Your vaping device might spend more time in your hand than just about any other electronic device that you own – including your smartphone. In the process, your device collects fingerprints, dust, scratches and e-liquid residue. Your tank, meanwhile, collects lip balm and old e-liquid flavours. If you carry your e-cigarette in your pocket, it collects pocket lint. Your vaping device, in other words, is probably the dirtiest thing you’d ever consider putting in your mouth. If you’ve never bothered to clean your e-cigarette, now is the time to change that.

Keeping your vaping device clean means that you’ll minimize your contact with germs. It also means that your e-liquid will taste better. Your e-cigarette may also have better electrical conductivity after you clean it. Let’s do it!

How to Clean Your E-Cigarette or Mod

Begin by disassembling your vaping device. If your device has a removable battery, take the battery out and set it aside. Set aside your tank or rebuildable atomizer; we’ll clean that next.

The atomizer threading at the top of your device is likely to collect the most gunk – especially if you use a rebuildable atomizer that leaks occasionally. Clean the threading with a cotton swab. You can remove stubborn residue by dipping the cotton swab in a bit of rubbing alcohol. You can also use cotton swabs to clean other nooks and crannies such as your device’s USB charging port and battery contacts.

Dry your device and wipe away fingerprints with a microfiber cloth before continuing.

How to Clean Your Vaping Tank

Your tank is likely the dirtiest part of your vaping setup. Cleaning it can greatly improve your vaping experience by improving the flavour of your e-liquid and making the mouthpiece feel better against your lips. Begin by fully disassembling the tank. Remove the coil and set it aside; you’ll clean it separately.

Rinse the components of your tank – except the coil – under running water to remove lint, dust and e-liquid residue. If you have a metal mouthpiece and would like to disinfect it, you can do so with a bit of rubbing alcohol or by pouring boiling water over the mouthpiece.

Your tank might have some areas that are difficult to reach, such as the chimney and the air intake holes. You can clean stubborn residue from those areas with a cotton swab.

Dry the tank completely. Before reassembling the tank, check the silicone gaskets for stretching or tearing. Most vaping tanks include sets of replacement gaskets. If you notice any damage, replace the affected gaskets to prevent your tank from leaking. Screw the tank’s parts back together carefully. Don’t cross-thread the joints.

How to Clean Your Vaping Coils

It’s a good idea to time your e-cigarette cleaning sessions for when you’re going to replace your vaping coils, since replacing a coil means that you’ll have to take your tank apart anyway. Although you could simply install a new coil at this point, it’s worthwhile to try cleaning your used coils instead. Cleaning a coil can potentially remove some of the residue and deposits, improving the coil’s vapour production and restoring some of the lost flavours. Before cleaning one of your coils, make sure that you have a spare coil available. After cleaning a coil, you’ll need to leave it out for a day or so to air dry, so you’ll need another coil that you can use in the meantime.

Fill a bowl with warm water or a strong spirit such as vodka. Drop in your used coils and swish them around gently for a few minutes. The water or vodka will likely begin to change colour as it breaks up the deposits on the coils. You can help to loosen the deposits by using a small nylon brush like those available in the dental section of your local market. Gently scrub the heating wire inside the coil assembly – dipping it periodically in the water or vodka – until the heating wire returns to its original silver colour. If you used vodka to clean the coil, hold the coil under a faucet to remove the alcohol. Place the coil on a counter to air dry for a day before reinstalling it in your tank.

If you’d like to go the extra mile in cleaning your vaping coils, a little gentle agitation can greatly help to loosen stubborn deposits. Try dropping your used coils in an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner for a day. You may find that the ultrasonic vibrations are far more effective for cleaning than manual swishing and brushing.