What Does a Dry Hit Feel Like? Know the Signs to Avoid the Burn

Ever experienced the dreaded dry hit when vaping? You know, that harsh and burnt taste that hits the back of your throat like a ton of bricks. It’s one of the most unpleasant experiences you can have while vaping, yet every vaper has dealt with it at least once in their life.

The sensation is nothing but gross. You’ll feel like you just inhaled burning cotton, mixed with an all-encompassing bitterness. The heat will make your tongue feel like it was scorched by a hot poker, and the aftertaste will stick around for what seems like an eternity. When this happens, it’s hard not to cough up a lung and end up turning yourself off from vaping altogether.

But don’t worry, dry hits are normal and can be easily prevented. By tweaking a few things with your vaping device and avoiding some common mistakes, you can keep them at bay and enjoy a smooth and flavorful vaping experience. So, if you’re tired of feeling like your taste buds have been held hostage, stick around and learn how to avoid the nasty experience of a dry hit.

What is a Dry Hit?

A dry hit is a term used to describe a notably unpleasant experience vapers encounter when taking a drag. It occurs when the vape device is used, but there’s no e-liquid to vaporize. As a result, the coil overheats and burns out, causing a harsh, unpleasant sensation, and a burnt taste. Dry hits can be extremely uncomfortable and are typically accompanied by a coughing fit or throat irritation because of the heat and irritation caused by the burnt wick.

Beginner vapers are more likely to experience dry hits because they tend to chain vape without taking breaks. The frequency and chain vaping behavior lead to less e-liquid getting to the coil, leading to the dreaded experience of a dry hit. Chain vaping without allowing time for e-liquid saturation also causes the wick to dry out, which eventually leads to a dry hit.

Causes of Dry Hits

If you’re an avid vaper, you must have experienced a dry hit at one point or the other. Dry hits are unpleasant, and they can ruin your vaping experience. A dry hit feels like you’re inhaling burnt cotton, accompanied by an intense throat hit and no or little vapor production. Here are some of the causes of Dry Hits:

  • Insufficient E-Liquid: One of the most common causes of dry hits is insufficient e-liquid in your tank. If you’re vaping on low e-juice levels, and you keep firing your device, the wicking material (cotton in most cases) runs dry, causing a burnt taste.
  • Misaligned Wicking Channels: Your atomizer’s wicking channels need to align correctly with the e-liquid supply holes. If, by any chance, the wicking channels are misaligned or clogged, the e-juice can’t flow adequately to your coil, leading to a burning sensation.
  • Overpowering Your Coil’s Capability: If you exceed your coil’s maximum wattage, you’re at risk of burning your coil, leading to dry hits and a burnt taste. Any coil has a wattage range indicated by the manufacturer, and it’s essential to stay within this range.

Common Mistakes Made When Trying to Fix Dry Hits

When you experience a dry hit, you may be tempted to fix it the wrong way. Here are some common mistakes made by vapers when trying to fix dry hits:

  • Chain Vaping: When you experience a dry hit, your first instinct may be to keep firing your device to get the desired flavor. However, this is a wrong move. Chain vaping only aggravates the burning sensation, intensifying the burnt taste.
  • Over Priming: Priming a coil is essential as it helps saturate the coil with e-juice. However, over priming can cause flooding, leading to decreased vapor production and a gurgling sound.
  • Using Sweet E-Liquids: Sweet e-liquids are thicker and leave more residue on the coil than regular e-liquids. This, in turn, causes gunk, leading to dry hits.

Tips to Prevent Dry Hits

Now that you know what causes dry hits and what to avoid, let’s look at some of the preventive measures you can take:

  • Prime Your Coils Appropriately: Priming your coils is essential to avoid dry hits. However, ensure that you don’t overdo it. Prime your coils until the cotton is adequately saturated.
  • Use High-Quality E-Liquids: Premium e-liquids guarantee fewer impurities, ensuring prolonged coil life.
  • Avoid Chain Vaping: Take breaks in between hits to ensure your wick has enough time to re-saturate, preventing a dry hit.


Dry hits can be uncomfortable and can ruin your vaping experience. However, if you take the necessary preventative measures, you can avoid dry hits altogether. Always ensure sufficient e-liquid levels, prime your coils appropriately, and avoid chain vaping. Remember to stay in your coil’s wattage range, and you’ll avoid the unpleasant sensation of a dry hit.

Causes of Dry Hits Common Mistakes Made When Trying to Fix Dry Hits Tips to Prevent Dry Hits
Insufficient E-Liquid Chain Vaping Prime Your Coils Appropriately
Misaligned Wicking Channels Over Priming Use High-Quality E-Liquids
Overpowering Your Coil’s Capability Using Sweet E-Liquids Avoid Chain Vaping

Table: Summary of Causes, Mistakes, and Tips to Prevent Dry Hits

Dangers of Dry Hits

As mentioned in our previous article, a dry hit happens when the wick of a vaping device is not properly saturated with e-liquid, causing the heating coil to burn the dry wick instead. This results in an unpleasant and harsh vapor that tastes burnt, and can cause a number of serious health hazards.

  • 1. Inhalation of Toxic Chemicals
  • A dry hit produces a harsh and acrid vapor that can contain high levels of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals. These chemicals are known to cause irritation to the respiratory system and can lead to long-term health complications like cancer.

  • 2. Risk of Fire
  • If the coil in your device is dry, the cotton wick surrounding it can quickly ignite and cause a fire. In addition, the battery in your device may also overheat and explode, causing serious injury or property damage.

  • 3. Lung Damage
  • A dry hit can cause severe irritation to the lungs, leading to inflammation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Over time, this can result in serious lung damage and respiratory complications like bronchitis and emphysema.

Preventing Dry Hits

The best way to prevent dry hits and avoid the associated health hazards is to properly prime your device before taking a hit. Make sure that your wick is fully saturated with e-liquid to avoid burning the cotton. You can also try using a lower wattage or temperature setting, which can help prevent overheating and dry hits.

Finally, always be sure to keep your device clean and well-maintained. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent buildup and clogs in your device, which can lead to dry hits and other problems.


Dry hits may seem like a minor inconvenience, but they can have serious health consequences. By understanding the risks associated with dry hits and taking steps to prevent them, you can enjoy a safer and healthier vaping experience.

Dangers of Dry Hits Prevention Techniques
Inhalation of Toxic Chemicals Properly Prime Your Device
Risk of Fire Use a Lower Wattage or Temperature
Lung Damage Keep Your Device Clean and Well-Maintained

Remember, the key to avoiding dry hits and staying safe while vaping is to take precautions and listen to your body. If you experience any discomfort or irritation while vaping, stop immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

Symptoms of Inhaling a Dry Hit

A dry hit is a dreadful experience that every vaper dreads. Inhaling a dry hit can be quite unpleasant, and it can cause a variety of symptoms that can make the experience unbearable. Here are some of the symptoms you may experience when you take a dry hit:

  • A Burning Sensation: When you vape, the e-juice is heated through the coil, producing vapor. A dry hit occurs when the coil is dry, and you are left inhaling the hot cotton. This can create a burning sensation that feels like your throat is on fire.
  • Coughing: When you inhale a dry hit, your body tries to expel the irritants by coughing. This is an involuntary reflex that can be quite intense, leaving you feeling out of breath.
  • Sore Throat: Inhaling a dry hit can cause irritation to your throat, resulting in a sore throat. This can be quite uncomfortable, especially if you are a heavy vaper.

It is important to note that these symptoms can vary in severity, depending on how bad the dry hit is. In some cases, you may experience all three symptoms at once, making it very hard to continue vaping.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, the best course of action is to stop vaping and wait for the symptoms to subside. Drinking water can help soothe your throat and alleviate some of the discomfort. If you experience persistent symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.

Here is a table that summarizes the symptoms of inhaling a dry hit:

Symptoms Description
Burning Sensation Feels like your throat is on fire
Coughing Involuntary reflex to expel irritants
Sore Throat Throat irritation resulting in soreness

If you want to avoid inhaling a dry hit, make sure that your coil is always well-saturated with e-juice. Prime your coil before vaping, and do not chain vape or take long drags, as this can cause your coil to dry out quickly. By taking these precautions, you can avoid the unpleasant symptoms of inhaling a dry hit.

How to Prevent Dry Hits

Everyone who has ever experienced a dry hit knows it’s a feeling they would like to avoid. Dry hits happen when there is not enough e-liquid in your atomizer, causing the device to burn the wick itself. The result is a harsh, unpleasant hit that can leave you coughing and irritated. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent dry hits from happening.

  • Check your e-liquid level regularly: one of the simplest things you can do to avoid a dry hit is to make sure your tank is adequately filled with e-liquid. Check your device’s instructions to see how much e-liquid it can hold, and try to keep it topped up.
  • Prime your coils: before you start vaping, it’s a good idea to prime your coils. This involves wetting the wick with e-liquid before use. You can do this by adding a few drops of e-liquid to the wick holes and leaving it for a few minutes before starting to vape.
  • Use the right wattage: using an incorrect wattage can cause your device to overheat, resulting in a dry hit. Check your device’s instructions for the recommended range of wattage for your atomizer, and make sure you stay within it.

Here are some additional tips that can help you avoid dry hits:

  • Don’t chain-vape: taking long, continuous draws can cause your coil to overheat and burn the wick. Try to limit your usage to shorter, more frequent vape sessions instead of long, extended sessions to help prevent your atomizer from overheating.
  • Clean your device regularly: a dirty device can contribute to dry hits. Over time, dirt and debris can clog the wick, causing it to burn. Regular cleaning can help keep your device working properly and prevent dry hits.
  • Try a different e-liquid: some e-liquids are thicker than others and may not work well with your atomizer. If you find that you’re frequently experiencing dry hits, try changing to a thinner e-liquid that can easily penetrate the wick.


Preventing dry hits is essential if you want to enjoy your vaping experience. By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your atomizer functioning correctly and avoid that unpleasant burnt taste.

Tip Description
Check your e-liquid level regularly Make sure your tank is adequately filled with e-liquid to avoid a dry hit from happening.
Prime your coils Wetting the wick with e-liquid before use can help prevent dry hits.
Use the right wattage Using the correct wattage can prevent your device from overheating and causing a dry hit.
Don’t chain-vape Limit your usage to shorter, more frequent sessions instead of long, extended sessions to help prevent your atomizer from overheating.
Clean your device regularly Regular cleaning can help keep your device working correctly and prevent dry hits.
Try a different e-liquid Changing to a thinner e-liquid that can easily penetrate the wick could help prevent dry hits.

Difference between a dry hit and a burnt taste

As smokers, we all know what a burnt taste in our mouth feels like. It’s a disgusting, acrid sensation that leaves us feeling sick and unsatisfied. However, when it comes to vaping, the lines between a dry hit and a burnt taste can become blurred. Below are some key differences between the two:

  • A dry hit is a hit that doesn’t produce any vapor. Instead, it produces a harsh, scratchy feeling in the throat. It’s usually caused by a lack of liquid or insufficient wicking that dries out the cotton in your atomizer. This can be a result of using an old coil or vaping at too high of a wattage for the coil you’re using.
  • A burnt taste, on the other hand, is caused by vaping with a coil that is past its prime or at too high of a wattage. When the cotton in your atomizer dries out and overheats, it can create a burnt and unpleasant taste in your mouth. The burnt taste is usually accompanied by a reduced amount of vapor production and can make your device extremely hot.
  • The sensations that come with each can also differ. A dry hit will feel dry and scratchy in your throat and can even cause a coughing fit. While a burnt taste produces a horrible taste in your mouth with a residual burnt flavor that lingers after you exhale.

To avoid both issues, it’s important to ensure that your coil is always properly primed and maintained. This includes checking your cotton and liquid levels before every use and replacing coils frequently. If you’re unsure about how to maintain your device, be sure to check the instructions or watch a tutorial online.

In conclusion, while a dry hit and a burnt taste can feel similar at first, they are very different issues with different causes. It’s important to recognize their differences to know how to fix the issue and ensure a better vaping experience.

Dry Hit Burnt Taste
No vapor production Reduced vapor production
Dry, scratchy feeling in the throat Horrible burnt taste with a lingering aftertaste
Causes: lack of liquid and insufficient wicking Causes: vaping with a past-prime coil or at too high of a wattage

How to Fix a Dry Hit

Experiencing a dry hit is never a pleasant feeling. Not only does it produce an unpleasant taste, but it also poses health risks and can damage your vape device. Here are some ways to fix a dry hit:

  • Check your e-liquid level – One common cause of dry hits is an insufficient e-liquid level. If your tank is low, simply fill it up to avoid overheating the coil.
  • Prime your coils – Coils need to be primed to soak up e-liquid properly. Before vaping, wait a few minutes after filling up your tank to allow the e-juice to saturate the wick. This will help prevent dry hits and prolong the lifespan of your coil.
  • Lower your wattage – Another way to fix a dry hit is to reduce the wattage of your vape device. High wattage can cause the e-liquid to vaporize too quickly and create a dry hit. Try decreasing your wattage by 5-10 watts and see if it helps.

If the above methods don’t work, you may need to replace your coil. Over time, coils become gunked up with residue, which inhibits proper e-liquid soaking and can also cause dry hits.

It’s also important to stay mindful of your vaping habits to avoid dry hits in the first place. Chain vaping or taking long hits can lead to dry hits as the device becomes overheated. Take shorter breaks between hits to prevent this.

Causes of Dry Hits How to Fix Them
Insufficient e-liquid level Fill up your tank with e-liquid
Improper coil priming Wait a few minutes after filling up your tank to let the e-liquid saturate the wick
High wattage Decrease your device’s wattage by 5-10 watts
Dirty or gunked-up coil Replace your coil

By following these tips, you can avoid dry hits and keep your vaping experience smooth and enjoyable. Remember to stay mindful of your device’s capabilities and limit your vaping habits to prevent overheating and dry hits.

Is a Dry Hit Harmful to Your Health?

If you have ever experienced a dry hit, you know that it is one of the most unpleasant things that can happen while vaping. This sensation occurs when the wick in your vape device is not fully saturated with e-liquid, causing the coil to burn and produce a harsh, burnt taste.

While dry hits are not pleasant, some vapers believe that they may be harmful to your health. Here are some facts to consider:

  • Dry hits can lead to high levels of formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen
  • They can also produce acrolein, which can irritate the eyes and respiratory system
  • Long-term exposure to these chemicals could potentially lead to serious health problems

It’s important to note, however, that these risks are largely speculative and largely depend on how often you experience dry hits and how long you are exposed to the chemicals produced.

Most vapers agree that dry hits are not enjoyable and should be avoided, but there is no need to panic if you experience one occasionally. To minimize the risk of dry hits, be sure to regularly check your device’s e-liquid levels, replace old coils, and adjust your wattage level to a level that’s appropriate for your device.

Pros Cons
Dry hits are not pleasant and can ruin the vaping experience Dry hits can produce harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and acrolein
Minimizing the risk of dry hits can lead to a more enjoyable vaping experience The long-term health risks of experiencing dry hits are largely unknown

While dry hits may not be harmful to your health in the short-term, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and take steps to avoid them as much as possible. By keeping your device properly maintained and avoiding situations where dry hits are more likely to occur, you can continue to enjoy vaping without worrying about potential health risks.

DIY Vape Juice and Dry Hits

If you are someone who enjoys smoking e-cigarettes, then you are already familiar with what dry hits are. The term refers to taking a drag that produces little to no vapor. Instead, you get a harsh and burnt taste that is almost unbearable on your taste buds. It isn’t a good feeling, and that is an understatement.

For those new to vaping, dry hits can occur for a variety of reasons, including a lack of e-juice in the tank, a worn-out coil, and incorrect settings on your mod or device. While it’s a common problem, there are a few steps and precautions that you can take to alleviate or prevent dry hits from ruining your vaping experience.

DIY Vape Juice and Dry Hits

  • Ensure your wick has ample e-juice
  • Prime your coils before regular use
  • Keep your vape clean and well-maintained

DIY Vape Juice and Dry Hits

If you are someone who likes to make their e-juice, a dry hit can be caused by flavorings that have too much propylene glycol (PG) or sweeteners that have too much sucralose. Both can cause your wick to not absorb the e-juice as effectively, leading to harsh and dry hits.

To avoid this, you need to make sure you’re following the recommended guidelines for flavorings and sweeteners as provided by the e-juice concentrates manufacturer. You can also change your PG/VG ratio to produce a thicker e-juice, which can be more enjoyable to vape.

DIY Vape Juice and Dry Hits

By becoming more familiar with what causes dry hits in vaping, you can become better at avoiding the experience altogether. While it is a pain to go through, there are ways to prevent dry hits from ruining your vape sessions. By applying the tips and tricks discussed in the article, you will enjoy a smooth and consistent vaping experience every time.

Causes of Dry Hits Solutions to Prevent Dry Hits
Lack of e-juice in the tank Always keep an ample amount e-juice in the tank
Worn-out coil Replace old coils regularly
Incorrect settings on your mod or device Adjust your mod or device settings correctly

Hydrating Your Vape Juice to Avoid Dry Hits

One of the most common issues faced by vapers is the dreaded dry hit. A dry hit occurs when the wick in your vape device is not properly saturated with e-liquid, resulting in an unpleasant and often harsh taste. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to hydrate your vape juice to avoid dry hits.

  • Ensure Proper Storage: Proper storage of your vape juice is critical to prevent dry hits. Avoid exposure to heat, light, and air, as this can cause the liquid to evaporate and thicken.
  • Use High-Quality E-Liquids: Invest in high-quality e-liquids that are designed to prevent dry hits. These products typically contain a higher percentage of vegetable glycerin (VG), which is responsible for producing thicker clouds and a smoother hit.
  • Add Distilled Water: Add a few drops of distilled water to your vape juice if you notice that it’s starting to thicken. This will help to thin out the liquid, making it easier for the wick to absorb.

If you’re still experiencing dry hits despite taking the above steps, it’s possible that your device is due for a coil change. Over time, the coil can become clogged with residue, making it more difficult for the wick to absorb e-liquid. A coil change should help to resolve the issue.

Overall, hydrating your vape juice is an effective way to avoid dry hits and ensure a more enjoyable vaping experience. By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying smooth and flavorful hits every time.

Pros Cons
Hydrating your vape juice can help prevent dry hits and improve the overall vaping experience. It may take some trial and error to find the right balance of ingredients for your individual needs and device.
The addition of distilled water is a simple and affordable solution for thinning out thick vape juice. Low-quality e-liquids may not respond well to hydration methods and may still cause dry hits.
Proper storage is key to preventing dry hits and maintaining the quality of your vape juice over time. Some vapers may prefer thicker, more flavorful liquids that are prone to causing dry hits.

Ultimately, the key to preventing dry hits is to invest in high-quality e-liquids, store them properly, and take steps to thin out thick liquids as needed. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy smooth and flavorful hits without any harsh or unpleasant aftertaste.

What does a dry hit feel like FAQs

Q: What is a dry hit?
A dry hit happens when there is not enough e-liquid in your vape tank or your coil is burned. This will result in a burnt taste and can cause pain in your throat and lungs.

Q: What does a dry hit feel like?
A dry hit feels like a sharp, burning sensation in your throat and lungs. It may also cause coughing and wheezing.

Q: Is it dangerous to experience a dry hit?
While not immediately dangerous, a dry hit can cause damage to your throat and lungs over time. It is best to avoid dry hits as much as possible to ensure your health and safety.

Q: How can I prevent getting a dry hit?
To prevent getting a dry hit, make sure to always have enough e-liquid in your tank and replace your coils regularly. You can also make sure to prime your coil before vaping.

Q: What should I do if I experience a dry hit?
If you experience a dry hit, stop vaping immediately and take a break. Drink plenty of water to soothe your throat and wait a few minutes before vaping again.

Q: Can a dry hit damage my vape device?
A dry hit can damage your vape device if it occurs frequently. It can cause your coils to burn out faster and can also cause damage to your tank.

Q: How often do I need to replace my coil?
The frequency at which you need to replace your coil depends on how often you vape and the type of e-liquid you use. Generally, it is recommended to replace your coil every two to four weeks.

Closing Thoughts

We hope this article helped answer your questions about what a dry hit feels like. Remember to always prime your coils, keep your tank filled with e-liquid, and replace your coils regularly to prevent dry hits. Thanks for reading and come back soon for more informative vaping articles!