We all put off cleaning our oven or fridge – it’s often easier to ignore the dirt than to get stuck in with the rubber gloves. However, many of us take our e-cigarette everywhere we go and use them on a daily basis, so the same rules can’t really apply.
An e-cigarette is fundamentally an electronic device, so dirt can be surprisingly destructive. By cleaning it regularly you’ll make sure the battery life is retained, your e-liquid tastes fresh, and it all works as it should do. E-liquid can leak and damage the battery quite easily, so if your charger can’t make its mind up between red and green, you may have a leaking, faulty e-cigarette, with a build-up of dirt, on your hands.
One of the main priorities for vapers is the taste of their e-liquid. The array of choices available makes e-cigarettes an exciting and innovative option, so not getting the most of those e-liquid flavours is the worst-case scenario, and ultimately a huge waste of money and precious time spent choosing flavours!
If you’ve noticed that your e-cigarette is producing less vapor than usual, it’s becoming more difficult to draw air through it, or the taste of your e-liquid is slightly stale or burnt, it’s time to take it apart and give it a clean.
1. Cleaning the drip tip
Make sure you’ve carefully disassembled the e-cigarette first, and initially blow through the detached drip tip to get rid of any dust or dirt. Then, use warm water to rinse it through, and leave it on a paper towel to dry.
2. Cleaning the battery
Then, use a cotton bud or piece of kitchen towel to clean where the battery and cartridge meet. Avoid using a tissue, as the fibres are very loose and may cling to the battery, and make sure you’re gentle with it.
3. Cleaning the Atomizer
Remove the top cap from the atomizer first, and rinse it in the same way as the drip tip. Then, separate the tank from the wicks and the atomizer itself. If you want to make sure your e-cigarette gets a really thorough clean, you can separate the wicks and clean them separately.
Again, warm water is ideal. Depending on how long it’s been since it was cleaned, you might want to soak the wicks for half an hour to an hour too.
Most vapers find that warm water is sufficient, but some prefer something a little stronger, especially if it’s been a while since the last clean.
Every two to four weeks, some recommend cleaning the atomizer in neutral grain alcohol or water that has just been boiled, as they believe it’s particularly good for the wick.
5. Maintaining your e-cigarette after cleaning
Leave everything detached and make sure it air dries completely. A damp e-cigarette won’t vape properly, so 24 hours is enough to make sure it’s completely dry.
When you’re ready to use your e-cigarette again, make sure the battery is fully charged. If you have a drip tip, put a few drops of e-liquid into it, and give it a moment for the wick to absorb it – too much can ‘flood’ the drip-tip, so be careful.
Depending on the kind of e-cigarette you’re using, there could be different cleaning requirements or considerations, so make sure you check before getting stuck in!