Coil Gunk 101: Keeping Your Coils Clean

Red vape tank with coils sitting on tabletop nearby

No matter what type of vape coils you use, whether traditional or sub-ohm, if you’ve got coils, you’ve probably run into coil gunk at some point. If not, you will sooner or later!

Coil gunk is hard to miss; it’s usually a dark, tar-like residue that gums up your coils, eventually leading to replacement. Not only is coil gunk gross, but it can also get expensive if it’s forcing you to replace your coils all the time. So, what can you do about it? Is there any way to stop it? Read on to find out.

Why does coil gunk happen, and can I avoid it?

In the long run, you can’t avoid it. No matter what you do, gunk will always build up on your coils. However, there are a few things you can do to mitigate it. Before we explore your options, you need to know what coil gunk is and where it comes from.

Coil gunk can be a combination a few different things, but it’s almost always unvaped vape juice that has been left on the coils after you’ve finished vaping.

Consequently, this means different kinds of vape juice lead to varying amounts of gunk. For example, vape liquids that use sweeteners—you can usually spot this by their darker colour—often lead to more gunk, as the sweeteners don’t actually exit the device with the rest of the vapour, they typically just change the taste during vaping, but collect on the coils inside of vaporising completely.

Sub-ohm vapers have also found that juice with high VG (vegetable glycerine) content, aimed at creating bigger clouds, has a tendency to create more gunk. Not everyone agrees on this, so the jury is still out, but most vapers find that VG e-juice leads to more gunk eventually, as it’s much thicker in texture.

Finally, chain-vaping is a pretty big culprit. Taking lots of long hits and running your vape on max power all the time can lead to gunk. Over-use can lead to gunk build-up much faster than it would otherwise happen. There is a threshold here; if you’re vaping the juice faster than it soaks, you’re going to be burning your wicks. This can exacerbate the problem, but the good news is you may not need to reduce your usage by much to see big results.

What can I do about it?

Once you know the main causes of coil gunk, the fixes become clear.

First of all, limit the amount of sweet e-juice you use. Even if sweet flavours are the big drawcard for you, try not to use them exclusively! There are a lot of great, subtle flavours out there that could surprise you. Browse e-liquids here!

The next thing you can do is manage your PG/VG ratio better. Often, 70VG is considered the maximum ratio you can have. Some juices are 100VG, but these are usually straight-up bad for your coils. If you’re in it for huge clouds, try saving your 70VG liquid for when there are people around to appreciate it, and make a sub 60VG liquid your go-to for private vaping.

Finally, you can try to optimise your settings and vape style to work your coils less. Most people who are chain-vaping for a nicotine hit can actually save money by getting e-juice with a higher nicotine level and vaping less overall.

Talk to the vape coil experts

At the end of the day, you’ll need to replace your vape coils sooner or later, no matter how well you look after them. For the best vape coils NZ-wide, get in contact with the vape experts at Big Vape. You’ll be glad you did!