When you were young, an adult probably told you that excessive consumption of sweets was bad for your health. The problem, of course, is that sweet things are hard to resist. The current state of the vaping industry is proof of that. At some point, an e-liquid maker realized that adding sucralose or another sweetener to e-liquid makes that e-liquid twice as delicious – and it was all over. Today, most of the e-liquid companies with wide distribution sell e-liquids that taste almost as sweet as candy. Some people even love their sweet e-liquids so much that they’d feel tempted to go back to smoking if they couldn’t buy sweet juice any more.

There’s just one problem with those delicious e-liquids: They’re ruining your coils. If you see a black, wet mess every time you lift the cover off of your RDA or change the coil in your tank, you’re dealing with coil gunk. Coil gunk is one of the most common problems that vapers face. It ruins the taste of an e-liquid and decreases the vapor production of your e-cigarette. If sweet e-liquids are what you love, there isn’t much that you can do about coil gunk – but you can alleviate the issue somewhat. In this article, we’ll provide some tips that can help.

What Is Coil Gunk, and How Do Sweet E-Liquids Cause It?

When you vape, some of the substances in your e-liquid stick to your coil rather than turning into vapor. E-liquid containing sucralose is tasty, but sucralose doesn’t vaporize completely; some of it sticks to the coil. Over time, the deposits insulate the coil and begins to absorb the coil’s heat. Eventually, the sucralose chokes off the coil and begins to burn. Although your wick might be completely wet, the vapor that you inhale will be hot and harsh – almost as if you’re getting dry hits.

Some flavor compounds may cause coil gunk more quickly than others. Reports from the vaping community also suggest that high-VG e-liquids are more likely to cause coil gunk than PG-based e-liquids. By far, though, sucralose is the biggest offender when it comes to coil gunk. If you use heavily sweetened e-liquids, you may only get about a day out of a coil before it turns black. That’s bad news if you use a tank with expensive pre-made coils.

What Can I Do About Coil Gunk?

Use E-Liquids With Less Sweeteners

Although e-liquids with sweeteners are the most popular on the market presently, there are still plenty of unsweetened e-liquids available. If you choose an e-liquid that’s unsweetened – or at least less sweet – you’ll get more life out of your coils. VG tastes a bit sweet on its own. Some e-liquid makers also add trace amounts of sweet flavoring compounds – cotton candy flavor is quite sweet, for example – in lieu of sucralose and other sweeteners. Experimentation can help you find an enjoyable e-liquid that doesn’t kill your coils so quickly.

Use Less E-Liquid

Although sweet e-liquids are more popular than ever, they’re nothing new. People have added sweeteners like sucralose and agave nectar to e-liquids as long as the vaping industry has existed – so coil gunk has always been an issue. Why, then, are people killing their coils at a faster rate today than ever before? The accumulation of coil gunk isn’t just a function of how sweet your e-liquid is; it’s also a function of how much e-liquid you use. High-wattage mods, sub-ohm tanks and RDAs aren’t just for expert vapers anymore. Everyone is using them, and that means vapers in general consume much more e-liquid per day than they once did. If you simply can’t do without your favorite sweet e-liquid, you can reduce coil gunk simply by reducing the amount of e-liquid you use. Try switching to a smaller tank – or a less powerful device – and increasing your nicotine strength slightly. The reduced e-liquid consumption can help you preserve your coils without changing your preferred e-liquid flavor.

Use a Rebuildable Atomizer

If you love huge clouds and sweet e-liquids – and don’t want to change anything – there isn’t a lot that you can do about coil gunk. Your e-liquids will decrease the life of your coils, and there’s nothing you can do to change that. You can, however, change your vaping setup so coil gunk won’t cost you so much money. A sub-ohm tank is the worst possible vaping accessory for a fan of sweet e-liquids; try a rebuildable atomizer instead. Instead of spending a few dollars for each replacement coil as you do with a sub-ohm tank, you’ll spend a few cents for each new coil with a rebuildable atomizer. Over a year of vaping, a rebuildable atomizer can easily save you hundreds of dollars.

Try Nicotine Salts

If you spend any time reading about vaping, you probably know that nicotine salt e-liquids are all the rage right now. Pax Labs – the maker of the first heavily promoted nicotine salt e-liquid – commissioned a study that found nicotine salt e-liquids to be more satisfying than traditional e-liquids. Nicotine salts have since become so popular that many well-known e-liquid makers have created nicotine salt versions of their existing products. If your favorite e-liquid company has nicotine salt e-liquids available, try them. You may find that you vape less often because your vaping sessions leave you feeling more satisfied. IF you vape less, you’ll use less e-liquid – and your coils will last longer before they become gunky.

Don’t Burn Your Wick

Experimenting with different e-liquids and vaping hardware can help you reduce coil gunk or at least ensure that it doesn’t making vaping overly expensive. Discovering a new gunk-free e-liquid is of limited use, though, if you’re ruining your vaping experience in another way. A burned wick causes the same symptoms as coil gunk, including a dark crust over the coil and a burned taste when you vape. Avoid chain vaping; wait several seconds after each puff to give the wick a chance to soak up additional e-liquid. If you prefer very long puffs when vaping, try lowering your device’s wattage to compensate. If you ensure that your cotton always stays wet, you’ll know that any buildup on the coils is solely the result of the e-liquid you’re using.