How do I clean my e-cigarette and vaping equipment?
Depending on the type of e-cigarette devices you are using, how much cleaning you might need to do and how to approach it can vary. If you are using disposable vaping pods then it might not have even crossed your mind before. Questions about cleaning vaping equipment seem to come up quite often, especially with new vapers, so these are my recommendations based on the experiences and cleaning routines of the team here at My Vape Box...
Cleaning Drip Tips and Mouth Pieces
If the mouthpiece of your tank, dripper or pod system is removable then my recommendation would be to give this a quick clean daily. Even if it's just a quick rinse under the tap, being careful not to drop it down the sink of course!
It's the bit of your vaping equipment you put in your mouth all day and you really do want it to be clean. For a more thorough clean a small brush, warm water, and a little washing up liquid followed by a rinse in clean water will work well.
Spare drip tips are fairly inexpensive and easy to find, so you could use a different one each day and wash them all at the end of the week if you wanted. If you have a fixed mouthpiece on something like a pod device then you may have to settle for a wipe over until you have an empty tank and can clean that at the same time. Do what you can, but it really is a good idea to keep it as clean as possible.
I've seen people with mouthpieces that I can only describe as looking like they have weeks of crud encrusted on them. I don't really know what to say about that, you might not care. Maybe you haven't thought about it before, but to me it's like using the same knife and fork all week without washing them between meals. It's just not very hygienic to say the least. Give it a quick clean, it won't take long.
How to clean Tanks and Drippers
The general consensus with stock coil tanks is to give them a full clean when you need to replace the coil. If you are just about to put a nice new vaping coil in your tank then it makes sense to have a nice clean tank to put it in.
I put a little washing up liquid in some hot water in a bowl and take the tank fully apart, cleaning each piece with a small brush and then finishing with a thorough rinse. If I've been using a particularly strong smelling e-liquid, I've had success getting rid of that lingering smell by soaking all the pieces for around 20 minutes in a bowl with a small piece of sterilising tablet. You can find these in most local chemists sat alongside babies bottles, you may be able to find some useful cleaning brushes here too. Some people say that using sterilising tablets or liquids can damage seals and O-rings but I've never experienced that. Just use them in small amounts and don't leave it sat in there for hours and your tank should come out clean, smell free and sterile, which is a very good thing.
When reassembling it's a good idea to lubricate any seals and O-rings with a little e-liquid as it will help things fit back together easily. I've broken a glass tank section by pushing it over a dry O-ring, so I always avoid that now.
For rebuildable tanks and drippers most of us find ourselves cleaning them a little more often because we tend to re-wick or re-build sooner than stock coil tanks. The actual process is exactly the same though and we all enjoy putting a new coil in a nice clean tank. It's just too messy to try and rebuild an RTA while it's all covered in liquid. It really is down to what's convenient for you. I don't feel it's as essential as cleaning the drip tip, it might get a bit dirty or sticky on the outside as you carry it around and use it, but you aren't putting it in your mouth. I do occasionally wipe around the outside with a damp piece of kitchen roll though, which isn't a bad idea especially if you carry your vape around in your pocket.
Mods and Pods
Regulated mods usually don't require a lot of cleaning, because of the electronics inside and the screen it's probably best to avoid using any cleaning products at all on them. I've sometimes given mine a clean with a computer screen wipe but I can't really say if that would be safe on all finishes on all devices. It's probably best to stick to a very slightly damp cloth. There's a couple of areas that you might want to pay extra attention to though. Firstly the USB port, as it's very common for this to collect fluff and dirt from your pocket. You can blow this out with a compressed air can if you have one, if not an air pump of some description might work. If you have nothing like this you should be able to gently pick the bits out with something like a cocktail stick. Use your imagination but be careful not to damage the port.
The other area is the 510 connection on top where your tank attaches. Both the threads and the pin make the positive and negative connection to your tank so it's important to keep those clean to made a good reliable connection, a cotton bud and a little isopropyl alcohol works well on the top of the pin and threads.
None of the team at My Vape Box are very experienced in cleaning and maintaining mechanical tube mods, depending on the metal it's made from it may require specialist cleaning products and techniques. Uncoated brass and copper tubes will need a fair bit more care and attention that I can go into here, as will the battery contacts, but for easy cleaning stainless steel tubes are hard to beat.
We hope that we've given you some ideas about keeping your vaping kit clean and enjoyable to use. It can seem like a chore if you have a lot of tanks to clean all at the same time, especially if you've got used to throwing a disposable pod away (or stubbing a cigarette out). It's just something we all need to do from time to time and it's a nice feeling looking at a few clean and ready to use tanks rather than a bunch of half filled dirty ones!
If it all seems a bit tiresome then you could look into ultrasonic cleaners; there's even a couple of dedicated atomiser cleaners on the market now. I'll leave you to look into those and decide if they are worth the money over some hot water, a squirt of dish soap and some elbow grease.
Simon - My Vape Box