How to insert a liquid into an e-cigarette

Updated July 20, 2017

e-Cigarettes are exploding in popularity as a less-risky, inexpensive way for smokers to deal with their habit. They atomise or heat a flavoured liquid containing some nicotine, which is inhaled. The result is odourless, dissipates instantly, and can be a satisfying replacement for traditional cigarettes. All e-cigarettes are composed of a battery, an atomiser and a way to deliver liquid. There are two types of atomiser-delivery systems available; cartridges and cartomizers. Cartridge systems use a separate atomiser, while cartomizers combine the cartridge and atomiser by permanently inserting the atomiser into the cartridge area. There are different ways to refill each with fluid.

Grasp the atomiser portion of the e-cigarette and gently twist the mouthpiece. The cartridge should come loose and then it can be removed.

Turn the cartridge upside-down and check the filler material for dampness, and to see if it's burnt. If it is burnt, discard the cartridge.

Drip fluid into the cartridge material slowly, until it is wet, but not pooled. Too much fluid will flood the atomiser and make the e-cigarette nonfunctional, until the excess fluid is cleared.

Press the cartridge back into place gently, pushing until it snaps. Check for any leakage of fluid as this can be a sign of flooding.

Remove the cartomizer -- grasping the battery end firmly and untwisting the cartomizer/mouthpiece portion. Nothing else should be removed as it is all one piece.

Hold the cartomizer so the end that screws into the battery is facing up. Do not try to fill from the mouthpiece side, as it contains a silicone plug that keeps fluid from getting into your mouth while inhaling.

Cover the hole on the mouthpiece side and slowly drip fluid into the battery side hole. Let each drop soak in before continuing. When it is full, the liquid will pool in the reservoir around the hole.

Let your finger off of the mouthpiece hole and let gravity drain the last drop or two from the reservoir into the cartomizer. If fluid drops through onto your bottom finger, gently puff through the mouthpiece side of the cartomizer into a napkin a couple times to clear the excess fluid and prevent flooding.

Screw the cartomizer back onto the battery and check for any leaks. Do not over-tighten, as the threads on e-cigarettes are not meant for stress.


If you overfill, you can puff extra fluid out or take a couple puffs from the atomiser to burn off the extra. Let your e-cigarette sit a few minutes after refilling to let the fluid soak in. Refill as soon as vapour production drops, or you get a burnt taste.


Do not use an e-cigarette when dry. It will ruin your atomiser or cartomizer. Do not refill a cartomizer when still attached to a battery.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Al Heurung began his writing career in 1996 as a sports reporter for "The St. Charles Press." He now serves a technology journalist for various online publications. Heurung studied theology at Crossroads College and game art/design at Westwood University.