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Coil Gunk: What is it and how to fix it

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Let’s get funky – not gunky!

Gunky coils are never something you’re going to smile about and if you’re lucky enough to have not experienced them, then you’re in luck because we’re going to show you how to avoid coil gunk. Don’t worry, if you’re sitting staring at your coil gunk right now, we’ve also got you covered because we’re going to show you how to fix it and more importantly, stop it from happening again.

What is coil gunk?

If we’re honest, gunky coils are gross. It symbolises a sometimes, thick, black layer of something covering the coil of your atomizer and clogging up your wick. The problem if left uncleaned is that is can affect the taste of your e-liquid juice, reduce the lifespan of your coils and even stop your devices from working as they should be. No one wants that and when we’re as invested into your vaping experience as you are, we’re going to see what can be done to stop it from happening.

So let’s set the scene. You’ve been using one of our favourite sweet and creamy e-liquid juices; we highly recommend Cherry Tunes E-liquid and Why So Cereal E-liquid by Freaks by the way, they’re amazing, but we’re detracting away from the story. You notice a change in flavour after a few days but ignore it, then all of a sudden it tastes like you’re getting dry hits even though your tank is filled and your wick is primed perfectly. You look at your atomizer coil and this is what you see:


Seriously, there’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a nice dessert e-juice flavour on a cold day, just to find your coil is filled with gunk and harshening your hits.

Coil gunk is the concentrated residue of everything in your e-liquid that doesn’t vaporize cleanly or completely. This residue ends up sticking to the coil, gradually becoming thicker and darker as you carry on vaping. Eventually, the layer of crust on the coil becomes so thick that you can barely taste your e-liquid juice anymore and trust us when we say, that hurts to hear. Instead, all that you can taste is the residue as it burns. Eventually, it claims every atomizer coil.


Breaking down coil gunk

We believe it’s possible to get your coil working properly again by cleaning the coil. However, the only and best real fix for coil gunk is to replace the coil, but, we’re not quitters so we’ve got a few hints on how to clean out your coil gunk. Firstly, let’s understand how it’s caused.

E-liquid juices with sweeteners – With the advances in flavours in E-liquid juices, ranging from The Jam Vape Co’s Raspberry Jam E-liquid to Fruit Pastilles Shake and Vape E-liquid, you can pretty much get any flavour you want. However, some of these do contain sweeteners. If it’s not cleaned properly or regularly, the sweeteners don’t vaporise easily and can build up residue on your coil.

E-liquid juices that are darker in colour – This might sound like an odd one, but generally, darker coloured e-liquid juices are usually heavier and have a higher sweeteners content in comparison to lighter coloured vape juices.

High VG E-liquids – While this is argued by many people, some vapers argue that E-liquid juices that have a higher VG ratio produce more coil gunk than lower-VG ones. Higher VG E-juice is thicker, which makes clogging more likely in general, and would explain why some vapers notice more gunk with high-VG E-juice liquid.

A Smokey Tip

If this is something you are experiencing, play around with different blends with different PG/VG ratios. You can even get 50/50 blends, but anything with less than 70% VG will reduce the risk of coil gunk. We’ve put a selection of our most flavoursome ones together below.

Berry Tunes by Freaks
Black and Blue Nicotine Salts by T-Juice
Apple & Pear by Freaks
Pineapple by Vampire Vape
Pink Lemonade by Freaks

Higher power settings and chain vaping – If you’re a vaper who enjoys taking long puffs and prolonged hits and at a fairly high wattage and power settings, you might have found the reason why your coil gunk is being produced. However, the problem may actually be that you’re burning your wick. Dependent on the material of your wick, you have to consider how absorbent it is and how well it wicks. Basically, the e-liquid juice might not travel to the coil as quickly as the coil can vaporize it. Do this frequently and you’ll end up burning your wick away. By turning down the power, you’re already halfway there.

Let’s clean your gunk

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely using tank systems with pre-built coils. Whilst it’s technically possible to re-wick and dry burn a pre-made coil, it can be very hard. To get your coil working so it doesn’t affect your vaping experience at all, we would recommend replacing it entirely. However, if your wick isn’t burned at all, you might be able to restore it by cleaning your coil.

Similar to cleaning your vape tank, you can grab a very small nylon brush, dash some cheap vodka on it and try scrubbing the inside of the coil. You can quickly rinse it under some warm water, but do not leave it to soak or leave it exposed to water for longer than a couple of seconds. Leave it to dry before priming your coil and attempting to use it again.

Switch to rebuildables – If coil gunk is something that’s becoming all too familiar, and you don’t want to change your usual e-liquid, you can switch to using a rebuildable atomizer. If you’re knee-deep in the world of rebuildables and have an RBA or RTA, It’s actually really easy to access the coil and tug one side of the wick with a pair of tweezers to see if you’re over vaping. It’ll break easily and you’ll see a black mark that shows where it’s directly being burnt.

Using rebuildable atomizers has tons of benefits for reducing coil gunk and saving you money – winner! The main reason for this is that if your coil does end up covered in gunk, you can simply remove the wick and replace it with a new one. No hassle of cleaning!

Naturally, coil gunk can be reduced but not avoided entirely. It isn’t ideal, we know, but life is for enjoying, especially when it comes to vaping. Everyone likes a bit of sweet, darker e-juice from time to time and we say, why not! If you take care over how you vape, it won’t happen often.