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Why Does My E-Liquid Lose Its Flavor?

Don’t you hate it when your favorite juice starts to lose its awesome flavor until the vapor just tastes bland and unappealing? As a vaper, you’re bound to experience this at some point, but instead of blaming the juice, you should blame yourself, precisely your olfactory sensors and taste buds.

Steam-Sauce-e-liquid-lineDelicious flavors are one of the traits that make electronic cigarettes such a great alternative to smoking. Whether you prefer fruits, sweets or even liquor, there’s bound to be an e-liquid out there so delicious that it can make you forget all about that nasty taste of burnt tobacco. But just when you think you’ve found that perfect-tasting e-liquid, something strange happens – the intensity of its flavor decreases until you start wondering why you liked it so much in the first place.

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve had this happen to me. At first I thought it was the juices, that they changed taste because of the heat, or something. I would clean my clearomizers thoroughly, fill them up with fresh e-liquid only to find the flavor just as bland as before. That’s when I started looking into this problem online and found that I wasn’t the only one experiencing it. On the contrary, everyone seemed to go through the same ordeal, either soon after quitting smoking or further down the road. The good news was that there was a perfectly logical explanation for it and a number of way to fix it.

The loss of e-liquid flavor is commonly referred to as “vaper’s tongue” syndrome, although the tongue isn’t always the only culprite. Our taste buds can only taste five vasic sensations – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory – but it’s the olfactory sensors at the top of our nasal passage that allow us to identify unique flavors, like strawberry, chocolate, cinnamon or what have you. So the term “vaper’s tongue” isn’t very appropriate, but it’s so widely used in the community these days that I’m going to stick to it.

Basically, your senses aren’t able to distinguish a particular flavor after prolonged exposure to it. Let’s say you’ve found an apple flavor so good that you’ve been vaping it exclusively for the last few weeks. Some people experience vaper’s tongue sooner than that, while for others it can take months, but at one point your senses get so used to that one particular flavor that they become “immune” to it. It’s like with perfume – you can smell it when you spray it on, but after a while your olfactory senses get so used to it that you can’t smell a thing, even though everyone keeps saying you smell great.

But that’s not the only cause of vaper’s tongue. Dehydration can also make things taste less intense than normal. It’s a known fact that vapor absorbs moisture, and guess what, your mouth is a very moist place. Vaping for long periods of time without consuming enough fluids can cause your mouth to dry up and that’s when your body’s natural defenses kick in – a thin film forms up inside your mouth to prevent the tongue and olfactory senses from becoming too dry. Unfortunately, that also prevents them from detecting flavors and odors properly.

Fresh ex-smokers making the switch to vaping often experience vapor’s tongue syndrome. Smoking is known to inhibit your sense of taste, but things start to improve the moment you quit. However, as your sense of taste starts to improve it may become overwhelmed by all the new sensations and temporarily shut down, resulting in that annoying vaper’s tongue syndrome. This can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, but eventually your senses will adjust. You just have to wait it out.

Luckily, there are effective ways to prevent vaper’s tongue and deal with it when it occurs. The first thing you can do to make sure you fully enjoy the flavor of your favorite e-liquid every time is King's-Crown-juiceflavor rotation. Instead of sticking to just one juice for long periods of time, you can vape several of them alternatively, to prevent your senses from becoming desensitized to a particular flavor. I personally switch between three or four different e-liquid flavor every day, but even two is fine.

Now, if you are already beginning to notice a loss in flavor, you can simply switch to a different juice for a while to give your senses a chance to, you know, come to their senses. The trick here is to make a significant change. For example, if the taste of a certain tobacco flavor has become bland and unappealing, don’t just switch to another tobacco. Instead, opt for something fruity or minty or chocolaty.

Another trick you can try is shocking your senses. Apparently, inhaling fresh coffee grounds is an effective way to do that, although I have yet to put that theory to the test, but what I can confirm is that rinsing your mouth with citrus juices, or simply consuming fruits like oranges, lemons or pineapple can sometimes reset your senses and “cure” vaper’s tongue syndrome.

When dehydration is to blame for your vaper’s tongue, the logical solution is to drink more liquids, preferably water, but you should also try gargling and swishing a bit of water, and brushing your tongue to remove that thin film I mentioned earlier.

Dealing with vaper’s tongue syndrome can be a pain, but at least now you know it’s a very common problem for e-cigarette users and that there are ways to prevent and treat it.

However, although vaper’s tongue is most often to blame when an e-liquid doesn’t taste the way it used to, sometimes the juice does indeed change flavor. For example, I recently came across some unusually thick 100% vegetable glycerine e-liquids that were very palatable in the beginning, but seemed to change taste after a couple of refills. I soon discovered gunk had gradually built up on the heating element of the atomizer and was giving off a slightly burnt taste.

8 Comments/Reviews

  • Bob says:

    I got vaper’s tongue in 3 days vaping the same flavour. So i did what you say in it works. Now i can taste every single thing as describe in my eliquid.

  • Harriot says:
    5 stars

    I forgot this article until a minute ago. Great advice all round. I change all day and all my flavours taste brand new. Thanks Vranks.

  • Gabrielle Denoncourt says:
    5 stars

    Same thing appened to me! And I work in à essentiel oil shop and couldnt smell anything! Now its wayyy more better! Thanks to you!

  • Angie Ross says:

    I started vaping about 2 months ago and really loved it! I found an excellent flavor about two weeks ago and a week after using it I had a very bad thing happened in my life so for one day smoking cigarettes again I think I smoked about 8 of them and every since I cannot taste any flavor other than tobacco juice with my e-cig. It has been 6 days and I feel like I will never taste my fruit juice again. I really hope my senses come back to normal. Thank you so much for your information

  • Holly North says:

    When your e cig juice starts to lose lose its awesome flavor until the vapor just tastes bland you should blame yourself, precisely your olfactory sensors and taste buds.Whether you prefer fruits, sweets or even liquor, there’s bound to be an e-liquid out there so delicious that it can make you forget all about that nasty taste of burnt tobacco. But just when you think you’ve found that perfect-tasting e-liquid, At first I thought it was the juices, that they changed taste because of the heat, or something. everyone seemed to go through the same ordeal, either soon after quitting smoking or further down the road. Last year we provided an article detailing out the best electronic cigarette for VG E liquid. Times have changed, Vaping is becoming more recognized and devices have continued to improve.

  • Anna says:
    5 stars

    I almost got tricked by a shop owner into believing I had to buy new coils every time the flavor dulled. At the rate I was going, I spent about $30+ dollars in coils before realizing it really wasn’t the boil but this ‘vape tongue’ thing.

    I have a feeling vaper tongue is hard to get rid of so I’m just going to buy a tobacco flavored one and remain happy with that; I figure those ones can’t possibly lose their flavor.

    • Alley says:
      5 stars

      Anna: Tobacco flavors end up losing flavor as well, that’s all i vape.. and it doesn’t help by going to another type of tobacco flavor as it remains tasteless since they are all similar.

  • Chris says:
    5 stars

    Firstly this is my first time posting about this issue and as such it’s quite long!! It’s also 01:45AM here so I don’t know why I’m not asleep.. Skip to the bottom if it’s a TLDR; I hope it helps you guys/gals that suffer from this.

    Anyway.. this article was useful to me and well written. It’s quite hard to find a definite reason for this vapours tongue ‘phenomenon’ thing. It’s a seriously annoying issue and almost made me stop vaping (still might do…!). I think it only happens to a minority of people and varies on how bad it can be depending on the person.

    For me it only started after I switched to sub ohm and started buying 3mg nic juices instead of 6 due to the power of sub ohm not needing as much nic. Before I was using an aspire mini nat and never had a single problem. Now even when I go back to this device with 6mg juice, even that doesn’t taste right. All I can think is the flavour overload from sub ohm has ruined my senses but then why do so many other people never have any issues like this no matter what juice they use?! I’m not even a chain vapour either I can make 10mg last me 2-4 weeks. The 2 flavours I stuck to since I started vaping some time ago are vampire vapes Heisenberg & Pinkman. I used to absolutely adore them in my aspire nat and they would always stay consistent and nice but sadly these are the ones that made it all go bad for me when I switched up to sub ohm. I even bought higher VG versions of them just to rule that out but no luck. Now.. I knew for a fact these are good quality premium juices so I realised the problem was definitely me.

    In fact it’s worse then just no taste for me.. It’s almost like chemical rubber. Not a burnt taste however as it even happens with a new, clean coil. Although I wish it was burn then I would know what was happening.

    So here’s the main reason for my post and (slightly) good news that may hopefully help you too…
    The only flavour that I’ve found that will NEVER EVER lose its flavour for me and stay consistent is aniseed. More specifically the juice in question is ‘BlackJack’ like the old liquorice sweets. Or very strong menthol based ones, so if you’re in the same boat as me I would strongly suggest trying this juice or ones like it. If you do have the symptoms I have and don’t like aniseed or menthol then god help you lol.
    BlackJack is also fantastic for removing any left over flavours in your coils/tanks… I could vape it forever but I’m losing out on all the other flavours I have, especially when I have spent upwards of £50 on different juices that I wish I could just enjoy again. I will experiment a bit more and hopefully something magical happens to my…what was it again ? Oh yeah.. Olfactory sensors!

    Phew… that was long !!! 😛

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