E-Cigarette reviews for the rest of us

How to Clean an Atomizer


People who prefer to use e-cigarettes with atomizers and drip tips generally feel that way because they believe atomizers have flavor and vapor production characteristics superior to cartomizers. The drawback of atomizers, however, is that they cost more per unit — generally at least $10 for a good atomizer and sometimes even more. If you prefer atomizers and want to keep your e-cigarette use affordable, you need to make your atomizers last as long as possible. In this article, I will provide some suggestions on how to clean an atomizer and remove the residue that collects after weeks of use. With these suggestions, you can potentially improve the flavor and vapor production of your e-cigarette while greatly extending the life of your atomizer.

How to Clean an Atomizer E-Cigarette

Quick Atomizer Cleaning

You probably need to change your e-cigarette battery about once per day, and that’s about how often I suggest performing a quick atomizer cleaning. To do this, all you need is a paper towel and a bottle of the e-liquid you plan to use after changing batteries.

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Remove the atomizer and look at your e-cigarette’s threading and drip well. Most likely, a bit of e-liquid will have collected in one or both of these areas. Fold your paper towel to create a narrow triangle and stuff it into both areas to soak the e-liquid up. If the body of your e-cigarette doubles as the battery, always do this before charging the battery to keep e-liquid from getting into the charger.

Next, you’ll need to fold your paper towel into a square and hold it against one end of your atomizer while blowing through the other end. For best results, you should blow through the threading of the atomizer while holding the paper towel over the opening on the drip tip. Although it’s much less unpleasant to blow through the drip tip, doing this can push the atomizer’s wick down, partially plugging the atomizer. There’s less risk if you blow gently, but there’s still a possibility that blowing through the drip tip could cause restricted airflow and damage the atomizer’s performance.

With the excess e-liquid cleared from the inside of the atomizer, you can add a bit of additional e-liquid via the drip tip and resume using it.

Atomizer Deep Cleaning

Giving your atomizer a deep cleaning every two to four weeks can help you remove stuck-on residue collected on your atomizer’s heating coil such as vegetable glycerin, flavors and sweetener. To clean your atomizer in this manner, begin by heating a bit of water in a microwave-safe cup for around 20 seconds. The water should be hot but well below boiling.

Place your atomizer in the water and swish it around thoroughly until you’re confident that you’ve removed most of the residue. When you’re finished, blow gently through the atomizer as outlined in the section above to remove most of the excess water.

Finally, let the atomizer dry completely — preferably next to an air conditioner or fan — for about 24 hours. The atomizer’s wick will be saturated with water after the atomizer deep cleaning, and it won’t taste good if you vaporize it.

After waiting a day, place your drip tip on your atomizer, but don’t connect the atomizer to your e-cigarette yet. Add plenty of e-liquid to the atomizer, wait a minute or two and blow the excess e-liquid out. Reassemble your e-cigarette, add a little more e-liquid and you’re ready to go.

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