What is Shortfill E-Liquid and How to Use it

Posted by Pure E-Liquids on 14th Apr 2021

Multiple Bottles of Shortfill E-Liquid

When the first e-cigarette was created in 2003, nobody could foresee the impact of this cessation tool. In a short amount of time, we saw a rapid evolution of devices and e-liquids in the past two decades. Originally designed to help smokers quit, vaping has now become a cultural trend that’s passionately debated between enthusiasts and advocated by medical professionals such as the NHS. Millions have been able to stop smoking because of vaping. Although its popularity has increased, it can no longer be marketed or sold to consumers in the same way.

In the past, vapers could purchase large bottles of e-liquid for easier vaping while out and about. However, because of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) regulations passed in May 2016 and enforced one year later, the industry now walks a different path. Now, much stricter rules exist. Despite some early stumbling blocks, vaping manufacturers found the solution - shortfills.

What is Shortfill E-Liquid?

Shortfills are flavoured bottles of juice where you can add a nicotine shot of 10ml if you wish, as there is a gap remaining at the top (hence the name ‘shortfill’). A shortfill e-liquid bottle is nicotine-free to comply with TPD regulations, which states that no EU vaping business can sell any e-liquids over 10ml containing nicotine.

Further TPD regulations such as the max 2ml capacity on vape tanks and nicotine should not exceed 20mg/ml also changed the dynamic for businesses and consumers alike.

However, just like vaping provides a better alternative than smoking, shortfills answered the call for vapers seeking larger volumes of e-liquid containing nicotine. Instead of carrying multiple bottles of 10ml e-liquid to top up, simply mix your e-liquid using a shortfill. Typically, most vapers opt for 50ml shortfills with a mixed ratio of VG and PG for equal flavour and cloud production.

How to Use Shortfills

Don’t be put off by all the ‘complicated’ vaping terms - understanding what ‘mouth to lung’ means or deep diving headfirst into the topic of nic salts may boggle the vaping mind, but they demonstrate the wide range of options at your disposal compared to smoking. Rest assured vaping is easy enough to understand and practice too, much like shortfills.

To use shortfills, it’s a really simple process and a great option for vapers who go through copious amounts of e-liquid a day. To get set up with your shortfill of choice, follow these instructions:

  1. Unscrew the top cap from the shortfill bottle.
  2. Remove the pipette next.
  3. Take the cap off your chosen nicotine shot and squeeze the desired amount into your shortfill bottle.
  4. Place the two caps back on the shortfill bottle and give it a good shake!
  5. For the best results, allow it to steep in a dark place (a cupboard is a smart option) and store overnight, vaping the next day to get a great shortfill experience.

How to Use Shortfill Instructions

Note that you do not need to steep your shortfill to use the e-liquid, it’s just our advised best practice to maximise flavour and allow the nicotine to blend completely with your preferred flavoured e-liquid. While there are 100ml shortfill bottles available, this may feel like a lot to carry around and top up for some vapers. With 50ml shortfills, you get enough e-liquid to last a considerable amount of time and around 3mg of nicotine per bottle. What you can do if you prefer to top up larger amounts of e-liquid with the shortfill method is buy a handy e-liquid mixer, with a reusable bottle of 120ml the perfect choice to wash out after you’re done and top up again.

Are They for MTL Vapers or DTL Sub-Ohm?

Whatever your level, shortfills are super convenient for all types of vapers, whether you’re a beginner or at a more advanced level. Predominantly, shortfills are considered as the wise option for Sub-Ohm vapers. Anybody who DTL vapes will tell you how much e-liquid they use on a day to day basis. Although 10ml bottles are handy for MTL vapers who have just given up smoking, Sub-Ohm vapers inevitably need more juice when they chase the dream of getting maximum flavour in addition to cloud production.Woman Sub-Ohm Vaping With a Shortfill

It’s like two different sides of the coin with vaping. On the one hand, you have MTL vapers, who keep the same technique as they did when smoking cigarettes. They seek a small pocketable device that’s easy to use with no qualms or necessity to top up as often with e-liquid. For that reason, 10ml’s or a couple of e-liquid bottles is enough, providing you’re not a heavy smoker.

However, with DTL enthusiasts, you’ll be enjoying the smoothness of your e-liquid and creating shapes from massive clouds of vapour. With a shortfill bottle, you can add the nicotine you need (which should now hopefully be reduced) as a Sub-Ohm vaper. With 50ml instead of five, it creates a much easier scenario where you can top up from the same bottle. The final consideration and certainly an important one is the ratio of VG or PG you want in your shortfill.

Best Shortfill Ratio - 50/50 or High VG?

When it comes to picking your e-liquid, you have to decide what you want more from the experience. Vaping in MTL and want a similar throat hit like smoking? You have to go for a higher ratio of Propylene Glycol, aka PG. However, for shortfills, most vapers want a higher mix of VG or at the very least 50/50. For an in-depth look at VG and PG, you can read here.

The texture is smoother and sweeter, which is necessary considering you will likely add a nicotine shot. These are unflavoured and can feel harsh, especially when they’re first blended with the flavoured shortfill which is nicotine-free. In contrast to smoking cigarettes, you have more of a say what you inhale - a big selling point for all converters. Shortfills provides one of the greatest flexibilities with your vape mod, so providing you pick the right coils, choose the right wattage and vape direct to lung, you’ll get the generous throat hit and flavour desired. There is the option of picking 50/50 shortfills that give you a nice balance of subtle flavours and consistency. Nasty Juice Shortfill in a Hand

But for the optimum experience when vaping DTL using shortfills, you can’t beat some of the big brands such as Dinner Lady, offering their legendary lemon tart packed with zest or walking on the wild side by selecting the bold Sicko Blue from Nasty Juice, a careful mixture of sweet fruit taste at 70% VG.

Key Considerations

Vaping is simple - you start it to quit smoking, remove the negative toxins in your body that can cause harm, reducing your nicotine till you can wave that addiction goodbye via shortfills. Finally, you’ll get to the point where the habit goes one of two ways, either vape nicotine-free which is possible and safe to do or stop vaping completely, which we hope you can achieve.

Shortfills provides a great stepping stone with multiple benefits, including:

  • Cost-savvy prevents buying multiple 10ml bottles of e-liquid containing nicotine
  • Available in lots of different flavours from savoury to sweet
  • Easy to use


Our team is happy to help with any questions regarding shortfills, whether you’re unsure which ratio is best for you or advice about which vape mod to pair with your shortfill.