Have you ever picked up a bottle of e-liquid and realised it had turned brown or even black in colour? This could be a bottle that you haven’t picked up in a while, and so your first instinct might be to bin the bottle and write it off as no good. But this isn’t always the case! If you want to find out more about your e-liquids getting darker in colour, then keep reading to find out the science behind this change and whether you can still enjoy your neglected e-juices. 

My E-Liquid Has Turned Dark in the Tank?

If you’re worried about your e-liquid turning dark whilst in your vape tank, then this is most likely down to the ingredients. The majority of e-liquids on the market are filled with artificial sweeteners and sugars which add the flavour to your favourite e-juice. 

When your e-juice is exposed to heat, this is where things start to take a turn. The sugars in sweet e-liquid flavours will caramelise when exposed to the heat, and in turn, this will change the colour and texture of your e-liquid. Just like the process of making caramel, the result can be a bit ‘gunky’, but not necessarily bad! 

It is worth mentioning that this caramelised gunk can also stain the inside of your vape tank, and over time build up on the coil and seep into the tank, leaving residue behind. If you don’t clean your tank regularly, the build-up of residue will begin to stain any new e-liquids added to your tank as well, and will eventually affect the taste. Read our guide on how to effectively and efficiently clean your tank today for more advice on this issue. 

If you have e-liquid turning dark in your tank that isn’t a sweet flavour, then you may be questioning what this means. Well, if you have left your vape neglected over some time, a chemical reaction process called oxidation may start to occur. This is where nicotine and oxygen are exposed to one another for a long period of time, and although it may create a funky colour, it won’t ruin the taste or quality of your e-juice. 

My E-Liquid Has Turned Dark in the Bottle?

In some cases, your e-liquid might start to turn dark whilst it’s still in its original bottle. This is actually because of the same oxidation process we have previously mentioned, and again is no cause for concern. When the nicotine in your e-liquid is exposed to oxygen, this will gradually cause it to change colour and even storing it in a dark, cool place won’t stop this from happening. But it might slow the process if it is a big issue for you. This is simply due to nicotine being a very reactive substance, so you shouldn’t be throwing your favourite e-liquids away as soon as you notice their changing colour. 

Our Tips to Prevent your E-Liquid from Turning Brown

Although we want you to know that your e-liquid turning brown is not a cause for concern, we understand that it can be annoying and a little bit off-putting. This is why we have put together a few simple tips that can prevent or even just slow this process so that you can happily enjoy your e-liquids and their desired colours for longer.

1. Consider the Ingredients

As you are probably aware, there are hundreds of e-liquid brands available on the market today, and just like with any popular product, not every brand is dedicated to the highest-quality ingredients. If you choose a cheaper e-liquid brand, then you should be wary that the ingredients may not be the finest quality, and it can be these ingredients which cause your e-liquid to turn brown faster than others. 

You should also take note of vegetable glycerin-based e-liquids, as these are often the sweet flavours you will find online. Generally sweeter than other flavours, VG e-liquids tend to darken the fastest, so instead opt for a more natural e-liquid option or PG based e-liquids. 

2. Make Sure Your Store Appropriately

If you want to reduce decolourisation or sticky gunk build-up, then take the time to ensure you’re storing your e-liquids in the right places. Make sure that lids are tightly closed and store both vape devices and e-liquid bottles in cool, dry, and dark places. 

3. Never Mix!

Our golden rule to you is never to mix your e-liquids. Even if you have an old and new bottle of the exact same e-liquid brand and flavour, you shouldn’t be mixing them. Always keep them separate. 

If you are mixing different flavours of e-liquids and different brands, we recommend you do so in a small container. This way, you don’t risk affecting the entire bottle. 

If you do find your tank is starting to change colour, never go straight in by adding a new e-liquid. Take the time to clean the tank first to remove any caramelised build-up, which might affect the taste and quality of a new e-liquid going in. 

4. Finally, Keep it Clean!

We’ve said it once, and we’ll repeat it, always make sure that you’re keeping your vape tank clean. We have a whole guide on how to properly and safely keep your tank clean, so there are no excuses! 

If you make sure to stick to a regular cleaning routine, then you can ensure you’re getting the most out of your vaping experience. How often you should clean your tank depends entirely on how often you use it, but you can find out more about cleaning your tank in our guide. For safety, we recommend cleaning your tank every time you change your e-liquid, as this will ensure the removal of any caramelised gunk threatening to darken your vaping experience!


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