How Do I Clean and Maintain My Cannabis Vaporizer?
Cleaning your cannabis vaporizer is an important part of maintaining it. A vape device can be an expensive piece of equipment, so it’s important you keep it clean in order to ensure it’s safe and in working order.
Vaporizers come in many shapes and sizes, from pen- and pod-style vapes that use concentrated oil and fit in your pocket to tabletop units that can vaporize dry cannabis flower. There are even fully disposable vape pens with cartridges and batteries built-in to a single self-contained unit for those who want to avoid cleaning and maintenance entirely.
Identifying Types of Cannabis Vaporizer
There are many types of cannabis vaporizers, and the right one for you depends on your budget, your desired level of maintenance, and how you like to consume your cannabis.
Types of Vapes:
- Vape pens currently dominate the market. These are simple but effective vapes that look similar to a pen, usually cylindrical with no real outlying characteristics. Vape pens are most often paired with disposable cartridges that come pre-filled with concentrated oil, but refillable versions also exist (and, on the other end of the spectrum, so do fully disposable pens). The most universal cartridge/tank format is currently the 510-thread design but be sure to know your pen’s exact specs before buying a refill.
- Pods are similar in size and function to vape pens but usually more rectangular than cylindrical, and the format of the cartridges and tanks can differ quite a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. Whereas carts for pens are threaded to screw onto the end of the battery unit, pod carts usually plug or snap into place.
- Dry herb vaporizers are often larger tabletop units, sometimes called “volcano” vapes due to their distinctive shape. A large heating element makes up the bulk of the unit, and your herb-filled glass bowl fits into a hole at the top of it (thus the volcano shape). You inhale through an apparatus made of glass and tubing, which stacks atop your glass bowl. This type of vaporizer requires the most cleaning and maintenance, but it’s a good choice for people who prefer cannabis flower to concentrates and don’t require their device to be portable or discreet.
- Dab pens are a way for concentrate users to discreetly medicate. Instead of the traditional blowtorch setup, dab pens look similar to vape pens in size. There are three common options for dab pens, including a load-and-go tank, nectar collector, or full e-rig.
How To Clean Your Cannabis Vaporizer
There are four primary parts of any vaporizer:
- Cartridge (or tank if refillable)
What Can I Use To Clean My Vaporizer?
Cleaning your vape is relatively simple and can be done with most household items. If you don’t have any of the items listed here, you can buy them at a local dollar store, grocery store, or online.
Vaporizer cleaning tools include:
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Cotton Swabs
- Safety Pin
- Paper Towels
About The Battery
The battery and its housing are the largest parts of a vape pen. Every electronic device needs a power source, which—in the case of vapes—are usually lithium-ion batteries. These batteries vary in specs and capabilities.
How To Clean The Battery
If your battery is dirty, you can simply remove it from the vape system and wipe it down with an alcohol wipe or a paper towel. The connector, or where your cartridge attaches to the battery, is one of the most important pieces to keep clean. If your battery and cartridge can’t make a solid connection, you won’t be able to medicate. Buttons are common on batteries to change settings; you can take a cotton swab to clean around the edges of the button to prevent it from clogging.
About The Cartridge
Also known as chamber, tank, or simply “cart,” this part is the storage location for your cannabis oil. This is also where the particular style of your vape will impact how your cleaning routine looks. Pre-filled “carts” are simply discarded or recycled once they’ve been used up. A “tank” on the other hand, refers to a refillable unit that should be cleaned regularly.
How To Clean A Vape Pen Cartridge
Cleaning a cartridge is easier than cleaning a tank, as you only need to worry about cleaning the mouthpiece and the outside of the cartridge. To clean the mouthpiece, dampen a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently scrub the mouth-piece. Here, too, the connection is key - be sure to wipe any residue off of the piece that connects with the battery. Make sure any residue is completely removed from the mouthpiece and on the outside of the cartridge. After you’ve got all of the residue off, use a paper towel to completely dry it off.
How To Clean A Reusable Tank
Before you start cleaning the tank, empty out any residue, cannabis oil, or CBD oil.. You can remove excess residue by turning the open section of the vape up onto some paper towels for 10-15 minutes.
Once you’ve removed all the residue that you can via gravity, scrub using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to manually remove any remaining residue from inside the tank. To fully sterilize the tank and ensure it is completely clean, fill a bowl with a little bit of rubbing alcohol and water then submerge the tank into the solution for an hour. Remove the tank from the solution and dry it off using a paper towel.
About The Atomizer
Atomizer is the most essential part of the vape pen. These tiny coils heat up and vaporize the cannabis oil that you have inside your pen. In the case of the prefilled and removable cartridges, the atomizer is completely embedded into the single use cartridge—on refillable tanks, they can be removed and replaced.
Should You Clean An Atomizer?
For those with refillable tanks, you should not clean an atomizer; they are easily replaceable. If your coils are dirty after long term use, simply clean the tank and change the atomizer out. Usually, your vape will come with a second atomizer, but you can also order one online or pick up a replacement from the vape shop you purchased the vape from.
Never attempt to submerge the atomizer in alcohol or water. Alcohol is flammable and can result in a fire while you are using it. Water can adversely impact the performance if it mixes with the oil inside the cartridge, and while it is a temporary problem, it can damage your atomizer.
About The Mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is the part that you suck on to vape. It is usually removable and even some one-time-use or disposable cartridges will have a removable mouthpiece, but not always. This plastic piece is the most important to keep clean as your mouth will be in repeated contact with it.
How To Clean Your Mouthpiece
Cleaning the mouthpiece is the most important element to keeping hygienic while vaping. To clean the mouthpiece, rub a cotton swab that has been lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol over the inside and outside of the mouthpiece, removing any residue that is noticeable. If you want to ensure complete cleanliness or make cleaning easier, you can soak the mouthpiece in some alcohol or water for a few minutes before you rub it down. Once you have gotten all the residue off, set the mouthpiece down on a paper towel or cloth to dry.
How To Clean A Clogged Vape Cartridge
Cartridges are notorious for clogging. The oil within the mouthpiece may solidify which can obstruct airflow and effectively ruin the cartridge until it is unclogged. To unclog the cartridge, you can use the sharp end of a safety pin to break up the solidified oil in the vape. If that doesn’t work, heating the cartridge up enough to loosen the oil can help break the solidified oil free. If you still can’t clear the clog, you may have to completely replace it.
How To Clean Your Dab Pen
MÜV carries two premium dab pens, and cleaning both is rather simple.
Cleaning Your Terp Pen
The Terp Pen by Boundless is a nectar collector style dab pen, where the concentrate is applied directly to a coil to be inhaled.
Cleaning the Terp Pen starts with taking the device apart to separate the mouthpiece, cap, coil, and the battery from its base. Each piece should be thoroughly wiped down with isopropyl alcohol, ensuring to leave no paper towel stuck to any piece. The Terp Pen comes with a great cleaning tool that is ideal at unclogging your coil.
Cleaning Your Puffco Plus
There are two ways to clean the Puffco Plus: a quick clean and a deep clean.
Quick cleans are achieved by setting the Puffco Plus at the highest heat setting and pushing it through “sesh mode.” This burns off excess dabs that can then be swiped out with a dry cotton swab.
Deep cleans are achieved by separating each piece of the tank and mouthpiece. The mouthpiece includes the dart, or the dab loading tool, and the silicone slip. The silicone slip can be set aside, while the tank, dart, and mouthpiece can be soaked in isopropyl alcohol, or simply wiped down with a cotton swab soaked in ISO. The connector here, too, is important - be sure to wipe down where the tank and battery meet.
Vaporizer Cleaning Tips
Cleaning your vape is relatively straight-forward, as described in the steps above. If you are still having trouble, you can follow these tips to help reduce the time it takes to clean your vape and ensure that it is fully clean.
1. Complete Disassembly
Almost all vapes can break apart in twos or threes. There’s a battery, cartridge, and mouthpiece on even the simplest of vape designs. Breaking the vape down can give you more access and ease of cleaning your vape.
2. Know Your Device
Knowing as much about your device as you can will help you enjoy it and also help when cleaning it. Read any instructions that come with your device or look for additional recommendations on the manufacturer’s website.
- Cartridge or tank? Tanks need to be cleaned and refilled while carts merely need to have the mouthpiece kept clean and free of debris or clogs. Mistake one for the other and you may find yourself in the embarrassing situation of needing to purchase a new tank because you threw it out thinking it was a disposable cart.
- Thread size – Know the correct thread size for your cart so you don’t buy something incompatible when stocking up on a product. Cartridge formats are not always compatible from manufacturer to manufacturer.
- Upgrade options – Depending on the style of your vape, there may be parts you can upgrade yourself. For example, factory tanks for low end vapes are sometimes susceptible to cracking when repeatedly exposed to the heat required for vaping. A tank upgrade is one of the simplest and most impactful upgrades you can make.
3. Get More Atomizers
The atomizer or coil that your vape uses will be a determining point in the longevity of use. Your atomizer is specific to the tank that you are using, meaning if you change your tank, you will also need to change the atomizer.
Atomizers are intended to be replaced. Finding a replacement is usually easy and can be done online or at the vape shop. It’s a good idea to replace these semi-frequently as overuse can burn out your coil—which can, in-turn, burn you if you choose to continue using it.
MÜV Has Premium Vape Cartridges And Pods
Whatever your style, MÜV Florida carries the vape and accessories to accommodate it. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our helpful cannabis quizzes to find product recommendations tailored to your needs, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable and helpful Patient Care Team who are here for Ü with answers, seven days a week.
Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.