Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt? (7 Causes & 6 Tips To Avoid It)

The gut-wrenching burnt flavor from a vape pen can ruin your vaping experience, especially if you haven’t been paying close attention to your vape's e-liquid levels.

So why does your vape taste burnt?

There are seven possible reasons why you are experiencing a burnt taste while vaping, including vaping with too much power or using the wrong e-liquid for your device.

Worry not!

This article will walk you through the common causes of burnt-tasting vapes, how to fix them, and tips to prevent the nasty burnt taste.

Read more:

This Article Contains:

Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt? (7 Possible Causes)

The primary reason your vape has a burnt flavour is that the wicking material or the coil in your vape is either burnt or running dry.

What’s a coil and wick?

A coil is a spiral metal wire that generates the heat (when you press the firing button or take a pull) required to vaporize the vape liquid.

The coil is attached to a vaping wick – a cotton material that absorbs vape juice from the vape tank, allowing it to come in contact with the heating coil.

Now, in a mod vape, the coil and the wicking material (collectively called wick) are separate components that can be replaced individually.

Whereas a pod vape pen has a prebuilt combination of a heating element wrapped around cotton material inside the e-liquid pod (collectively known as an atomizer). So, if the cotton material deteriorates, the entire atomizer must be replaced.

With that out of the way, here are seven possible reasons behind a burnt or dry wick and coil.

1. Your Vape Is Running Low on E-Liquid

Low e-liquid level is the most common cause behind burning the cotton wick or coil in your vape device, resulting in a scorched taste.

Here’s the deal:
If there’s no or inadequate e liquid in your vaping device, the dry cotton in your vape pen will be exposed to the heating element creating a “dry puff” or “dry hit” — leading to a nasty burnt taste shortly after.

Additionally, burnt cotton will fail to absorb e liquid adequately, worsening the taste.

What about disposable vapes?

Running low on e liquid is the most common reason your disposable vape device tastes burnt.

Generally, with disposable vapes, the battery should deplete before the e liquid does. However, there are instances where the opposite may occur.

2. You’re Chain-Vaping

Chain vaping is when you take multiple pulls from your vape in a row. When you take a hit from your vape, the cotton pulls e-liquid towards the heating element, which then vaporizes it.

But here’s the interesting part.

Chain vaping doesn’t allow the cotton in your vape to reabsorb e-liquid fast enough, leaving them semi-dry. This results in an effect similar to running low on e-liquid — an unpleasant burnt taste.

To avoid this, wait a few seconds between pulls for the e-liquid to reabsorb.

3. Your Coil or Wick Is Old

All good things need to end. In the case of vaping, it's your coil's lifespan. As the coil ages, they are more prone to cause burnt cotton and a terrible aftertaste.

Your coil or wick deteriorates over time as you continue to use your vape repeatedly (especially the refillable ones.)

But they deteriorate much faster if you mix e-liquids frequently or refill your vape at the last moment before running dry.

If your vape liquid levels are high and you are sure the cotton in your vape isn’t scorched, a burnt taste means it’s time to replace your atomizer or wick.

Note: If you have a pod-based vape system, you must replace the entire atomizer. Mod vapes allow you to reuse your vape tank with a replaceable coil and wick.

4. You’re Incorrectly Priming Your Coils (Applicable to Mod Vapes Only)

Mod vapes require extra time and effort to set up than pod-based systems. For instance, their coil wick must be “primed” before taking a puff.

Here’s why it’s crucial.

The dry cotton material in a mod vape’s coil wick is packed quite compactly, unlike the more porous cotton material in a pod system. So, if it’s not saturated enough, it’ll burn quickly.

This means that you must pre-saturate the wicking material in a mod vape with e-liquid before the vape tank is fully assembled and filled with vape juice.

5. You’ve Set a High Wattage (Mod Vapes Only)

We don’t blame you for playing around with the power output of your mod vape to push your cloud-forming ability to its limits. But while this is fun, high-power vaping may be too much for your wick to handle.

High-power vaping can cause e-liquids to vaporize faster than usual. If your wick can’t saturate fast enough, it’ll dry out quickly, resulting in burning.

So it’s best to set your vape device at the manufacturer's recommended wattage.

6. E-liquid Residue Buildup on the Coil (Mod Vapes Only)

If you’re not cleaning out your vape juice tank regularly, e-liquid residue (aka coil gunk) can build up on the surface of the heating element (coil).

This happens because some e-liquids contain ingredients that don’t fully vaporize when heated. Such ingredients end up sticking to the heating element.

This residue can also thicken your e-liquid.

What can you expect?

This coil gunk will eventually result in an overpowering “caramelized” or “burnt sugar” taste from your vape — which we assure you is not as tasty as it sounds. If left unresolved, the coil gunk can also roast your coil completely.

7. You’re Not Using The Right E-Liquid For Your Device

Different vape device styles can require different types of e-liquids.

Atomizers and wicks in vapes are designed to vaporize e-liquids of varying consistencies. And that’s why your device may require an e-liquid with specific thicknesses, vegetable glycerin to propylene glycol (VG-PG) ratio, nicotine strength, and ingredients).

Vaping with the wrong e-liquid type can strain your wick or atomizer, significantly reducing its longevity — which could be why your vape tastes burnt.

So how do you pick the right e-liquid for your device?
Pod vape atomizers typically need e-liquids with higher VG concentrations – like nicotine salts – since they produce less vapor and use less power.

In contrast, mod vapes with a coil head and wick pair well with freebase e-liquids, which are suitable for high vapor production and power output.

Now that we’ve covered the probable causes of a burnt vape taste, let’s review some quick fixes to eliminate that roasted vape flavor.

Quick Fixes for Vapes With Burnt Taste

Here are some tips you can use to remove the burnt taste from your vape:

•  If you have a mod vape, cleaning your coil head may eliminate the burnt taste from your vape.
•  If that doesn’t work, replacing the coil will remove the burnt taste.
•  Prime your coils before a vaping session by allowing the e-liquid to absorb into the wick/cotton. If you don’t know how to prime your vape coils, your nearest vape shop should be able to assist you.
•  Lower the wattage on your device if you can do so. This will reduce the temperature at which your e-liquid burns, reducing the chance of your coil burning.

But what if you can prevent the burnt vape taste from happening at all?

Here are some tips for that:

6 Tips to Avoid A Dry or Burnt Hit From Your Vape

“Prevention is better than cure.” Save these tips for a worry-free vaping experience and avoid that unpleasant burnt taste.

1. Refill Your E-Liquid Regularly

Keeping your eye on your e-liquid levels is the best way to prevent your vape from running dry and feeding you burnt hits.

And keep a bottle of e-liquid with you while away from home so you’re never left stranded with dry hits.

2. Replace Your Wick Or Atomizer Often

Depending on your device, you should plan a schedule for replacing your vape's atomizer or wick to prevent them from getting old and experiencing burnt hits.

  • For pod vapes, replacing your atomizer every one-four weeks is recommended.
  • For mod vapes, replacing the wick in your coil every 30-90 days is recommended.

    3. Avoid Vaping Higher-VG E-Liquids

    A high-VG vape juice is usually thicker and has higher sugar content. Over time, they can create more residue buildup in your tank and coils than other e-liquids — reducing your coil's lifespan and creating a burnt flavor.

    4. Avoid Chain Vaping

    Chain vaping has no real benefit unless you’ve been rescued from a deserted island and haven’t had a puff in days.

    Relax, and take your time.

    A quick 10-25 second break between each puff will give your coil time to saturate again.

    Additionally, it takes around eight seconds for the nicotine in your vapor to fully absorb. While it isn’t necessary to wait between each puff, it can elevate your vaping experience and reduce dry hits (and taking in some oxygen in between will do you good!).

    5. Avoid the Cold

    Colder temperatures can increase the viscosity (thickness) of e-liquids. As they become thicker, it’s more difficult to absorb into the wicking material.

    The ideal temperatures for vaping are between 32-95°F (0-35°C). If you’re vaping in temperatures far lower than this, it could be why your vape tastes burnt.

    6. Use a Disposable Vape From Cyclone Pods

    Disposable vapes are a great way to avoid having to refill, replace, and maintain your vape coil. A disposable vape pen is also less prone to coil burning since it has a low-wattage battery, which depletes before the e liquid does.

    Besides, disposable vapes are easy to use and require no additional thought to prevent a burnt hit — just don't chain-vape them too often.

    But that’s not all.

    If you want to elevate your vaping experience further, a disposable vape taste flavor is much richer in nicotine-free vapes!

    Looking to test out nicotine-free vapes for yourself?
    Try out the disposable vape range from Cyclone Pods.

    Cyclone Pods is a US-based vape company that has a range of high-quality vapes that are free from:

    • Nicotine
    • Diacetyl
    • Vitamin-E acetate
    • Formaldehyde

    Their Gust Super rechargeable disposable vape device comes with a massive 5000-puff e liquid tank and is available in 15 delicious flavour styles, including:

    • Mango
    • Super Guava Passion
    • Watermelon
    • Menthol

    Looking for an environmentally friendly option?

    The Surge Collection is an innovative vaping device designed to be both sustainable and convenient.

    With The Surge, you get a reusable battery and a long-lasting pod, offering you the pleasure of over 6000 puffs. Treat yourself to a selection of 13 sublime flavors, including Strawberry, Fruit Punch, and more!

    Next, let’s hash over some questions you may still have.

    5 Other FAQs About Burnt Vapes

    1. Does Burnt Vape Taste Go Away?

    If you’re lucky (and catch it early), you might be able to remove the burnt taste from your vape with a quick top-up of vape juice.

    However, if you've burnt the cotton material, the only recourse is to replace it.

    2. What Does a Burnt Coil Taste Like?

    The flavor of a burnt coil is often described as tasting like charred marshmallows (in sweeter vape flavor e-liquids) or burnt paper (in savory flavors like tobacco).

    This is unpleasant, but it gets worse.

    3. What Happens If I Vape a Burnt Coil?

    Depending on the severity of your burnt coil, you might end up choking or vomiting when inhaling the vapor. Some coils can produce harmful chemicals when charred, which you can inhale through the vapor when taking a burnt or dry puff.

    Play it safe by replacing your coil when you notice your vape tasting burnt.

    4. What Happens If a New Coil Tastes Burnt?

    If a properly primed new coil is tasting burnt, it could mean it's faulty. But, before replacing the coil or vape, try the following tests:

    •  Check the wattage: Ensure you set the recommended wattage for your coil. Using the incorrect wattage can result in a burnt taste.

    •  Check the e liquid level: You must maintain sufficient vape juice levels in your tank or pod to keep the coil saturated.

    •  Ensure you’re using an e-liquid with optimal PG/VG ratio: Match the coil head size with the right PG/VG ratio. Smaller vape coils generally need thinner juice (higher PG volume), while bigger ones need high VG e-liquid.

    •  Adjust airflow: If you’re using a vape device with customizable airflow, like a box mod, experiment with airflow settings by opening the airflow up to see if the taste improves. Inadequate airflow can cause a burnt taste.

    5. How Can I Clean the Coil in My Vape Mod?

    If you’re looking for an effective way to clean your mod vape coil, here’s what you need to do:

    • Step 1: Let your coil soak in ethanol or vinegar for a few hours
    • Step 2: Rinse it off under the tap
    • Step 3: Remove any excess mineral deposit by rinsing it once more with distilled water
    • Step 4: Blow air on the open side of your coil to force water to the wicking holes
    • Step 5: Rest it aside to air dry until all water has evaporated

    Once you’ve completed these steps, you can re-wick your as good as new coil and continue your vaping journey!

    Burning Yourself Out With Roasted Coils? Try Cyclone Pods!

    We all vape to taste the rich and indulgent flavour blends. But the experience can ruin quickly when your vape invites you to an unwanted barbecue.

    While there are some tips and tricks to save a burnt vape atomizer or wick, you should ideally replace it immediately with a new coil to avoid further damage or displeasure.

    But that can be a hassle too.

    Instead, you can step up your vaping experience with Cyclone Pods’ nicotine-free and hassle-free disposable range.

    So what are you waiting for?
    Visit Cyclone Pods today to see how you can improve your quality of life and vaping experience with nicotine-free vapes!

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.