Most vapers prefer to use cotton wicks because it tends to make the vaping experience even more pleasurable. Unfortunately, many people notice that their cotton wicks are turning brown and they don’t understand why this is happening. There are several potential causes for this. We will discuss those and also outline some solutions to prevent it from occurring again in the future, so you can avoid the brown cotton problem.
It is incredibly annoying to get a fresh cotton wick going, only for it to turn brown in just a few hours. More often than not, the problem lies with the e-juice you are using and not the vaping device itself. E-juices that contain sugar or sweeteners will often turn cotton wicks brown. This happens because the heat will cause the sugars in the e-juice to caramelize. The caramelization process leaves behind the brown color, which is actually just residue from the sugar, on the cotton wick. This is not a huge concern, but there are a few problems that can arise from allowing this residue to continue collecting. This caramelized residue can build up and collect on the coil. This can damage the coil and shorten its lifetime. Sugar and sweeteners are often the main cause of this action, but Vegetable Glycerin based e-juices are often known to result in brown wicks than the alternative Propylene Glycol.
While the sweeteners in e-juice are usually the cause of browning cotton wicks, there are a few other culprits that could be leading to this issue. Some tanks and coils can be the cause of cotton wicks that brown quickly; occasionally the device itself has been found to be the problem. It is more common to occur in genesis atomizers. It can also take a little time to break in a coil and get used to how to properly heat it, so once you get the hang of that the process should become a little bit easier and the cotton wicks will last longer. Devices that use a higher watt setting are also more likely to burn the wick, leading to the brown coloration and altered taste. Coils that are not properly centered will also cause the cotton to brown very quickly.
While brown cotton is not the end of the world, it can be a little annoying to have it change the flavor of your e-juice. It is also in your best interest to prevent the buildup of caramelized substances on the wick. The easiest way to do this is start checking the ingredient list on your e-juice before you purchase it. Avoid the e-liquids that are high sugar contents and added sweeteners. They are easy to spot because they are usually a dark brown collar due to all the sugar. It is better to use a Propylene Glycol based e-juice that is clear or light in color. Next, make sure you are regularly changing the cotton wick. Do not wait until the wick is completely brown because at that point it will already be altering the flavor. Also make sure that you clean out your wick if you find yourself vaping a sweet, darkly colored juice.
Next time you find yourself getting frustrated with your cotton wick turning brown, take a look at your e-juice and look for sugars, sweeteners, and Vegetable Glycerin. More often than not, switching over to a sugar-free, clear, and Propylene Glycol based juice will result in longer lasting cotton wicks. This will allow you to enjoy your vaping experience without constantly changing the wicks and dealing with the interfering taste of caramelized sugar.