Avid vapers everywhere will no doubt be aware of the slightly unpleasant (yet harmless) phenomenon of spit-back. But what exactly is spit-back, why does it happen and most importantly - what can you do to prevent it?
If you’ve ever brought your e-cigarette device to your lips eagerly anticipating the taste of your favourite e-juice, only to be presented with the somewhat shocking sensation of flecks of hot e-liquid raining down on your tongue, then you’re well aware of the concept of spit-back. These mini molten splashes are often accompanied by a loud popping sound which, coupled with the heat and velocity of the e-liquid, can cause even the most seasoned of vapers to recoil back in fright!
Why Does It Happen?
Spit-back tends to occur when the e-liquid in your tank collects around or in the centre of your coil and is heated too quickly, causing it to ‘cook’ rather than vapourise. The e-liquid then ‘pops’ in much the same way as a hot frying pan flicked with cold water, shooting up into the tank and out through the mouthpiece.
Tips To Prevent Spit-Back
Luckily, there are measures you can take to save you (and your tongue) from this barrage of bursting bubbles!
To remove excess e-liquid from the centre of your coil, try giving the tank a few firm taps without using excessive force. This should help to move the e-liquid out of the coil and redirect it out of the mouthpiece, which you can then wipe away with a piece of tissue or kitchen paper.
Another tip to avoiding spit-back is to make a habit of cleaning the centre post, or inner chamber, of your tank. To do this, simply unscrew the tank from your e-cigarette device and remove the mouthpiece to reveal the centre post. Then, insert a cotton wool bud or twisted kitchen towel to into the mouthpiece and gently wipe the chamber of any e-liquid residue.
You can also try firing your device by pressing the power button without inhaling on the mouthpiece to avoid the issue of spit-back. This technique works by burning off any excess e-juice from your coil and should be an effective way of ensuring a clean and calm vape.
Whilst we all love taking long, deep inhales on our e-cigarette devices (especially with a tank ‘full of a particularly delicious e-juice), this can in fact be the direct cause of a volatile vape! Excessive inhaling on your device leads to more e-liquid being drawn into the coil than the coil can handle, and as such the e-liquid collects on the coil without being properly vapourised. To avoid this, simply take smaller, shorter inhales or try reducing your airflow intake via the airflow dial on your vape tank.
Even though priming the coil is advised to prevent your wicking material from dry burning, over-priming the coil can present problems in itself. By dropping too much e-liquid onto your coil / cotton, you run the risk of oversaturating the wicking material and creating a pool of e-liquid which cannot be sufficiently vaped. Rather than soaking a new coil in e-liquid prior to vaping, place one drop at a time onto the cotton and allow each drop to absorb before adding any more e-liquid to the coil. This will ensure that the coil is sufficiently primed without flooding the coil and risking the event of spit-back.
PG Vs VG
If you’ve exhausted all of these options and still seem to be suffering from a spluttering vape tank, you could try opting for an e-liquid with a higher VG (vegetable glycerine) content than PG (propylene glycol). This is because high-VG e-liquids are much thicker than PG e-liquids and take more time to saturate into the wicking material inside your coil. As PG liquids are thinner in consistency, they can soak into the wick much more quickly, causing the wick to become overwhelmed with e-liquid and your device unable to properly vapourise the excess.