There are many different kinds of electronic vaporizers, commonly known as vapes, on the market today. There are slim and sleek vape pens, bulkier vape mods, heavy-duty pod mods, tanks, and others.
The thing they all have in common, aside from the obvious function of vaporizing juice for users to inhale, is that they need regular cleaning. But cleaning and maintenance aren't two words that are exactly top of mind for many vape users.
These tiny devices seem so sophisticated and self-regulating that many users might forget all their tiny parts need individual attention. But in our handy guide, we'll show you the RELX way to keep your vape clean, smoothly running, and under control.
Why Should You Clean Your Vape Device?
There are two big reasons you'll want to clean your vape regularly: germs and lifespan.
First, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that something you put your mouth on ten times a day might become a breeding ground for dangerous germs, which can lead to various health risks. Regularly cleaning all the parts of your vape will help mitigate and even stop the transmission of viruses and bacteria.
Second, cleaning your vape will help it last longer. If you let your battery, screens, coils, and cartridges waste away in the residue of their past uses, you'll have to replace them quicker and more often. Cleaning them will save you time and money.
How to Clean Your Vape Tank
It's not enough to wipe the exterior of your vape with a disposable, sanitized cloth. Vapes are composed of multiple small, intricate parts that are susceptible to quick dirtying. First, focus on your tank.
1. Empty the Tank of Juice
After you've disassembled the vape, set aside the tank, and empty it of juice. Be thoughtful about this step. It's all about timing.
The optimal time to clean your vape is after you've run through a fresh pod of juice. Don't get into the spring-cleaning mood partway through using a tank and end up dumping out a perfectly fine half-tank full of juice.
But you need to complete this step to clean your vape tank properly. If it’s the end of the cartridge, be sure to empty any remaining drops of e-juice.
2. Take the Coil Out of the Tank
The next step is to take the oil out of the tank. Set the coil aside, but not too far out of reach. We'll be getting to that next.
It's alright if you don't want to disassemble your entire vape and only want to remove the tank, coil, and battery. Those are the main elements you need to clean, but for a thorough job that'll set your mind at ease, disassemble the whole thing.
Pro-tip: take pictures along the way. Vapes are not always easy to reassemble.
3. Rinse the Tank Out Completely With Warm Water
Run the tank under a tap set on warm. It's not good to shock the interior of the tank with too cold or too hot temperatures. But get as much of the buildup out as you can with rinsing.
4. Soak the Tank
For a deep clean, leave the tank to soak in a bowl of water. You can also throw in all the other parts, save the coil (which we'll address separately) and the battery (which should under no circumstances touch water).
Put the bowl aside for anywhere from a half-hour up to a few hours.
5. (Optional) Use Some Cleaning Agent
If you're feeling thorough, drop a bit of cleaning agent, like vinegar, baking soda, or dish soap, on a non-abrasive scrubber. Lightly wash the tank this way to rid it of all buildup.
6. Thoroughly Dry
You don't have to complicate this step — just set the tank aside and let the air do the job.
How to Clean Your Vape Coil
Imagine a car. There are certain things you don't need but want, like a decent sound system. But there are certain things that a car just won't run without — like an alternator. Without that intricate piece of technology that ignites the ignition process, you're not going anywhere.
That's a lot like the coils inside a vape. The coil is the filament inside the device that heats up and produces enough energy for the atomizer to produce vapor. It’s a development from the days of filament lightbulbs, and it’s an essential component.
You need to take care of the coil, just as you would a vehicle’s alternator. Here’s how:
1. Let the Coil Soak in a Cleaning Agent
The buildup of gunk on coils will be intense, so pop it in a cleaning solution before you even rinse it. Nothing too industrial — household cleaning solutions like ethanol or vinegar should work.
2. Thoroughly Rinse the Coil
Once you've soaked your coil, rinse off the grime. With a little bit of scrubbing, you should be seeing a bright shine coming off those coils.
3. Make Sure to Clean the Wicking Holes
This step is one that many miss. Before you set the coil aside to dry, check the wicking holes. The wick is the thing inside a vape that soaks up the juice that the coils heat into vapor.
You can imagine how much juice passes through the wicking holes on its way to bubble and burn. That atomization process can be messy, and the scars show on the wicking holes. Give them an excellent rinse and scrub.
4. Let Stand to Dry Fully
Blow on the coils, pat them down, and finally, let them stand for several hours to dry fully.
How to Clean Your Vape Battery
The last part of the vape you'll want to focus on is the battery. To continue the car analogy, you can have a full tank of gas, a well-oiled belt, and a carburetor, but without a fully charged and operational battery, you might as well walk.
1. Make Sure Your Hands Are Completely Clean of Any Soap or Water
Unlike the tank and coils, handling the battery sensitively and separately from the rest is crucial. Thoroughly wipe off any water, soap, or cleaning agent you might have left over as residue on your hands before handling this component.
Batteries can become damaged and drained of potency if they interact with the wrong substance. As the friendly team at London Fire Brigade warn, batteries submerged in water can short-circuit, malfunction, or even cause a fire risk.
The lesson here: keep your hands as clean as possible while handling batteries.
2. Carefully Remove the Battery From Your Vape
As carefully as you cleaned your hands, carefully remove the battery from your vape.
It's not just the battery's integrity we're worried about here. A compromised battery can sometimes short circuit a vape. If you don't want your cleaning session to turn into a costly mistake, proceed with caution.
3. Clean the Battery's Connection Areas
You'll need a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol for this one. Lightly dab the cotton swab with the rubbing alcohol and touch the areas where the battery connects to the tank and atomizer.
Juice buildup collects in those areas. You’ll need to break it down before it messes with battery placement.
4. Don't Forget the Air Holes
Once you've cleaned the connection areas, now focus on the nearby air holes.
You can use anything small and pin-like, from a toothpick to a thumbtack. Vape pens don't always automatically limit airflow, so you'll need to take care of the buildup that causes yourself.
5. Wipe Down the Outside of the Battery With Rubbing Alcohol
How much rubbing alcohol you’ll need depends on the battery size, which is contingent on what kind of vape you're using. The battery in mods takes up most of the devices' surface area. But in vape pens, by contrast, the battery is slender and hidden beneath the exterior.
Use a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol to clean the surface of the battery, and wait a while for a complete dry before you reinsert it into the vape.
Why You Shouldn’t Clean or Refill Vape Pods
Pods are the part of the vape filled with the juice that gets vaporized. They're like the gas tank of a car — there wouldn't be a reason for the thing without them.
Though refillable pods are popular and widely available, beware of overdoing it when cleaning these devices. You can clean your tank, battery, and coil, things built to last in your vape. But pods don’t fall into that category.
After a certain amount of use, too much residue builds up in pods, and you just won't get as good pulls. Try and stay away from cleaning and unnecessarily refilling vape pods.
Conclusion — Practice Cleanliness
Don't treat your vape like something disposable. It's a miracle of engineering that a device the size of a USB drive can do something as complex as vaporizing synthetic juice.
Treat it with the respect it deserves by cleaning it. You'll get more miles out of it that way, and your experience of it will be that much more potent.