The most frequent problem you will encounter when vaping is a clogged cartridge. No matter how hard you pull on the mouthpiece, no vapor will come, leaving you unable to attain that desired high. As a result, your vaping session is over until you can find the clog and fix it.
But, how do you fix a clogged vape cartridge? In this guide, we will show you by discussing how to troubleshoot vape airflow problems, and we will also give you easy steps to get your cartridge back to its former glory and allow you to vape your favorite vape oil or concentrate.
How Does a Vape Cartridge Get Clogged?
A vape pen offers a sophisticated inhalation method that is preferred over the traditional smoking methods. However, with sophistication comes unavoidable technical problems with your device. So, here are the common reasons why your cartridge is clogged in the first place.
Blocked Airflow Holes
There are various air holes on a vape cartridge, including the bottom and side ones around the threading. These holes tend to get blocked by the oily residue that builds up over time. When the air holes get blocked, they interfere with the cartridge’s ability to produce vapor, meaning you do not get the most from your cartridge.
High Viscosity Oil
Oil viscosity is often confused with airflow blockage problems. This is when the vape oil is too thick and cannot be vaporized effectively.
Vape oils come in different viscosities, and the purest and highest-quality are usually thick, like our favorite, BudPop’s delta-8 vape cartridges. In addition, vape oils tend to be affected by ambient temperature. When it is too cold, the oil becomes thicker, and when the weather is warm, the oil loses its viscosity and becomes less resistant to flow. So, the colder the weather, the harder the vapor.
A Flooded Chamber
If you have been pulling on the vape pen too hard, you may have flooded the cartridge. Drawing hard inhalations causes the wick to absorb more concentrate than it can vaporize. As a result, the excess oil floods the cartridge and clogs the airflow holes.
A flooded chamber can also result from oil seeping into the bottom of the cart slowly when you leave the cart sitting at room temperature for a long time. When this occurs, the coil and the wick struggle to vaporize the oil correctly.
This clogging leads to a burning smell, which is a clear indication the wick is oversaturated. So, keep your nose open to that burning smell, as it may save you a new cartridge.
Incorrect Airflow Setting
Another thing that causes you to think the air holes are clogged is when you have not set the voltage/wattage/temperature to the correct setting. In most cases, the wattage is usually low, which means the concentrate is not being vaporized at the same rate as the wick is supplying it.
Cartridge Is Twisted Too Tight
After you fill the cartridge, you then twist it back into the device. However, turning it too tight can block the air holes located in the threading area. This cause of clogging is easy to fix by screwing the cartridge back gently.
How Can I Know If My Vape Cartridge Is Clogged?
You cannot fix a clog if you are not sure the jam is due to blocked air holes, and the only way to know is by first making sure the device is fully charged and the battery is turned on. Then, pull lightly on the mouthpiece to observe whether or not the device lights up.
If the vape pen lights up when you take a draw, but there is no airflow, it is a clear indication something is preventing the vapor from reaching the mouthpiece.
How Can I Fix a Clogged Cartridge
So, let us get to the heart of the matter — what do you do about clearing a clogged vape cartridge?
Take Dry Hits
The first method of unclogging air holes is by taking dry hits. With this, you pull hard on the mouthpiece without turning on the device. If the clogging is near the top, this method should suck out whatever is lodged in the air hole.
You can also blow into the cartridge to see if the pressure unclogs the condensed oil. However, remember to blow gently, because too much stress can lead to a leak in the cartridge and a possible risk of injury.
However, taking dry hits is usually a short-term solution, since whatever is causing the clog will eventually find its way back to the air hole until you get it out.
The Poking Method
If the clogging is because of residue, you can unclog the holes with the help of a paper clip, needle, toothpick, or any narrow object that can poke into the holes to remove the buildup.
To do this, untwist the cartridge from the vape pen. Then, poke into the tiny holes in the cartridge until you have removed the oily residue. This method only works for conventional vape pens and cartridge combos, not for disposable vape pens.
If thick oil is causing the clog, it is time to apply heat. In this method, you will be using non-flame heat, like a hairdryer at the lowest heat setting, to warm the oil and change its viscosity. You can also rub the cartridge between your palms, as the heat will warm the oil in the air holes and get the vapor moving through the cartridge again.
It is also possible to use a warm water bath to raise the oil’s temperature. With this method, place the cartridge in a tightly sealed bag and put it in warm water for a few minutes.
Take the Vape Pen Apart
Sometimes, clogging can extend from the air holes on the threading to the battery and mouthpiece. In this case, it is best to take the vape cartridge apart and clean everything, making sure to put it back in a way that does not block the air holes.
5 Handy Cartridge Tips to Remember
A clogged cartridge can be frustrating. But, you will be happy to know it is a relatively common problem, as it is a part of the mechanism of vape cartridges. Fortunately, you can delay clogs or prevent them altogether by using these tips that give you a pleasant vaping experience.
Take Smaller Hits
We are talking about taking gentle hits no longer than two seconds each. Small hits help to slow condensation, and long draws increase the amount of vapor in the airway, which means that a high amount of vapor will get trapped in the walls, where it will condense.
You can use a trick by pulling on the cart for a few seconds after releasing the fire button. Doing this causes the cool, vapor-free air to flow through the cart. This process helps draw the excess oil particles up and out of the way.
In addition, carry a cotton swab or tissue to wipe the mouthpiece after you take a hit, as this will help to keep it clean, thus slowing the buildup.
Pay attention to the fill line, as “spit back” occurs when you overfill, and hot droplets shoot out. Overfilling causes juice leaks that eventually get into the battery compartment, causing it to be damaged beyond repair. Overfilling also causes the oil to flood the coils, causing them to die prematurely.
Keep Vape Cartridges at Room Temperature
Disposable vape pens, batteries, and cartridges should always be kept at room temperature. So, avoid leaving them in the car, especially if you live in an area with fluctuations in temperature. Also, ensure the vape cartridge is upright when you store it. Laying it on the side will cause oil leaks, and it will also lead to air bubbles forming, which affects the performance of the cartridge.
Clean It Carefully
Whatever you do when cleaning, ensure you do not insert anything through the entirety of the vape pen. If you do this, there is a big chance you are going to mess with the tiny wicks. Moreover, when it comes to the cartridge, never soak it in cleaning liquid or alcohol, as it will affect the taste of the vape oil and even cause harsh flavors.
Use the Preheat Feature
If there is a warm-up feature on the battery, be sure to use it. You can do this with two clicks to allow the concentrate to warm up and become light enough to be usable.
BudPop’s Vape Cartridges
At BudPop, you get rechargeable vape cartridges packed with third-party lab tested delta-8 THC and strain-specific terpenes and fruity flavors. Moreover, the batteries are compatible with any 510-thread vape cartridge.
So, take the customer favorites, Grape Runtz or Strawberry Gelato, on the go, store it easily in your pocket, and use it discreetly — no one will know.
By now, you should know how to fix a clogged vape cartridge. You can use our guide to identify, remove, and prevent a clog. But, remember that removing the condensed oil will give you a long-run fix rather than taking the shortcut.
Furthermore, avoid a flame source when heating the oil, and do not immerse the cartridge directly in liquid when cleaning it. These tips are all you need for smooth, clog-free vaping. So, go ahead and find the method that works for you.