To get the best performance out of your e-cigarette, regular maintenance is essential, and this can include regular cleanings. Residue from e-liquid can build up in your vape and impact your overall experience. However, not all vapes require the same kind of upkeep – it really depends on the type of e-cigarette you use and the components it has. Knowing all the information on what kind of vapes need to be cleaned, and how to clean a vape if required, is an important part of being an adult vape user.
What are e-cigarettes and how do they work?
E-cigarettes or vapes are battery-powered devices that work usually by heating e-liquids, which are generally tobacco flavoured and contain nicotine, in order to create an aerosol. E-cigarettes are considered smoke-free alternatives because they should not involve the burning of tobacco, and thus, do not generate any kind of smoke. The absence of combustion should be substantiated on a product-by-product basis. They come in many different sizes, and forms, and with different customization options.
Different types of e-cigarettes usually include:
- Cigalikes (or ‘cig-a-likes’), which are designed to look very similar to a cigarette, often even including a light at the tip to replicate the cigarette’s glowing lit end.
- Pod vapes, which work with a closed vape pod or refillable vape pods containing the e-liquid.
- Vape pens, which are small and thin, and have a refillable tank and replaceable coils.
- Box mods, which are large devices with multiple changeable elements that allow for advanced customization.
E-cigarettes are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive. They are not intended as cessation devices. Without question, the best decision any smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether.
What are e-cigarette parts?
Many e-cigarettes, like vape pens and box mods, are made up of a few key components:
- The battery: the power source of the e-cigarette.
- The tank: the part of the e-cigarette that gets filled with e-liquid – which needs to be cleaned regularly.
- The coil: the wire surrounding the wicking material in an e-cigarette, that gets electrically heated to vaporize e-liquid. Sometimes the coil, or even the coil, wick and casing all together is referred to as an atomizer. The coil needs to be replaced regularly.
E-cigarettes with pod-based systems utilize e-liquids that come in disposable cartridges (or “pods”) which eliminate the need for a traditional e-cigarette tank. Most pod vapes do not require coil changes either, as the element that gets heated is built into the disposable pod.
Why do you have to clean your e-cigarette parts?
For e-cigarettes that do have a tank and coil, these parts need to be maintained because they come in contact with e-liquid. E-liquid remnants can build up in the e-cigarette, and if that residue is heated again and again, the performance, taste, and experience of the e-cigarette can be negatively impacted.
How to clean a vape tank
You should clean your e-cigarette tank on a regular basis, but especially every time you change your e-liquid. This will prevent residue from building up and also ensure that you get the best experience possible. Here are some tips on how to clean a vape.
To clean the e-liquid tank, start by disassembling your e-cigarette after switching it fully off. Detach the tank from the rest of the e-cigarette and remove the coil. Make sure that any remaining e-liquid is emptied out.
Remember to follow the safety warnings and user guides provided by the manufacturers. Next, depending on the manufacturer’s safety instructions, completely disassemble the tank, and place all tank components into a bowl of warm water.
Do not include the coil in this. Wash the tank and its components gently. Give it a good soak and scrub if needed and if the manufacturer’s safety instructions allow that.
When you’re done, give everything a good rinse off with clean water, and dry it off with a clean cloth before letting everything air dry. Once all components are completely dry, reassemble your tank and e-cigarette.
How to clean a vape coil
The heating element in many e-cigarettes is in the form of a coil, and a clean vape coil is important for having a great vape experience. When you vape, the e-liquid is absorbed by wicking material surrounded by the coil, which heats up to vaporize the e-liquid.
E-liquids leave a thin film of residue when they are vaporized which causes the vape coil to collect remnants of decomposed e-liquid. This means that if your e-cigarette utilizes a coil, there is no way around it, you will need to replace your coil regularly.
The build-up of this residue on your coil or wick will occur no matter how clean the rest of your e-cigarette is, and can negatively impact the taste of your vape. Cleaning vape coils is not truly possible, as getting them wet will just cause them to burn out. The only thing you can do to ensure your e-cigarette is properly maintained is to regularly change and replace your coils.
Read more about how to change your vape coil.
What e-cigarettes require the least cleaning?
While e-cigarettes that have a tank and coil will certainly require tank cleaning and coil replacements, other types of e-cigarettes, like those with pod-based systems, do not require this type of maintenance. Pod vapes utilize e liquid-filled cartridges or capsules.
Once the pod runs out of e-liquid and performance declines, all you need to do is replace the pod. This means there is no need to clean any e-cigarette tanks with pod vapes.
While some pod vapes do utilize replaceable coils, many others have the heating element and even the mouthpiece built right into the pod, so even those get replaced along with the pod! Thus, some pod vapes can be mess-free for on-the-go use.
This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.