Compared to smoking, vaping is an infinitely cleaner way to use dry herbs. That doesn’t mean, though, that vaping is clean in absolute terms. For evidence of that, just take a look inside the oven of a well-used vaporizer. During vaping, your herbs give up their oils and resins, and those compounds leave a dark, sticky film throughout your device’s oven and vapor path. The film clogs your device’s screens and makes inhalation difficult. It also has a negative effect on flavor. If you want to have a consistently top-quality vaping experience, you need to clean your dry herb vaporizer periodically. Every vape has its own quirks, and it’s a good idea to consult the instruction manual before cleaning your device. In this dry herb vaporizer cleaning guide, though, I’m going to provide some general tips that apply to all devices.
This is your complete guide to cleaning any dry herb vaporizer. Let’s begin!
Dry Herb Vaporizer Cleaning: Things You’ll Need
- Rubbing alcohol: The sticky material clinging to your vaporizer’s oven is alcohol soluble. Rubbing alcohol cuts right through it.
- Cleaning tools: Depending on your vaporizer’s design, cotton swabs, pipe cleaners, brushes, paper towels and alcohol wipes may all come in handy. Evertree carries an excellent spray-on cleaner for grinders and pipes.
- Wooden pick: The resin in your vaporizer’s oven still contains usable compounds. You can use the pick to scrape the resin away before you begin a more thorough cleaning. Vape the resin like wax — or simply eat it. Don’t consume too much of the resin at a time though; it might be powerful.
- Jar or glass: You’ll use this for soaking your vaporizer’s removable parts.
- Latex or nitrile gloves: Optional, but you’ll probably be happy if you use them. Gloves will keep the resins — and their associated smells — off of your hands.
Getting Started: Prepare Your Items
Begin by laying out some paper towels on a table or counter. The paper towels will help to keep the area clean and prevent your vaporizer’s small components from rolling around. Fill a bowl with some rubbing alcohol and put on your gloves. Make sure that your cleaning tools are out and ready to use.
Disassemble Your Vaporizer and Clean Its Removable Components
Your vaporizer most likely has several removable components such as a mouthpiece, screens, a stem, gaskets and a lid. Remove all of those components. If your device has a removable battery, remove the battery and set it aside. The battery must remain completely dry. Your device should now be fully open and disassembled.
You can clean most of your vaporizer’s removable components by soaking them in alcohol. Metal, glass, silicone and ceramic are all safe to soak in alcohol; place them in the bowl. You can dip rubber and plastic components in alcohol to loosen sticky resins, but don’t leave them to soak. Rinse the alcohol away promptly.
Depending on how dirty your vaporizer’s removable components are, you may need to leave them in the alcohol bath overnight. For components that aren’t so dirty, a quick dip will do. An alcohol soak loosens the sticky resins, and then you can rinse off any remaining residue in the sink.
Clean Your Vaporizer’s Oven
If you’re using a wood pick to save resin from your vaporizer’s oven, scrape around the oven to remove as much of the resin as you can. Roll the collected resin into a little ball. You can either use the resin directly in a wax vaporizer, or you can eat it. Again, though, start small until you know how concentrated the compounds in the resin are. Some cannabis resins can be quite powerful.
Next, it’s time to turn your attention to cleaning your vaporizer’s oven. Dip a brush or cotton swab into the alcohol and rub it around the oven to break up the sticky resins. When a cotton swab is completely black, throw it away and begin using a fresh one. After a few minutes, the oven’s original color will begin to return. Remember that some discoloration in a metal or ceramic oven is normal; it won’t be possible to remove the discoloration completely.
If the oven is at the top of your vaporizer, there may be a battery and other electronic components under the oven. You don’t want moisture to enter the interior of your device, so be careful about how much alcohol you use when cleaning your vaporizer’s oven.
Cleaning Your Vaporizer’s Vapor Path
If your vaporizer’s oven is at the bottom — and the vaporizer doesn’t have a removable stem — then the device will have a narrow vapor path leading from the oven to the mouthpiece. Clean the vapor path with a pipe cleaner dipped in alcohol. Continue running fresh pipe cleaners through the device until a pipe cleaner comes out clean.
Cleaning Your Vaporizer’s Body
If you’ve been using your vape for a while, the exterior may have a coating of dust, fingerprints and pocket lint. An alcohol wipe or microfiber cloth removes those contaminants easily. If your device has ridges that harbor caked dust, you can scrape the ridges out with a toothpick.
Reassembling Your Vaporizer
At this point, your vaporizer should be completely clean and looking almost as good as new. It’s time to put it all back together. If you still have components soaking in alcohol, remove those components and rinse them under running water. Dry everything with paper towels before reassembling your device.
Before you use your vaporizer again, turn it on and run it at the maximum heat setting for a few minutes or until the timer turns the device off automatically. Running the device helps to evaporate any residual water or alcohol. After the heating cycle is complete, let the oven cool down completely before using the device again.