What do I do when cotton in my vape pen starts changing colour?

It goes without saying that even the best vaping equipment requires some maintenance for it to continue working, day in, day out.

If you neglect your vaping pen, over time the hit won’t be as hard, the sensation will become less pleasant and the taste of the vapor might taste off. One common complaint with vape tanks that have been used over and over again is that the colour of the cotton wick turns red or brown.

While this sudden change might be seen as a warning against urgent maintenance, it shouldn’t be a reason for concern since it can be fixed quickly, easily and – best of all – without you having to spend a fortune. All you have to do is maintain your cotton wick!

If you don’t have experience with keeping your cotton wicks in good shape, this article will tell you everything you need to know about this important (yet rarely discussed) issue:

Why do cotton wicks deteriorate?

E cig liquid is brought in contact with the coils through the wicking. This is what enables the electrical power to vaporise the liquid. As you might imagine, there is some leftover liquid in the wick that is repeatedly heated as you continue to vape.

This combination of a cotton wick and sweetened e-juice tends to partially caramelise the liquid, quickly leading to the appearance of reddish stains. While cotton wicks are generally regarded as the best of the best for wicking, this is certainly one of their downsides.

While certain vape flavours are much more likely to produce discolouration after just several days of vaping, this phenomenon can occur with almost any e-liquid if you keep using the same wicks for a long time.

How do I properly maintain vaping cotton?

First of all, you need to be aware of what is going on inside of your vape pen.

Assuming you are using a proper device, it should operate quite well with minimal leakage. However, there could still be some chemical residue build-up on the wicking and coils, and it helps a great deal if you gently remove it from time to time. Not only this will prevent your cotton from deteriorating too quickly, but it could also prolong the lifecycle of your vaping tank. It’s a win-win.

When it comes to e-juice and vaping accessories, UK has an excellent choice of brands, vape shops and online stores (many of which are currently running TPD clearances), giving you numerous outlets to try different wicks and vape flavours to minimise residue build-up and discolouration.

Should you be concerned about the change in colour?

Generally speaking…no.

But, the answer to this question depends on the degree of discolouration, as well as its primary causes. If you are using e-liquids with added sugar, you might simply have to accept the fact that your cotton will look dirty, even when it’s not seriously clogged.

On the other hand, if the cotton is dark brown or black and you can taste a difference over time, we recommend you explore other solutions. Changing the cotton wicks will most likely do the trick. In the most severe cases, it might be worth getting a new vape tank, though.

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