How to prevent burnt vape hits

Posted by Christian on 9th Aug 2021

Drawing on a burnt-tasting hit is a sure way to ruin a great vape session. You’ll be happily puffing away, and then unexpectedly feel a horrible, burning hit. Burnt vape hits are a real nuisance, but there are several steps you can take to prevent them.

It’s essential to cut out burnt hits from your vaping, as they’re unpleasant events that could tempt you to quit vaping altogether – even more so if they are caused by inexperience.

These 10 tips will help you eliminate burnt vape hits, and ensure each time you vape is enjoyable.

1) Replace your coil

Burnt vape hits are often caused by burnt coils in vaporizers with tanks. If your coil is old or has visible build-up of residue, it’s probably time you replaced it. There’s a difference between warm, soothing vapes and excessively hot vapes that burn. Just install a new coil and your vaporizer will work as good as new.

2) Priming your coil

A well-working vaporizer needs to have a primed coil head. These steps will reduce the chances of burnt hits, countering the problem before it becomes one.

Drip e-liquid on the wick holes of the coil after attaching it to the vaporizer, then soak it in a full tank of e-liquid for 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the better performance will be.

When vaping, start on low-wattage settings and slowly increase the heat with each vape. This will show you how it feels to vape at all temperatures, helping you to find your perfect set-up. Each coil has a maximum wattage clearly stated on it or in the instruction manual. Be sure to never exceed this.

3) Try turning down the wattage

Still suffering with burnt hits? It could be time to turn the wattage down, as not all coils are capable of withstanding high levels. The higher the wattage, the lower the resistance - if you’re going over the coil’s wattage limit, that’s probably what’s causing the burnt taste.

An Ohm’s law calculator can find the best setting for your vaporizer, but the instruction manual for the coil should also have guidelines on how to best use it.

Just experiment. Changing up your vaping from low to high wattages lets you enjoy your e-liquid in multiple ways.

4) Control the temperature

Temperature control vaping is another good method of cutting out burnt hits, and having a mod on your device makes vaping less complicated, as you can work on a temperature scale, not a resistance scale.

5) Blame the juice

Your vaporizer may not be to blame for the burnt hits you’ve been experiencing. Poor quality e-juice could also be causing it. What makes poor e-juice? Thick e-liquid, caused by a VG-dominant mix, could be too difficult for your vaporizer. Changing for a product with less VG and more PG will give the device a break, and improve your hits. Check the label for the VG/PG ratio – all good e-juice products will state it.

E-liquid with lots of sweetener presents a bigger risk to your vaporizer, as they can permanently damage the wick, resulting in irreversible burnt hits. Dark e-juice can be a sign of a product having too much sweetener.

6) Take it easy

Trying to take hits one after the other could be putting excessive strain on your atomizer. If it wicks slowly and you vape quickly, there’s a good chance it’s causing burnt hits. In this case, just take your time and allow the coils to wick up before drawing. If you take quick, short draws, maybe take slower, longer ones to put less pressure on the atomizer. Don’t want to compromise? Invest in a fast-wicking atomizer or look at buying a temperature control mod for your device.

Solving burnt hits from rebuildable atomizers and RTAs

7) Identify burnt spots 

Rebuildable atomizers and RTAs are also prone to burnt vape hits. Let’s look at common causes specific to these devices and see how to solve the problem.

Hot spots, or burnt spots on the wick make for seriously bad vaping, and you often won’t know if your coil has any until it’s saturated in e-liquid and you’re in a session – if it does, the coil will adopt a red glow. A burnt spot-influenced draw of vapor tastes metallic as well as burnt.

You should still take the wicks out even if it’s not obvious there’s a burnt spot. Once the burnt taste has got in, it doesn’t leave quickly, and a new wick is the only way to guarantee it’s gone.

Pinch or strum the coil with your new wicks. Never press the fire button when pinching the coils though, unless you’re doing so with non-conductive equipment.

8) Good wicking takes practice

Rebuildable tank atomizers are a lot harder to wick than others, and they regularly end up leaking if you don’t use enough material when wicking. However, wick with too much cotton or similar material, and the packed holes will give you a burnt taste again. It’s a fine balance.

For most atomizers, finding that balance will be enough, but every atomizer has optimum operating conditions, so aim to work to those.

But don’t be afraid to get it wrong with wicking. It takes practice, and only by adjusting how much wicking material you’re using and learning what succeeds and what fails can you get to a well-tuned set-up.

9) Fresh coils

We recommend changing the wick at least once a week if you’re a daily vaper, as there’s no bigger cause of dry-hit vaping than used and dirty coils. Take the atomizer out and give it a good soak and rinse to clear out any sticky e-liquid that has built up.

Still have burnt or dirty-looking coils after deep cleaning them? These are worn out and you’ll have to get to some new ones.

10) Check the weather conditions

Certain weather conditions can cause burnt and dry hits. In cold weather, e-liquid will thicken, making PG juice more akin to VG juice, and VG juice very difficult to vape. The wick cannot wick properly when the e-juice is thick, so avoid using your vaporizer in extremely cold weather, or anticipate some nasty vapes if you do.

Final thoughts on burnt hits

These tips are great, but burnt hits normally result from several issues, not just one. The process of fixing dry hits can therefore be complex, so experiment with a few of these pointers and try adopting them into your vaping routine. This will naturally see you experience fewer burnt hits.

You shouldn’t muddle on with dry-tasting vape hits – it’ll only put you off vaping. Flavored e-liquids are sold because vaping is meant to be tasty and fun, not a struggle that’s merely a safer alternative to smoking. Becoming aware of your vaporizer, its parts and how they work will improve your experience.

Inhaling smoke and vapor are very different. While smoking is harsher on the throat, vapor is cool, almost as if it’s massaging the throat – however, at first it’s a peculiar, unfamiliar sensation. But now you know how vaping is supposed to be and how to make it so, you’ll realize why it’s sweeping the nation.