How can I unclog my vape cartridge?

How can I unclog my vape cartridge?

Let’s first understand why your vape cartridge may be clogged. It could actually be due to a number of reasons.

The Popping Sensation

As you use your cartridge, towards the end of it when it’s almost out, you may sometimes experience a popping sensation. When you are taking a hit for the first time after allowing it to cool, when you suck in, you could experience a pop like something is clearing out of the airway.

This is a somewhat common situation that people may experience when using cartridges. This doesn’t usually become a problem for most people, because most of the time it quickly goes away after use.

The reason this is happening is because after the cartridge has been used, oil condensation begins to build up on the inside of the center air post. When the oil cools and condenses inside the cartridge, it can begin to build up, which is why you experience the popping sensation.

This can also be caused after the cartridge has been used for a little bit and then you let it sit out. There is sometimes still vape residue that can be left inside the atomizer that doesn’t vaporize off. This can also cause the clogging and popping sensation.

If the popping sensation gets to the point where it’s hard to get that first hit because it’s clogging, try using a button battery, instead of an automatic buttonless battery. A button activated battery will allow you to heat up the oil without any airflow, a clogged cartridge doesn’t have any airflow. Once the oil has been heated up in the cartridge, you should be able to get some airflow and unclog the cartridge by hitting it.

Our Royal Supply Ceramic Core Cartridges have a widened center post to alleviate this issue from occurring. With a wide center post, the condensation doesn’t build up and get clogged.

The Atomizer Tank is Flooded

The most important thing to know about vape cartridges is to never open the cartridge after it has been filled with oil. This will almost certainly cause your vape cartridge to flood and clog.

Think of a vape cartridge like a holding your finger on the top of a straw to hold the liquid inside, the same principles apply here. If you remove the cap from a vape cartridge, it’s like taking your finger off the top of your straw, all the contents will start flowing out the bottom. Oil is thick, so it won’t be a really dramatic effect, but it can certainly cause problems like clogging.

If you have a truly clogged cartridge and no matter how hard you suck it still won’t come through, try use the same technique above by using a button battery to heat up the oil. If you heat up the oil in the cartridge using a button battery, you will eventually be able to loosen up the clogged air hole and get some air flow to clear out the cartridge.

At this point, the atomizer tank is probably flooded with oil. Your best bet is to do your best to burn off all the oil in the tank. Yes, this may mean taking some really big rips, but it should burn off most of the excess oil that’s inside the tank. Make sure to use a strong quality battery for this technique.

If you notice sticky residue coming out of the bottom of your cartridge, the tank may be flooded and you’re experiencing some of the issues noted above. This is oil coming out of the bottom of your cartridge and it isn’t good for the connection between the cartridge and the battery, so it’s important to clean this off if you notice it. You can use Isopropyl Alcohol and a Q-Tip to wipe this clean.


I know it can be frustrating. You pay all this money for a vape cartridge and it ends up clogging and you can’t even finish it. It helps understanding what is actually happening inside the vape cartridge to know why it’s actually clogging. If you know what’s happening, it will be easier for you to diagnose what could have been the cause. Sometimes a leaky cartridge is past the point of recovering, but often times a few little tricks can do the job.

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