A good vape pen can last a lifetime if you can handle the preservation process. In addition, these portable units are outstandingly easy to clean and maintain, so unless you heavily neglect regular cleaning, it’s unlikely that you will encounter any serious breakdown.
Like any electronic device, both vape pens and oil pens require basic knowledge about their compartments. Given this, before we move on to the cleaning process, I’m going to elaborate on different types of vape pens and their components.
The Anatomy of a Vape Pen
The anatomy of a vape pen is no rocket science. These portable devices consist of several compartments, all of which are easily detachable to make the whole cleaning process less challenging.
Here’s what a vape pen comes equipped with:
- The mouthpiece: this is the part of your vape pen that comes in direct contact with your mouth. Some vapers refer to the mouthpiece as the “drip tip”. Mouthpieces come in various shapes and sizes, which makes them easily customizable.
- The filter: the filter is what cools the air in your vape pen by allowing for subtle airflow from the atomizer. Filters are usually made of ceramic or glass.
- The atomizer: the atomizer is the element where vaporization takes place. Vape pens typically come equipped with steel or ceramic atomizers.
- The coil: a heating element that transforms your materials into vapor.
- The tank (e-liquid vape pens): the tank holds e-liquid and is typically attached to the atomizer.
- The power button: most portable vaping units use a LED-lit power button to turn the battery on and off. The button is usually located below the temperature control screen and it also controls the heat settings of your vape pen.
- The vape battery: the power source of the vaporizer. Many units offer different voltage options so that you can heat your materials to the desired temperature. Knowing the proper voltage will help you maximize the efficiency of your vape battery; however, keep in mind that even some of the best vape pens require regular charging, so it’s good to have a charger at hand.
- The oil cartridge (e-liquid vape pens): when you purchase a vape pen for e-liquids, you’ll notice that they come with oil cartridges. These may be either refillable or pre-filled boxes. Truth to be said, a refillable cartridge is more user-friendly, as you can put your favorite oils inside whenever you desire, not to mention that refilling vape cartridges is a child’s play.
Now, it goes without saying that the cleaning process will depend on the type of your vape pen. Therefore, I’d like you to take a look at the big picture before you start the disassembling procedure.
Cleaning a Concentrate Vape Pen
If you own a concentrate vape pen, you may consider yourself lucky, as these units are tremendously easy to maintain.
How to Clean a Concentrate Vaporizer Pen?
In this case, we need to clean the atomizer and the mouthpiece.
- The atomizer: atomizers in concentrate vape pens can handle a subtle rubbing of alcohol, so it makes it very convenient to dispose of the remaining residue. All you need to do is soak a brush or a q-tip with a little alcohol and gently clean the interior of your atomizer. Don’t rush it, because both the atomizer and the coil are delicate, clean these pieces slowly and carefully. As for the coil, you can use alcohol in order to get rid of the external residue.
- The mouthpiece: this is where the most residue builds up. Thankfully, the mouthpiece is also very easy to clean because you can wash it under running water or simply put a damp cotton cloth to remove the dirt.
- Get Can-A-Wipes: You might want to consider buying a pack of Can-A-Wipes to get that resin, oil or even smell off the pen and cartridge.
Cleaning an E-juice Vape Pen
E-juice vape pens typically come in two models – units with a detachable tank and those whose tank is an integral part of the battery. The latter might be a bit challenging to clean, as you can’t soak it in the water and you’re going to have to clean it with a damp cleaning brush.
Vape pens with detachable tanks take far less time to clean and they are hands down more common among vapers, so let’s have a quick look at the process.
How to Clean an E-juice Vaporizer Pen?
- Remove the tank from the battery. If you plan on using the atomizer again, disassemble it, too. You don’t want it to accidentally get wet.
- Now it’s time to break down the tank into bits and pieces. Lower and upper base, O-rings, the mouthpiece, airflow control ring, glass – soak these parts in a bowl filled with warm water. Add a bit of vinegar, baking soda, and rubbing alcohol if the compartments are really dirty.
- Give them a decent scrubbing after about an hour. A small toothbrush should do the job.
- Clean the battery with a damp cloth and make sure that no excess liquid stays on it; otherwise, you’ll damage the circuitry. Use a Q-tip to wipe down the connectors on the battery, as well as on the very tank. If there’s any residual liquid on the battery, there may be a leakage, so when that happens, replace the battery and get rid of the old one – you won’t need it anymore.
- Wipe down all the parts with a paper towel. Don’t rush with reassembling the unit. In fact, it’s best to leave them separated for a couple of hours and then put the piece back together.
Cleaning a Dry Herb Vape Pen
The main issue with dry herb vape pens is that they get covered with resin from your plant material. This resin has a tendency to build up quickly, so it’s essential to clean your vape pen after each time you finish your vaping session.
How to Clean Your Dry Herb Vaporizer Pen?
Let’s start with baby steps.
- Before cleaning the device, detach the heating chamber from your vape pen. Once you’re done, get rid of any remaining parts of your herbs including the ashes. The quickest way to do it is to tap on them with your finger into a trash bin.
- Since the vaping process couldn’t take place without the atomizer, remember to dispose of any dry particles from both the chamber and the screen. U can use a small cleaning brush, but a q-tip will do the job just well. This will guarantee a longer lifespan of your atomizer.
- NEVER use water for cleaning your vape pen. The interior of the heating chamber is made out of compact wiring, so the vaporizer will lose its functionality if water gets there during the cleaning process. The vast majority of vape pens come with a cleaning brush for a reason. The brush will easily get into the trouble spots of your unit, not to mention that it’s completely safe for the pen.
- Once the “inside job” is done, you can proceed and clean the external part of your vape pen. A simple cotton cloth will definitely suffice.
- Finally, clean the mouthpiece. It’s the only part of the vaporizer that you can clean under running water. Rinse the mouthpiece and dry it on a paper towel before you reassemble your vape pen.
Cleaning an Oil/Wax Vape Pen
Due to the nature of oils and waxes, such pens are the toughest to clean when heavily neglected. Yet, when you treat your device with proper care and do the cleaning job on a regular basis, it will run like a clockwork.
How to Clean an Oil/Wax Vaporizer Pen
- Detach the mouthpiece from the heating chamber.
- Scrub the rim and the inside layer of the mouthpiece and the heating chamber with a cotton bud or a dab tool. You can soak these tools in isopropyl alcohol if you like – this will allow for a thorough scrubbing.
- Repeat the process until there is no residue left in the heating chamber.
- Allow all parts to dry completely before reassembling the vape pen.
General Cleaning Tips for Vape Pens
- Cleaning the vape pen on a regular basis will extend the lifespan of your unit and prevent any performance issues.
- Always look at the user’s manual first. Manufacturers know their products like the back of their hand, so if they tell you not to use water and alcohol – act accordingly.
- For vape pens with oil attachments, I suggest you detach them from the heating chamber before cleaning the external parts.
- Warm up your vape pen prior to cleaning. High temperatures will soften the residue in the heating chamber and speed up the cleaning procedure.