Why does e-cigarette liquid turn dark?

Electronic cigarette liquid turns dark

Published on: 27/06/2022

What causes e-liquid to darken and how to avoid it

Have you ever stored an e-cigarette liquid inside a vial or bottle and noticed a change in its colour after some time? Then, suddenly, it has become much darker than it was initially!

Well, you’re not the only one. Plenty of vapers have experienced a similar phenomenon and found that their e-liquid had turned brownish.

What is the cause of this phenomenon, and what can be done to avoid this colour change?

We will answer these questions in the following article.

Bottle containing electronic cigarette liquid that has gone dark

Has the e-liquid you were storing in a bottle turned dark? Here are the possible causes

One of the possible causes of this phenomenon is oxidation, a chemical reaction you have undoubtedly observed often. For example, think of the times you have sliced an apple and not eaten it all, leaving a slice aside to finish it later.

You will have noticed that, on contact with air, the flesh has turned black, right? Well, this is the same phenomenon that can cause your e-cigarette liquid to change colour.

Another possible cause is the exposure of nicotine to sunlight. This molecule is photosensitive, and when left in the sunlight for a long time, it darkens, changing the colour note of the liquid.

Usually, an e-liquid that undergoes these chemical processes can be vaped without any health risk. However, it may be too bland due to the loss of ‘hit’ from the nicotine, which is depowered by oxygen and sunlight.

Read also: British electronic cigarette liquids: should we buy them?

Why the e-cigarette liquid in your atomiser can turn dark

If the e-cigarette liquid changes colour inside the atomiser, the culprit is usually neither oxidation nor sunlight but e-liquid residue that has encrusted the resistance.

You should know that some liquids contain large quantities of sweeteners that impregnate the cotton of the coil and when heated, are caramelised by the heat. If the resistance is not changed regularly, the residue can stain the e-liquid, turning it dark and altering the flavour.

In short, if you notice that the e-liquid you put in your atomiser is turning dark, you need to replace the coil as soon as possible.

Base of an atomiser with regenerable resistance

How to prevent your e-liquids from turning dark

To prevent your e-cigarette liquids from turning dark, store them in amber containers, close the cap tightly and store them in a place away from sunlight. It will prevent them from coming into contact with oxygen and being altered by UV rays.

When vaping them, do not exaggerate the watts: if you overheat the cotton, the sugars caramelise very quickly, reducing the life of the coil and staining the liquid.

Sometimes, you may notice a change in the colour of the e-liquid even while using it with a new heating element. But how is this possible?

The culprit could be some residue detached from the coil and deposited inside the atomiser. In this case, I suggest you completely disassemble the tank and thoroughly clean every element.

Finally, avoid using organic liquids with electronic cigarettes with interchangeable heads: these products stain the coil very quickly. If you don’t want to do without these e-liquids, vape them with a rebuildable atomiser, change the cotton frequently, and remove fouling from the heating element with a small metal brush.

Read also: Dyes for electronic cigarette liquids: are they safe?

In conclusion

We have outlined the most common causes of the darkening of the e-cigarette liquid.As I explained before, as a rule, an e-liquid that turns dark is not a health hazard, and you can vape it without any risk. However, the colour change may be the effect of chemical processes that degrade the nicotine, depowering it and diminishing the hit in the throat.

However, if you want to prevent them from turning dark, take care of your e-cigarette liquids and devices: store them properly, keep the atomiser clean and change the resistance regularly.

Before saying goodbye, I invite you to look at our shop on Terpy, where you will find everything you need for your vaping sessions: e-cigarette liquids, concentrated flavours, nicotine bases and much more.

We are waiting for you on Terpy.com!