Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?

Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?

Why do you get dry hits and how to prevent dry hits?

Everyone knows that switching from cigarettes to vaping is much better for your health, but what you don’t realize when first making the change is that there is a learning curve for vaping and getting a good experience from your equipment. Picking up a cigarette is easy and you get the same experience each time, but the same cannot be said for vaping. Sometimes you get a rich, dense, flavorful vape and other times you get a burnt or dry taste. With the information below, hopefully, this will be a thing of the past and you will now know how to avoid the dreaded DRY HITS!!

Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?
Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?

Liquid Choice

One of the biggest reasons for dry hits is the type of liquid you use. This can cause a couple of reasons for dry hits.

  • Ratios

Eliquid is made up of PG (Propylene Glycoll) and VG (Vegetable Glycerine). This is the base of all e-liquids and the ratios of these two products will determine the viscosity or thickness of the liquid. PG is a thinner, water like consistency where as VG is thicker and denser.

Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?

If your liquid is a high VG ratio (70% VG / 30% PG for example), this liquid will have a harder time passing through places. These places could be the wicking holes, the cotton fibers themselves or even the chamber of the tank. Some tanks have minimum space between the glass and the chamber.

If you find that your cotton or wicking holes are having trouble with the thicker liquid, then try a higher PG ratio (60% VG / 40% PG or even 50/50) and you should notice an improvement in the wicking. If the chamber itself is causing issues, you can try the above, or also see if there is a “bubble glass” you can buy for your tank. This will increase the gap between the glass and the chamber and hopefully allow liquid through easier.

  • Sugar Content of Liquid

We all love a nice flavour in our e-liquid, but did you know that the sugar content of a liquid can also affect the quality of the vape?

Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?

Sugar can cause your coils and wick to become “gunked up” very quickly. It can add a layer of gunk to your coils and wick that stop the new liquid getting past and can give you a tough time when vaping. This is not the case for all sugary liquids, but have you ever had a fresh coil and it tastes great, but a few days later it tastes awful? This is because the coil itself has become “gunked up”.

Unfortunately, there is no quick solution for this if you want to keep using the same liquid. Obviously, you could change your liquid itself, but if it’s your favorite then you are going to need to change those coils/cotton more regularly. If you are an RTA / RDA user, this is much cheaper than pre-built coils.


For those RTA & RDA builders, wicking can also be a factor in dry hits. Getting the wicking just right is different for every tank or RDA, as well as every style of vaping and is a fine art to master.

Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?

You can under wick, over wick or incorrectly wick quite easily. Practice is the only real way to get better at this. Over time you will learn what works best for your equipment. This is more important on an RTA than an RDA. As you are relying on your build to feed the juice to the coils without dripping directly on.

The general rule of thumb for wicking is to ensure the fibers are pointing the direction you want them to wick (towards to coil, from the juice reservoir) and make sure they are not strangled in any channels or holes and not trapped between any threads.

Coil Building

Coil building is another thing that can cause dry hits if done incorrectly. Your coils want to heat evenly and steadily to ensure the best vape across the whole coil. If your coil is bent out of shape, built wrong or causing shorts you can get a terrible vape.

Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?
Coil Building

When the coil is bent or out of shape, the saturated cotton is not making contact with the whole coil and can cause irregular heating. This can result in scorched cotton or e-liquid that will not taste too good!

If your coils are built wrong or are shorting, you can get something called hot spots. These hot spots are areas of the coil that heat up faster than the rest and therefore are at a much higher temperature than the rest of the coil. Again this will cause scorching of the cotton or liquid and can cause terrible burning.

Power Delivery / Vape Style

The final section I will cover is about power delivery and the style in which you vape.

Vaping is different for everybody and some vape DTL, while other MTL (more information can be found on this in my article here). Some people like higher wattage and other like lower wattage.

Why Do You Get Dry Hits and How to Avoid Dry Hits?
  • Power

Sometimes your equipment is more suited to one style or another. By pumping too much power into your coils it is going to burn your liquid and cotton. If you have a coil designed for higher wattages you can get away with high wattage. But if your coil is more designed for low wattages then you are going to burn your coil by turning it too high.

Making sure you have the right power to coil combo is something you will need to speak to your vape shop about.

  • Vaping Style

As mentioned, everyone is different in their vaping styles. Some people like quick short puffs every few seconds (chain vapers) whereas others prefer a long steady puff more irregularly.

If you are a chain vaper at high wattage, there is a possibility that your coil or cotton cannot keep up with the juice feed in time. This can be seen when someone has left their vape for a while. They take a hit and it tastes great, but 20 seconds later when they do it again it tastes burnt.

This is because the cotton has not had time to saturate again so your cotton is dry when you hit is quickly after. If this happens to you, then try and lower the power a little bit, or find a tank / RDA that has a better wicking technique and can feed those coils as quickly as you need it to.

Final Thoughts

Vaping is different for everybody and does take more maintenance than smoking. This is the number 1 reason for people going back to cigarettes after trying to vape. By investing in good quality equipment and knowing the reasons behind the problems, you can avoid dry hits happening. Plus have a great experience vaping and lead a healthier life!

Mike Strong

I have been vaping for over 5 years and have been a keen hobbyist ever since starting. I moved into the review side of things after the success of my @mikethevaper Twitter page and have been striving to provide help and knowledge ever since.