When we talk about MTL vs DTL we need to talk about the ingredients of vape juice. Vape juice is made up of several different things, but the two main components are VG and PG. VG stands for vegetable glycerin and PG stands for Propylene Glycol. These two components and the ratio between them decide whether the juice is MTL or DTL.
What are MTL and DTL?
MTL stands for Mouth To Lung, which gives users a similar experience to smoking, as you draw the vapour into your mouth before you inhale. You’ll typically have this sensation while using small vape pens and pod devices with a high ohm coil.
DTL stands for Direct to Lung, where you just inhale directly from the vape. You’ll get this from lower ohm coils, particularly sub-ohm coils. While these can be used in some pen style vapes such as the PockeX or T18E, you’d typically associate this with vape mods with large tanks and chunky batteries.
What is Propylene Glycol?
Propylene Glycol is a clear liquid with a slightly sweet taste, it’s thick, but not as thick as VG. It’s used in a whole range of other areas, including the food industry where it’s used as a sweetener and a thickener. You can find it in fizzy drinks, ice cream, salad dressing and food colouring to name a few. You can also find it in shampoo, mouthwash and lotions.
It’s used in vaping to thin the mix and allow smaller coils to draw in the vape juice quicker and easier. It’s also better than VG at carrying flavour.
What is Vegetable Glycerin?
Vegetable Glycerin is clear and thick. Usually it’s created from soybeans or palm trees and it’s a chemical that the FDA views as “generally safe” for human ingestion. It’s used in the food industry as a sweetener in things like cookies,icing as well as a thickener and preservative in hundreds of types of food such as yogurt, cheese and processed food. It’s also used in the pharmaceutical industry in products to preserve moisture in things such as skin creams and toothpastes but it’s also used in medicines to help make them more absorbable by skin. It’s also been shown to reduce inflammation of wounds, as such it’s used regularly in the treatment of burns. It’s used widely by the beauty and personal care industry in everything from makeup to shampoo and soap, to deodorant and even in eye drops.
VG in vape juice is used to thicken the mix. It provides a large amount of vapor compared to its PG counterpart. Because of the thickness of VG, it takes longer for coils to draw it in. This is the deciding factor over what juice you use with your kit. Smaller kits, such as the pen style vapes, or something like the Arc 5, have smaller coils, meaning smaller holes for the juice to run into the cotton of the coil. Bigger kits have chunkier coils and allow more juice to soak through into the cotton, so a higher Vg mix is fine in this case.
Which mix do I need?
So a 50/50 ratio is a thin mix, designed for use in most pen style vapes and the entry level tank/battery kits such as the GTX 1 or the Arc 5. This is typically where you have a lot of control over how much nicotine you have in your juice, and this is because those quitting will want the MTL experience.
The next step up is 60/40, which has slightly more VG in and can be used by some of the higher end stick/pen shape devices such as our PockeX kits or the Endura range of T18E, T18-ii and T20S. This mix will give slightly thicker clouds than the 50/50 mix. 50/50 and 60/40 are considered DTL ratios.
Next up is the 70/30 range, the first ratio considered Direct to Lung. This ratio is ideal for many vapers who want to get a great balance of flavour to cloud.
The last of the common mixes is 80/20. These ratios are usually found in the more premium vape juice ranges, where they can mix in extra flavour to compensate for the high levels of VG. These juices will leave clouds for days behind you.
While you’re on our blog, you might find these articles helpful!
Nicotine Numbers and Which Strength You Need
How to clean your vape tank
How coils work and when to change them
How to make juice last longer
How to make Coils last longer
Why vape juice turns dark
MTL and DTL – What’s the difference?
Nic Salts vs Freebase: The difference and benefits
What happens when you quit smoking
Vaping: Twice as effective as patches and gum?
Using E-cigs to stop smoking
How to choose your first vape/e-cig
The Problem with Home Crew Vape Shops
Or you may like our new kit breakdown series “OUTTHEBOX” where we give in depth explanations of vape kits and an unboxing experience.