One of the best aspects of vaping is experiencing the joy of trying out new e-liquids. Sampling new flavours, and experimenting with new blends are all part of the vaping experience—whether you’re someone who’s in it for the fun of spewing vapour (aka the cloud chasers) or for the flavours (aka flavour chaser).
However, if you’ve been vaping for a significant amount of time, you’ll probably notice that some e-liquids tend to gunk up your coils more than others. Needless to say, gunked up coils will have lower flavour and vapour production, which can result in harsh drags or that disgusting burnt vapour taste.
While you can always clean up your coils from time to time, it’s best to lessen the use of certain e-liquids with specific vape setups, as these can actually cause damage to your tank.
Vegetable Glycerin v.s. Propylene Glycol
When it comes to e-liquids, there are two main components: Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG). Both PG and VG are odourless liquids that are combined with flavouring and nicotine to create the e-liquids. Most modern e-liquids use a combination of both PG and VG.
That being said, some vaping setups are designed to work with a certain ratio of the two chemicals, which makes understanding their properties important as a vaper. The main ratios used by e-liquid manufacturers are 30/70 PG to VG, 50/50, and 70/30 PG to VG.
PG is less viscous than VG and is known for providing the “throat hit,” which many vapers claim is similar to the hit experienced when smoking cigarettes. PG carries more flavour than VG, making 70/30 PG to VG e-liquids the preferred e-liquid of flavour chasers.
Meanwhile, VG tends to be dense, which makes a lot of vapour when heated. Cloud chasers prefer higher VG ratios because it allows them to create denser smoke clouds that they can enjoy. VG also tends to be stickier, which is why a 30/70 tends to gunk up coils faster than a 50/50 or 70/30 PG to VG e-liquid.
Should I Avoid High VG E-Liquid?
If you’re vaping mainly for the clouds, you may not have any choice. Depending on your vape setup, you will just have to either replace the coils or clear the residue more frequently.
If you’re concerned about cracking your tank, the main thing to consider is actually the flavours and not the PG to VG ratio of the e-liquid. Certain flavours such as banana, liquorice, cinnamon, clove, or citrus have been notoriously known to crack plastic tanks.
The cracks in the tank have been traced to the citric acid found in these flavours, which bind with the polycarbonate, weakening the plastic’s structural integrity. These, in turn, leads to cracking or fogging.
If you’re still using a plastic tank, you can try to avoid e-liquids that have been known to crack plastic tanks altogether. However, with more e-liquid manufacturers entering the scene, some e-liquids just haven’t been tested enough to confirm if they can damage your tank or not. As such, the best course of action is to upgrade to a pyrex or glass tank, which is impervious to citric acids that damage plastic tanks.
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