period of a few months. It will remain easy to work with, as nicotine doesn't freeze.Propylene Glycol Vegetable Glycerin Menthol Crystals All at Amazon.
Heads up: Lorann flavors are oil based. They are mixed differently from other brands at ECigsExpress (such as requiring alcohol, etc.) and should be kept apart from other operations as a thing to itself. I would avoid Lorann until you become more familiar with DIY. Of the sixty some other flavors we've tried at ECigsExpress the absolute winner with wide margin beyond the rest is Flavor Art's Maple Syrup, made less expensively by Flavor West and Signature. Soda and, especially, fruit flavors generally work real well. I doubt if I'd care for banana, but I've been surprised before. Creams are a bit chancier. Flavors to the fringe that are nice include Amaretto and Graham Cracker.
Not all smoke is bad. Here's some interesting smoke art, alike which I've not yet seen with vegetable glycerin, though I'm sure it's being done. Anyway, the above companies are in fact the best places of which I know to purchase ecig products. These pages don't represent a business for which cause I've placed this information; it's legitimate information without profit agenda to which I've added commercial links to companies from which I've purchased for several years. If you've somehow found these pages via Google you're presently reading the best possible information with the least financial motive. Ecigarette Forum (ECF) is another place on the internet where you can get the true scoop about ecigs and DIY without coloring. Be as may, if you want to easily quit smoking, then make sense of these few admittedly uninviting pages, put $300 together, get your supplies and there you are. But $300 is big money, tailored to overwhelming power against smoking, so at least get a couple batteries and chargers, a box of blanks and some ejuice. You don't have to DIY to save major money by vaping instead of smoking, the former already much less costly. DIY, however, can slice off 90% of what it costs to smoke, in addition to being healthier and, for myself, considerably more enjoyable. It's strange to me that some people actually prefer cigarettes to vapes. Yet other people drink wine. Tastes like cod liver oil to me. Still others find "food" that's pulled from water's bottom edible, with relish. O no. If they make a shrimp or crawdad vape somewhere I'm keeping my distance.
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