Vape Tank Maintenance
Cleaning Your Tank
So you’ve just picked up a shiny new vape tank and you swear you’re going to keep it in mint condition for as long as it lasts. Where do you begin?
Let’s break down the function of a vape tank. Your tank is the “brain” of your vape, to use a biological metaphor. While the power comes from your mod, the tank dictates everything from flavor to airflow to the kind of hit you’re getting. As such, it pays to keep your tank well-maintained, clean and running at peak performance. Regular cleaning and maintenance can also extend the lifespan of your tank, ensuring that it keeps going as long as you need it to.
So how often do I need to clean my tank? Common wisdom dictates that a monthly cleaning is a bare minimum. If you don’t have time for anything else, be sure to at least follow one of the deep cleaning methods outlined below on a monthly basis. If possible, try to give your tank a quick once-over every time you change flavors. Not only will this keep your flavors pure and tasting their best, but it’ll also help you avoid having to spend hours on a deep clean down the line.
Step 1: Disassembly
Before you do any cleaning, you need to completely break down your tank. First, empty all the juice and remove your coil head. Then, break down any individual components which can be easily taken apart. During this process, it’s important to keep all the parts organized and remember exactly how everything fit together. No point cleaning your tank if you can’t put it back together again afterward!
During this process, it’s always good to examine the pieces of your tank for any wear and tear. Check the O-rings for any signs of stress or cracking. Make sure your glass tube is intact and hasn’t chipped or cracked anywhere, etc. If it has chipped, go ahead and stop everything for the moment and order a replacement on a online site. Just like cleaning, regular examinations can prevent you from dealing with emergencies down the road.
Step 2a: Light Cleaning
The most basic type of cleaning, light cleaning can easily be taken care of every time you change flavors in your tank. All you have to do here is quickly break down your tank and run all of its parts under warm water. After that, dry it off with a paper towel to get most of the excess moisture. After patting it down, let it air-dry until all the condensation has evaporated and it is completely dry.
For more soiled tanks (or if you’ve been using a thicker, sweeter e-liquid), you may want to soak your tank in hot water. Get a bowl of hot water and let your disassembled tank sit in it for 10 – 15 minutes. After this, repeat the steps outlined in the paragraph above.
Step 2b: Using Propylene Glycol
If you’ve been vaping for a while, you’re familiar with propylene glycol. If not, it’s the stuff in your e-juice that carries most of the flavor. What you may not know, however, is that propylene glycol also makes an excellent cleaning supply in your maintenance tool belt. Because propylene glycol (PG) is such a good carrier of flavors, it can be used as a rinse to remove lingering flavors from old juice.
If you’re going from one flavor profile to something extremely different, a good PG rinse is an excellent way to avoid those awkwardly mixed hits in the middle. It can also be good if you’ve been vaping on the same strong flavor for a long time and you’re finally switching to something new. In either case, you just follow the same steps as above, substituting PG for water. You can then rinse your tank as usual and let it dry.
Optional Step 3: Intense Cleaning
If a quick rinse isn’t getting the job done, there are some more intensive options available to you:
·Baking Soda – Used in all kinds of household cleaning remedies, baking soda is perfect for restoring that sparkle and shine to your tank, particularly the glass.
·Ethanol – Ethanol, aka ethyl alcohol, aka grain alcohol is another strong option for cleaning your tank. You can either purchase pure ethanol or use a cheap vodka for this, but be sure not to use isopropyl alcohol, as this can be damaging to your tank.
·Vinegar – Another great, eco-friendly cleaning option, vinegar is highly effective but be warned that you’ll have to let it sit for quite a while to get the odor out of your tank.
·Dish Soap – Self-explanatory. Add a drop of this to any of the steps outlined above for a little extra kick.
·Lemon Juice and Water – A nice middle ground between pure water and some of the more harsh options on this list.
Optional Step 4: Ultrasonic Cleaning
If you really want to get down to brass tacks, ultrasonic cleaning is where it’s at. While these devices are typically made for cleaning jewelry and rare gems, they can also be used for your vape device! For this process, you don’t need a tool made specifically for vape devices either, so feel free to use any ultrasonic cleaning device you can get your hands on. It’s one of the best ways to get a really thorough deep clean, but be sure to follow any and all manufacturer instructions and recommendations so you don’t do more harm than good.
Addendum: A Word on AIOs
If you’re working with an AIO device and wondering how on earth you’re supposed to clean your tank, you may have to get creative. Since your all-in-one tank probably doesn’t detach from the mod, you need to be careful using any kind of cleaning product, including water. Be sure to keep all liquids away from anything electronic and use a damp cloth or a wet Q-tip rather than running water. Precision is key when cleaning an AIO tank, so take your time and be as careful as possible.