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Overcoming E-Liquid Flavor Fatigue – AKA Vaper’s Tongue

by · February 25, 2014

Overcome Flavor Fatigue & Vapers TongueNo matter what level vaping you’ve achieved, if you’ve been using an electronic cigarette for any length of time you’ve undoubtedly experienced “flavor fatigue” – also known as VAPER’S TONGUE. Vapers tongue is a frustrating condition that occurs when your favorite e-liquid suddenly loses it’s flavor. It’s a common occurrence for new and experienced vapers alike, although former smokers are more likely to experience it because of the sudden (and shocking) return of their senses. It’s not a life threatening condition by any means, but it can be a bit unexpected and very annoying. Luckily… there are a few different ways to overcome it.

It’s Not a Problem With Your Tongue…

The first thing I should point out is that “vaper’s tongue” isn’t actually a problem with your taste buds or your tongue at all. As Katrina Schuster at Mt. Baker Vapor points out, your tongue only has the ability to pickup five different sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory – it’s the olfactory sensors at the top of your nasal passage that allow your brain to decipher different flavors.

When you are not able to taste your e-juice it’s related to your olfactory senses not your tongue

I agree with Katrina’s assertion that we should quit calling this condition “vapers tongue.” To me, flavor fatigue or vapor exhaustion seem like the more appropriate terms. With that being said, there are a few different things that can cause this loss of flavor and several ways you can recover from it.

Causes of Flavor Exhaustion

It only took a couple of weeks of vaping for me to experience my first bout with vapor’s tongue, and like many people I had no idea what was wrong or why I couldn’t taste my favorite e-juice anymore. Before we get into the solutions, let’s go over some of the most common causes of vapor exhaustion.

  1. Giving Up Smoking
    As you’re probably already aware, smoking dulls your sense of taste and smell. This will undoubtedly affect your first experience with an electronic cigarette, but after a few weeks your senses should improve – and so should the taste of your e-juice. But be aware, as your senses return it’s not uncommon for your olfactory system to become overloaded, causing it to get confused or completely shut down, leading to an annoying case of vapers tongue. This can happen several times during your transition from smoking, and it can last a few hours, or at worst two or three days.
  2. Dehydration
    Vaping dehydrates you by removing moisture from your mouth and respiratory tract. If too much moisture is removed it results in dry mouth and a thin film can form on your tongue and your nasal passages. Not only is this annoying, but it can affect your sense of taste and cause flavor fatigue.
  3. Lack of Variety
    If you’re vaping the same flavor for days or weeks on end, it’s not uncommon for your olfactory sensors to become desensitized. For example, if you’re a fan of cherry e-liquid and you don’t switch it up, the taste may slowly get weaker – until it completely disappears. More than likely it’s not a problem with the e-liquid or your device, you could be suffering from vapers tongue.
  4. Cold or Allergies
    Obviously, if you’re having problems with your sinuses and your nasal passages are clogged, your sense of smell will be severely impacted. When your olfactory sensors can’t do their job, it goes without saying that you’re probably not going to be able to sense any flavor.
  5. No Reason at All!
    I know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes vapers tongue just happens. It may not have anything to do with these factors, so just skip to the resolutions.

Flavor Loss Remedies & Cures

Now that you know the different causes of vapers tongue, a few of the most obvious solutions are clear. First of all, make sure you DRINK LOTS OF WATER! If you’ve been vaping for a while and you haven’t recently quit smoking, dehydration is the most common reason for loosing sense of flavor. Secondly, consider more variety. Some vapers have a regular rotation of different flavors, but personally, I just switch it up every once in a while when I feel like things are getting bland.

Besides the obvious stuff, here are a few other tips worth trying:

  • Shock your senses. Sometimes you can revive your taste buds and cleanse your flavor pallet by vaping on super strong, flavorful varieties such as mint, menthol or cinnamon. Give it a day and see what happens…
  • Brush your teeth dirtball! For one thing, if you don’t brush your teeth it’s kind of gross! Plus, it will help to remove build up from your tongue. Throw in the minty aroma, and it may be all that you need.
  • Rinse out your mouth. Since vapor fatigue is caused by your olfactory senses, this is another case where minty aromas may be the key. Try some Listerine or another strong mouth wash. I’ve also heard that vinegar and pickle juice can do the trick, but don’t quote me on that.
  • Take a whiff of some coffee grounds. A trick commonly employed by perfume and wine experts, coffee interacts with the chemicals in your olfactory sensors – causing them to reset themselves.
  • Get rid of flavors you’ve been despising. Since your sense of taste is already diminished, why waste anymore of your favorite e-liquid? You could use a flavorless product, or use some of that less-than-favorable stuff that’s been hiding in your closet. It may bring back your senses quicker, and you may even develop an attachment to another, unappreciated flavor.
  • Always be sure to STEEP! Most e-juice takes 2 to 4 weeks to steep. Steeping allows it to fully blend, deepening and enriching the flavor. Although some companies allow e-juice to steep in the warehouse, other companies send it freshly mixed. If you just received your e-juice and it doesn’t have any flavor, it’s probably not vapors tongue – it probably needs steeping.

Don’t Worry… Just Give It Time…

If you get a case of vapers tongue, don’t worry – it’s bound to happen at some point. If you recently quit smoking you can expect a few occurrences early on during your transition, but it’s frequency should diminish over time. Experienced vapers will undoubtedly experience flavor exhaustion from time-to-time, but in most cases it’s short-lived and only lasts a few hours. If you have a spell that lasts longer, drink lots of water, switch up flavors and try a few of the tips mentioned above. With a little time and some minor adjustments, your favorite flavors should eventually come back vibrant and strong – just like before.

30 Responses

  1. david says:

    You can just breath out your nose a few times flavor returns

  2. Stephen says:

    After 12 days of vaping I had vapers fatigue. Even changing flavors didn’t really help, water or brushing my teeth. Coffee helped a bit, what really worked for my was taking a break to charge my battery. Chewing spearmint 5 gym for an hour while it was charging brought my e juice flavor back about %90. It’s the only thing I found that made a huge difference so far. I only have 2 menthol flavors and 2 cream/fruity flavors, with more juice coming I hope it’s less of a problem. But gum WORKS for me, i’m sure any minty gum would work too not just 5 gum spearmint.

  3. Rodney says:

    I have been vaping for 16 months and now I can’t taste a dam thing I have tried everything . I’m ready to give up

  4. Lovely32 says:

    I’ve been vamping for a week. I have 2 flavors & they taste the same. I can’t taste the watermelon or raspberry.

    • Former smoker? It’s not uncommon for new vapers who recently quit smoking to experience flavor fatigue. Give it some more time and try some of the suggestions recommended above 😉

  5. Jennifer Wilson says:

    I’ve been vaping for almost 2 months. Smoked Newports and the “Nuport” flavor tastes exactly like Newport cigarettes. Out of nowhere last night the flavor changed in both of vapes that had the same juice in them. The coil was fine but I put a new one in anyway to see if it made a difference. It didn’t. Rinsed out the tank too. This happened in the course of maybe 1/2 hour at most. Went to tasting like Marlboro’s. So I went to the shop to see if the juice was bad. It wasn’t. I tried the sample Nuport and Menthol juices and they also tasted like Marlboro.
    The owner made a bottle of Nuport with extra menthol added. Also gave me an upgraded tank free. It definitely tastes like menthol again. But not quite the same Newport flavor as the “Nuport.”

    Does flavor fatigue come on that fast?

    What’s up with that?

  6. Dazza says:

    Also I’ve noticed if putting in new coils gives me vape tounge

  7. Rachael says:

    I just quit smoking yesterday and bought a e-cig. I got the candy cane flavor and have not been able to taste it at all.. Could this be my senses that vanished from being a smoker?! I know it’s only been a day but I was looking forward to the flavor and I can’t even taste it haha

    • Have you tried another flavor besides candy cane? It may be the flavor itself, or possibly a low-quality e-juice. Trying another option (possibly from another company) may resolve the problem…

  8. Brandon says:

    I have been vaping for 9 months and every since the 2 month mark I have had vapers fatigue that’s right have had it fo seven months and nothing works

  9. Adalyn says:

    What about a palate cleanser such as ginger?

  10. Oarad says:

    Idk what’s wrong with me I’ve been smoking for a month before that I used to smoke cigarettes everything was awesome this this happend a day ago nothing tastes the same I switch from 3 different flavors all the time Now can’t taste them at all first I thought they were expired xaus they just taste gross idk man this really bums me out I just bought 20 bottles of juice cause I’ll be traveling for a few months and I can’t taste shit :(

  11. Krista Givens says:

    It could be that you just quit smoking. When I first quit, I bought a bottle of cotton candy and was disappointed that it tasted like…..nothing.

    Fast forward a month and I am wanting something other than the fruity/sweet flavors I usually have so I got this out and tanked it. Now it tastes very cotton candy like.

  12. Cole says:

    So I have been a vaper for about 2-3 months now (not a former smoker) and I bought my juice from a vape shop that is a pretty well known brand and it tasted great… for a while. after about 1 1/2 weeks, it started smelling foul, like just chemical something and it was bad. I took it back to the shop and they said i handled it wrong. so I bought two new juices thinking if I take care of them, they would stay great. but about a week later (now) I am smelling one and it resembles what I smelled in the other one, not as bad but not good. It taste like absolutly nothing at all and my other one is still good but smells slightly weaker. I chain vape both these flavours switching them back and forth. Juices are max vg. should I switch the brand up? is it just vaper’s tongue? when I had the other juice, I put it away and actually put vaping away for a solid 2 weeks. To see if it would be good again… nope. I am hoping this is just vaper’s tongue and not gone bad juice again… I really love this juice. Also they look a little thinner I THINK and this never happened to me before the first juice I mentioned in this post.

    • Juice SHOULD NOT go bad within just a few weeks. Actually, “steeping” your juice should improve the flavor. Not sure how you could “handle” it wrong and cause it to go bad within such a short period of time. Most e-juice has a shelf-life of about 1-year.

      It could be vapers tongue, but to me it sounds like your supplier is mixing inconsistent juice and making excuses. Personally, I would try another company / brand / supplier to see how it compares. Juice shouldn’t smell bad and degrade so quickly…

  13. warren says:

    I’m in the same boat as Rodney. I can no longer detect anything much at all from any juice. In the last few weeks I’ve invested in around 20 good quality juices in an attempt to enjoy vaping again but to no avail. Everything that used to be rich and creamy now just seems thin and watery (I’m a fan of dessert vapes). Its so annoying when I think back to the pleasure I used to get from so many juices.

  14. Ian says:

    I have a weird watery taste with my pen. Only way I can explain it is inhaling steam. I used a friends pen and everything tasted fine (same flavor too). I dont think it’s vapors tongue. What could it be? Btw I drink a gallon of water a day.

  15. Kepo'o says:

    I had the best flavor called milk money and it was a hazelnut flavor. Then I woke up and could taste it while I took a quick smoke break. I tried other flavors and there’s nothing there my noise is stuff I drink a lot of water and the best part “Brush my teeth daily” so idk what’s wrong. SAVE ME!?!?!?

  16. Kelsey Lang says:

    I have been vaping for one year and an half…. Yet, still no taste of any e-juice. Mostly, I tried all of them. Only thing I can do is “Menthol” but only that little freezing feeling.

    I drink a lot of water well, I do a lots of fitness myself. And I brush my teeth and brush my tongue very well. I taste the food just fine, only the vape that I can’t.

    And I don’t know what to do anymore. This has been too long for me,

    I’m ready to give up!

  17. Zdubz says:

    Been vaping for about 4 months. I upgraded my tank and thought this was the issue. Went back to my old tank and nothing!!! I was so upset!!! Read a bunch and learned I had this issue. Drank coffee and switch favors……now I can taste the vape again!

    • Gigi says:

      I’ve been vaping off and on for 5 years. With the vaping liquids I never tasted the flavors all that well. I have well over 50 flavors and different brands and still can’t taste them. I find that the disposable ones have a taste to them however they don’t last as long. The Blu makes a vivid vanilla which taste good but their expensive and don’t last long. I do smoke Marlboro light cigs on a regular basis and been smoking for 20 years so maybe my senses and taste buds are gone. I’ll try what others reccomend to see if that helps. I hate to waste everything plus I’ve spent a lot of money on ecigs themselves. Even using a brand new one won’t bring the flavors out. I hope to quit smoking traditional cigs and just vape and cut down that way.

  18. Mark says:

    I’ve also experienced this fatigue, seems to only happen every 3 months or so for me. NOTHING works, I always brush and drink water and I know how to steep and when to build a new coil. The only solution I have is buying a large amount of cheaper juice that I don’t care for to vape while I wait for my ability to taste comes back. It is always so fraustrating but usually doesn’t last more than a couple of days. Honestly, my favorite juices always have a slightly different taste after the fatigue has passed but everything pretty much comes back to normal. It just really sucks because you cannot predict it coming on or when it will pass. Shit, it is still way better than smoking..

  19. Holly lynn says:

    I will try the coffee as someone else said.if anyone else finds a way to get the taste buds working then hmu. I have not been able to taste for about three days. I changed coil. Switched flavor. Nada. I thought there was something wrong with the juice.

  20. Marlou G. says:

    Im Just a rookie on the vape game.. i just do it for the clouds and the taste of the juice…
    but i cant taste anything i had a Melon flavor and Strawberry(sometimes i can taste this one)
    i never smoked Cigs and all those stuff

  21. Jeana says:

    Been vaping for just over a week now as I got myself a better device. Sadly, I wasn’t aware of this and had been using the same juice for a week. Now I can’t taste anything. I stopped vaping for an entire day, put new juice (diff flavor) into my tank and the same thing. Canthe taste it

  22. Tatiana says:

    Vapor’s tongue, is cured simply by, warm salt water rinse, and lime juice! The tequila can be added too, Js!! !!! But srsly, hot salt water rinse, and suck on some lime slices. Works!!

  23. V says:

    Yeah, experiencing vapor tongue as well. Started off with menthol ejuice, due to me smoking Newport, and Kool 100 for 15 years. Now I’ve been off cigarettes 4 months and counting. Don’t want to go back either. I’ve tried smelling coffee, chewed mint gum, brush teeth like you should, hydrated, and still no luck. I usually go for sweet ejuice s been on them for months. So maybe I need to switch to something sour or bitter. I might just try my menthol ejuice and see if that work s lol argghh I miss the sweet flavors though… Smh come back to meeeeeeeee ejuice flavor pleasssssssse lmao

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