How to Clean a Vaporizer: Beginner’s Guide

Easy step-by-step guide
Nicole Richter / Updated on July 8, 2018

how to clean a vape

Though it may seem intimidating, our explanation makes it easy…

If you have recently begun consuming cannabis from a vaporizer, then you know that there are a lot of new factors to take into consideration. For a month or two, the hits can feel velvety smooth and so delicious, but after residue and other particles build up, the quality of the smoke changes immensely and it is clear that the vaporizer suddenly becomes much in need of a good cleaning.

The thought of cleaning out a vaporizer may seem time consuming or even sometimes intimidating, but the process itself does not have to be.

Whether you are utilizing a vaporizer for dry herb, oil cartridges, wax, or something in between, this article provides a simple explanation so that even complete beginners can effortlessly clean out their device when it reaches that point in time.

It is important to recognize that part of the regular maintenance of your vaporizing device should be proper cleaning and care; this helps to prolong the overall life of your vape, saving you a lot of money and maybe even some time in the long run.

Also, do not feel ashamed at all about not knowing how to clean your device; almost everyone that begins vaping is not familiar with this process, because the method in which the cleaning must be conducted is by no means intuitive. It just takes some practice, and sooner or later you will be tidying up your vape like a pro.

Keep reading to discover simple ways to clean a vaporizer, with our beginner’s guide…

Understanding How a Vape is Constructed

As with most things in life, in order to understand how to take something apart and then arrange it back together, it first requires a knowledge of how the fully constructed item is built. This is the same with a vaporizer.

Although the technology itself is quite specialized, understanding the basic anatomy of the device is not challenging, and mainly falls back upon a few key pieces or elements.

The device begins with a base containing the battery. Often referred to as a vape box or a box mod (if it has a removable battery), this region is usually rechargeable with a micro-USB port. Some of these box mods and vape boxes also contain LED screen controllers which allow you to adjust the strength and potency of the smoke by increasing the voltage.

On top of the box mod or base is the tank base – the lower half of the tank that creates a seal and a connection between the electrical parts and the container that will hold your liquid, wax, cartridges, dry herb, etc.

The coil is then placed on top of the tank base, which is the point of heat contact for the substance inside of the tank. This is how various substances are converted into the famous vapor: it is all thanks to the coil(s) (which are housed inside the atomizer).

Then, on top of the coil is normally the holding tank, which for marijuana can be a chamber that supports cartridges, waxes and even dry herb; when you purchase your vaporizer, it should say clearly in the description what can be vaporized with your selected device.

The chamber is then sealed off by a tank lid and a drip tip or mouthpiece. Both of these act as a regulator and control the contents from spilling out, while also making it convenient and comfortable to inhale the vapor.

Frequent Rinsing is Important

Although a deep clean doesn’t need to be performed excessively, it is encouraged to complete simple rinses in order to keep the flavor of each addition as fresh as possible.

For those who vape standard nicotine vape liquids, this step is vital in ensuring that their flavors do not blend together to create something nasty.

With dry herb this is a little less important, but you may not want the strain types from more than one batch mixing, because then your desired effect might not be what you will actually achieve.

Luckily, rinsing is a simple process and does not take a long time, especially if you follow our easy steps. It is very similar, in fact, to how you would soak your dishes:

  1. Begin by filling a bowl with warm water and removing the holding tank or chamber from the vape box or box mod.
  2. Disassemble all the pieces of the holding tank and gently add all of the small parts into the bowl of warm water. Wipe away with a paper towel or cloth any leftover residue on the rest of the device if you had a leak, etc.
  3. Let it soak! Water is the universal solvent, so let the parts of the vaporizer sit submerged for as long as necessary (usually a couple hours). This allows all the gunk to soften and become broken up, making everything easier to wipe clean with a paper towel or Q-tip later.
  4. If it seems like the residue is having a tough time being removed, it can be helpful to add in a little splash of gentle, biodegradable dish soap.
  5. Remove all the components from the water and dab them dry with a clean cloth or paper towel, then set them aside in a safe location so they can air dry for anywhere from 5-20 minutes.
  6. Once they have air dried long enough, wipe everything down as best you can with paper towel and Q-tips, which you’ll need for all the smaller nooks and crannies. (Tip: for the tiny, really hard-to-get-to spots, try wrapping the butt end of a needle in Kleenex)
  7. Connect all of the parts together once again (making sure they are dry), and attach them to your vape box.

The Deep Clean:

If you are noticing that the quality of your smoke has changed to the point where it is no longer an enjoyable experience, do not feel discouraged — and definitely do not assume your vaporizer is broken.

There are two options to try before worrying about something being seriously wrong inside of your vaporizer.

The first step is to perform a deep clean, which should be done every month or two anyways, especially if you are utilizing the vape on a daily or regular basis.

Especially with cannabis, the residue inside of a vaporizer can be tough to remove and will build up fast, so a deep clean is crucial.

As with the simple rinse, which is mentioned above, you will want to disassemble your tank and all the bits that connect to the box mod or vape box, and set them into a bowl.

  1. Instead of filling the bowl with warm water, use some strong, flavorless vodka (or another clear spirit). This high proof liquid will help to cut down the grease, gunk and residue, and it is not as strong as rubbing alcohol, which evaporates quite quickly anyways. (Also, you DO NOT want to use harsh chemicals like degreaser or mineral spirits).
  2. If certain trouble spots just simply do not seem to be washing away, you will need to scrub with your hands using a small brush or a paper towel. Choose a material that is not too rough, so you do not damage the fragile compartment parts. Be sure to scrub using the vodka or spirit.
  3. After the alcohol soak, pour out the liquid and fill the bowl up with warm water, rinsing away any of the remaining vodka. To make sure none is left, complete the warm water rinse 2 or 3 times.
  4. With a clean cloth or paper towel, hand dry all the pieces and set them aside to air dry for 5-20 minutes, until you feel they are ready to be assembled again.
  5. Reassemble the pieces and enjoy smoking a smooth, velvety vape once more!

Still Having Problems?

If you have deep cleaned your vaporizer but are still having issues, this could be because your coil is in need of a replacement.

Over time coils burn out; this is just the nature of how they work. Thankfully, they are easy to replace and quite inexpensive, so it should not become a big hassle. The coil is an important addition to your vaporizer because it is predominantly what provides the tasty flavor and generates most of the pleasure in vaporizing.

The coil is located above the tank base but below the tank itself, and it can be removed by unscrewing the parts and taking out the old coil, then a new one can be put in its place. Be sure to dispose of old coils; they cannot be reused again so there is no point in saving them.

Once the new coil is in place, reassemble the device and make sure all the pieces are screwed on tight to avoid leaks and spillage.

Final Thoughts on How to Clean a Vaporizer

If you have recently purchased a vaporizer or were considering purchasing one but felt confused about how to clean and properly care for the device, then we hope this beginner’s guide was able to provide some clarity and “dissolve” (no pun intended) any confusions.

The process itself is really not that complex – it just may sound time consuming or intimidating – but our easy care methods assist to smooth down the maintenance.

We hope you not only found this article to be entertaining, but also educational and informative. It is important to remember that the consumption of marijuana is the sole responsibility of the user, and discretion should always be taken.

How to Clean a Vaporizer: Beginner’s Guide
July 8, 2018
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