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Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt? Understanding and Fixing Burnt Hits

Comprehensive guide to fixing the burnt taste of your vape


It has happened to most of us vapers – you take a puff from your vape, expecting delicious clouds, only to get a nasty burnt taste instead.

This unpleasant “burnt hit” can ruin your vaping experience. But what causes it, and how can you avoid it? And more importantly, how can we prevent this unwelcome intruder from ruining our vaping session?

This article aims to demystify the dreaded burn hit, walk you through the typical culprits, and give you actionable advice on properly priming your coils – ensuring you get nothing but pure, unadulterated vapor every time you inhale.

Whether you’re a seasoned vaper or new to the scene, a burnt hit’s sudden and unpleasant taste is a universal problem. But here’s the good news: it’s preventable.

We can avoid this common vaping pitfall with proper vape knowledge and care. So let’s dive in and make those nasty burn hits a thing of the past.

Read on to learn how to make your vaping experience as smooth as the flavors you love.

The Difference Between Dry Hits and Burnt Hits

First, you must distinguish between a “dry hit” and a “burned hit. Dry hits and burned hits may seem similar, but they are different.

A dry hit occurs when the wick in your vape coil starts to run low on e-liquid. You’ll notice weaker flavor and vapor production. Dry hits warn that a burned hit is coming if you don’t add more e-liquid.

Burnt hits occur when the wick is completely dry when you activate your vape. The heat from the coil scorches the cotton wick, producing a disgusting burnt taste. And trust me, that’s not a place you want to go.

10 Reasons for Burnt Hits in Vaping and How to Avoid Them

So, what turns an annoying dry hit into a full-blown burn? The reasons are many, but they often boil down to a few common culprits:

  • High wattage

Too much wattage for your coil can cause it to burn out quickly. When your vape settings exceed the coil’s limits, it vaporizes e-liquid faster than the wick absorbs. Even with some e-liquid left, the wick may burn.

Solution: Each coil has a recommended wattage range printed on the side or included in the product manual. Always stay within the recommended wattage range.

  • Not enough e-liquid

If your vape tank or pod is running low on e-liquid, you may experience a burned taste when you inhale. This happens because the coil, without enough juice to vaporize, begins to burn the wick inside. The result is a harsh and bitter flavor that’s far from enjoyable.

Solution: Make sure your tank or pod is refilled frequently and never empty; this will help prevent a burnt taste and preserve your coil. It’s easier to keep track of e-liquid levels in transparent tanks but constantly monitor pod systems and refill as needed.

  • Chain Vaping

Taking puff after puff in rapid succession doesn’t allow time for the cotton wick to re-absorb e-liquid between hits. The heat from continuous firing will quickly evaporate the liquid faster than it can saturate the wick.

Once the cotton runs dry, you’ll taste the foul flavor of scorched cotton. Even a few seconds between puffs makes a difference in re-saturation.

Solution: If you notice a slight burnt taste, take a short break to allow the wick to re-soak before continuing, or wait a few seconds between puffs to allow the e-liquid to re-saturate the wick.

  • High VG E-Liquids

If you’re experiencing burnt hits, it might be due to using a high VG e-liquid. High VG e-liquids are thicker and can take longer to wick, leading to dry spots on the coil, especially in smaller or older tanks, increasing the risk of burnt hits.

Solution: Try a 50/50 PG/VG ratio if you suspect your juice is causing burn hits, or use an e-liquid with a higher PG ratio to improve wick saturation, or opt for a tank designed for high VG juices.

  • Wrong  batteries

Using a battery that’s not compatible with your vaping device can deliver inappropriate power levels to the coil. Or, using batteries that are too powerful for your vape will burn through e-liquid and destroy coils quickly.

Solution: Ensure you’re using your device’s recommended battery type.

  • Not Priming Coils

Before installing a new coil, add a few drops of e-liquid directly to the cotton wick and allow it to saturate thoroughly. This will prevent dry burn hits from unused coils.

Solution: Thoroughly saturate the wick of a new coil with e-liquid and let it sit for several minutes before using.

  • Wrong VG/PG Ratio

Each vape kit is designed to be used with a specific type of e-liquid, and if you use one that is either too thick or too thin, it could produce a burnt taste, damage the coil, or even leak. Some vape devices work better with specific VG/PG ratios.

For example, smaller coil heads require thinner juice with more PG. You may get burned hits if your PG/VG ratio doesn’t match your coil size.

Solution: Consult your device’s manual or ask a professional about the best VG/PG ratio for your setup.

  • Faulty Coils

You’ve primed your coil, which looks good, but you’re still getting a burnt taste. If this happens, you may have a faulty coil. Sometimes, brand-new coils are just defective.

Solution: Stop using the defective coil and contact the manufacturer, then replace the coil with a new one. You may also consider switching to a different vape brand or batch if you consistently get bad coils.

  • Overused coils

Coils have a life span and taste burnt when they reach the end.

Solution: Change your coil regularly, depending on your usage and e-liquid type.

  • Clogged Coils

Over time, sweeteners and other elements in e-liquids can caramelize and gunk up your coil, leading to a burnt taste.

Solution: Clean your coil regularly or choose e-liquids with less sweetener. If both don’t work, you must replace the new coil. Remember to prime and soak the coil after cleaning or replacing them!

Remember, vaping should be an enjoyable experience, not a constant battle with burn hits. You can dodge the burn-hit bullet by keeping a close eye on your device settings, maintaining appropriate e-liquid levels, and giving your device the care it deserves.

Actionable Tips to Combat Burnt Hits

Now, you may wonder, “What do I do if I’ve already reached the point of no return and my vape tastes like the bottom of a charred barrel?”

First, replace the burned coil or wick. Then, review the points above to prevent a repeat performance. It’s all about balance and understanding the needs of your vaping device.

In conclusion

keeping your vaping experience free of those unpleasant burn hits is about vigilance and understanding the mechanics of your device.

Soak those coil wicks, watch those settings, and keep your e-liquid levels lush. Do that, and you’ll savor the flavor instead of coughing up a storm.

And remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to ask for advice at your local vape shop or reach out to the vaping community online.

There’s a wealth of vape knowledge out there, and people are usually more than happy to help a fellow vaper. Happy vaping!

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