By Devin Caldwell
While over 2.5 million people use e-cigarettes, many of them don’t handle or store their rigs properly. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes aren’t always the easiest things for users to service themselves — while they’re designed to be cleaned, many people don’t disassemble and clean their rigs often enough. If you want the best vape, keep these tips in mind when you’re storing and maintaining your e-cigarette:
Keep the battery compartment clean.
Dirty battery terminals are one of the top reasons e-cigarettes stop working properly, but they can also die if the terminals are damaged from over-vigorous cleaning. Moisten a cotton swab with a little rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the terminals to clear away any dust, grease, or gunk that may collect on them. Air dry completely before replacing the battery.
Clean your coil regularly.
Whether you use like the convenience of the pre-built coils that come with an e cigarette starter kit or prefer to build them by hand, you may be able to clean your coils by soaking them in isopropyl or ethyl alcohol overnight. Some coils can be cleaned by dry burning (allowing them to heat without any wick in place) and then gently scraping off the remaining bits of vaping residue. All coils will need to be replaced eventually, but knowing how to keep them clean can help prolong their life.
No rubbing alcohol? Try vodka.
Rubbing alcohol is the solvent of choice when it comes to cleaning most parts of an e-cigarette, since it dissolves gunk and grime easily and evaporates quickly. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand, try using vodka or grain alcohol instead. They contain ethyl alcohol, which is just as good at dissolving and evaporating cleanly as rubbing alcohol. Some guides and forums mention using cola if you don’t have either, but this generally isn’t a good idea — the acid content can strip coils, and the sugar can cause a whole host of problems if it isn’t completely rinsed away.
Invest in a glass or pyrex e-liquid tank.
No matter how well you clean it, plastic holds on to flavors. If you’re a fan of using flavored e-liquids, it’s worth investing in a glass or pyrex tank — they’re easier to clean, and you won’t have any lingering traces of the last flavor you used. Plastic also tends to get scratched over time, which creates more surface area for pathogenic bacteria to grow.
Store your e-cigarette properly.
It might seem like pretty basic advice, but a lot of e-cigarette users don’t put much thought into where they keep their rigs when they’re carrying them around. They often get stashed in a pocket, or tossed in a bag on the go. E-cigarettes should always be stored upright to keep liquid from flooding the airspace inside, which can gunk up battery terminals and require extensive cleaning. Improper storage also allows an e-cigarette to pick up pathogens from the things it touches. If that happens to be a bag or purse, the results can be pretty nasty. Keep your e-cigarette properly stored to help keep it clean.
Use cover sleeves or mouthpiece protectors.
Anything that touches the lips can carry germs from person to person, and that’s especially true of things that contain liquid or provide a moist environment. Products that cover the mouthpiece of your e-cigarette help keep it free of contamination, and are especially important if you vape while sick or share your rig with others.
A clean e-cigarette is crucial for the best vaping experience, but, like anything that contains liquid, it’s bound to get gross eventually. With some basic precautions, the right parts, and a little bit of regular cleaning, you can keep your e-cigarette as clean, fresh-tasting, and hygienic as possible.