Why Your E Juice Turns Dark and/or Black (***And What To Do About It)

By Drake Equation •  Updated: 01/07/19 •  4 min read

If you’ve been vaping for any serious amount of time, you will have encountered the issue where you E Juice turns dark – or goes black and murky.

And you’re probably wondering what made your E Juice turn dark – right?

The answer as always is: it DEPENDS.

There are a few things it could be…

But the most likely culprits are as follows (we’ll look at each in more detail further below):

  1. Sunlight Exposure
  2. The Nicotine Has Gone Bad
  3. Gunk on Your Coils / Wick is Seeping Through Into Tank

These are the most common reasons why your vape juice will change color into a dark, murky looking mess.

Why Your E Juice Turns Dark EXPLAINED

Let’s now cover each in more detail.

1) Sunlight Exposure

If you leave E Juice in the sun for prolonged periods of time, it will change color.

This happens to me ALL the time, as I tend to leave bottles of E Juice in my car.

Why it happens is simple: nicotine is photosensitive, so when it is exposed to sunlight it will change color.

You can still vape it, but I don’t like too – I just don’t trust it once it’s turned.

How to stop this from happening? DO NOT leave your E Juice near direct sunlight. The best place to store it is a windowless room or inside a drawer.

2) The Nicotine Has Gone Bad

Over time, like, if you steep your E Juice for prolonged periods of time, there will be some discoloring; this is fine, and you can still use it.

However, if it goes REALLY dark – and it’s old – the nicotine could have gone bad. E Juices do have a use-by date and most are usually good for 12 months after you’ve purchased them.

If you vape it and it is really harsh and tastes peppery, the nicotine has gone back and you need to bin it.

Once the nicotine goes bad, you 100% DO NOT want to vape it.

3) Gunk on Your Coils

If you’re using a rebuildable, like an RTA tank, this can happen quite often.

Usually, it means it is time to change your wick, as the gunk build-up has reached fever-pitch and is now seeping into your tank, discoloring the juice.

This happens about every few days on my Kayfun tank, though a lot of how gunk builds up on your coils will depend on the E Juice you use.

This issue also affects sub ohm tanks as well.

When you vape E Juice, the liquid is heated by the coils to create vapor. But because E Juice is made up of ingredients – flavorings, colorings, etc – some build-up on the coils is almost guaranteed.

If there is too much build-up, you get the gunk seeping into the tank’s storage chamber and this makes the E Juice inside it turn dark or black.

Fixing this is simple enough: if you’re using a rebuildable tank (an RTA, for instance), simply change the wick – just make sure to burn all the crap of the coil first, by firing it a few times before you rewick it.

I usually completely clean my tank before re-wicking it as well; this way you know your tank and deck are as clean as possible.

Keep It Clean (Regularly)

If you want to avoid your E Juice turning dark, it is important to regularly clean your tank – and, yes, that includes the deck as well.

I tend to clean my RTA tanks every time I rewick them.

This way I know there’s no gunk floating around inside them when I rewick them.

You can run a coil for months inside a rebuildable too, providing you burn off all the crap that is stuck to it in-between builds. If you’re not familiar with how to do this, follow these steps:

You’re now ready to rewick the tank and add fresh E Juice.

Note: I wouldn’t try and use blackened E Juice. Instead, bin it and use fresh juice.

Failure to do is like cleaning your dishes with a filthy cloth. It’s got the food off of the plates, sure… but it’s kind of gross from a hygiene-perspective.

Hope that helps!

Drake Equation

Co-founder and Editor of VapeBeat. I make the words.
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