How to Fix a Burnt Vape

When you use your vape, it’s fair and normal to expect it to taste great. Flavor is one of the biggest reasons why people vape, and it’s also the reason why people spend their time searching for the best vape flavors. You’re naturally going to be pretty unhappy if your vape tastes burnt, and you’re going to want to know how to fix the problem.

If your vape tastes burnt, there’s usually only one way to fix it: You need to replace the coil. There may be other possible solutions, though, depending on the specific circumstances of your situation – and in this guide, we’re going to discuss all of them. Before you can truly know how to fix a burnt vape, though, you need to understand what’s happening in the first place – and that’s where this guide will begin.

What Does It Mean When a Vape Is Burnt?

When a vape is burnt, sucralose residue on the coil is usually the cause of the problem.

When a vape is burnt, there are four possible causes for the problem. Each one will feel and taste slightly different from your point of view, and that's how you can tell what's happening. Let’s discuss the four causes of a burnt vape. To learn even more, read our full-length article explaining why your vape tastes burnt.

  • Your vape may taste burnt because of residue from your vape juice. The reason why so many e-liquids taste sweet is because they include sucralose, a popular sugar alternative. When it’s heated, though, sucralose doesn’t behave in the same way as the other ingredients in e-liquid. A large portion of the sucralose in a sweetened e-liquid cooks down and sticks to the coil in your vape before it has a chance to enter the vapor stream. The thicker the residue layer becomes, the more it’ll affect flavor quality. At first, you’ll notice that your vape juice begins to take on a dark, caramelized flavor. As you continue vaping, though, the flavor will become very smoky and burnt. Eventually, you may even get a sore throat when you vape. There’s no way to completely remove the residue from an old vape coil, so replacing the coil is the only fix in this case.
  • Your vape may taste burnt because it has adjustable power, and the power level is set too high.
  • Your vape may taste burnt because it’s out of e-liquid.
  • Your vape may taste burnt because the coil’s cotton wick is damaged from excessive heat.

Now that you understand the four primary causes of a burnt vape, let’s discuss solutions. The way to fix a burnt vape differs depending on whether you’re using a disposable vape or a refillable one. We’ll discuss these two situations separately.

How to Fix a Burnt Disposable Vape

Avoiding a burnt disposable vape begins with using the best device. Read our list of the best disposable vapes on the market.

In most cases, there isn’t much that you can do to fix a burnt disposable vape because of the way disposables work. They don’t have replaceable components, and they’re not intended to be refilled.

A disposable vape may taste burnt because it's out of e-liquid.
  • If your disposable vape tastes burnt because it’s out of e-liquid, you’ll know long before your device reaches that point because the flavor quality will drop sharply when the device’s wick is nearly dry. When the wick is completely dry, your disposable vape will taste burnt on every puff. At this point, it’s time to replace the device.
  • If your disposable vape tastes burnt because of residue from sweetened e-liquid, there’s no way to resolve the issue because you can’t replace the coil. Sucralose residue is becoming a bigger problem with disposable vapes these days because the latest devices contain so much e-liquid. By the time you reach the end of the device’s e-liquid supply, there’s bound to be a change in flavor quality. This is one of the reasons why we like the Geek Bar Pulse and other dual-coil disposables. Because a dual-coil vape alternates between the two coils on each puff, the residue is divided between the two coils.

Although these two reasons for a burnt disposable vape aren’t fixable, there are a few other situations where you can fix the problem by changing something about the way you vape. We’ll discuss those next.

  • Make sure that you’re not chain vaping. After each puff, the e-liquid in your device’s wick needs a moment to redistribute itself. If you puff again before that happens, you’ll get a burnt hit. Always space your puffs out by several seconds.
  • If your device offers multiple power levels, try vaping at a lower power level.
  • Make sure that you aren’t blocking the airflow opening when you hold your device. The airflow opening for a disposable vape is usually at the bottom. If you hold the device in a way that restricts airflow, the coil will overheat, and you’ll get a burnt hit.

How to Fix a Burnt Refillable Vape

Avoiding a burnt pod vape begins with using a device that’s designed for top-quality flavor and long-lasting coils. Read our list of the best pod vapes on the market.

All of the reasons for a burnt vape that we’ve described in this article apply to both disposable and refillable vapes. Since a refillable device has replaceable components, though, you have a few additional options for correcting the issue. Here’s what you can do to fix a burnt refillable vape.

There are usually a few possible fixes when a refillable vape tastes burnt.
  • Make sure that the pod or tank isn’t empty. When you look at your device from the side, you can see the level of e-liquid in the tank or pod. You can also see the small circular wick openings at the bottom of the coil. If the e-liquid is below the openings, it’s time to add more vape juice. Some vapes actually have “MIN” lines that can help you remember when it’s time for a refill.
  • Reduce your device’s power level. Many vape mods and pod systems offer adjustable wattage these days – and having adjustable power means that it’s possible to set your device’s wattage too high. Make sure that your device is set to a wattage within the suggested power range for the installed coil.
  • Replace the pod or coil. If your refillable vape tastes burnt because of residue from sweetened e-liquid, using a fresh coil is the only way to resolve that issue. If you find that your device needs new parts constantly and are tired of spending a lot of money on replacement pods or coils, try using vape juice that’s unflavored or at least unsweetened. You’ll find that your pods or coils will last much longer.

Is It Bad to Hit a Burnt Vape?

Now that you understand what causes a vape to taste burnt and what you can do about it, it’s time to address the situation that’s happening right now. What happens if you hit a burnt vape? Is it bad? Unfortunately, there has been little scientific research in this area, so our best advice is that you will always want to correct the problem promptly if your vape tastes burnt. Here’s why.

  • Research suggests that a vaping device can emit formaldehyde if it’s set to a high enough power level to cause a “burnt hit.” When this happens, you’ll notice the problem right away. Because a vape coil will overheat in this situation, you’ll get an extremely harsh hit and definitely won’t want to continue vaping until the issue is resolved. Lower your device’s power level immediately and make sure that your pod or tank isn’t empty.
  • If you don’t prime a new coil properly when installing it – or you don’t wait several minutes before vaping if you’re using a pod system and don’t have the ability to add e-liquid directly to the coil – you could end up burning the coil’s wick when you start vaping. This can happen because cotton burns easily when it’s dry. If your coil’s wick is burnt, you may actually taste the singed cotton when you vape. You may even notice an uncomfortable scratchy sensation in the back of your throat. This is another situation where we’d suggest installing a new coil or pod instead of continuing to use the current one. Although the cotton isn’t actually igniting, the fact that it’s been burnt by the heat of the coil means that it’s undergone permanent chemical changes. In that case, you probably don’t want to inhale it.
  • If your vape is burnt because of sucralose residue, you’ll probably be tempted to continue using the same pod or coil as long as possible because there’s no way to remove the residue – the only fix in this case is to install a new coil or pod. Our suggestion, though, is that you replace the component as soon as possible because you probably don’t want to inhale burnt sucralose residue. Note that how quickly the residue forms depends on how sweet your e-liquid is and how much vape juice your device uses. To make your pods or coils last longer, you can use a device that doesn’t generate as much vapor, or you can switch to an unsweetened e-liquid.