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When is it the Right Time to Switch Out Wicking Materials?

Coil E-Juice E-Liquid Vape Juice Vaping Wick Wicking

The wick of the coil is an underappreciated part of the setup which plays a massive role in one’s ability to feel satisfied when vaping.  That tiny strip of material is what allows the e-liquid to turn into smooth and luxurious vapor, as it absorbs vape juice so that the coil can vaporize it with the right level of heat.

The thing about the coil’s wick is that it does not last forever.  The more often you use it, the sooner it needs to be replaced.  But one question that most vapers cannot help but ask is, just when is the right time to make that switch?

To Change the Wick or Change the Coil?

The wick is a component to the coil, and most often, when the wick is no longer operational, you change out the entire coil rather than the wick, because coils are cheap, and the wick can be hard to replace.  But, if you do build your own vape coils, switching out the wick itself may be a cheaper and faster option.

Different Wicking Materials Used Today

First, let’s talk about the wicking materials, because they may play a role in how frequently you need to switch out your coil or actual wick.

  • Cotton Wicks: Most commonly used because of how easily they absorb the e-liquid without causing flooding.  Usually, organic cotton is considered ideal because it’s a cleaner material which results in cleaner vapor.  Cotton wicks are more associated with high-wattage vaping devices used in sub-ohm vaping, where a lot of e-juice needs to absorb into the wick to produce ample vapor.
  • Rayon Wicks: Second commonly used material and is more associated with low-output systems like pod mods.  Rayon is thinner than cotton and absorbs less e-juice, which is actually ideal if you’re using a vaping system that is made to produce less vapor.

The reason why knowing these materials is so important is because if you are using the wrong material for your vaping setup, you will have to likely change the wick more frequently because the material simply isn’t made for the demands of your unique system.  So, consider switching out one for the other for better compatibility.

How Often the Wick of a Coil Lasts

So, how long does the wick of a coil last?  Well, the answer is that it depends.  How often you use your wick has the most to do with how soon it needs to be changed. 

  • Moderate to heavy vapers will need to make a replacement every few days, as the wick eventually loses its ability to absorb e-liquid.  
  • Lighter vapers can get away with changing it once a week.

Keep in mind that the output level makes a difference as well.  If you are vaping at the highest wattage setting, your wick will be taking a greater beating, and need to be changed more regularly.

How to Know You Need to Change Your Coil or Wicking Material

Luckily, there are some easy signs that it’s time to change the wick.

Sign #1: Flooding

Flooding means that the wick cannot hold any more e-liquid, and so the liquid ends up leaking.  You will know your coil is flooding when there’s e-liquid seeping out of the tank or cartridge.

Sign #2: Spitting

Spitting results from flooding and causes the feeling of hot e-liquid being spit into your mouth when you pull on the mouthpiece.  This is often accompanied by gurgling or crackling noises when you fire your device.

Sign #3: Poor Flavor

If you’re getting a burnt taste, it means that the coil is no longer filtering the vape juice properly.

Sign #4: Poor Vapor Production

Poor vapor production usually points to a coil that’s past its prime.  It means that your wick isn’t absorbing enough e-liquid to produce an adequate amount of vapor from the coil’s heat.

Changing the Wick When You Switch to a New Flavor

There are vapers who choose to change the wick or coil when they put a new flavor into their tank or cartridge.  So, you can decide whether or not this is something you’d like to do as well.  If vaping a new flavor with the same coil or wick you were using it before, you’ll get some trace amounts of the old flavor mixed in with the new one.  Some vapers don’t tolerate this well and choose to replace the coil or wick altogether.  

Overall, the wick of the coil is tasked with the especially important job of allowing your coil to turn vape juice into flavorful clouds.  But the wick doesn’t last forever.  

Now, you know when it’s the right time to switch out that wick or coil for a brand new one.  This way, you’ll always have fresh-tasting, flavorful vapes.

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