Can you imagine putting a piece of plastic or metal into your mouth, sucking on it for a few minutes and putting it into your pocket – and repeating that process a hundred times each day? Reading that, you’re probably feeling a little grossed out right now – and yet, that’s exactly what you do if you vape. When you eat, you use the silverware for one meal and throw it in the dishwasher. You even rinse your toothbrush when using it. When it comes to vaping, though, most people give little thought to cleaning their vape tanks. That’s pretty crazy when you think about it, because nothing spends more time in your mouth than your vaping device’s mouthpiece.
Well, it’s time to fix that. In this article about how to clean your vape tank, we’ll walk you through a short cleaning routine that’ll help to remove dust, pocket lint and old e-liquid. We’ll also describe a simple way to disinfect your vape tank and prevent germs from accumulating. Lastly, we’ll explain how to clean your used vape coils and get a little extra use out of them. Let’s begin!
To clean your vape tank, begin by opening it and dumping any remaining e-liquid down your sink. Rinse the e-liquid away. Spread a paper towel on your counter and disassemble your tank. Having trouble? Read our article about how to take apart a vape tank to learn what to do if you have a stubborn tank that refuses to twist apart. Separate the tank’s mouthpiece, top hardware, glass enclosure, bottom hardware and coil.
Set the coil aside. You can rinse the coil with water – which we’ll describe in a moment – but if you do, you’ll need to wait for it to dry before you can use it again. If you keep your coil primed with e-liquid, though, you can put it back in the tank and resume using it as soon as you’re done cleaning the tank.
Rinse all of the tank’s components in your sink. Water loosens e-liquid residue, so you should have no problem getting the tank completely clean in your faucet. If you happen to find some especially stubborn residue – caught in the tank’s intake vents, for example – you can loosen the residue with a cotton swab or wooden toothpick.
Dry the tank’s components thoroughly with a paper towel before you resume using the tank. If you’re reusing your coil, then you can simply refill the tank and get back to vaping. If you’re using a new coil, go through your usual process of priming the coil and waiting for the cotton to become fully saturated before you get back to vaping.
Recently, people have been more concerned than ever about personal hygiene and about keeping their immediate environments as clean as possible. It’s only natural for that concern to extend to your vape tank, since you’re putting your tank into your mouth at least a hundred times each day. To disinfect your tank, simply immerse the components – except the coil – in rubbing alcohol for about five minutes after disassembly. After soaking the components in alcohol, rinse them in water and dry them as described above.
Cleaning your vape tank can remove germs and grime, but it won’t do much to improve the flavor of your vaping experience unless you’re switching from one e-liquid to another. One thing that can always improve flavor when vaping, though, is cleaning your vape coils. That’s especially true if you’ve been using the same coil long enough that it’s covered in dark residue.
All e-liquid can leave residue on a coil, and the speed at which the residue forms depends on your e-liquid’s ingredients. In particular, sucralose – the most popular e-liquid sweetener – can drastically shorten a coil’s life. If your e-liquid tastes almost like real candy, it probably contains sucralose.
When sucralose residue begins to cover your coil, you’ll taste an unpleasant caramelized flavor when you vape. Eventually, the caramelized flavor begins to taste more like a burned flavor, and once you reach that point, the most common response is to throw the coil away and start using a new one.
Given enough time, water can dissolve sucralose residue on vape coils. That’s why cleaning your coils can be so useful – removing the residue can potentially restore the performance and improve the flavor of a coil that you would have otherwise thrown away.
Everybody knows that there’s nothing more fun in vaping than installing, priming and enjoying those first few puffs from a brand-new coil. That’s the best flavor experience you’ll ever have when vaping, and a cleaned coil won’t deliver exactly the same quality of flavor as a new coil. If cleaning a coil makes it usable for a few more days, though, then we think it’s worth the effort because boxes of coils can be very expensive. If cleaning your coils allows you to use them twice as long, then it’ll cut the amount of money that you spend on coils in half. That sounds like a worthwhile trade to us.
The easiest way to clean your coils is by putting them in a bowl of vodka or hot water for at least a day. Vodka is a more effective cleaner, but it’s much more expensive than water. If you’re going to clean your coils with vodka, it’s a good idea to wait until you have several dirty coils. That way, you can clean them all simultaneously.
While the coils are in the cleaning liquid, agitate them by stirring them periodically. Soak the coils for about a day. After the coils have soaked for a while, you’ll probably find that the liquid has changed color or that dark flecks are floating in it. That’s a good thing; it means that the liquid has removed some of the sucralose residue.
If you used vodka to clean your coils, give the coils a good soak in fresh water to remove the vodka. If you used water, you can simply remove the coils from the bowl and place them on a paper towel for drying. Allow the coils to air dry for about a day before you resume using them. Don’t forget that the coils will be completely dry at this point; you’ll need to prime them as if they were new coils before you use them.
If you like the performance you get from your cleaned coils and would like to know whether it’s possible to clean your coils even more completely, the answer is that it is possible. Many frugal vapers swear by ultrasonic jewelry cleaners as a way of powering through even very thick layers of coil gunk. Using nothing but water, the gentle vibrations of an ultrasonic cleaner can turn heavily tarnished silver shiny and white – so you can bet that an ultrasonic cleaner can do a great job with vape coils as well.
The best part about using an ultrasonic cleaner to clean your coils is that it doesn’t require an expensive solvent like vodka for maximum effectiveness. Just fill the cleaner with water, drop in your coils and turn it on. An ultrasonic cleaner can power through coil gunk in 20 minutes or less. Some people even report that using ultrasonic cleaners allows them to continue using the same coils over and over. In that sense, an ultrasonic cleaner is an investment that can potentially pay for itself very quickly. The more times you can reuse your existing coils, the less money you’ll need to spend on new coils.
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