Let's face it, if you neglect to keep your vape tank clean, you're not going to get the most out of your vaping experience.
At the very least, build-up can diminish the smoothness and flavor of your vapor and make your battery work extra hard to vaporize material.
If you’re experiencing thin, burnt-tasting vapor, it's probably time to clean your vape tank. Battery life is important to your vape life as well, check out some tips to prolong your vape’s power source.
We’re going to break down how to clean a tank, whether you own a dry herb or concentrate vaporizer. That way you can keep your vape performing at a high level for years to come.
CLEANING A DRY HERB VAPE TANK
Here's the good news: Dry herb vape tanks are easier to clean than concentrate tanks. Plant matter doesn't stick to the walls of the chamber as much as concentrates, nor will it leak out.
While cleaning these vape tanks isn’t as tedious, it is still very important.
If neglected, your dry herb vape tank will have a ton of sediment built up inside of it. This can adulterate flavor and clog airflow, costing you both enjoyment of your concentrate and money since you won't be inhaling 100% of your concentrate.
TAKE APART THE VAPE TANK
First, disassemble the vaporizer. This will give you better access to the inside of the tank.
Empty out any loose dry herb by gently tapping the tank against a hard surface.
Don't forget! Some vaporizers have a small screen or filter that could be lost if you’re not careful. So you may want to empty the spent dry herb into a container to avoid losing parts.
Hopefully, your tank won't be THIS pristine when you decide to clean it...
BRUSH OUT THE CHAMBER
Dry herb vape tanks tend to collect a lot of sediment. That means there may be some leftover build-up clinging to the tank walls after emptying.
Using a wire brush like the one included in the Higher Standards Supreme Clean Kit, you can loosen up any pesky gunk.
Simply rotate the wire brush inside of the tank, scraping build-up off the walls.
CLEAN THE SCREEN
Friends don't let friends have this dirty of screens
If your vape tank features a filter, make sure to clean it, too. If left uncleaned, the filter can become clogged. That can diminish your flavor AND airflow.
You can remove any clogged particles that are lodged inside the screen with a wire brush or poker tool. For extra dirty screens, soak in isopropyl alcohol for ten to 15 minutes before cleaning.
With your vape fully disassembled, you can take the opportunity to make sure there is no gunk blocking the battery connection. If there is, you can wipe it off using a q-tip dipped in isopropyl.
Your frequency of use will dictate how often you need to clean your dry herb vape tank. For heavy users, it is recommended you give your tank a good cleaning once a week to make your vape last.
CLEANING YOUR CONCENTRATE VAPE TANK
If you’re a concentrate user, you will have to be a little more on your toes when it comes to cleaning your vape tank.
See that gunk? It's laughing at you when you try and get the full experience of your concentrates
While concentrate tanks generally collect less loose material than dry herb tanks, they're still harder to clean. That's because the gunk is much stickier. It can even crystallize when it dries.
If you’re putting a lot more effort into taking a draw than usual or getting a bad taste, it is time to clean your concentrate vape tank. Pre-filled cartridge users won’t have to worry about this issue, but there are still some important things to keep in mind when buying a pre-filled cart.
Before disassembling your concentrate vaporizer, you’ll want to run a burn off by heating the atomizer for 30 seconds.
For light cleaning, your kitchen sink will do most of the work. You can use Higher Standards Dot Wipes to finish the job.
These things are great, even for regular house cleaning
Run warm water through your vape tank for a few seconds, twisting as you go to ensure every bit of concentrate is flushed out. Next, grab a paper towel or Higher Standards Dot Wipe and clean off the inside of the tank.
Once your tank is done with its bath, let it air dry for around 30 minutes. Now you can reassemble and enjoy clean-tasting vapor and clear airflow.
Ok, now we get into my usual predicament which is waiting to clean a vape tank until it’s way too gunky.
As mentioned above, running a burn-off is helpful when doing a light clean, but it's a downright necessity if you’ve neglected your tank's cleanliness for a long time. The heat will do much of the work for you, softening gunk so you can wipe it away.
Once you've run a burn-off and disassembled your vape, you’re ready to get down to the nitty-gritty.
APPLY ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
Make sure to check the threads after your tank is clean
When deep cleaning a vape tank, your best friend is going to be a high percentage isopropyl alcohol. You can harness its immense cleaning power by dipping q-tips (or Higher Standards Pipe Stix) in the isopropyl alcohol and then swabbing the inside of your tank. Pay attention to your tank’s threading too. It can become muddled with gunk and make assembling your vaporizer more difficult than it has to be.
It is critical to use the isopropyl alcohol only when your tank is fully detached from the body of your vaporizer. Keeping it attached risks leaking isopropyl into your battery.
Keep in mind that swabbing with a dirty q-tip can exacerbate your tank's dirtiness, so switch out your q-tip or Pipe Stix for a new one when it gets too gunky.
The isopropyl stage is the most important step in cleaning a vape tank.
After this step, the majority of gunk will (hopefully) be cleaned away so you can move on to removing any remaining build-up.
USE A PIPE CLEANER
Pipe cleaners are fantastic for deep cleans. You can find them at craft stores or grab some Higher Standards Pipe Dreamz. These premium pipe cleaners have extra thin steel bristles that scrape away gunk without scratching the inside of your vaporizer tank.
Gently scrape the inside of your vape tank with a pipe cleaner until you feel it is adequately clean. If you want to take your cleaning to the next level, dip the pipe cleaner in some isopropyl alcohol.
Once swabbed and scraped, your tank needs to dry. If you’ve got your Supreme Clean Kit, you can use the Higher Standards Resin Rags to dry your tank and mop up any leftover concentrate.
Daaaaaaang that's a clean tank
After you’ve waited for your vape tank to dry, you can reassemble and enjoy a pristine tank that will allow you to fully experience every flavor and effect of your concentrate.
KEEP YOUR VAPORIZER TANK CLEAN
Once you’re done enjoying a clean dry herb or concentrate vape session, remember how good it felt to get the unadulterated flavor and the intended effects of your material compared to what you’ve experienced with a dirty tank.
Regular maintenance is the best way to prolong your vape’s lifespan and enjoy the best vapor quality. Try and keep a weekly schedule of spot-cleans so you won’t have to break out the rubber gloves and isopropyl alcohol to try to deep clean your vape tank.
Charles Mockler is a vaporizer critic and writer at The VaporNation Blog, a leading source for expert opinions and information about vaporizers. His blogs are read by tens of thousands of people each month. He specializes in the latest technology trends including induction heating and decarboxylation.
Charles' goal is to provide readers with reliable, helpful, and balanced opinions on vaping. He does not recommend vaping to those who don't already smoke, but his articles do offer advice for existing vape enthusiasts including reviews and how-tos about the latest vaporizers. Charles has reviewed and tested a myriad of vaporizers and recommends people do as much research as possible before buying any vaporizer.
Charles was introduced to vaping after moving to Los Angeles during the vaporizer boom. A fan of "true vaporization," he prefers convection vapes with ceramic ovens. His articles include What is an Induction Vaporizer?, How to Decarb Dry Herb, and 8 Best Electric Dab Rigs of 2018.
A graduate of the University of Montana, Charles now resides in the Greater Los Angeles area where he reviews vaporizers and hosts a podcast about the Los Angeles Clippers.