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Why Is My Cart Clogged

Ever taken a puff from your vape and gotten nothing but disappointment? If your usual cloud of vapor is replaced by a weak hit, no hit at all, or even a blinking battery, your vape cart might be clogged. This can be frustrating, but fear not! This guide will help you diagnose a clogged cart and provide solutions to get you back to vaping smoothly.


Is It Common for Vape Cartridges to Clog?

Yes, vape cartridges can be frustratingly prone to clogging. The reasons for this can vary, including the consistency of the oil, the design and quality of the cartridge, and how the cartridge is used and stored.


Is My Cart Clogged or Dead?

If your cart is clogged, these are some signs to confirm.

Weak hit

If you’re not getting much vapor when you inhale, even after trying it a few times, your cart could be clogged.

No hit

If you get nothing at all when you try to vape, a clog is likely the culprit.

Battery blinking

Some vape batteries blink when they detect a problem with the cartridge, such as a clog.


If you’re experiencing any of these signs, there are a few things you can try to unclog your cart.

Gently heat the cart: Use your vape’s preheat feature, if it has one, or hold the cart in your hand for a few seconds. The warmth can help thin the oil and clear the clog.

Try pulling slowly: Inhale slowly and gently a few times. This can sometimes help to pull the clog through.

Note: Be careful not to overheat the cart, as this could damage it.

If these methods don’t work, you may need to use a paperclip to gently poke through the clog. However, be very careful when doing this, as you don’t want to damage the heating coil at the bottom of the cartridge.

If you’re not comfortable using a paperclip, or if none of these methods work, it may be time to replace your cart.


Why Is My Cart Clogged

Vape cartridge clogs can be a frustrating experience, interrupting your vaping enjoyment. The reasons behind these clogs can be a combination of factors, including the oil itself, the cartridge’s design, and your vaping habits.

Oil Consistency

Thicker oils pose a bigger clogging risk. They struggle to flow freely within the cartridge, hindering proper vaporization. When purchasing cartridges, consider the oil’s viscosity and choose one formulated for smooth operation.

Cartridge Design

Not all cartridges are created equal. Opt for cartridges that utilize ceramic or high-quality metal coils, as these offer better clog resistance. Additionally, a well-designed airflow system within the cartridge can significantly reduce clogging issues.


Treat your vape cartridge like a delicate device. Proper storage is key to maintaining its functionality and preventing clogs.

  • Upright Position: Store your vape cartridge upright. This helps prevent oil from seeping into areas it shouldn’t be, such as the mouthpiece or the airway, which can lead to clogs.
  • Cool, Dry Place: Keep your cartridge in a cool, dry place. Extreme temperatures can affect the oil’s consistency, making it either too thick or too thin. Both conditions can lead to clogs. High temperatures can cause the oil to become too runny and flood the coil, while cold temperatures can make the oil too thick to flow properly.

Vaping Habits

How you vape can also influence clogging. Take slow, controlled puffs instead of forceful inhales. This prevents excessive oil from being drawn into areas where it can solidify and cause blockage.

Cartridge Quality

A higher-quality cartridge is less likely to succumb to clogs. Look for reputable brands with a track record of reliable products and positive user reviews.

Residual Buildup

Over time, leftover oil and resin can accumulate inside the cartridge, eventually forming clogs. This is a common issue that can affect the performance of your vape cartridge.

If you notice decreased vapor production, a change in taste, or increased draw resistance, residual buildup might be the cause. Residual buildup can also lead to a burnt taste if not addressed.

Regular cleaning can help manage residual buildup. Disassemble the cartridge if possible and gently clean the components with a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Make sure to let all parts dry completely before reassembling and using the cartridge again.

Avoid Overheating: Excessive heat can cause the oil to burn and leave behind more residue. Use your vape at the recommended temperature settings.
Regular Maintenance: Clean your cartridge regularly to prevent buildup from becoming a bigger issue. A quick wipe down after each use can make a significant difference.
Use Quality Oils: Higher-quality oils tend to leave less residue compared to lower-quality options.

Condensation Buildup 

Condensation buildup is the bane of every vaper’s existence. It occurs when vapor cools within the cartridge’s airway, forming tiny droplets that accumulate over time. These droplets can eventually clog the mouthpiece, hindering vapor flow and leaving you with an unpleasant surprise – a mouthful of bitter vape juice instead of a satisfying puff.

Warning Signs: 

Keep an eye out for telltale signs of condensation buildup. If you feel a splatter of liquid on your tongue during inhalation, it’s a good indication that condensation is accumulating. Addressing this early will prevent more serious clogging issues down the line.

Chamber Flooding

Chamber flooding is another common culprit behind clogged cartridges. This occurs when a vape cart sits idle for an extended period. Delta 8 distillate thickens at room temperature, and over time, it can migrate towards the bottom of the cartridge. This can oversaturate the wick and ultimately “drown” the coil. A flooded chamber hinders the heating element (coil) from reaching optimal temperature, preventing efficient vaporization of the liquid.

Symptoms and Solutions: 

If your vape isn’t producing a satisfyingly thick vapor or feels like it’s not hitting properly, chamber flooding might be the culprit. A burning taste or smell is a clear sign to stop vaping immediately. This indicates that the coil is overheating or burning the oil, which can be harmful and unpleasant.


How Do You Unclog a Cart?

Here are some steps you can try to unclog a vape cartridge.

Try Pulling Slowly

Inhale slowly when you hit your vape. This can gently heat the oil, making it less viscous and easier to pull through.

Gently Heat the Cart

Use your vape’s pre-heat function for a few seconds, or hold the cartridge upright in your hand for a short time. Be careful not to overheat it.

Scrape Oil Buildup (Last Resort)

If heating doesn’t work, as a last resort, you can use a paperclip (straightened if necessary) to carefully scrape any oil buildup around the mouthpiece or airflow holes. Be very gentle and avoid touching the heating coil at the bottom.

Clean with Rubbing Alcohol (For Mouthpiece Only)

If the clog seems to be in the mouthpiece, you can try cleaning it with a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Allow it to dry completely before using again.



Be careful not to damage the heating coil at the bottom of the cartridge.

If none of these methods work, the cartridge may be permanently clogged.


Additional Tips:

Store your vape cartridges upright when not in use.

Avoid leaving them in extreme heat or cold.


Final Words

Clogged vape carts are a common issue, but with the right knowledge and a few simple techniques, you can often clear them up and get back to enjoying your vape. By understanding the causes of clogs, like condensation buildup or thick oil, and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can keep your vape cartridges functioning optimally. If none of the methods work, it might be time to replace the cart. 


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