I think you'll agree with us when we say cleaning your vape device isn't the most enjoyable thing to do.
Well, unfortunately, we can't make it fun, but we can make it super quick and effective with a few simple steps!
So today we’re going to be taking a closer look at how to clean your vape, walking you through how to clean it thoroughly and efficiently, so you can get the best possible flavour from your vape device no matter how long you’ve had it.
Let's get started.
Why Should you Clean your Vape?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how you should clean your vaping device, it’s important to understand why this needs to be done.
In general terms, there’s no doubt that regular cleaning and maintenance will help to improve the longevity of your vape pen, vapouriser or box mod.
This will manifest itself in a number of different ways, including the following:
- Improved Flavour Production: If you commit to keeping your vaping device clean, you’ll consistently produce better and more intense flavour production. Most importantly, this ensures that you’ll enjoy an optimal and consistent taste experience every time you vape, while regular cleaning also enables you to remove any remaining juice when before you decide to switch flavours.
- Higher Atomiser Performance: Your devices’ atomiser plays a key role in the flavour and the amount of power generated by you device, but the lifespan of this component will be shortened if you vape regularly or at a high temperature. Without frequent cleaning and maintenance of the device, you’ll notice that your atomiser (or coil) will gradually start to lose performance while a burnt taste begins to creep into the back of your throat.
- Increased Air Circulation: The quality of flavour is also dependent on airflow, which can be adjusted on modern devices to produce the optimal experience. The issue here is that a build-up of dirt and debris can clog up the airholes on your device, impairing the taste of your e-liquid over time. No adjustment or device configuration can compensate for this, so regular cleaning is a must for all serious vapers!
What are the Three Types of Vape?
If you are an experienced vaper, you’ll know that devices have evolved at an incredible rate since their inception back in 2003.
This stared with the classic Cig-a-Like design of 15 years ago, which replicated the look of a traditional cigarette. Then came vape pens and mods, which are extremely popular in today’s market and available in a diverse range of forms.
In general terms, however, there are three different types of vapes. We’ve listed these below, along with the key attributes that separate them.
- Vape Juice Pens: We start with the most popular and common type of vaping device, which is used to evaporate your choice of e-liquid and transform this into thick plumes of vapour. The e-liquid is gradually heated by a juice pen device to create a flavoured vapour that can be inhaled, through either a mouth-to-lung (MTL) or direct-to-lung (DTL) technique.
- Dry Herb Vape Pens: In some respects, dry herb vape pens work in the same way as those that vapourise juice and e-liquid. The main difference is that they’re to be used solely with dry materials rather than liquid, while herbs and flowers are vapourised at a specific temperature that creates gas without burning the raw materials.
- Concentrate Vape Pens: This type of vape pen uses an atomiser as a heat source, which works alongside a coil to process and vapourise raw materials. This device is typically used with shatter, resin and wax, while this precise method of heating is commonly referred to as conduction and requires the concentrate to make direct contact with a heating coil.
When should you clean your device?
If you’ve ever performed household chores (and we know not all of you have), you’ll know that not all cleaning tasks have been created equal. The same is true when cleaning your vape device, and the method that you use during maintenance will depend on what you’re trying to achieve.
For example, it’s good practice to rinse and clean out your vape tank every time that you change flavours. This ensures that your new e-liquid is not compromised by the last flavour that you used, while this task is really simple and can be completed in a matter of moments.
We’d also recommend cleaning your vapouriser once a week, ideally by soaking its components in isopropyl alcohol (we’ll have a little more on this later).
In order to maintain the optimal performance of your device, it also makes sense that you should complete a more thorough clean every two or three months. This may even include a full-scale cleansing of your vapouriser, as it’s better to attempt this proactively rather than waiting for faults to develop.
Exploring the Anatomy of a Vape Device
Before you can clean your vape effectively, it’s also important that you understand the anatomy of your device and how its constructed.
This not only helps you to identify individual components, but it also makes it easy to recognise the elements that need to be cleaned regularly and those that do not.
So here’s a breakdown of your vape device’s anatomy and the most important components:
• The Tank: The tank is central to the performance of your vape device, as it holds your e-liquid and also hosts the all-important atomiser as a single unit. The tank also consists of three parts, including the base and lid alongside the main body. As a device’s coil heats, the wick soaks up e-liquid from the tank and pre-installed atomiser before this is transformed into thick clouds of smoke.
• The Coil: In simple terms, the coil is a single heating element that coverts e-liquid into vapour. This component sits outside the main tank, while in standard devices it carries an electrical charge and is largely responsible for providing power to your device. As a result of this, it also plays a key role in concepts such as sub-ohm vaping, during which your device’s power output is increased while the coil’s level of resistance is reduced.
• The Battery: On the topic of power, this is generated by a single battery unit. Batteries on basic devices will typically have pre-set voltage restrictions and temperate control options, meaning that they cannot be configured to alter your experience. Advanced vape devices may offer voltage and temperature control options, however, making them central to sub-ohm vaping.
• The Drip Tip: Next we come to one of the most understated components of a vape device, namely the drip tip. This is placed directly on the atomiser, and its main function is to allow e-liquid to flow through it and onto the heating coil. With this in mind, it plays a key role in the process and vapourising your juice or e-liquid.
These components shape standard vape devices, although so-called “box mods” can be configured to increase power output, decrease resistance and produce thicker vapours and more satisfying throat hits.
Although box mods are similar in construction to standard devices, they tend to have larger housing and more powerful batteries. This translates into increased power and enables you to tailor your vaping experience according to your unique preferences!
How to clean your Tank with different methods
It’s interesting to note that most of these components can be cleaned, with the possible exception being the coil.
Not only does this component tend to wear out quite quickly, but coils are also extremely sensitive to water and more likely to burn out once they’ve been soaked. Coils also have a huge influence on the quality of flavour, and worn elements will often leave a burnt taste in your mouth after you’ve vaped.
While it’s better to replace coils rather than cleaning them, however, there’s a number of effective methods for cleaning your tank and some of the other components. We’ll discuss these below and cover the benefits of each.
The Quick Rinse
This is the easiest and most basic cleaning method of cleaning your vape device, and one that uses water as the main cleansing agent.
You need to start by taking your tank apart and stripping out the individual components, while removing the coil head and setting this aside.
You should take care to remove the O-rings at this stage too, as these elements tend to trap a great deal of flavour and can be easily lost or damaged during the cleaning process.
Next, take a bowl and fill this with water before heating this in the microwave for two minutes. While you wait, rinse the components of your tank under the sink and wash away any loose or visible debris.
Then remove your water from the microwave and immerse your disassembled tank in this, allowing it to sit until the liquid cool. At this stage, remove the tank and give it a final rinse under the tap, before allowing the components to air dry slowly on a paper towel.
The PG/VG Soak – Getting a Slightly Deeper Clean
If you want to complete a slightly deeper clean, you may want to use a stronger cleansing agent such as propylene glycol.
The cleaning process works in much the same way with these agents, as you simply fill a bowl with unflavoured PG substance before immersing the disassembled tank in this liquid.
You can use VG to achieve the same aim, but this is a thicker substance and may not be able to deliver the deeper clean that you’re after.
You should then allow this to soak for a brief period of time, before removing the tank’s components and allowing these to drip dry naturally. This not only protects each component, but it’s also a great way of extracting that leftover flavour!
The Deep Clean with Alcohol
If you’re looking for a really deep clean, you should consider using isopropyl alcohol as your cleansing agent of choice. This is a string solvent that is particularly effective when cleaning the battery unit, while it also cleanses the mouthpiece to a high standard.
To clean your device in this way, disassemble your tank as usual while disposing of any leftover e-liquid.
Then dampen a cloth with isopropyl alcohol (non-flavoured vodka also works surprisingly well) and scrub your tank clean. You can also immerse the tank in alcohol for a brief period of time, but we reckon that scrubbing lets you tackle tough areas of grime and achieve a superior clean.
You can then wipe the tank clean and rinse in warm water, before letting it to air dry for up to 15 minutes and reassembling.
Isopropyl alcohol is exceptionally effective when cleansing your vapouriser, while it also cleans your battery unit safely. The only exception to this rule is oil vapourisers, which should only ever be washed in warm or soapy water.
With the battery, you can obtain a q-tip or cotton swab and wet this before using this to clean the area where the battery connects to the tank. This can be a fiddly task, but it’s really effective and helps to break down any build-up of grime in this space.
You can also use a cotton swab to clean the mouthpiece, which is important from a hygiene perspective. Simply dampen the swab and smooth this over the mouthpiece before rinsing this and allowing it to air dry.
Use Vinegar, Baking Soda and (wait for it) Ethanol!
If you prefer to drink your vodka and do not want to buy PG or VG solutions, you can use a number of household items to achieve a really deep clean on your tank!
Take vinegar, for example, which is highly acidic and known as a really effective cleansing agent. The key here is to thoroughly rinse your tank after cleaning, as otherwise the lingering smell could ruin your vaping experience. This can be particularly effective when combined with lemon juice and water, while it’s really cheap and readily available.
Baking soda is a similarly effective but less offensive agent, and one that leaves tanks sparkling. This item is less commonplace than vinegar, however, while it does not clean any more vigorously than this substance.
In the case of ethanol, this is a grain alcohol that offers a highly effective cleaning solution. This should not be confused with Isopropyl alcohol (and definitely not unflavoured vodka), while it can be purchased at your local liqueur store. Just check the manual for your device before using this substance, while its particularly important that you thoroughly rinse your tank after cleaning.
The Last Word
Hopefully, this post will help you to understand the precise autonomy of your vape device, while also offering some insight into the most effective cleaning agents and processes!
Just remain vigilant when cleaning your device, and be sure to reference the manual in order to avoid any accidents or potential damages!