Once you begin vaping, you will find that there are some product care issues of which you need to be aware. For example, some kinds of e-liquids can do damage to e-cigarette appliances, or the devices with plastic tanks. If you currently use a clearomizer manufactured from plastic, some flavours of e-liquids should be avoided.
That is because some of the e-liquids can cloud, crack or melt polycarbonate plastics when they come into contact with them. A polycarbonate, which is a kind of plastic commonly used in clearomizers and some tanks, generally looks clear as if it was made from glass. While some tanks are made from polypropylene, the plastic is not used as often because it has a frosted appearance. Therefore, you have to be wary of the tanks or clearomizers that are made of clear plastic.
An Adverse Chemical Reaction
E-liquid flavourings are made up of various chemicals. While the chemicals are considered to be food-grade and safe flavourings, many of the chemicals in the e-liquids do not respond well to polycarbonates. As a result, an e-liquid that is added to a polycarbonate tank will react when it comes into contact with the plastic – a reaction that can occur immediately or after several days. This can even occur if you squeeze orange or lemon juice into the tanks.
Flavourings or Chemicals to Avoid
One of the flavours that is known to react with a plastic made of a polycarbonate is amyl acetate. This particular chemical is used to make apple and banana flavourings for ecigarette devices. Some of the e-liquid flavours also contain essential oils or ketones, both which are known to corrode polycarbonate type plastic. Below is a more complete listing of the chemicals or flavours you should not use:
- Citrus flavourings, such as lemon, lime, or orange
- Acids that are used for enhancing the flavour of an e-liquid, such as citric acid or malic acid
- Liquorice or anise flavourings, including absinthe
- Banana flavourings
- Flavourings containing essential oils, such as clove, mint, or lavender
- Soda flavourings, such as cola or root beer
- Amaretto or almond flavourings
- Cinnamon flavourings
How to Check for a Reaction
If you don’t want to sacrifice a favourite clearomizer, you can test an e-liquid by dropping some of the liquid on an old CD and leaving it on for 24 hours. Check for any cracking or clouding before adding the e-liquid to the tank.
E-liquids can be used in tanks that are made of stainless steel or glass, as these kinds of materials are generally safe for all e-liquid flavourings. Polypropylene is not as likely to be as reactive. However, some vapers have reported damage to their propylene tanks when the tanks were exposed to some e-liquids.
Be reassured – just because an e-liquid is not compatible with a certain kind of plastic does not mean it has the same kind of effect on your tissues. The interaction of the heat and chemicals in the e-liquids is an entirely different type of chemistry.