4 Reasons Why Your Vape Pen Get Clogged (Tips to Unclog)

why does my vape pen get clogged

If you are a long-time vape user, you have probably dealt with the issue of a clogged vape pen, which is very frustrating. You go for a walk or sit in a park, ready to take your vape pen, and then, suddenly, you notice that there is no vapor for you to inhale.

Numerous factors can affect your pen to stop working, such as oil or e-liquid settings and getting stuck in the device’s cartridge or pod, which do not necessarily have to be related to clogging.

However, clogging is one of the most common reasons for various malfunctions of vape pens. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss the main reasons why vape pens get clogged, how to unclog a cart, and what to do to prevent clogging in the first place.

What Causes Clogging of Vape Pens?

If you wonder whether clogging is common and normal with vaping devices, the answer is yes! Even though you maybe purchase a high-end vaping device, hoping it will not clog, that, unfortunately, can still happen.

However, do not give in to despair because this problem can be easily fixed! Now, let’s check what causes the clogging

1. Condensation

One of the most common culprits of your pen’s clogging is condensation. As you already know, when we vape, we bring the pen’s mouthpiece to our lips and inhale the vapor.

However, it happens that there is some residual condensation left in the mouthpiece.

At times, the condensation buildup can be excessive, hindering the device’s functionality to the point of the user being unable to inhale any vapor.

Blocking the mouthpiece is often the cause of clogging, which happens when the residue (oil, wax, or vape juice) from the cart groups together and settles in the mouthpiece. Therefore, always maintain or clean your mouthpiece.

2. Clogged Cartridge

As noted earlier, vape pens often get clogged because of the clogging of the tank. The tank or the cartridge refers to the part of the pen, the chamber containing e-liquid, marijuana wax, or oil, depending on your choice.

Considering that these substances, such as e-juice and THC wax, are very thick, dense, and sticky, given the pen’s structure, this ‘goodness’ leaks into the device, causing buildups of residue. How to know if your cartridge is clogged?

Check for the tiny airflow holes; if they are filled with any residue or liquid, that is the cause of the problem.

3. Overfilling of the Cart/Chamber

Overfilling of the Cart/Chamber

You are probably familiar with the structure of the pen, which also includes something called an atomizer, consisting of a coil and a wick. Well, why your pen is clogged can also be related to chamber flooding, which occurs when your vape cartridge ‘sits’ for a long time.

As noted before, these cartridges contain various substances, which tend to become thicker over time, such as the Delta 8 THC distillate, which thickens at room temperature. Then, it starts settling at the bottom of the cart, eventually saturating the wick and affecting the coil.

As a result, the heating element or the coil cannot reach the right temperature needed for ‘burning or heating the cart’s content, which turns into vapor.

Considering that this part of the device is not functional when this happens, that is why there is no smoke when you inhale. This problem is very easy to spot, and when you notice that your puff has gotten significantly smaller, that is why.

4. Incorrect Airflow Setting or Airflow Obstruction

In order for your pen to work optimally, the airflow must be unobstructed. As noted earlier, the airflow can be hindered by a clogged cartridge and the wrong airflow configuration.

The airflow configuration is vital because it ensures that the oil flows nicely and freely. When refilling the pen’s cart, you need to look for the airflow holes and ensure they are all close. If not, the wax or oil will seep into the holes and block them.

If you are wondering how the airflow holes should look, they should be large enough to blow through them quickly without forcing the air or taking a deep, deep breath and blowing.

When you turn on the device, wait a couple of minutes before inhaling to let the cart’s content get heated and transformed into vapor. Then, inhale slowly, leave the heavy lifting to the coil, and wick. Also, the manner of your inhalation can cause chamber flooding.


How Do I Know If My Pen Is Clogged?

Obviously, when your vape pen gets clogged, the vaping experience changes. However, there are some other tells indicating that your pen is clogged:

  • The pen has the smell and taste of something burnt
  • The pen does not produce much vapor
  • The mouthpiece is ridden with moisture or cart buildup

How to Prevent Your Device From Clogging?

How to Prevent Your Device From Clogging?

So, to prevent your device from clogging, you need to deal with the causes of this problem. Most of the reasons mentioned above are related to the manner of inhalation, maintenance, and regular cleaning of the device and its compartments, including the battery.

Here is what you can do!

1. Change the Way You Inhale

Considering that most vape users are tobacco smokers who decided to choose a better alternative, they are used to taking big puffs and experiencing the taste of the pen in large puffs. However, by taking smaller hits, you are preventing potential condensation buildup.

Try to take smaller but more frequent puffs rather than larger ones and keep them under 3 seconds.

What happens is that the cool/cold mouthpiece is not exposed to warm moisture for a more extended period, which will facilitate condensation and eventually buildup in your mouthpiece.

In addition, try to take ‘dry hits’ if you want to avoid condensation. Sometimes we cannot dictate how we inhale, but you are probably aware that the moisture in our mouth also exacerbates the issue of condensation.

So, you can try to clear it before every use.

2. Clean the Mouthpiece

Cleaning and maintaining your device will do wonders for it. It has a number of benefits, including increasing its performance and longevity. The mouthpiece is central for dealing with the issue of condensation, so you need to clean it very often.

Cleaning your mouthpiece is simple and easy. Generally, you can run it under water, dry it, and you are ready to go! Also, regular cleaning promotes basic hygiene, so you do not have to worry about germs and bacteria.

3. Look Out for Leaks

The major issue with the flooded chamber is the leakage caused by overfilling or faulty cartridges. Remember, the vape cart needs to be airtight to be fully functional, meaning no air leakage is allowed. When refilling, always use a syringe and be careful to avoid spillage.

Sometimes the flooding of the chamber can be caused by overpriming your wick, so have that in mind as well.

4. Keep the Vape Pen In an Upright Position

Although it might sound funny, keeping your vape device in an upright position can increase its durability and better its performance. As we carry the vapes in our pockets or bags, these pens tend to turn upside down, which can cause them to clog.


How Can I Unclog My Vape Pen Cartridge?


If you need to unclog your vape cart, there are several methods to do it.

1. Heat the Cart

You can try first by heating the cart because of the viscosity of its content. As mentioned, these oils and extracts, such as pure hemp extract, are very thick and can settle in the mouthpiece.

You can heat the cart using a hairdryer or place it in a warm place near a convection heater.

2. Use Toothpick to Punch Holes

You can punch small holes in the mouthpiece to remove buildup or debris using a toothpick, paperclip, or a safety pin. This method is very effective when ‘resin’ forms in the mouthpiece, which is hard to remove.

In addition, you can use the floss pick to remove any residual oils. First, remove the cartridge from the battery and then use the pick. Ultimately, you can run the floss pick through the mouthpiece to ensure there is no blockage of any kind.

Tips on How to Care For Your Vape Pen

Nobody likes to buy a new vape pen every month, so let’s check out how to care for our vape pens so that you can save money and time.

  • Clean it regularly with rubbing alcohol or vinegar
  • Do not keep or leave your cartridge in a cold area
  • Be mindful when picking the cartridge (wax, oil, extract) because low-quality carts are prone to clogging
  • Take smaller hits/puffs
  • Check for leakage
  • Maintain your battery


So, the clogging of your device can result from airflow problems, condensation, and clogging or overfilling the cartridge. When cleaning or refilling your device, always be gentle and take your time so you do not break or dislodge its components.

Although clogging is very frustrating because it ruins our vaping experience, it can be quickly resolved by removing the clumps of residual oil with a safety pin or alcohol wipe and cleaning the air holes in the mouthpiece,

Does your pen often clog? Please, share your experience with us! If you have any comments or questions, do not hesitate to share them!


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