With regular use, resin and herb particles will build up inside your vaporiser, clogging up screens and making whips, stems and attachments sticky. This can not only make your vapour taste terrible, but also causes congestion when drawing and diminishes the effects you may feel from the vapour you inhale. Regular vape maintenance will keep your unit running well and producing great vapour, and may also save you money on replacement parts.
Cleaning your vaporizer’s parts regularly will not only extend the life of your unit, but will preserve the flavour and quality of the vapour it produces. If you want your device to run smoothly, last for years and continue to give a good quality hit every time, then some maintenance is essential. You can find all necessary cleaning products to clean your vape in our online store.
Keeping your vape clean for longer
If you’re somebody who hates cleaning and having to wait for parts to dry before you can use your vaporizer again, there are some things you can do to keep your vaporiser cleaner for longer and extend the time between thorough cleans.
The amount of work involved in caring for your unit depends solely on what kind of vaporiser you buy and how often you use it. Generally, bag vaporizers like the Volcano are the lowest maintenance machines, while whip/direct inhalation style units and portables with lots of components are a bit more involved.
Of course, it pays to know how to clean your vaporiser’s parts properly and, more importantly, which cleaning solutions are safe to use.
The most common method:
This is an effective, fast and very easy way to clean glass pieces and metal screens. The salt is added to increase friction and add a scrubbing agent to remove stubborn resin, though it isn’t strictly necessary to get good results. Isopropyl alcohol is very efficient at dissolving sticky residue, and a good soak and light scrub with a brush is usually enough to get your glass and screens looking like new. Shaking the bag may not be a good idea if you have a couple of glass pieces in there together.
When it’s NOT okay to use alcohol:
Again, the internet is full of users who claim that submerging all the components of your vape in alcohol is the best way to clean them. While this method is effective and safe to use on glass and metal components, you should NEVER submerge acrylic parts, whip tubing or rubber rings in alcohol for extended periods of time.
Extended exposure to alcohol will discolour and weaken plastic and rubber and is not advisable if you want your pieces to last as long as possible. Usually, it is safe to use alcohol to quickly wipe or rinse these pieces, but soaking for hours is almost guaranteed to damage them eventually.
If you do use alcohol to clean plastic, silicone or rubber, make sure you rinse these parts thoroughly in warm water afterwards to limit their exposure time.
Effective alternatives to alcohol are dishwashing detergent, a vinegar and water solution, or another gentle, non-abrasive cleaner.
Troubleshooting: Some common problems
I can’t separate my whip tubing from the wand/mouthpiece. Help!
Firstly, this is something that every user of a direct inhalation vaporizer can expect to experience at some point. It can be incredibly frustrating, but unfortunately it’s just something that happens with use and can be hard to avoid.
Never fear, there is a way to loosen stubborn binds without having to cut your tube. Heating the join will soften the tubing around the glass and make it easier to wiggle it out. Simply hold the join close to a heat source such as a hair dryer, heat gun or even the heating element from your vaporizer and wait for it to warm up. Alternatively, you can soak the join in some hot water for the same effect. You may have to heat the tube again to re-attach it.
If you’re tired of having to struggle to dismantle your whip, another helpful solution is to change the kind of tubing you use. Generally, regular vinyl tubing (like the stock tubing that came with your unit) is stiff, kinks easily and doesn’t have much give. This lack of flexibility can make it really hard to work with. Premium silicone tubing, on the other hand, is a lot more flexible and easier to manipulate. Removing glass attachments from silicone tubing is nowhere near as difficult, plus you get the added benefits of silicone’s higher heat resistance and smoother inner tube, making it safer to inhale from and easier to keep clean. You can find silicone tubing for your vaporizer here.
I’m having trouble changing screens
This annoying but necessary part of vaporizer maintenance is vital to maintain good airflow through your whip or mouthpiece and stop herb particles from being sucked into your mouth. When your screen gets clogged up and gummy, you will have to remove it for cleaning or to replace it with a new one. Getting it out is only half the battle, getting it back in is when the real fun begins.
Tips for replacing screens:
- Try bending the screen gently into a “taco” shape and insert vertically for an easier fit. Once your “taco” is inserted, use a long tool like a pick, scraper or BBQ skewer to gently push the edges of the screen down and into place
- If you’re having trouble getting a screen out, try lifting it with a sewing needle or long tool
My whip tubing is badly stained
Got a dirty whip that seems stained beyond repair? Not only does a dirty whip look bad, but all that gunk and residue can make your vapour taste awful. Not to mention, it smells bad, too. There are some things you can try to clean off some of the build up so you can keep using your whip for a few more sessions.
While soaking vinyl, PVC or silicone tubing in alcohol is not recommended for extended periods of time, you can use it briefly to try and dissolve stubborn build up in your whip. One way of doing this is to plug one end of the tube, pour in some high strength Isopropyl alcohol and some sea salt, and then attach the two ends of the tube together to form a ring. You can try fitting the ends inside each other or use something to create a seal. Now, rotate the tube to slosh the alcohol and salt around. The Iso should start to dissolve the residue while the salt adds some scrubbing action. Then, tip all of the alcohol out and run hot water through your tube to wash out any remaining alcohol and salt. Be sure to rinse very thoroughly, as you don’t want to taste alcohol next time you vape!
If your tube is still stained, you can try repeating this process. Otherwise, here are some other suggestions:
- Tie some firm pipe cleaners together, soak in Isopropyl alcohol and scrub the inside of the tube. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
- Try soaking your tube in hot water before you clean it. Heat may loosen residue and make it easier to dislodge.
- Soak your whip overnight in a bucket of water and dishwashing liquid or a water/vinegar solution. This may dissolve some of the build up without doing any damage to your tubing.
Sometimes, no amount of cleaning will do. There is a point of no return where it’s just better to buy a new length of tubing. You can re-purchase the same stock tubing that came with your vape, or try some premium silicone for better purity and easier maintenance. Simply buying a new length of tube every month is also an easier and more hygienic process than trying to clean hard-to-reach residue just so you can push that whip for a few extra sessions.