Refilling Your Cartridges – The Dummies Guide

Right guys and girls, it’s time for a lesson! It’s time for a lesson on the right (and wrong) ways to refill your own cartridges.

There is a lot to be said for doing this little act of DIY. For a start, it will save you a small fortune in the long run. Buying pre-filled cartridges is an expensive habit and for the sake of twenty minutes to so, you could have a lot more money in your bank at the end of the month!

What I have found a particularly useful tactic is to refill a number of cartridges at once, using them until they are all empty, and then refilling them again in bulk. It’s a lot easier doing it this way and although it might take twenty minutes or so out of your day, you won’t have to worry about fiddling around with bottles of e-liquid at your desk.

Now, are you ready to learn? Let’s take this slow.

When you get your cartridges, they’ll come with (usually) a white plastic stopper at the top. This will have a hole in the centre.

You’ll need a fork, bobby pin, or something similar to help pop that white stopper out. Normally all it takes is a quick flick in with the fork prong and it’ll pop out quite nicely but brands like Green Smoke have shown to be more difficult than others. Don’t give up – they do pop out eventually!

Refilling Your Cartridges - The Dummies Guide

**Warning!** Refilling your own cartridges may void any warranty that you have with your particular brand. Make sure you read the terms and conditions before you do this! 

Once you’ve popped that little stopper out, there may be a small rubber or silicone ring just beneath it.You’ll need to remove this too. Many brands use this as a way to seal the liquid and the flavor in, and also to prevent any leakages. E-liquid in the mouth is not a pleasant experience.

Now take a look inside the cartridge. There will be a thin tube running down the middle. Under no circumstances should you drop liquid down this centre tube. This will lead right into the centre of the battery and could cause it to burn out, become overheated and may even become a hazard.

Around the thin inner tubing, there will normally be some sort of cotton or fluff material. This is known as the filler material and the idea is that you soak this material so that it acts as a runner between the tank and the atomizer – the bit that does the hard work and creates the vapor. I’m sure we don’t have to go right back as far as explaining how liquid turns into a vapor, right? 🙂

Refilling Your Cartridges - The Dummies Guide

Now get your bottle of e-liquid. Hopefully it will have a dripper tip to make this a lot easier but if not, most places sell small bottles with a dripper tip that you could always transfer it to to make your life easier.

Using the dripper tip, place the head of it just above the filler material and watch the liquid drop down. You’ll only need around ten to fifteen drops of liquid to completely refill the cartridge but the first few times you do it, you are probable going to over-fill. It’s OK – we’ve all done it!

Refilling Your Cartridges - The Dummies Guide

You’ll know when you have filled the cartridge too much because liquid will start to seep out the bottom. If it does this, wipe it with a tissue, place it white-stopper-side down, and leave it for around ten minutes to settle itself down. Before you use it again, in fact before you use any of them again, it is well worth blowing through the centre tube to make sure there is no liquid stuck in there.

Once you’ve dripped enough liquid in, replace the silicon or rubber ring if there was one, and put the white stopper back into the top of the cartridge, making sure it has firmly clicked into place. You have now successfully refilled your own cartridges.

When I refill mine, I have a set of ten in a row and I put five drops in each. I let that settle, working my way through them one by one and when I’ve done the last one, I go back to the first one and start again – putting five more drops in each. At the end of this, each cartridge will have ten drops and most will be ready to go. Put the stoppers in and leave them for ten minutes to allow them to settle before using. Regardless of how careful you may have been, there may be some leakages or excess liquid somewhere.

If the filler material still doesn’t look quite wet enough, add more drips slowly – two at a time, until the cartridge is saturated.

You will find that you can refill your cartridges aground 10-20 times (depending now which brand you are using) before they start to taste burnt out and in need of replacing. I’d always recommend having a constant stream of fresh cartridges on the go. I generally order a pack of five every time I order a bottle of e-liquid. I’d rather have too many than not enough and you’ll always break one / lose one / find one in the toilet because the kids have shoved it there, etc.

Refilling your cartridges is easy when you know how but remember, if you have any questions, feel free to give me a shout on Facebook and let me know!

By John Edwards