How to Clean Atomizers: The Complete Guide
Keeping your atomizer clean benefits you in more ways than one. For starter, you keep getting quality and consistent flavors. Also, it makes your atomizer, and in extension, the vaporizer, more durable. Gunk and debris can accumulate to block the airflow, affect the coil, and disrupt the electrical mechanism. This will not just ruin the taste and flavor of your hits, but shorten the life of your device too. So, it’s advisable to keep a check on when you should clean and how you should do it.
You can use cleaning kits available in the market or go for other simpler techniques. Either way, a good cleaning will always improve the life and quality of your device. And you shouldn’t avoid it or keep it pending. The good news is that it’s not all that hard of a task. And all you need are a few items that should be lying around the house or available at the nearest store.
Here are several techniques that you can employ individually or in combo:
The Q-tip way
The q-tip method is usually for those quick wipe-downs you can do anytime. This process is a safe bet because it normally does not damage the coil. The coil is a fragile part of the device, and it can damage easily. So, for any thorough cleaning, you need to practice a lot of caution if the coil is involved. A damaged coil means the vaporizer is as good as gone, even if the atomizer is squeaky clean.
Try to clean your device with a q-tip every day (or after every session). This will prevent the need for frequent heavy cleaning. But if you’ve let the gunk accumulate, you’ll need more intensive cleaning methods.
Let the atomizer soak.
If you haven’t been cleaning your kit for long, the q-tip becomes an almost useless repair method. Heavier debris will need a heavier type of cleaning method. A good way to clean out the parts is to soak the atomizer in isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol has the strength to breakdown any dried and hardened residue that may be residing in the nooks and crannies of your device.
Make sure the alcohol covers the atomizer whole. Let it rest for maybe half an hour. Slowly but surely, you’ll see the liquid turn color. Any dried wax stuck in the atomizer will get saturated and released.
Remember not to use this trick for atomizers that use coil. If you’ve already done that, make sure that the coil and the other parts are allowed to fully dry before you reattach them. You can use this technique with removable coil-less buckets.
Let it blow
This technique is a simpler and more primitive way of going about things. And for many people, it sounds as ridiculous as it is amusing. However, there’s no doubt that it’s another great way to get the dirt out of your vaporizer’s system. And all you need is your kitchen sink and lungs full of air.
Here’s how it works – you blow through the battery end of the device, with the other side facing a sink or paper towel. If any particles are clogging up the air screen/hole, it usually comes out on the other side. The debris left on the sink or paper towel should serve as proof that this method can fix a lot of problems too. For optimal airflow, there shouldn’t be anything clogging the small air-hole. So, a good concentration of airflow through it usually does the trick. If there’s no fallout, and the hits still taste weird, move on to the next method. This next trick will need you to bust out the MacGyver in you, because it requires simple yet ingenious fashioning of items. Alright, that may have been somewhat of a stretch, but read on and find out.
The Paperclip Technique
This one’s similar to the q-tip method, but it’s tougher and requires more effort. The upside is that it does better cleaning when there’s more gunk. The q-tip is ideal for when you want gentle wipes and soft cleaning. But there are tight corners and spaces where it just doesn’t work. For these spaces, you need thin tools that are still strong enough to dislodge dried gunk. This is where your paperclip comes to the rescue.
Reshape the paperclip into a sticky point that you can use to poke the clogs. Some people also prefer using a toothpick for the same purpose. But the toothpick has to be thin enough to make its way through those tiny vents. Otherwise, just find the nearest paperclip, and you’re good to go.
Wrap a small piece of paper towel around one end so that it stays on firmly. It should look like a needle that’s ready to poke. Move it in and out of the vent to dislodge any debris that’s stuck on the vents. You can also move it against the coil so that any residual wax gets scrapped off. This method becomes necessary when you regularly overfill the chamber. So, instead of waiting for this to happen, you can fix the problem at the source. Just use an adequate amount of wax and don’t overdo it. That way, you don’t have to scrap your stationeries for a paperclip later on.
A Clean Connection
Besides the atomizer, it’s also a good idea to keep the connections with the battery clean. An atomizer in tip-top shape becomes useless when you don’t have the right power driving through it. So, keeping the connection in good shape is as important as cleaning the atomizer.
Get some smooth tissue or lint-free cloth and some isopropyl alcohol. Dip the cloth in the alcohol and gently wipe the connection’s threading. Make sure there are no lints/scraps that get stuck to the threading. This can disrupt the connection later or even be a fire hazard. When you’re done, there should be zero traces of material or liquid on the connection. Make sure that each part gets properly dried out before reassembling the device.
Burn out the excess wax
This is an easy way to prevent leftover wax from gunking up your device. When you’re done taking a hit, hold the power button and make the coil reach a dull red for half a minute. The heat will burn out any additional wax that’s still in the chamber waiting to clog the vents later.
The easiest way to clean your atomizer is usually the stuff you can do after every use. And this one’s a tried and true trick in keeping that excess wax off the grid.
How Do I know when to clean the atomizer?
The most common sign of an atomizer that needs cleaning is that awful, burnt, and stale taste. People compare it to the sour taste of chewing an old leather boot. It usually means there’s excess wax that’s been in the system for some time. Another giveaway is when your device seems to have less airflow. The air-hole seems like it’s blocked, and there’s less passageway. Either way, if you detect it soon, one of these techniques will fix your problem.
Atomizers beyond repair
If your atomizer has completely given way to damage, there’s little you can do about it. The q-tip and isopropyl alcohol only work when the device is still salvageable. In this case, look for a similar device that you’ve enjoyed so far. Or it can also be an opportunity to go for that vape upgrade you’ve been wanting.