How to Tell if a Disposable Vape is Burnt

Disposable vapes are very user-friendly, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t have some problems they suffer from. One of the biggest issues that some disposable vaporizers have, particularly low-quality models, is burning.

Don’t worry, we’re not talking about the vaporizer catching on fire, but the wick and the concentrate or E-liquid on the inside can certainly have a burnt flavor and aroma.

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However, for beginners, it may be hard to tell whether or not the disposable vape is burnt, or if the current condition is what it is supposed to be like. How to tell if a disposable vape is burnt is exactly what we’ll teach you today.

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Last update was on: June 11, 2024 4:31 pm

Signs Your Disposable Vape is Burnt

There are a few telltale signs to look out for that will let you know whether or not your vape is burnt.

The Flavor Factor

If your disposable vaporizer is burnt, it means that the wick on the inside is charred, which gives off a very strong burnt flavor. If you’re wondering why the wick in the disposable vape is charred and gives off a burnt flavor, that’s something we’ll take a closer look at further below.

You’ll notice a very harsh flavor, one that is not enjoyable in the least. It tastes almost like burnt food. Just imagine a piece of severely burnt toast. That distinctive burnt flavor is a clear indication that something on the inside of the disposable vape has burnt.

Smell: An Underestimated Indicator

Before you even inhale from your vaporizer, you should notice that there is a burnt smell. Just like burnt food has a burnt taste and gives off a burnt aroma, this also happens with vapes.

The smell of a burnt wick inside of a vaporizer resembles the smell of burnt fabric or paper. If you notice a burnt or odd smell coming from your vaporizer, it means that the wick has most likely dried out and begun charring.

Visual Inspection

If your sense of smell isn’t working too well, another great way to inspect your disposable vaporizer for signs of being burnt is by looking at it.

Although not all disposable vapes have windows that allow you to check the condition of the concentrate or E-liquid on the inside, some do. If you can look inside, you might see that the E-liquid has darkened significantly.

It should have started out as being relatively light colored, maybe even totally transparent, but is now dark yellow or brown. This is a clear sign that your disposable vape has burnt.

Furthermore, even if you can’t see the E-liquid on the inside, take a look at the vapor or the mouthpiece. Both may appear darker if the disposable vape is burnt.


Another clear indication that your disposable vape is burnt is it is really harsh on your throat. When that wick becomes burnt and charred, it also produces a much harsher hit, often known as a throat hit.

A burnt wick can’t heat the E-liquid or concentrate as efficiently as it should, which leads to the vapor being extremely harsh. If you start coughing really hard after a hit, you probably have a burnt vaporizer on your hands.

The Sound

Although not all vaporizers will make loud noises when they are burnt, some will make very loud crackling and popping noises.

If you notice that your disposable vaporizer is making much louder noises than the usual occasional crackling, then it is a clear indication that your disposable vape is burnt.

The Reasons Behind a Burnt Disposable Vape

Now that you know what to look out for in a burnt disposable vaporizer, let’s find out why it happens at all.

Technical Insights

To understand why a vaporizer might burn, you need to know what the inner function of one is like. Every vaporizer has what is known as a wick. The wick is designed to hold on to the E-liquid or concentrate.

This is not unlike a candle wick that pulls up wax from a candle. The wick pulls the wax up from the body of the candle, with the wax being what burns as opposed to the wick itself. Once there is no wax left for the wick to pull up from the candle, the wick itself burns.

This is just like the inside of a vaporizer. When the wick is not saturated with E-liquid, instead of the E-liquid vaporizing, it is the wick that burns. If the wick is dry, it will start to char and burn. The wick has to be saturated with E-liquid at all times

This often happens as disposable vaporizers start to empty. If there isn’t enough E-liquid on the inside, then there’s not enough moisture to keep the wick wet and saturated.

It may also be the case that the disposable vaporizer was left on its side or even upside down, which caused all of the E-liquid to drain to a part of the chamber away from the wick.

Remember that disposable vaporizers also have coils or heating elements. These are what create heat and cause the E-liquid to turn from a liquid form into a vapor.

There are some lower quality models that may be far too hot or prone to overheating. If the coils get too hot or stay too hot for too long, it can also cause burning of the disposable vaporizer. Keep reading here to find out what it means if your cart is leaking.

User Errors

Although there are instances where a low quality vaporizer is to blame, user error may also be a problem. For instance, if the vape is nearly empty, and you hit it very hard, the liquid won’t be able to pull up into the wick quick enough to keep up with your hits.

This may also be the case even if there is a good amount of E-liquid left on the inside. If you take really long, hard, and fast hits, you may be draining the E-liquid out of the wick faster than it can replenish, causing it to dry out and ultimately to char.

It may also be the case that you left the vape upside down or horizontally, in which case you caused the E-liquid to drain away from the wick.

If you have a disposable vaporizer with an adjustable temperature level, it may be the case that it is set too high. If the vaporizer is set too high, the coils become too hot as well, resulting in the E-liquid and the wick on the inside burning. Find out why your Delta-8 disposable vape isn’t hitting right here.

Keeping It Cool: How to Avoid a Burnt Vape

Thankfully, there are some easy tips you can follow to avoid burning your disposable vaporizer.

  •   If the vape in question features an adjustable temperature option, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t set it hotter than the ideal level.
  •   Don’t pull too hard, and don’t take hits that last longer for three or four seconds. Taking relatively small hits will allow the E-liquid to soak back into the wick before your next hit.
  •   If you do take relatively big hits, wait for about ten seconds in between consecutive ones. The wick needs enough time to re-saturate after each hit.
  •   Always store your vaporizer in an upright position so that the wick is constantly submerged in the E-liquid. It’s also not a good idea to store your disposable vaporizer in direct sunlight. Although it might sound obvious, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight may cause the E-liquid to start to burn.
  •   Also do not attempt to hit the vaporizer when you have it upside down, or in any position that causes the E-liquid to drain away from the wick.

How to Tell if a Disposable Vape is Burnt: Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s quickly answer some of your most frequently asked questions about burnt disposable vaporizers.

Can You Hit a Burnt Vape?

Although it will not work or taste as well as it otherwise would, you can hit a burnt vape, but it won't be enjoyable.

Is It Bad to Smoke a Burnt Vape?

It may be the case that a burnt vaporizer wick could release harmful chemicals that would otherwise not be released if it was not burnt.

Can a Burnt Vape Kill You?

Although hitting a burnt vape once or twice is likely not the end of the world, if you hit a burnt vape for a prolonged period of time, the toxic chemicals inhaled may cause short and long-term respiratory issues.

How to Tell if a Vape Is Burnt?

If a vape is burned, it will have a harsh flavor and aroma, the liquid on the inside may be much darker, the hit will feel harsher, and you may notice some odd sounds as well.

Writer & Contributor | + posts

Jamie has been writing about vaping and cannabis for several years and is usually one of the first to know the next big thing in cannabis. Jamie also writes about tattoos and BMX biking.

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