The Cotton Swab Scrub
Scrub might be too strong a word but you should definitely wipe down the atomizer—aka the coil—of your vape pen with a q-tip or cotton swab that has been soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Vape pens consist of three parts, the battery, the atomizer, and the mouthpiece and the atomizer is the part of the vape pen that gets the dirtiest.
That is because the atomizer is where the wax gets placed and is where it gets vaporized. Once a session is completed, any leftover wax dries and becomes much harder to remove. Isopropyl alcohol helps to dissolve the hardened wax, which makes cleaning a whole lot easier.
The Alcohol Bath
For really stubborn residue, where a mere q-tip won’t cut it, you need to go full immersion. Get a fairly shallow bowl or dish, fill it with iso alcohol, and then submerge the atomizer in it for a few hours. The alcohol will steadily break down and dissolve the hardened residue over time. Once the residue has been dissolved, take the atomizer out of the alcohol, dispose of the alcohol, and dry the atomizer thoroughly before using it again. That is because you don’t want the aftertaste of alcohol ruining your next session.
Higher Standards make cleaning products, especially for vaporizers. They have a kit for $30 that contains everything you need to keep your vape in top-notch shape.
Get Creative With Paperclips
Paperclips and even some dab tools (view on Amazon) can be used to clear out the air holes of your vape pen. The air holes help to promote airflow and help to keep the draw resistance low. If they become clogged with wax residue, then that can make inhaling the vapor difficult, if not impossible.
The common paperclip is small enough to fit into the air holes and dislodge any gunk that is blocking them. You should be careful not to scratch up the vaporizer while you’re doing this of course.
Huff and Puff Into The Mouthpiece
This might seem like a pretty low-tech method of taking care of your vape pen but it works. Removing the mouthpiece from the vape pen and then blowing into it is an effective way of dislodging any debris that’s clogging up the air path. The reason is that you are reversing the airflow from its usual direction, which helps to push out any leftover residue.
When you inhale from the mouthpiece, you are not just inhaling the vapor, you are also inhaling little droplets of wax. The droplets that do not pass through the mouthpiece get trapped in the vapor path where they dry and harden and become obstructions to the airflow. A good, hard exhale should be enough to blow those bits of hardened wax right out of the mouthpiece.
Keep Your Connections Clean
You need to keep the connection between the battery and the atomizer clean and clear if you want your vaporizer to work properly. If there is residue or debris on the threading, then that will disrupt the connection between the battery and the atomizer and your vape pen will be rendered useless. In order to prevent that from happening you need to clean the threading, especially if you have an atomizer that leaks.
Fortunately, isopropyl alcohol comes to the rescue once again. You can use a lint-free cloth that has been lightly soaked in iso alcohol to wipe down the threading. That will keep the connection between the battery and the atomizer clean and uninterrupted.
Burn Off The Leftover Wax
One common but effective method of getting rid of leftover wax residue is simply to burn it off. You do this by removing the mouthpiece from the atomizer and then holding the rest of the vape pen upside down over a paper towel. You then turn on the pen and crank it up to the highest voltage setting, making sure to use whatever technique is unique to your vape pen to keep it turned on.
The heat will melt off the excess wax, which is why you need the paper towel to catch the dripping wax. Otherwise you will have a different kind of mess to clean up.
Use Coil-less Atomizers
The types of atomizers that you will see in vape pens are quartz coil atomizers, ceramic bowls, and quartz bowls. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but one of the strengths of the bowl-type atomizers is that they are easier to clean than the quartz coil atomizers. Any of the atomizer cleaning methods mentioned above are easier with ceramic or quartz bowls than they are with quartz coil atomizers.
That is because quartz coil atomizers have a coil wrapped around a quartz core and bits of dried-up residue can get stuck between the coils. Since the coils are so close together, it can be difficult to remove the residue from them. The bowl-style atomizers don’t have that problem since they are just a smooth, even surface. So, if you want your vape pen to be as low maintenance as possible, you should consider one that has a ceramic or quartz bowl. You might even find that they have other attributes that you might like.