How to Open a Shortfill Bottle

Investing in new e-liquid bottles can be an exciting time. Trying out new flavours and brands of e-liquid is one of the best parts of vaping, and with new juices entering the market every day there’s no shortage of things to try.

However, some vapers still are not sure how to open a shortfill bottle and use it correctly.

Some techniques run the risk of spilling your shortfill e-liquids or breaking the bottle. This is why we have created a handy guide to help.

Our team of experts have compiled the best ways to open e-liquid bottles. We have also included some techniques that should be avoided. Are you ready to get started?

What Are Shortfill E-Liquids?

Shortfill e-liquids are e-liquid bottles that contain nicotine-free vape juice. They have space at the top of the bottle to add nicotine shots.

While it’s not essential to add nicotine shots to your shortfill, nic shots can be added to customise the overall nicotine strength. 

Why buy a nicotine-free shortfill and then add a separate nic shot? This all comes back to the TPD, or Tobacco Products Directive. The TPD states that e-liquid bottle capacities can't exceed 10 ml. Because shortfill e-liquid is nicotine free, it can be sold in larger amounts and is therefore more cost-effective and convenient than buying multiple 10ml bottles that contain nicotine e-liquid. 

Note: the TPD also rules that nicotine strength can't exceed 20 mg/ml. For the full lowdown on TPD regulations, check out our blog on the TPD

The Best Ways to Open a Shortfill Bottle

Opening your shortfill e-liquid bottle can be tricky. After taking off the outer cap, the inner cap tends to be a challenging prospect.

These childproof caps are designed to be secure. Still, removing the inner cap is necessary for adding your nic shot.

The following tips for removing your e-liquid bottle caps should help avoid spillages and damaged bottles. They should make removing the outer cap and inner cap a breeze.

Use a cap removal tool

The Alpha 3-in-1 Shortfill Cap Removal Tool is an excellent option for convenience. It is designed to be a safe way to open a tricky childproof cap.

It works like a bottle opener. The metal cap removal tool comes with a stylish neck chain, so it's easy to carry.

This lightweight solution is suitable for opening various bottle sizes, including 10ml, 60ml, and 120ml sized shortfill bottles.

Try a screwdriver

It is also possible to open the childproof caps by using a screwdriver. It's important that you take care when doing this, as the screwdriver could slip.

You should use a flat-headed screwdriver. Try to put it in between the bottom of the e-liquid bottle cap and the section holding it in place.

Holding the screwdriver on your thumb, you can use it as a fulcrum. This helps you turn the screwdriver into a lever. Pivot the screwdriver down, and the cap should then pop off.

This technique can also be used to open childproof caps with a butter knife.

Bottle Caps

Taking off the outer cap is usually easy. Just twist anticlockwise, and it should come off. The thin edge of the cap can then be used in a similar way to the screwdriver to lever the inner cap.

What Should I Avoid When Opening A Shortfill Bottle?

There are also a few things you should avoid using. You might get desperate when you are trying to get to your vape juice. However, you risk damaging your e-liquid bottle. You could even injure yourself. Here are three things you should NEVER use to open a shortfill bottle.


Using your teeth can damage the enamel or even break them. There's also a slim chance that the bottle lid could pop off and get lodged in your throat. It’s best to avoid this risk and use one of the above techniques instead.


Some people see pliers as a great alternative to a screwdriver. Getting a firm grip and giving a sharp twist anticlockwise can sometimes work. However, it can also break the bottle, spilling your delicious e-liquid everywhere. Plus, there’s a risk that you might hurt yourself using the tool. 

Sharp Knives

Butter knives are a relatively safe option for opening your e-liquid cap. But there's still a risk that the knife may slip. Doing this with a sharper knife is very risky, and we don't recommend it.


Why are shortfill bottles difficult to open?

As part of the TPD, bottles must have nozzles that limit the flow rate of liquid. They must also have a childproof cap. This makes it difficult to get into the bottle sometimes.

What strength of nic shot can be added to shortfills?

We offer an excellent range of nic shots for customers to explore. Nic shot strength can vary from 10mg to 18mg and 20mg – just select the nicotine strength that sounds right to you. 

If you are looking to buy nic shots, browse our extensive collection today.

What else impacts e-liquid caps?

Vape juice gas can compress the cap if it has been sitting for a long time. If your e-liquid has already been used, the liquid can get in the gaps between the cap. This can cause it to stick.


Opening your shortfill is essential for adding nicotine shots. It can be annoying if you can't get into it straight away.

Investing in a cap opening tool can be a great way to open caps. As a last resort, it is possible to use a screwdriver or flat knife, but never use a sharp tool or your teeth.

If you're looking for a new e-liquid, take a look at our shortfill e-liquid collection. You're guaranteed to find a flavour you love.

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