The Ultimate Guide To Nic Salt E-Liquids

The Ultimate Guide To Nic Salt E-Liquids Oliver Norman

The Ultimate Guide To Nic Salt E-Liquids


Nic salt e-liquids are quickly becoming the most popular option for UK vapers, with more people than ever opting for their bold flavour and smooth nicotine delivery vs traditional freebase e liquids.

If you are new to vaping or are simply looking to give nic salts a try instead of your usual freebase vape juice, this guide will break down everything you need to know before giving them a go. From the science behind them to the advantages they can offer – by the end of this blog you will have learned all you need to know to decide whether vaping with nic salts is the right move for your journey.

Understanding Nic Salt Vape Juice

Before we get into telling you everything you need to know about Nic Salt vape juice, it's important to know what they are, how they work, and how they found their place in the vaping world.

The main reason nicotine salts are so popular is because their unique composition allows them to deliver smoother, faster-acting craving relief than their freebase counterparts, and modern examples also pack a double-concentrated flavour punch which we will explore more later in this article. How do they do it? Read on to find out!

What Are Nic Salts?

The term “nic salts” is simply the common name for nicotine salt e liquid, and refers to the specific type of nicotine used when blending this kind of vape juice. Asides from this unique type of nicotine, nic salt vape juice ocntains the same key ingredients as any other vape juice: Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerol (VG), and premium flavourings.

Nic Salt e liquid uses a modified form of nicotine that is designed to deliver a more satisfying nicotine hit which lasts longer so as to help manage even the strongest cravings but without a harsh throat hit. Some Nic Salts occur naturally within the tobacco leaf but can also be created by adding a weak acid to a nicotine base. In science, these combined elements are described as a “salt”, hence the vaping nomenclature “Nic Salt”.

The Science of Nic Salts

There are many different types of salt nicotine used to create nic salt vape juice including but not limited to Nicotine Benzoate, Salicylate, Levulinate and Lactate. Certain effects can vary between them, such as muting certain flavour profiles or adding slight cooling effects, but they all share three common properties: they permeate your body’s blood brain barrier much faster, deliver a longer lasting nicotine hit to better manage cravings, and are also incredibly smooth!

The trademark smoothness they offer is specifically linked to the addition of the organic acid we mentioned earlier (brace yourself for more science jargon). Nicotine is naturally incredibly alkali in terms of pH, and it is this alkalinity that is responsible for the harsh throat hit felt when vaping traditional freebase e-liquids, especially at higher nicotine strengths like 18mg. Nic salts by comparison have a pH much more aligned with that of our own body.

By adding an extra component to freebase nicotine like Benzoic, Salicylic, or lactic acid (hence the names given above for the different nic salts) the alkali pH is neutralised, delivering an incredibly smooth, hit even at the maximum legal limit for nicotine in an e-liquid in the UK – 20mg. Even at these higher strengths, the hit is comparable to vaping a 3mg or 6mg freebase e-liquid, but of course packs a whole lot more craving-busting power, hence their popularity amongst vapers, and particularly those who have recently quit smoking.

Freebase Vs Nic Salts

The standard e-liquids like those in our Original £1 range, contain what is known as freebase nicotine.

 Freebase nicotine is a pure and refined form of nicotine with a naturally high, alkaline pH level. It was first developed in the 1960’s by the big cigarette corporations of the day in an attempt to meet consumer demand for a more easily accessible form of nicotine which you can read more about here. 

The nicotine found in regular vape juice, is called “freebase” because concentrated nicotine is diluted into Propylene Glycol (PG) and is “freely” suspended in the “base” PG to create a mixture we can then accurately blend as part of our e-liquid recipes. One of the downfalls of freebase however, is that when vaping at high nicotine strengths it can create a harsh hit at the back of the throat due to it being so naturally alkaline. 

Whether or not this is truly a downfall however is a matter of personal taste. Lots of vapers enjoy the throat hit delivered by freebase vape juice because it is closer to that of a cigarette, making it easier to transition from smoking to vaping. For others however this throat hit can be a bit much, but if you require a larger dose of nicotine to satisfy your cravings, nic salts can be a great solution minus the hit.

original £1 e liquid

What are the Benefits of Using Nic Salt Vape Juice?

As a new vaper it is an easy pitfall to assume that all e-liquids are essentially the same, and a fair question to wonder why you should opt for nic salts over regular freebase e-liquid.

The primary benefits include:

  • Faster, Smoother & Long-Lasting Nicotine Delivery

Vaping is intended to be an alternative for adult smokers looking to reduce the risks of consuming nicotine. The vast majority of current vapers are ex-smokers, and as such when leaving the cigarettes behind, their alternative of choice needs to be able to help them manage cravings effectively.

Nic salt vape juice excels in this area – there is already a wealth of data from the NHS, Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) and The UK Government that highlights the effectiveness of vaping as a cessation tool, but nicotine salt e liquid takes this effectiveness to another level by delivering unmatched craving satisfaction.

Thanks to the science we explained above, using nic salts mean you will satisfy your cravings faster, with that satisfaction lasting much longer, and all without the harsher throat hit typical of high strength freebase vape liquid.

  • Bold Flavour

While nicotine is the reason we vape, the myriad flavours available are what make vaping interesting, allowing us to tailor our experience to our preference and presenting a whole world of tastes to explore beyond simple tobacco or menthol.

While freebase and nic salts both come in a huge range of flavours, modern nic salts or “bar salts” pack a double-concentrated flavour punch that is proving to be hugely popular with UK vapers. Thanks in no small part to the rise of disposable vape bars like Elux, Lost Mary, SKE Crystal and Elf Bar, which first captured the attention of vapers with their bold flavour delivery (learn more about them in our blog).

There are now plenty of 10ml bottled options like our own £2 range of LiQuid Bar Salts that offer the same deep flavour experience but with quality assurances you can trust vs the controversial Chinese imported pre-filled devices. If you want some inspiration about which flavours to try first, check out our ultimate top 10 nic salt review!

  • Suitable For Most Vape Kits & Discreet

Unlike High-VG e-liquids which require specialised sub-ohm vape kits (learn more about HVG vaping here) and produce noticeably large clouds of vapour, nic salts work in the same way as their freebase counterparts. They are blended using a balanced 50-50 PG-VG ratio, which means they are compatible with the broadest range of vape kits, and produce modest vapour clouds that allow you to satisfy cravings as discreetly as you desire.

This means you have a lot of choice when it comes to finding a compatible refillable vape kit to pair with your new nic salt e liquid. Whether you prefer a disposable-style uber-simple kit like the Aspire R1 or something with a few more features like the Vaporeso Xros Pro the choice is yours!

nic salt e liquids

Is Nic Salt Vape Juice Right For You?

Nic salt e-liquids won’t be for everyone and in any instance, you should always measure the benefits against your own needs. We have listed some scenarios below that, if relevant to your journey, might mean it’s the right time to try nicotine salt vape products: 

  1. You are trying, or possibly struggling to quit smoking, and would like to experiment with an easier transitional alternative.
  2. You are a first-time vaper that has just converted from smoking, particularly from a heavy habit.
  3. You already tried vaping but felt that the nicotine hit and craving suppression were ineffective or the flavour wasn’t strong enough.
  4. You already tried high strength e-liquids that satisfied your cravings but felt the throat hit was an unpleasant experience.
  5. You feel like you currently vape too much or too regularly because it’s not providing you with the “same” feeling or satisfaction as cigarettes (e, nicotine rush).

How To Use Nic Salt Vape Juice

Now you have an understanding of what nic salts are, how they work, and whether or not they are right for your journey – it’s time to explore how to make the most of them!

As with any e-liquid, it’s important to pick the right device and coil, as well as understand how best to utilise that chosen kit.

Which Vape Kits Are Best for Nic Salt E-Liquid? 

Quite simply, any standard vaping device will run both freebase and nic salt e-liquids. So long as the device and coil are suited to 50-50 blends, you will be fine. There are however certain kits that really excel when paired with nic salt vape juice such as pod kits like the Vaporesso Xros range.

These kits often have the added benefit of using refillable pods that have built-in coils meaning you don’t need to worry too much about understanding ohms and watts as they almost all feature smart wattage which matches the power to the rating of the coil, so you will always get a pleasant experience.

If you aren’t sure about the differences between vape kits, our guide, How to Vape Properly, can help you get your head around it all and match it to your chosen e-liquid type. 

Most devices will give recommendations on their packaging so be sure to check these out – you should also have a look at the coil in your pod or tank, if it is rated 0.1 to 0.9ohms, this is ‘sub-ohm’ and is not recommended for nic salts as they are for high-VG juices and are far too powerful for the thinner 50-50 e-liquid.

browse vape kits

What Vape Coil Is Best For Nic Salt Vape Juice?

As a general rule you should make sure the coil you use is rated at to 1.0 – 1.8ohm. Coils in this range will run 50-50 e-liquid safely and efficiently. 

If ohms are a bit confusing for you, an even easier way to tell them apart is to look at the holes in the coil – these are called wicking ports, and if they are really big it almost certainly means the coil is designed for high-VG juice. Those with smaller holes are more likely to be for 50-50 juice, and are what you should use with your nic salts.

Look out for any coils that are described as having mesh technology like Xros Pods Corex Mesh – these are a more modern coil design that heat more efficiently and deliver far superior flavour which is perfect for getting the most from your chosen nic salt e-liquid.

How To Inhale A Nic Salt Vape

You may have heard the terms MTL and DTL used by vapers when describing their inhale style. MTL means mouth-to-lung and is the preferred way to inhale nic salt vape juices paired with an appropriate pod device. This is where you inhale, hold the vapour in your mouth before drawing it into the lung and exhaling – similar to smoking a cigarette.

DTL stands for direct-to-lung and is more typical of HVG vapers, so less preferable when using nic salts. This is simply the act of drawing the vapour directly into the lung and exhaling in one motion.

As pod devices have become more tailored to nic salt vaping, particularly those trying to capture the open draw typical of a disposable vape (which you can learn more about here) some brands offer sub-ohm coils that are still designed for vaping with nic salts like the VooPoo Argus 0.7ohm pod. These are called RDL which stands for restricted-direct-lung. This is where you inhale as if it were a DTL vape, but with less of an impact to reduce irritation at higher strengths - think of it as a middle ground. If you are a disposable vape user looking to switch to 10ml nic salts and refillable vapes, this could be the perfect option for you!

Nic Salt FAQs

If you still have any questions about vaping with nic salts, explore the questions below to find the answers you need to start enjoying them today!

What Nic Salt Strength Should I Vape? 

If you're choosing to use nicotine salts, then you should determine which is the best strength for you based on the nicotine level. Keep in mind nicotine salts are absorbed faster into the body, and there's a considerable difference between vaping nic salts and freebase nicotine vape juice, so you may not want to go for the maximum nicotine strength straight off the bat.  

10ml Nic salt e-liquids come in varying nicotine strengths so that they cater to everyone's individual nicotine requirements.  Choosing a suitable nic salt strength is pivotal for ensuring that you have a great vaping experience. Vaping a nicotine strength too high with nic salts may be too overwhelming for you, and you won't enjoy it. 

5mg - 10mg - These are the two lower strength nic salt vape juice that are available, and only contain a small amount of nicotine. You will still get a good nicotine hit from these, as well as fast absorption, but it will not be as punchy if you were to vape a higher strength like 20mg. We would recommend these if you previously used a 3mg or 6mg freebase nicotine e-liquid and are wanting to switch to nicotine salts. 

20mg - This is the strongest nicotine salt e liquid available to buy in the UK to adhere to the TPD regulations set out in 2016. These will give a punchy but smooth nicotine hit when you vape them. We recommend this level if you have previously used higher strength freebase vape juices such as 12mg or 18mg or were a heavy smoker.

Is Using Nic Salt Vape Juice Safe? 

All LiQuid products, regardless of their nicotine content, are subject to rigorous testing from start to finish; above and beyond traditional TPD regulations to ensure your total safety and satisfaction. Our Nic Salts are no different and are subject to strict quality controls to ensure they meet your standards every time. 

Public Health England’s landmark study has positioned vaping as 95% less harmful than smoking, and is yet to be disputed, with multiple subsequent studies consistently finding vaping to be a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes including Yorkshire Cancer Research’s 2021 Vaping Demystified investigative film. While research is still ongoing, Nic Salts have not been linked to any risks beyond any of those posed by traditional e-liquids (which are very minor vs smoking). 

Depending on the needs of your vaping journey, you may find nicotine salt e-liquid to be better for you in other ways than those concerning health. Due to the deeper, vaping nicotine salts can create a longer lasting satisfaction delivered by its unique properties, a Nic Salt e-liquid could last you a lot longer than a normal bottle as you may find your cravings are manageable while consuming far less juice – better for your body and better for your wallet! 

Equally, the increased stability of Nic Salts mean they remain at their best for longer, cause less coughing thanks to the reduced throat hit and provide a very efficient way to vape, making the switch from smoking a much more manageable process.

While vaping is considered to be less harmful than smoking, inhaling anything other than fresh air will always pose an element of risk – always bear this in mind when deciding if vaping is right for you – if you have never smoked, don’t start vaping! 

What Are Bar Salt E Liquids?

Bar salts are nic salt e-liquids blended to replicate the experience offered by disposable vapes. They use premium double concentrated flavourings matching the best-selling profiles of all leading disposable vape bars like SKE Crystal, Lost Mary, Elux and Elf bar. Our £2 bar salts range is paired with smooth nicotine salicylate (our chosen nic salt formula) to deliver high strength satisfaction without a harsh throat hit.

Will Nic Salts Be Banned In The UK?

No. The proposed disposable vape ban in the UK applies to single-use vape kits only. 10ml bottled vape juice will still be available to purchase and combined with refillable vape kits like the Aspire R1 which means you can still enjoy your favourite disposable bar flavours. Flavours that appeal to children may be effected but there are no plans yet to restrict those found in our ranges here.

Are Nic Salts A Good Alternative After Disposable Vapes Are banned In The UK?

Yes! The UK ban on single-use vapes might have you worried, but you can still enjoy the same smooth, bold vape flavours thanks to the 10ml bottled ranges in this collection. Enjoy all your favourites but with even better value for money - simply combine them with a refillable vape kit of your choice, or get even more for your money with our amazing Aspire R1 bundle with 7 bar salts for only £15!

Aspire R1 vape kit bundle 

Where Can I Buy Nic Salt Vape Juice?

We have some incredible ranges of nicotine salt e-liquids available to buy at LiQuid, from our own range starting at just £2 per 10ml, to guest brands such as ElfLiq Nic Salts, there's no need to shop around finding the best nic salt vape juices as we've got plenty to choose from here. 

Bar Salts is our own take on the popular flavours used in disposable vapes, and now available in 10ml bottles for just £2 each! These are available in the standard 10mg and 20mg nicotine strengths, but we're proud to say that Bar Salts are also available in 5mg, which means there's a nicotine strength for everyone!  

 Don’t worry – we know other Nic Salt products out there can be more expensive, not here at LiQuid. We make all of our e-liquids in the UK at our state of the art facilities in Manchester. Rest assured that you're getting premium quality vape juice at the cheapest price possible. 

LiQuid bar salts offer


We hope this guide has answered any queries you might have about nic salt vape juice. If you are ready to give them a try browse our extensive collection here, as well as our great range of refillable vape kits from leading brands Aspire, Vaporesso, Caliburn, OXVA and many more!

If you have any more doubts or questions about nic salts or anything at all in the world of vaping, head over to our Vape Hub where we have tons of blogs for you to read that explore everything from pods and coils to the latest trends and vaping news in the UK and around the world!

Happy vaping!

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