What Is a Burned Wick in Vaping, and How Can You Avoid It?

Flavor is everything in vaping – and where flavor is concerned, your coil is everything. The condition of your coil is what determines flavor quality when you vape. If the coil is covered with sticky sucralose residue, the vapor will taste like overcooked sugar. If the wick is burned, though, that’s even worse because a burned wick makes every puff taste like a burned t-shirt.

In most vape coils, the wick is made from cotton. Cotton wicks work extremely well, but cotton does have one major drawback in that it burns easily when it’s dry. Once cotton or any other substance is burned, its molecular structure is altered permanently – and there’s no fix for that. Even a gadget as revolutionary as the ROBO2020 automatic vape coil cleaner can’t fix burned cotton, so it’s important to do everything possible to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Avoiding a burned wick when vaping is largely a matter of making sure that your wick never dries out, and in this article, we’re going to explain exactly how to do that. First, though, how can you identify a burned vape wick?

How to Know When Your Coil Has a Burned Wick

Let’s suppose that you’re vaping, and you’re getting a burned taste with every puff. The flavor is so bad that you can’t stand it, and you’re about to replace the coil. Do you have a burned wick? Remove the coil from your tank. Look through the top of the coil, and you’ll see the heating wire. Is the wire brown, or is it still white? If the metal is brown, you’re getting a burned flavor because of coil gunk – a sucralose-based residue that forms when you use sweetened e-liquids – not a burned wick. If the metal is still white, though, there’s a good chance that the wick is burned.

You can confirm that your coil’s wick is burned by disassembling the coil. Remove the plug from the bottom of the coil and push the wires and cotton out through the top. Unwrap the cotton from around the wires. Do you see any dark spots on the cotton? If you do, it’s burned. If you have a sensitive palate, even a small dark spot will produce a noticeable flavor change.

Now that you know what’s happening, let’s learn more about how to prevent your coil’s wick from burning.

Prime New Coils Before Using Them

You should always prime a coil with e-liquid before installing it in your tank. To prime a new coil, place a few drops of e-liquid on each of the wick cutouts on the side of the coil. You should also send a bit of e-liquid down the center of the coil. When the cotton looks very damp, you’ve used enough e-liquid. Priming the coil helps to ensure that it’ll quickly become saturated with e-liquid after you’ve installed the coil and filled the tank. It’ll also help to prevent any dry pockets that can lead to burning.

Let a New Coil Rest After Installing It

Priming a new coil makes the wick receptive to your e-liquid and ensures that it’ll quickly absorb the vape juice to the point of saturation after you’ve installed the coil and filled the tank. You’ll still need to give the coil a bit of time to become fully saturated after you fill the tank, though – you shouldn’t start vaping immediately after installing the coil. Instead, you should fill the tank and wait about 5-10 minutes.

It’s vitally important that you always prime a new coil and then allow the coil to rest after installing it. That’s because the point at which a coil is always in the most danger of burning is when you take that very first puff after installing it. If the wick isn’t completely wet, that first puff will singe the cotton, and then the coil is ruined forever. It’s really worth the little bit of effort and the few extra minutes spent to ensure that your coil will last as long as it possibly can.

Don’t Vape Too Aggressively

If you like your vaping setup to produce big, warm clouds, it’s possible that you sometimes push your device’s wattage setting a bit further than you should. You’re taking a risk when you do that, though – there’s a reason why a vape coil has a recommended wattage range etched into its side. The reason is because the manufacturer has tested the coil and determined that it works reliably within that range.

The risk of using an overly aggressive wattage setting is that, when you reach the end of a puff, your coil’s wick will be dry. In the brief instant between that moment and when you release your device’s fire button, the cotton will start to burn. If that happens every time you vape, you’ll definitely shorten your coil’s life – so don’t vape too aggressively.

Try Using a Mesh Coil

Have you tried a vape tank with a mesh coil yet? If you haven’t, you really should because mesh coils offer quite a few benefits aside from superior vapor production and better flavor. One of the greatest benefits of using a mesh coil is that the mesh heating surface has a much flatter profile than a traditional wound heating coil. The flat profile means that a mesh coil makes firm, even contact with the wick – and that means it doesn’t have areas of uneven heating. Even heating helps to prevent the wick from burning.

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Martin B.

Ex-smoker, passionate vaper who loves to tell the world about the life-changing potential of vaping. Co-creator of Ecigclopedia with a background in Business & Finance. Prefers a dessert flavored vape and loves to innovate.

Martin B.

Ex-smoker, passionate vaper who loves to tell the world about the life-changing potential of vaping. Co-creator of Ecigclopedia with a background in Business & Finance. Prefers a dessert flavored vape and loves to innovate.

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