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Why Is My Vape Liquid Turning Brown?

For any vaper, picking up your device to find the e-liquid inside has turned brown can be frustrating. For those who want to know why it may have happened and some of the things you might be able to do to help stop the problem from recurring, then read on.

Why May an E-Liquid Discolour?

A brown e-liquid in some devices may not necessarily be something to worry about. While the first instinct might be to throw the e-liquid away, that is not always necessary. That said, you should always follow manufacture’s guidelines and recommendations.

Oxidation. For adult vapers who prefer a device with a tank, vape liquid can oxidize if exposed to harsh sunlight or extreme temperatures. This process can turn your vape liquid brown or an even darker colour.

When the coil heats up to vapourise the e-liquid inside, oxidation can also naturally occur over time. Once e-liquid is inside the tank and the device is switched on, the e-liquid heats up. Gradually with use, the liquid may begin to caramelize – changing the texture and colour of the liquid. You might notice that with use, your coil, and the cotton, may form a sticky substance. Over time this factor can potentially cause e-liquid to burn.

It is important to note that it may not be possible to stop oxidation from happening. A vape liquid turning brown may be a normal and natural chemical reaction, and part of the e-liquid’s aging process, for certain vaping devices. However, there are some measures any vaper can take that may help to slow the process down.

Agitation. This is a process that occurs when vape liquid is shaken in its container. Agitation can happen through normal transportation and can easily occur while you’re on the move.

How Can You Help to Prevent E-Liquid Turning Brown?

To help keep your e-liquid in the condition intended by the manufacturer, there are some steps you can take to help. By looking after a device and the e-liquid, adult vapers can help their vape to keep it working efficiently – as well as helping to prevent vape liquid turning brown. Remember to always follow manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations.

  • Avoid sugary e-liquids – These varieties of e-liquid can turn darker faster compared to e-liquids without sugar due to the speed at which the e-liquid vapourises. An e-liquid with a low sugar content or one that has no sugar can lessen the chances of the vape liquid going brown in the tank.
  • Choose a high quality liquid – Lower quality e-liquids may contain a poor blend of ingredients and generally might not work well with your device.
  • Avoid blending e-liquids – Even if you have two of the same brand. Vape liquids are specifically designed to work as intended by the manufacturer. Mixing e-liquids can amongst other things lead to oxygen contamination.
  • Carefully store e-liquid – Keeping stored bottles (and your device) upright may help to avoid leaks and agitation. Some manufacturers also recommend storing e-liquid away from direct sunlight and heat, and put it in a cool dark place to avoid oxidation. Make sure the lid on your e-liquid is done up tightly. Some manufacturers also recommend that you leave your vape liquid sealed until you are ready to use it.
  • Regularly change the coil – How often you change your coil may depend on a number of factors (such as the type of your devices and how frequently you use it). And while you should always follow manufacturer recommendations and guidelines, changing the coil regularly may help ensure your vape works as it should.
  • Clean the vape tank frequently – This is good practice and regular cleaning may limit e-liquid sitting in your tank for long periods, helping mitigate discolouration.
  • Check manufacturer’s advice – Your e-liquid will come with a label, or perhaps even a leaflet in the box of what to expect and how best to look after your e-liquid. Following the manufacturer’s guidance will help to retain the e-liquid’s integrity.

To learn more about e-liquids, read our articles on how to refill your vape tank, and what is e-liquid by following the links.

Alternatives to E-Liquid Devices

As an adult smoker looking for vaping information and details about vape liquid turning brown, it could be useful to know there are smoke-free devices that don’t use e-liquid. There are various smoke-free products available in this category, including IQOS – a tobacco heating system.

IQOS HeatControl™ Technology heats tobacco instead of burning it to deliver the taste of real tobacco. IQOS emits significantly lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.* Discover the range of IQOS devices online. IQOS is not risk-free and it provides nicotine, which is addictive.

The tobacco sticks called HEETS work with the IQOS device. The HEETS sticks come in a variety of flavours, intensity and aromas to suit different tastes. Explore the HEETS selection in the online store. HEETS are not risk-free and they contain nicotine, which is addictive.

Important information: IQOS is not risk-free.

* Reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette. See Important Information on

What Alternative E-Liquid Devices Are Available?

Discovering a vape’s liquid is turning brown can be frustrating. Help to ensure your e-liquid lasts as intended by the manufacturer, by taking some careful measures such as tank cleaning and by avoiding mixing e-liquids.

The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. IQOS are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids.

This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.

This product is not risk free and provides nicotine, which is addictive. Only for use by adults. 

E producto aki no ta liber di riesgo y ta contene nicotina, cu ta adictivo. Solamente pa usuario adulto. 

Dit product is niet risicovrij en bevat nicotine, wat verslavend is. Alleen voor gebruik door volwassenen.