Vape Wick Replacement – When and How Often?

Vape Wick Replacement - When and How Often?

Vape wick replacement is essential to rebuildable atomizers. Knowing when it is time to replace it makes the difference between a positive or negative experience. Generally speaking when it starts to taste bad it is time to replace them. Follow along to see how you can extend the life of your wicks and when you should replace them.

Vape Wick Replacement – Factors to Consider

Factors that cause wicks to wear down faster than usual must be considered to know when to change them. The leading issue with wick break down is the sweetener. Sweetener in e-juice is found in different forms. Flavours used in e-liquid recipes contain sweetener right from the factory but usually in small amounts. Some flavours will contain higher amounts of sweetener such as marshmallow for example.

The added sweetener is the real culprit in wick breakdown. This is something the e-juice maker does as part of the recipe. Sometimes it is used to hide bad flavour notes or enhance background notes. When a high amount of sweetener is used it causes wear on both the coils and wicks.

As the e-juice is heated during vaporization the sugars from the sweetener will caramelize and leave behind black gunk. This breaks everything down quickly.

Darker colored juice will also leave behind some residue and possibly claim the life of the wicks just by using it.

Mint, menthols, koolada based flavors leave behind their minty sensation so usually changing wicks after these flavors are advisable.


Not all cotton is equal. There are hundreds of options available when considering the best material for wicking. In recent years we have seen many new companies arise that are offering cotton specifically for vaping. Some of these companies are legitimate and are providing a great prpducp while some simply repackage an already existing product.

Cosmetic cotton is a fairly cheap option as it generally had a high number of cotton pads while costing very little. They involve more work as the top and bottom layer need to be removed to get at the fibres inside.

Synthetic cottons were popular in vaping at one time but with the availability of good high quality cotton they are not a good option anymore.

In general, unbleached and organic cottons are the best way to go and using vaping specific cotton gives the best results. Cotton breaks down quickly under high heat and cotton for vaping is designed to combat the fibre break down.

Vape Wick Replacement – When?

This decision is based on your own observations and the experience you are having. Inspecting the wicks is the only way to tell if it is time to be changed.

If the e-juice being used contain a noticeable amount of sweetener than after around 5-10ml consumed the wicks could be changed but the results may vary depending on the level of sweetener present.

Wicks can last quite a while if the e-juice used is free of added sweeteners. Users have reported changing wicks once a week or longer depending on their juice selection.

Vape Wick Replacement - When and How Often?Sometimes due to the extreme heat generated during vaporization wicks can melt in the space inside the coil. Looking around the area of the coil if there are black marks on the cotton close to the coil then it is possible that the wicks have either fully melted inside the coil or are partially melted. Changing wicks is the only solution to this issue

Vape Wick Replacement – Conclusion

Knowing when to change wicks becomes a second nature after a while. Knowing your selection of e-juice helps to promote longer lasting wicks and reduce the number of times spent re-wicking. Because every vaper is different every case is also different. Considering it only takes a few minutes to clean a tank and insert new wicks it is just as easy to put new ones in if there is any doubt.

John Pietersma

I am John Pietersma, a 30-year-old husband and father of three children who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. Having vaped and built coils for four years, I am very passionate about vaping and writing product reviews for everyone to read.