Any vaper knows that coils are the lifeblood of a vape. They can change your experience (for better or for worse) in the blink of an eye, thanks to varying wicking holes, wattage ranges, and resistance levels. But at roughly $20.00 for a pack of five in vape shops, they can really burn a hole in your pocket, especially if you chain vape. E-liquids are also a factor since sweet or thick juice – like high VG – can wear out a coil in no time.
Fortunately, there are ways to extend the life of coils and give them at least a few more days of use. Best of all, they’re so easy that even a non-vaper could do it.
When you install a new coil, it can be tempting to jump right into taking a hit. But you shouldn’t – that’s the best way to guarantee you’ll have to replace your new coil before long. Instead, once you’ve traded a worn-out coil for a fresh one, take the time to prime it before use.
Add a few drops of e-juice to the head of the coil until it looks like the wick has absorbed as much as it possibly can. Once you’ve done that, fill your tank with that same juice, and allow your vape to sit for a few minutes. Finally, turn the wattage down a little below the manufacturer-recommended level, and slowly work your way up to normal inhales as you work through your tank.
One of the most common rookie mistakes we see involves the dry hit – trying to take a drag from your vape when there’s no liquid in the tank. Not only will it taste downright awful, it’ll burn through the wick like it’s paper. For that reason, you need to always check to see if your tank has enough liquid in it before you start vaping.
You might also consider letting your coil cool down a bit between hits – but that’s entirely your call.
Don’t Skimp on Quality Vape Juice
The old mantra that you get what you pay for definitely applies where vaping is concerned. While it might be tempting to buy that four dollar bottle of vape juice, lower-quality liquids tend to leave residue behind on your vape. Not only can this greatly shorten the lifespan of your coils, it also makes cleaning an absolute pain.
When you’re shopping for new vape juice, do your research. Look up a few online reviews, compare prices, and do a bit of legwork. As an added bonus, the difference between a cheap juice and a slightly more expensive one can be the difference between a great hit and one you’d rather forget.
Speaking of doing your research, it’s also important that you don’t waste money on cheap vape coils. It may seem like you’re saving money by purchasing a five-pack of lower-quality coils instead of a single high-quality one, but the rate at which you’ll likely burn through the former means the latter is probably a better buy. Quality aside, be careful what retailers you shop with, as well.
Choose only those you know you can trust – again, Google is your best friend here.
When you get the unmistakable flavor (or burn) of a spent coil, you can effectively reverse this really easily.
First, remove the connector piece from the bottom of the coil, then run the coil under warm water for about five minutes. You should notice that the cotton is regaining some of its white color, although this may not always be the case when dark, strong e-juices are involved. These things have a tendency to stick around.
Once the rinse is over, gently dab the outside of the coil with a paper towel to take care of any excess water. Leave your coil on the towel for 24 hours so that the cotton has plenty of time to dry.
Another drying option is to fire the coil in brief intervals to evaporate the extra moisture. This isn’t recommended, as it’s very easy to overdo it and burn the coil. Similarly, it might not burn enough and your e-juice will mix with the water, which isn’t good either.
Another option for stretching out your coils is to place them in clear alcohol, like vodka or Ever clear. Don’t use dark or amber-colored ones (i.e. rum or whiskey), as these are quite sugary and won’t cleanse the cotton. Never use rubbing alcohol. This chemical is poisonous and isn’t meant to be ingested or inhaled.
Rinse the coil in warm water, then simply take the coil and drop it into the clear alcohol of your choice. Leave it there for about an hour. Once it’s done soaking, take it out and give it another brief rinse, then leave it to dry for 24 hours.
Using alcohol won’t speed up the process, but it’s much more effective at clearing up gunk and dissolving stray liquid.
This is a great option if you’re in a pinch and want instant results. E-juices containing VG – especially max VG – run through coils faster because of how viscous the substance is. Any VG that isn’t vaporized will build upon the coil, forming a layer of burnt gunk that ruins the flavor and puts a strain on the component.
Using a paper towel, gently wipe the top area of the coil to get rid of any burnt residue you see. Also, twist the paper towel into a thin shape and slide into the coil’s opening, slowly turning back and forth to catch any stray gunk.
Be extra careful not to use too much force. Just a simple light scrubbing is all you need. This method is the least effective because it doesn’t deep-clean the coils like with water or alcohol. In fact, it’s more of a quick Band-Aid solution that’ll keep you for a day or two tops. Settle for this now if need be, but make sure to give the coil a good wash later.
This seems to be pretty effective when dealing with the wider SMOK brand coils, as the center opening is big enough to fit a paper towel. Their burnt VG tends to pile up near the top, where it’s easy to access and remove.
- This process may extend the life of your coils, but it still does a number on their cotton, making them incapable of holding as much juice. Consequently, there’s a good chance you’ll notice some flavor muting.
- Flavor ghosting is often a problem, no matter how clean your coils are. Strong flavors, like coffee or desserts, could embed themselves in the wick and affect any future juices you use.
- Don’t use a coil until it’s completely dry. If water is still present, it’ll mix with the liquid, severely mute the flavor and cause a lot of spit-back.
About the Author:
Alex Saez is a vaping enthusiast and content creator at MistHub, a top source for vapes, electronic cigarettes, mods, tanks, coils, e-juices, and accessories.