How to Unclog a Cart: Simple Guide

by Jan 13, 2023Vape Pens0 comments

If you have a clogged vape cart, you’re likely to get a pretty nasty surprise when you try to use it. When you try to vape, one of two things will happen. Either the airflow will be completely blocked – in which case, you won’t be able to inhale at all – or you’ll get a horrible burnt flavor because the material that you’re trying to vape hasn’t absorbed fully into your cartridge’s wick. Either way, it’s a seriously unpleasant experience and definitely not what you expected when you sat down for a nice vaping session.

Thankfully, learning how to unclog any type of vape cartridge – whether it’s a refillable cart, a dab cart or a disposable cart – is actually quite easy as long as the cartridge is fairly new and isn’t clogged with residue from old material. Reading this article, you’re going to learn some simple steps for unclogging almost any vape cart and getting it to work like new again.

First, though, it might be useful for you to understand why vape carts get clogged in the first place. There’s where we’ll begin.

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Why Can a Vape Cart Get Clogged?

There are two primary ways in which a vape cart can get clogged.

  • Solidified residue is preventing air from flowing through the cartridge. In this case, the cartridge will have poor airflow or no airflow at all.
  • The oil in the cartridge isn’t absorbing into the wick. When this happens, air will flow through the cartridge, but you’ll get an unpleasant burnt flavor when you try to vape.

So, why do these things happen? Here are the most common causes of a clogged vape cartridge.

  • The cartridge has been kept in a cold environment, which has caused the oil to become more viscous.
  • The material in the cartridge has a very viscous consistency, even at normal room temperatures.
  • You’ve tried to load an oil cartridge with wax, which is solid at room temperature.
  • You’ve reused the same cartridge many times, and it’s now clogged with solid residue that’s either blocking the airflow or preventing the oil from flowing through the wick.
  • Vape oil has condensed in the cartridge’s chimney or mouthpiece and formed solid blobs that are blocking the airflow.

When you unclog a vape cartridge, you’re troubleshooting one of those five issues. That doesn’t sound so difficult, right? Here’s how to do it.

How to Unclog a Cart the Easy Way

We’ll start with the easiest ways to unclog a vape cart. These methods will remove most clogs and get you on your way as quickly as possible.

Check the Airflow Vents

Start by making sure that the cartridge’s air vents are open and accessible. If the cartridge has an adjustable airflow collar, make sure that the vents are open. You can also try loosening the cartridge in your device’s threading very slightly. If you’re using a cartridge that’s designed to allow air to flow through a hole in the threading, screwing the cartridge in too tightly can block airflow.

Unclog the Mouthpiece and Chimney

If you’ve been using the same cartridge for a while, you might need to unclog the mouthpiece and chimney by removing blobs of hardened residue. You can do this by running a paperclip down the cartridge’s mouthpiece. If you feel a blockage, push gently to remove it. Be careful not to scratch the delicate heating coil at the bottom of the cartridge.

In some cases, it’s also possible to unclog a vape cart’s mouthpiece and chimney simply by puffing very firmly. Eventually, you’ll feel a “pop” when the blockage is dislodged, and the cartridge will start working.

Pulse the Coil to Loosen the Oil

If you’re using a cartridge that’s filled with thick material or has been stored in a cold environment, warming the material can help to loosen it and get it flowing properly through the wick. You can do this by pressing the fire button on your 510 vape battery in brief pulses or by puffing on the cartridge’s mouthpiece briefly without inhaling.

How to Unclog a Cart1
How to Unclog a Cart: Simple Guide 1

How to Remove Stubborn Vape Cart Clogs

When a vape cart is clogged because it’s filled with extremely viscous material, there are some cases when simply pulsing the coil won’t be enough to loosen the oil. If the oil isn’t flowing through the wick at all, the heat from the coil may not reach it. In that case, you’ll heed to heat the oil from the outside. There are two ways of doing that.

How to Unclog a Vape Cart with Warm Water

To unclog a vape cart with water, you’ll need a bowl and a zip-top bag. Seal the cartridge in the bag and place it in the bowl. Put the bowl in your sink and let warm water run over the cartridge for several minutes. If you remove the cartridge from the bag and can see air bubbles inside it, warming the oil worked – the oil has begun to absorb into the wick. When you can no longer see bubbles coming from the cartridge’s wick openings, the cartridge is ready to use.

How to Unclog a Vape Cart with a Hair Dryer

If you don’t have any zip-top bags available, you can also warm the oil in a vape cartridge with a hair dryer set to the lowest possible heat setting. Simply turn the hair dryer on and wave it over the cartridge until the cartridge’s surface becomes warm. Be very careful when using this method to unclog a vape cartridge because you don’t want to damage the plastic. Just like with the water method described above, you should see bubbles in the cartridge when the oil has begun to absorb into the wick.

How to Unclog a Cart2
How to Unclog a Cart: Simple Guide 2

How to Prevent a Vape Cart from Clogging

Sometimes, clogging is just a fact of life when you use pre-filled disposable vape cartridges. Oil-based concentrates come in many consistencies. Between the natural variation and the fact that cartridges are often stored in cold environments, clogs are sometimes unavoidable. If you’re trying to unclog a disposable vape cart, we hope that you’ve found the information in this article helpful.

If you fill your own vape cartridges, though, it’s a different story because there are definitely some steps that you can take to prevent your cartridges from clogging. Remember these three tips to ensure that your refillable vape carts will always work reliably.

  • Don’t attempt to load an oil cartridge with material that isn’t liquid at room temperature. Use a wax tank if you need a convenient solution for dabbing on the go. Try an electric nectar collector for dabbing at home.
  • Replace your vape cartridges when their flavor quality starts to degrade. Poor flavor quality indicates that solid residue has begun to collect inside the cartridge. Eventually, the residue will cause the cartridge to clog.
  • Always use a vape cartridge that’s designed for oil vaping. Vape tanks with cotton wicks are designed for thin e-liquid. If you fill an e-liquid tank with oil, it’ll probably clog and definitely won’t work reliably.


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