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Why Does Vape Taste Burnt? And How To Fix?

Burnt vape coil close-up

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a perfect vape hit. It’s smooth, flavorful vapor that leaves you feeling relaxed. But what happens when that taste is replaced by a harsh, burnt sensation? Don’t be afraid! A burnt e-cig is a common issue. And in most cases, it’s easily fixable.

This guide will be your roadmap to eliminating that dreaded burnt flavor. So, what does it mean when a vape is burnt? We’ll explore the culprits behind the scenes. We will go from user errors like an empty tank to component wear and tear that necessitates a replacement.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned user or a curious newcomer. Our article will give you the knowledge to diagnose the problem and get your e-cig back. So, remember, smoking a burnt vape is bad. Ditch the frustration. Grab your e-cig. And let’s troubleshoot that burnt taste together! By the end of this journey, you’ll be a burnt-vape-banishing pro!

Identifying the Problem

How to tell if a vape is burnt? A delightful experience hinges on the delicate balance between:

  • The e-liquid.
  • Coil.
  • Wattage. 

When this harmony is disrupted, that satisfying flavor can quickly turn into a harsh, burnt taste. Let’s delve into the mechanics of your e-cig. We will identify the culprits behind this unpleasant experience.

Causes of Burnt Taste in Vapes

Does your brand-new disposable vape not work? The main points are:

  • Burnt Coils. The most common reason for a burnt taste is a worn-out coil. Think of the coil as the heart of your e-cig. It’s a metal element that heats up, vaporizing the e-liquid. Over time, the coil’s wicking material can become burnt from constant use. This burnt cotton is what you taste when your e-cig malfunctions. A burnt coil also loses its ability to soak up e-liquid efficiently, further exacerbating the problem.
  • Inadequate Wicking. Another culprit of why my rechargeable vape tastes burnt is inadequate wicking. The coil relies on the wicking material to draw e-liquid from the tank. If the wick isn’t saturated properly, the coil will overheat and burn the dry cotton. It leads to that dreaded burnt taste. This can happen for a few reasons. Maybe you’ve just refilled your tank and haven’t given the wick enough time to soak up the e-liquid. Alternatively, the e-liquid might be too thick for your coil’s wicking capabilities, hindering proper absorption.
  • High Wattage Settings. Wattage refers to the amount of power delivered to the coil. It determines the temperature it reaches. Using a wattage setting exceeding the coil’s recommended range can also lead to a burnt taste. A higher wattage heats the coil too much. It burns the wick and the e-liquid too quickly. It’s like cranking the heat on a stovetop; if it’s too high, you’ll burn your food!

Troubleshooting Disposable Vapes

E-cigs offer a convenient vaping experience. However, even these can succumb to the dreaded burnt taste. Before tossing it aside, here are some quick fixes on how to unburn a vape.

Fixing Burnt Disposable Vapes

Addressing Low E-Liquid Levels:

  • The E-liquid Culprit. A common cause of burnt hits in e-cigs is simply running low on e-liquid. The coil relies on a constant supply of liquid to stay saturated and prevent burning.
  • The Fix. Unfortunately, single-use e-cigs aren’t refillable. If you suspect this is the issue, it might be time to consider a new one. However, some e-cigs might appear to have e-liquid remaining visually.

Optimizing Puff Technique:

  • Puffing Too Frequently or Hard. Taking long, harsh puffs can deplete the e-liquid around the coil faster than it can be replenished. This can lead to a dry hit and a burnt taste.
  • The Fix. Take shorter, gentler puffs. Allow a few seconds between puffs to give the wick time to absorb more e-liquid.

Priming Your E-cig:

  • What is Priming? According to this “how to fix a burnt vape” step, some e-cigs, particularly those with higher nicotine strengths, might benefit from priming. This involves taking a few dry puffs (without inhaling). It’s to draw e-liquid into the coil and ensure proper saturation before your first inhale.
  • The Fix. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific brand. It’s to see if priming is recommended. If so, take 2-3 dry puffs without inhaling and wait a few minutes before taking your first puff.

Preventing Burnt Hits in E-cigs:

  • Don’t Leave it in Direct Sunlight or Heat. Extreme heat can thin the e-liquid. It makes it wick improperly and potentially leads to a burnt hit.
  • Store Upright. Keeping your e-cig upright helps prevent air bubbles from forming in the coil. It ensures consistent e-liquid flow.
  • Take Breaks. How to make a disposable vape not taste burnt? Continuous vaping can dry out the wick. So, take short breaks in between puffs to allow the coil to re-saturate.
  • Choose the Right Tool. Consider your vaping habits when selecting an e-cig. Nicotine strength and coil resistance can affect how quickly the e-liquid is consumed. If you’re a frequent user, a higher-capacity e-cig might be a better choice.

Remember! The question: “Why does my new disposable still taste burnt?” The simple answer: If the burnt taste persists after trying these solutions, it’s likely the coil is simply worn out. Unfortunately, single-use e-cigs aren’t designed for repairs. So it’s best to dispose of it and pick up a new one.

Maintaining Rechargeable Vapes

Rechargeable e-cigs offer a customizable and cost-effective vaping experience. However, they need a little more TLC. It’s to keep them functioning optimally and avoid that dreaded burnt taste. Here are some preventive maintenance tips. They are to ensure your rechargeable e-cig delivers consistently delicious puffs.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

How to fix a burnt coil without replacing it? Just like any tool that comes into contact with residue, your e-cig needs regular cleaning to maintain peak performance. E-liquid residue can build up on the coil and other components. It hinders proper function and potentially leads to a burnt taste:

  • Cleaning Frequency. The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you vape and the type of e-liquid you use. A general rule is to clean your e-cig thoroughly every one to two weeks, with a quick wipe-down in between refills.
  • The Cleaning Process. Disassemble your e-cig according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Separate the tank, coil, and mouthpiece. Run warm water through the tank (excluding the coil and any electrical components). It’s to remove any loose e-liquid residue. You can use a cotton swab dipped in warm water to clean hard-to-reach areas. For stubborn residue, some users recommend soaking the tank in a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap (followed by thorough rinsing with water) – but be sure to check your manual for specific cleaning instructions. Never submerge the coil or any electrical components in water! For the coil, simply wipe away any visible residue with a dry cotton swab. Let all components air dry completely before reassembling your e-cig.

Improper filling can lead to a number of issues, including dry hits and burnt coils. To avoid the “how to fix a vape” procedure:

  • Avoid Overfilling. Most tanks have a fill line that indicates the maximum amount of e-liquid you can add. Overfilling can cause flooding. It leads to leaking and potentially a burnt taste.
  • Filling Technique. When filling your tank, avoid getting e-liquid on the center post and the chimney. It’s the metal tube that connects the tank to the mouthpiece. This can cause gurgling sounds and spitting. It can negatively impact flavor and potentially lead to a burnt taste.
  • Priming Your Coils. When using a new coil or after cleaning your tank, prime the coil. Drip a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the cotton. Do it before filling the tank. This ensures the wick is properly saturated. 

Even with proper cleaning and filling techniques, coils eventually wear out. The wicking material deteriorates with use, and the metal coil itself can become less effective at heating the e-liquid. A worn-out coil is the most common reason for burnt hits in rechargeable e-cigs:

  • Signs of a Dead Coil. The most obvious sign is a persistent burnt taste. Other reasons why and signs of vape burn are a significant drop in vapor, gurgling sounds, and leaking.
  • Replacement Frequency. The lifespan of a coil depends on many factors. They are wattage setting, vaping style, and the type of e-liquid used. Generally, you need to replace coils every 1-2 weeks for frequent users, but this can vary. Pay attention to the performance of your e-cig. Replace the coil when you notice a decline in flavor or an increase in burnt hits.
Disposable vape troubleshooting

Advanced Fixes for Experienced Users

For seasoned users comfortable tinkering with their devices, there are some advanced solutions. They are to address burnt coils and potentially extend their lifespan. However, these methods require a certain level of skill and knowledge. It’s not enough to just know why vapes get burnt. If you’re unsure about any step, it’s best to err on the side of caution and replace the coil entirely.

Before any repairs, ensure your e-cig is turned off and cool. Also, always handle e-liquid with care.

Repairing Burnt Coils and Wicks

Dry Burning:

It involves heating the coil without any e-liquid present. This can potentially remove light burning on the coil itself:
Disassemble the burnt disposable vape and remove the coil.Pulse the fire button at a low wattage (around 5-7 watts) for a very short duration. You should see a faint glow coming from the coil. Do not hold the button down for extended periods.Repeat pulsing the button in short bursts, observing the coil for glowing. As the burning clears, the glowing will become less intense and more even.Once the glowing appears consistent, stop pulsing. Let the coil cool completely.Dry the coil with a clean tissue.Re-wick the coil. And prime it with e-liquid before reassembling and using your e-cig.
Warning! Dry burning is a risky process. It can damage your coil if not done correctly. Excessive heating can weaken the coil material or even shorten its lifespan. 

Rewicking Your Coil:

This “how to make vape not taste burnt” method involves replacing the cotton-wicking material in your coil. This is a more involved process than dry burning. However, it can potentially revive a burnt coil:
Disassemble your coil and remove the old wicking material. Be careful not to damage the coil itself. Choose the appropriate wicking material. Most rebuildable coils use cotton, but there are different types available.Cut a strip of cotton slightly longer than the coil. This “how to fix burnt elf bar” step involves getting the ideal thickness. It will depend on the coil size and your desired airflow. Generally, a slightly thicker wick will provide better flavor and vapor production. Restrict airflow a bit more.Thin and fluff out the ends of the cotton. This will aid absorption and prevent the wick from blocking the airflow holes in the coil.Carefully insert the cotton wick through the coil. Ensure it makes good contact with the coil windings. Don’t pack the cotton too tightly, as this can restrict e-liquid flow and lead to dry hits and gross vape flavors.Trim the ends of the wick so they just barely touch the bottom of the build deck (the metal platform where the coil sits). You don’t want the wick blocking the juice flow holes.Prime the coil by dripping e-liquid onto the wick.
Remember! Rewicking requires a good understanding of your specific coil and its build. If you’re unsure about any part of the process, it’s best to consult a more experienced user or look for video tutorials.


Smoking a burnt vape can quickly turn a delightful vaping experience into a bad one. Luckily, most burnt taste culprits are easily identified and addressed.

For both single-use and rechargeable e-cigs, regular maintenance is key. This includes:

  • Proper cleaning techniques.
  • Using the right e-liquid for your device.
  • Avoiding behaviors that can lead to dry hits, like excessive chain vaping.

For rechargeable e-cigs, mastering coil replacement and even rewicking can extend their lifespan. However, these “how to fix burnt disposable vape” techniques need some practice and knowledge.

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