Cleaning your vaporizer – Its what connisseurs do.
When you look at what’s included with most vaporizers these days, most often you’ll find its a cleaning kit. While many consider this a bad omen, we think that cleaning your vape is a great, if necessary ritual. Not only can you improve the flavor and airflow, you can also harvest this nearly pure THC distillate for an amazing reclaim experience. We’ll show you how to avoid those expensive cleaners at the shop and keep your vape running perfectly and tasting amazing.
Vapes require more cleaning than most marijuana users are used to, and there is a number of perfectly acceptable reasons for this. Compared to traditional methods like pipes and bongs that have much higher internal surface area, vaporizers, and specifically portable vapes, have a drastically smaller internal airpath, so it will naturally collect more residue. Desktop vapes get buildup too, but because of the expanded size of the airpath and device, cleaning doesn’t need to occur nearly as often.
Portable vaporizers often have airpaths that have to take turns within the device. When ever this happens, the vapor will meet with resistance and these areas will naturally collect more residue. Quite often, if left unchecked, this residue builds up quickly and will begin to effect the performance and function of the vape.
How to Clean?
Most vapes come with a variety of cleaning tools, from q-tips to alcohol wipes to pipe cleaners, but the cleaning kit will run out quickly, so here’s what we recommend to always keep on hand.
What you’ll need?
- ISO – 90% Isopropyl Alcohol – 70% will work fine, but 90% or higher is most effective. All supermarkets and drug stores have at least 70%
- Pipe Cleaners
- Paper towels
Pre-Flight Check – Always, ALWAYS check with your manufacturer to make sure that ISO is an acceptable cleaner on ALL parts.
Cleaning the main unit – Any part that has electronincs should never come near any liquid. If you need to clean the main body containing electronics, do the following: Dip your Q-Tip or pipe cleaner into a dish of ISO. ( NOTE: Never dip anything into the ISO bottle to ensure the ISO remains clean.) Make sure there is no excess or dripping ISO from your cleaning untensil, and clean as needed. If excess ISO escapes your utensil, dab it up/clean immediately.
Cleaning non-electrical parts – Again please check with your manufacturer, but most vape parts can be cleaned or soaked in ISO. Stainless steel, silicone, and glass have no issues, but please spot check all your plastics before hand. The vape industry uses a variety of plastics, so proceed with caution. For example, the Storz & Bickel Grinder will turn white and literally begin to melt if left in contact with ISO, yet the other plastics they use in the Easy and Solid Valve sets are immune to this issue. Soak if the buildup is heavy, or use pipe cleaners and q-tips to manually clean lightly as needed.
PRO-TIP – If you can pre-warm your ISO, it makes a much more effective cleaner. This can be easily done, by setting your OPENED (that means cap off, people!) ISO bottle in a vessle of warm water. Once warm, clean as needed. USE CAUTION! Never HEAT your ISO. Ever. Just gently warm it!
PRO-TIP you’ll actually use – Many keen vaporists have found an excellent way to reclaim the nearly pure(depending on the vape) THC residue that collects on the inner walls. Using ONLY 90% ISO or higher, they will clean their vapes in such a manner that they can collect the residue/ISO mixture in a glass vessel, then allow the ISO to completely evaporate, then collect the now accessible residue. This can be reloaded carefully with herbs in some vapes, or added to the top of a traditional bowl.
The reclamation project works best on Desktop vapes with whips or bags, but in the portable section, what many vaporists do is use only 100% cotton in conjuction with ISO. Once done cleaning, the will allow the cotton to dry, and then they will load the cotton directly into their vapes. Its makes a great medium to hold concentrates of any form, and since its auto-ignition point(765F) is hundreds of degrees higher than most if not all vapes can produce, there is no flavor imparted, nor a risk of cotton igniting. Cotton ROCKS.
Okay so you have the tools, benefits and hopefully some motivation for regular vape maintenance. Will you do it? That’s up to you and your taste buds.
Here’s a few vapes that we recommend based on how easy they are to clean:
- Arizer Solo – Only the glass gets dirty. Easy to soak and clean.
- Arizer Air – Only the glass gets dirty. Easy to soak and clean.
- MFLB – Simple to clean, heating chamber is fully exposed
- Vapium – Airpath designed to be easy to clean. No right angles.
- Firefly – Airpath fully exposable
- Silver Surfer Vaporizer(SSV) – Soak the wand and wait for the GOLD.
- Da Buddha Vaporizer(DBV) – Soak the wand and wait for the GOLD.
- Volcano – BAG SHATTER! This takes extensive use of the balloon, but after it becomes unusable and sticky, fill with 1/2 cup of ISO, shake and drain into glass. Gold awaits. (yes, the bag is food safe and strong enough for this.
- Extreme Q – Glass can be soaked, and whipe can be cleaned out with ISO.
I get my cleaning supplies at Target. But when I can, I get my vaporizers here.