Convenient, discreet, and handy, a vaporizer is a treasured bit of your smoking kit that you use all the time. Like any implement that has a busy life, it needs some maintenance. Keeping your vaporizer clean is an essential part of this.
Vaporizers are routinely filled with substances that leave behind debris and residues. While this dirt might not be immediately noticeable, over time it can degrade the performance of your device. You might notice less power from your draws or not as much vapor as usual. This can be because small pieces of debris are getting in the way.
In this article, we look at the best ways to clean your vaporizer so that it performs to its full ability all the time. Don’t worry, cleaning your vape device won’t take you long, but it will help you enjoy your vaping more — so let’s get started.
Cleaning a vaporizer – tips and methods
Cleaning your vaporizer regularly will ensure it has a longer life and gives you its maximum. The first thing you will need is a cleaning solution. This is the basic element of cleaning a vaporizer, and there are a few choices. Let’s start by looking at your options.
Which solution do I use?
There are three classes of cleaning solution suitable for use with a portable wax vaporizer and each one comes with its own pros and cons. Here they are:
Isopropyl alcohol (99%)
A powerful cleaning agent used in many different situations, isopropyl alcohol is an off-the-shelf product you’ll find at your local drug store or superstore. Note that you will have to go to a physical store to buy this as it can’t be sold online due to being flammable. That’s also a reason why you should take care when using it.
But it’s good at what it does – in fact, it’s too good for some parts of your vaporizer! What do we mean? Well, you can soak all the metal parts of your device in isopropyl alcohol and they’ll come out perfectly clean but if you put the plastic parts in (if there are any) they will simply dissolve. That’s how powerful this stuff can be.
There’s also a safety note there, too: You’ll need to wear protective gloves when using this solution as it is a skin irritant and can result in nasty reactions. Don’t let this put you off, however, as all you need to do is be careful when using it, keep the plastic bits out, and you’ll have nice shiny metal parts to put back together.
Acetone based solutions are another popular cleaning medium with impressive results. You can find this in some stores but perhaps not as easily as isopropyl alcohol. Like the alcohol, you also won’t find it online, as it’s volatile and flammable. For cleaning your device, however, it’s pretty good.
But it has the same problems as alcohol. Acetone solutions will clean your metal parts in no time at all, and they really do a great job,, but they will also melt your plastic parts. Why are we even suggesting it then? Not all devices have plastic attachments so you may have one you can simply strip down, drop in, give it a few minutes, and then take it out.
However, we advise extreme caution in ensuring that all parts are washed and free from acetone solution before you start using it again as you don’t want this on your skin. Protective gloves are a must at all times, and extreme caution is advised if this is your chosen cleaning method.
Alkaline based solutions are the safest method in every way. They won’t damage your skin, can be watered down, and while not as fast and effective as the two methods, they do the job. The problem is finding one that is right for cleaning vaporizers as there are many brands that have different ingredients.
We would still advise that you wear gloves when using this solution as some people may have an adverse reaction to it, but it will not actively harm the skin as the others do. You’ll need to let your vaporizer parts soak – the plastic bits will come out as they went in – but be aware that alkaline solutions can discolor of colored metals, so be careful of that.
Overall, this is the safest method of cleaning your vaporizer, but both alcohol and acetone are more efficient. What else do you need? A few simple accessories will help you get your vaporizer good as new every time you clean it.
Vaporizer Cleaning accessories
When was the last time you used a pipe cleaner? Or even heard of a pipe cleaner? It seems strange but these things were everywhere when we were kids, but now you can go decades without seeing or using one! To clean the vaporizer you use for your weed, CBD, or other substance, pipe cleaners – especially the thin ones with bristles – are essential.
Use them to get in and out of the awkward bends and nooks that are built into some vaping devices, and you’ll be surprised by the amount of dirt that comes out. It’s natural for debris to build up from vaping, and pipe cleaners are a great item. Where to find them? The best place will be at a hardware store or online – they’re safe for postal shipping. They are cheap, effective, and will help you keep your vaporizer clean.
Grime Stix and Grime Wipes are products you might also want to check out. Grime Stix have an alcohol cleaner inside a reservoir and are designed to clean out the inside of your vaporizer but beware because they can damage your vaporizer’s plastic parts. Grime Wipes are pre-soaked in ethanol and are good as a basic hygiene tool — use them to give a quick wipe over of your vaporizer before you use it . These are cheap and great to have around when you’re out and about.
The good old paper towel shouldn’t be ignored either. Paper towels are a convenient method of drying a vape machine that has been soaked in a cleaning solution and we recommend you always have a few with you when you’re vaping.
One thing we will say is that whatever cleaning method you use, you must rinse away any of the chemicals that you have used before vaping again. The cleaning agents we mentioned above are not intended for human consumption, and while the quantities you’ll use to clean a vape device are minimal, there is still a chance of irritation or adverse reactions should your device not be properly rinsed.
The above cleaning advice applies to all your vaping devices and equipment, as do the warnings about the damage to plastic parts that can come about when using stronger solutions. We suggest that you take the greatest care to make sure all parts are cleaned in a way that will leave them free of debris and that this is done on a regular basis. Start a regular routine for cleaning your vaporizer now and continue it on the same day each week or two, and you’ll start to see the benefits in the form of cleaner, more efficient vaping every time.