So we’ve clued you in on the basics of bong maintenance, and now it’s time to amplify your with a couple cleaning tips. Here’s why cleaning your vaporizer will do you good:
- Longer lifespan. Vaporizer technology has come a long way. But they’re still susceptible to the everyday wear-and-tear of anything you love and use often. You may not mind tossing and re-buying more affordable options, but the genuinely pure experience of a luxury vape will remind you that a light cleaning here and there mind-blowing milky vapor clouds your friends will be talking about for years to come.
- Maximize your supply. It’s simple: dirty chambers make for dirty draws. You invested in a vaporizer for its unmatched benefits. Now all you have to do is get rid of the excess once in a while so you can keep total control over how far your legal herb supply lasts. By reducing the amount of post-vape material latching onto each fresh packed load, you’re increasing the good stuff and minimizing the shit you didn’t want in the first place (technically speaking, you’re increasing the active ingredients while minimizing sticky unfavorable byproducts that come along with it.)
- Smooth, unstrained draws. Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean. You got lazy and all of a sudden you’re using every muscle your neck has to offer to get a decent-sized draw. Vapes--especially dry herb and liquid tank vapes--clog up just like a pipe does, so you’ll want to keep it hard-hitting with a light cleaning here and there. This will up your vape’s convenience value while you’re out and about, and honestly just stop pissing you off.
A Final Note: Keep in mind this is an electronic device! If your best judgement is screaming “don’t put that on there!” you’re probably right. All amounts of liquid should be minimal and not allowed to seep into the circuitry. Read your warranty. Complicated desktop models like the Storz & Bickel Volcano may void your warranty if you take apart your device. Most portable vapes feature an anatomy similar to the Dr. Dabber Ghost that will help you follow along with this cleaning guide:
Isopropyl Alcohol or Commercial Cleaning Fluid
Cotton Balls or Q-Tips
1. Gather your materials. You won’t need much Isopropyl Alcohol to get the job done, but it’s super cheap and nice to keep around. You can find it at 50% or higher in the First Aid section of any corner store. Just be careful not to use alcohol on any sensitive plastic or wooden parts; you may even prefer to spend a little more money on a gentle cleaner designed just for vapes. Most vaporizers include a set of cleaning tools (usually a brush) designed to fit best with their device. Lastly, this is a low-mess process, so you don’t need to quarantine yourself to the bathroom or laundry room sink like glass pieces require--just be aware that the rubbing alcohol is strong enough to sanitize and will leave a mark on fancy furniture.
2. Disassemble your vaporizer. Without forcing any pieces that don’t want to move, take apart your device. This guide is primarily focused on portable vaporizers that easily break down into pieces. There are countless videos out there to help you take apart your particular vape model, like this quick vid on the Arizer Solo.
5. Use your Q-tip. Dunk your Q-tip or cotton swab in your Isopropyl Alcohol, squeezing out the excess drip. You don’t want your Q-tip to be oozing with moisture that could fall into electronic parts. In fact, many vape enthusiasts insist you should hold the device upside down during this step so drippage falls right to the floor and not into the internal mechanism. Rub the heating chamber rims and lining, as well as the rim of your mouthpiece. You may have to repeat it a few times, depending on how long it’s been since your last deep clean. This is when the cleaning process starts to have that real “aaah” effect! Use a final swab with just water to “rinse,” but, again, not too much moisture.
6. Polish up your exterior. Your best bet on the protective shell is a lightly dampened rag--you may even want to use a little gentle soap. Don’t risk damaging your cool-looking piece with harsh cleaners unless your user manual says it’s okay.
7. Put it back together. Make sure all the parts are thoroughly dried before you reassemble. Replace any worn out parts--most vape kits include replacements for pieces they expect to wear out, such as mouthpieces and atomizers.
8. Enjoy! You did it! Now you can vape away with the confidence that your device is delivering nothing but crisp, clean, classy vapor.
You may have picked up on the fact that less is more in vape cleaning. It’s not hard to master and only takes a minute or two. Just be sure to consult your user manual before giving it a go. This is because today’s vape scene features such a wide variety of innovative designs that manufacturers may require different cleaning methods for more unique models.