Vaper’s Tongue: What to Do When You Can’t Taste Your E-Liquid
For many long-term vapers, the enjoyment of vaping comes more from the flavour than it does from the nicotine. Few vapers give up nicotine completely, of course, but the usual tendency is to decrease the nicotine strength of one’s e-liquid over time while steadily upgrading to devices that produce bigger and bigger vapour clouds. Eventually, you reach a point where you don’t consume much nicotine at a time, but you do vape fairly constantly throughout the day. Once you’ve reached that point, flavour is the main thing that keeps you interested. Whether you buy the same product every time you shop for e-liquid or can’t resist the lure of trying a different vape juice every week, flavour is the thing that keeps you coming back to vaping – which makes it all the more disconcerting when you can’t taste your e-liquid.
Vaper’s tongue is the name the vaping community has given to the condition that makes you temporarily unable to taste your e-liquid. It can manifest itself in two forms. If you have vaper’s tongue, you may find that you have difficulty tasting the e-liquid you normally use, or you may find that you have difficulty tasting any e-liquid at all. Before you begin to worry too much, you should know that vaper’s tongue does resolve itself. What causes vaper’s tongue, though, and is there anything that you can do to resolve the situation more quickly? Those are the things you’re going to learn from this article.
What Causes Vaper’s Tongue?
As you’re likely already aware, your senses of smell and taste are intertwined to such an extent that anything hampering one sense will also cause the other to function poorly. The reason why you’re having trouble tasting your e-liquid is because you’re experiencing olfactory fatigue. You’ve overloaded your palate – either by bombarding it constantly with a single boldly flavoured e-liquid or by changing e-liquid flavours so often that your brain can’t keep up – and you’ve temporarily lost your ability to process that olfactory information.
If you’ve ever spent some time at the perfume counter in a department store, you’ve experienced a similar type of olfactory fatigue. After smelling a few powerful scents in a row, you have to take a break before sampling any more perfumes because they all start to smell the same.
The same thing can happen when you vape. It’s uncertain why vaper’s tongue seems to happen to some people and not others, but what is known is that the olfactory fatigue can set in due to constant e-liquid flavour changes, and it can also happen after you’ve used a single strongly flavoured e-liquid for a long time.
Coil Gunk Isn’t Vaper’s Tongue
Have you ever noticed that the flavour of your e-liquid seems to improve greatly when you replace your atomizer coil? Over time, the e-liquid that you use leaves a layer of residue on the coil in your tank. Members of the vaping community call that residue “coil gunk.” If you use an e-liquid that contains no added sweeteners and has a simple flavour profile, it can take a long time for the residue to form. If you use an e-liquid that’s strongly flavoured and heavily sweetened, though, your atomizer coil can develop a fairly thick layer of residue in less than a day of vaping.
The sweetener sucralose is the e-liquid ingredient that’s most responsible for the formation of coil gunk, and when the layer of residue becomes thick enough, it can alter the flavour of your e-liquid by making it taste unusually sweet and by making the e-liquid’s more subtle flavour notes hard to detect. Coil gunk isn’t vaper’s tongue. If you find it easier to taste your e-liquid when your atomizer coil is new, that’s completely normal. You don’t have vaper’s tongue.
Using a Palate Cleanser May Resolve Vaper’s Tongue
While vaper’s tongue is a condition that may have you feeling a bit concerned, the important thing to remember is that the condition will resolve itself with time. You don’t need to do anything if you don’t want to. If you don’t want to wait, though, there are two things that may resolve the situation more quickly. The first thing that you can try is using a palate cleanser.
People who rely on their palates for a living – wine tasters, for instance – spend much of their time comparing things that are fundamentally the same but have subtle differences. When you’re tasting many variations of the same thing close together – whether it’s wines, coffees or chocolates – they’re all going to start to taste the same very quickly unless you cleanse your palate between tastings. The same strategy may help to reset your palate and allow you to taste your e-liquid again. Try some of these popular palate cleansers.
- Black coffee
- Lemon wedges
- Cold water
- Plain tea
Change Your E-Liquid to Resolve Persistent Vaper’s Tongue
If using a palate cleanser doesn’t help, another way to resolve vaper’s tongue is by changing your e-liquid for a while or by changing the way you manage your existing e-liquid rotation. One of the most common causes of vaper’s tongue is switching constantly between different e-liquid flavours. If you use a different e-liquid flavour every time you refill your tank, for instance, you’re probably changing flavours so often that your brain has simply given up trying to process the information. Instead of rotating between several different e-liquid flavours in a single day, try using just one flavour per day.
Using only one e-liquid flavour – and never switching to any other flavours – can also cause vaper’s tongue if the one e-liquid that you use has a very strong flavour and is heavily sweetened. In that case, you may find that you can resolve your case of vaper’s tongue quickly by switching to a more plainly flavoured e-liquid – or even an unflavoured e-liquid – for a while. Try a plain menthol e-liquid or an e-liquid with no flavour at all. After a day or two, try switching back to your regular e-liquid. You’ll probably find that you can taste all of the e-liquid’s subtle nuances once again.