Simple Guide to Fixing Coil Gunk

When you shop at a finer vape store like, you’re going to find an enormous selection of e-liquid – and, this being 2019, a huge portion of that e-liquid is going to be sweetened. Vapers love e-liquids with sweet flavor profiles, and e-liquid makers are happy to oblige. The problem, though, is that sweet e-liquids invariably lead to premature coil death in the form of coil gunk. Anyone who has ever loved sweet e-liquid has dealt with coil gunk. After just a bit of vaping, that dark color begins to creep across your wick. Before you know it, your coil is covered with a black, shiny crust – and every puff tastes like burned sugar.

The reality is that there’s no way to fix coil gunk – well, almost no way, as you’re about to find out. Generally, people deal with coil gunk in one of two ways. Either they decide that the sweet flavors aren’t worth the reduced coil life and switch to unsweetened e-liquids, or they start building their own coils so the daily coil replacements won’t be so expensive. In this article, though, we’ll explain that, if you think creatively, there are actually other ways of dealing with coil gunk that you may not have considered. Let’s learn what those ways are.

Switch to a Pod System

If you spend any time reading about vaping as a hobby, you probably knew that sucralose was the top cause of coil gunk before you clicked on this article. Have you ever stopped, though, to think about why the problem of coil gunk is so much more common than it was a few years ago? Sweetened e-liquids aren’t new, but it’s easy to get the impression that coil gunk is a recent problem. The reason why more people than ever are complaining about coil gunk is because how quickly the gunk forms depends on how quickly you use your e-liquid – and today’s high-end vape tanks can burn through e-liquid like nobody’s business. If you’re using a modern triple-mesh or quadruple-mesh coil, you’re probably going through more than 15 ml of e-liquid per day – and you’re probably going through a coil every day, too.

So, how do you fix coil gunk without changing your e-liquid? The answer is actually surprisingly simple: Don’t use so much e-liquid. Today, you can find nicotine salt versions of just about every popular e-liquid. If you switch to a nicotine salt e-liquid and begin using a pod system, you’ll consume dramatically less e-liquid – and you won’t have to replace your coils nearly as often as you do now.

Sweeten Your Own E-Liquids

The speed at which coil gunk forms isn’t just a function of the amount of e-liquid you use; it’s also a function of how much sucralose is in your e-liquid. Switching to an unsweetened e-liquid is the best way to fix coil gunk, but what if you’ve tried that and decided that you hate unsweetened e-liquid? Well, it turns out that there’s a surprisingly simple solution for that – buy an unsweetened e-liquid and add a drop of liquid sucralose to it. It’s the same sweetener that the e-liquid manufacturers are using. If you’re the one adding it to your own e-liquid, though, you can just add the minimum amount of sweetener necessary to please your palate. You’ll almost certainly end up with an e-liquid that – while still sweet – is less sweet than a mainstream e-liquid. You should experience dramatically better coil life as a result.

Remove Heat From the Equation

Are you certain that coil gunk is actually what’s causing that burned flavor when you vape? Unless you can actually see black crust on your coil’s heating wire, don’t be so sure. A dry cotton wick burns easily, and a wick with even the slightest trace of a burn can greatly alter the flavor that you experience when you vape. An easy way to eliminate heat as a possible cause of the problem is by simply lowering your device’s wattage. When vape product manufacturers assign suggested wattage ranges to their coils, they’re assuming that you’ll puff for no more than about two or three seconds at a time. If your puffs are longer than that, vaping at a lower wattage can help to preserve coil life.

Another way to remove heat from the equation is by using a coil with a wick made from a material other than cotton. These days, the more innovative vape manufacturers are experimenting with heat-resistant wick materials such as flax, rayon, cellulose and ceramic. Ceramic, in particular, is exceptionally durable and won’t burn even if it is completely dry. Unfortunately, ceramic doesn’t transport e-liquid as efficiently as cotton; that’s why it isn’t popular as a wick for sub-ohm vaping. It’s still worth trying, though, if you’re sick of burning your coils out.

Clean Your Coils

Now that you’ve made it to the end of the article, it’s time for us to share the only real method at your disposal for fixing coil gunk: You can clean your coils. Although removing absolutely every trace of sucralose residue from a coil is virtually impossible, a lengthy soak in hot water or vodka can definitely help. Soak your coil in the liquid for a full day, shaking the bowl periodically to agitate the coil and break up the residue. If you used vodka to clean your coil, give the coil a rinse in the sink before leaving it out in the open for several hours to dry.

Although water and vodka both work well as solvents for dissolving coil gunk, a bit of constant agitation can do an even better job – and nothing provides gentle agitation quite as well as an ultrasonic cleaner for jewelry. People love ultrasonic cleaners because they can remove dirt and tarnish with nothing but plain water – and they can do the same thing for your coils. Just place your coils in an ultrasonic cleaner overnight, and when you get up in the morning, they’ll look almost the same as new coils.

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