Why am I getting dry hits?


Are dry hits ruining your life?

All of us in the vape community are familiar with dry hits. And if you’re not, the probability is high that you’ll experience it at least once at some point. It goes like this; if the wick material in your rda (or atomizer coil) is dry, meaning not saturated with eliquid, then you will taste the flavor of burning cotton when you fire up your vape. That makes sense, right?

Now to make your life even more complicated then it already is, did you know that the cotton you use will affect how often you get dry hits? Also did you know, the specific cotton you use will affect the boldness of the flavor you get from your vape?

For the purpose of this reading, we will be focusing on wicking rda’s and rta’s. To start, if you’re using silica wicks in your devices, you need to stop right now. You are not going to get the full flavor from your eliquid and you definitely will not get clouds using the silica wicks. In the beginning when there were just ego style pens (which you can now get at gas stations), the tanks utilized coil atomizers with exposed silica wicks, then once Kangertech entered the scene they made coils with internal wicks but they were still using silica. At that time the frequency of coil replacement was very high and flavor would only last for the first few days of use. Rebuildable atomizers used to come stock with silica wicks which had zero liquid retention causing dry hits all the time. In short, silica braided wicks are absolutely useless.

Almost immediately when rebuildable atomizers and mech mods came out, everyone began using cotton instead of the silica. This is the way things are now. Cotton holds eliquid, which substantially lowered the probability of getting dry hits. The flavor from using cotton is way way better and that is what really started the eliquid boom. Buying cotton from a local convenience store is easy but there are just a couple things you need to be aware of if you do.

  1. Only buy organic cotton. Regular cotton or cotton out of a pill bottle is no good. Plain ol’ cotton is treated with hydrogen peroxide making it unsafe to vape.
  2. Coming home with a bag of convenient store organic cotton is still not necessarily safe to vape right away. The cotton may still have been treated with a chemical or the plastic bag it comes in could have been exposed to materials or substances that aren’t safe to vape. Because of this, you will want to boil this cotton several times before using it.

In case this is your first time using an rda or rta just know that you are not limited to only buying the cotton from a nearby CVS, Walgreens or any place similar to those. Vape shops provide many different brand options for cotton. You might be thinking that all cotton is the same but thats not really the case. All cottons are not equal. In the fabric world, the quality depends on the length of the fibers, with longer cotton fibers being of higher quality. Longer cotton fibers are more durable with less pilling and fraying of the fabric, and they also result in tighter, denser weaves, a softer texture and higher liquid retention. The fiber length and density of the cotton is the key factor in heat resistance so you won’t get serious dry hits or burn the cotton away completely. Look for brands that use pima cotton or better and beware of cotton still containing any natural oils as this will give you strange tastes and takes a long time to burn off.

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