How to Clean Vape Devices

Whether you’re already an adult vaper or are only just considering switching over from continued smoking to vaping, learning how to clean a vape correctly may appear complicated at first - but it doesn’t have to be.

This guide covers the essentials of how to clean a vape. It explores why it’s important and how to clean the different components that may come with them. Read on and learn the basics of how to clean a vape.

Why Should You Clean Vapes?

For some vapes, cleaning is a key component of vape maintenance and could affect the vaping experience altogether. Sometimes, residue can build up within certain parts of the device, which could affect not only its taste but also its performance.

This build-up could simply come from normal use of the device and can be impacted by features such as the e-liquid’s Vegetable Glycerine (VG) content. VG is one of the primary ingredients in e-liquids; however, e-liquids with a high VG content may clog the coil and other components of the vape. This can then impact the device’s performance, as a clogged-up coil, for example, could reduce the amount of vapour produced, make it taste slightly burnt or even cause the vape to potentially leak.

Learning how to clean a vape could also be useful for those who can switch the e-liquid their vape is using. If you switch to a different flavoured e-liquid without cleaning the residue of the old one off the device, it might not deliver the flavour of the new one as effectively. What’s more, you may also still be able to taste the old e-liquid.

All this said, it’s important to note that not all vapes will require cleaning. While the below sections explore ways you could potentially clean vape components, it’s vital to follow any manufacturer’s guidance for your specific product.

How to Clean a Vape Pen

The process for how to clean a vape pen will vary depending on the type of device you have. Devices you might commonly find in vape starter kits include those with detachable tanks and those that come as one, undetachable piece.

The way in which you clean a vape will depend on the device type.

How to Clean a Vape Pen That Uses Detachable Cartridges

  1. Remove the vape’s battery (if possible).   
  2. Separate the detachable components of the vape.  
  3. Dab a clean, unused cotton bud into a bowl of warm water mixed with washing up liquid.   
  4. Use the cotton bud to scrub both inside and outside the mouthpiece of the vape before rinsing under clear, warm water and drying with a clean towel.  
  5. Dispose of the used cotton bud and take out a new one, dabbing this into a bowl of warm water and washing up liquid, as done before.  
  6. Scrub the outside of the vape cartridge with this fresh cotton bud until there is no residue left, before rinsing under clear, warm water and drying with a clean towel.  
  7. As before, dispose of the second used cotton bud and take out a fresh one, leaving it dry this time.  
  8. Gently clean the battery with this third dry cotton bud, cleaning off any residue that could be left around the connector.

What you’ll need: 

  • Clean cotton buds. 
  • Clean, dry towels.  
  • A bowl.  
  • A tap or other source of warm, running water.  
  • Washing up liquid. 

Generally, the battery will not need much cleaning, if any. This last step is typically only done to ensure that there’s nothing between the contact points that could disrupt your experience. While you may be able to have a gentle, dry swab of the battery, it’s vital that you don’t expose this part of the vape to water or any liquids.

Once all of the vape components have been cleaned and dried, you can then assemble the vape back together.

How to Clean a Vape Pen That Doesn’t Use Detachable Cartridges

While some vapes are detachable, others are not. Disposable vapes are often not detachable and, once depleted, should be disposed of responsibly. If you have a vape pen with no detachable components, it’s best to avoid exposing this device to more water or liquid than necessary. The steps below could be helpful when learning how to clean a vape pen like this.

  1. Take a clean, unused cotton bud and soak it in a bowl of warm water mixed with washing up liquid.   
  2. Using the cotton bud, carefully wipe the exterior surface of the vape.  
  3. Dry the vape with a clean towel.  

What you’ll need:  

  • A clean cotton bud.  
  • A clean, dry towel.  
  • A bowl.  
  • Warm water.  
  • Washing up liquid.

In addition to the guidance above, there are also a number of vape cleaning kits to explore. However, before opting for a kit, make sure it’s suitable for your specific device.

How to Clean Vape Tanks

Some rechargeable vapes contain a vape tank that can be detached and cleaned. Residue from the e-liquids contained within the tank can build up over time, potentially clogging the device and affecting its airflow. Learning how to clean vape tank components can therefore be important to ensure the optimal performance of the device.

The steps below detail how you could clean a vape tank.

  1. Detach the tank from the rest of the vape and empty any remaining e-liquid.  
  2. Rinse the tank under warm, running water for a minute or so.  
  3. Once rinsed, dry it with a clean, dry towel.  
  4. Place the tank aside and leave it to air dry until any remaining moisture evaporates. 

What you’ll need:

  • A tap or other source of warm, running water.  
  • A clean, dry towel. 

If you’d like to give the vape tank a deeper clean, you can get a bowl of warm water and washing up liquid and leave the tank in it to soak. Once soaked, hold the tank under running water to get any suds off before drying it with a clean, dry towel. Make sure it’s completely dry before assembling it back onto the device.

How to Clean Vape Coil Components

Cleaning vape coils isn’t quite as simple as cleaning the device and tank, but it could still extend the life of the coil if done correctly. You may want to clean the vape coil once it becomes burnt. However, in this instance, it’s generally better to replace them rather than clean them, as this can be a sign the coil is reaching the end of its lifespan.

You could clean a coil by soaking it in vinegar for a few hours before rinsing it out with water and leaving it to air dry. You can learn more about this process in our guide ‘How to Clean a Burnt Coil and What Causes Them to Burn Out?'

How Often Should You Clean Your Vape?

It’s best to clean your vape regularly, even if it isn’t used frequently. Once a week could be a good place to start, but you may find yourself needing to clean it more or less frequently than this - depending on personal usage.

If you’re vaping and notice residue on your device or notice that its taste has changed, it may be worth giving it a thorough clean.

The way you clean a vape can differ from how you clean other smoke-free products - including how you clean IQOS. Find out more on how to clean IQOS via our ‘How to Clean IQOS’ guide.

We advise that you always check with the manufacturer of your vaping product for the correct cleaning steps.

Smoke-free products are not risk-free and provide nicotine, which is addictive. The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether. Smoke-free products are not alternatives to quitting and are not designed as cessation aids. 

This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information. Such content is not intended to be representative of the products sold on this website.

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