Since desktop vaporizers produce little to no visible residue when you exhale, it can be easy to forget that you still have to clean up after them. However, you will eventually notice the wear and residue stains after extended use. It is best to clean your device before it reaches that point, but if you are new to vaping it is difficult to know when cleaning is needed. If you happen to have noticed the residue building up on your desktop vape’s whip or mouthpiece, don’t panic. There is still a chance to save your vaporizer’s precious parts and give it a clean start again. Read on to learn how to do a deep clean of your desktop vaporizer.
You will want to start by gathering all the supplies you need for a proper deep cleaning of your vaporizer. Here is what we recommend having on hand:
Although you can realistically get by with just some warm water, soap, and a lot of elbow grease, this list of supplies will make the process easier. All of these tools will also allow you to reach every dirty corner of your vaporizer and even a dry herb vaporizer, and provide a deeper clean in the long run.
The next step is to disassemble your vaporizer into as many pieces as possible -- without breaking it. Every desktop vaporizer is different and it is important to double-check the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning before breaking your vape pen down beyond the point of being able to put it back together. No matter what brand your vape is though, it is usually recommended to not twist or push that parts too far. Instead, gently rock pieces back and forth until they are released with ease.
If your desktop vape has a bag attachment and you notice that it is looking a bit dirty as well, you’ll want to ditch the old bag and replace it. There is no great option for cleaning these bags and it's best to just throw them away. If you’re on a tight budget or can’t find the branded vaporizer bags you’re looking for, a great alternative is to use turkey roasting bags. These bags are designed to withstand high temperatures without breaking and are a convenient alternative.
Once you have your vaporizer taken apart, sort the pieces by the material they are made of. This is essential so that you use the right solvent to dissolve the residue build-up. All desktop vaporizers will have some glass parts, and these can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. Grab your container, bowl, or cup, and completely submerge these glass pieces in rubbing alcohol and allow them to sit for a few hours. You should notice a color change in the alcohol when it has done its job and removed the stuck-on residue.
Next, you’ll want to turn your attention to the bowl and screen of the vaporizer. Take your small wire brush or toothbrush and give these pieces a good scrub. This should loosen any stuck-on debris from the vaporized herb. Follow up the scrubbing with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol. This step should remove all remaining resin, but if it doesn’t, switch back to the brush to scrub the pieces again. You might have to switch back and forth for a bit depending on how stubborn the debris is. Once these pieces are clean, give them a rinse with warm water and either allow them to air dry or wipe them dry with paper towels.
If your desktop vaporizer has a whip, then you’ll want to clean this piece next. It can be a bit tricky to clean because of its length and because it's made of plastic. You should never use isopropyl alcohol to clean plastic pieces as it can break down the material and cause damage. So you’ll have to use the old fashion method of hot water, soap, and some elbow grease. If you have a pot large enough to hold the whip, then boil some water and place the piece in to soak and loosen any residue. After it’s soaked for a bit, go ahead and remove it, wash it with some soap and more water. Then bust out your pipe cleaners, if you have them, and use them to clean out the inside of the tubing. Once the whip looks spotless, allow it to air dry completely.
When you’ve noticed a good change in the color of the rubbing alcohol the glass parts are submerged in, pull them out. Give each piece a quick scrub with the brush and a wipe with the cotton swabs to make sure all the residue is removed. Rinse the pieces in warm water to make sure any trace of rubbing alcohol is removed. Allow them to air dry or thoroughly dry the pieces with paper towels.
The final part of the desktop vaporizer to clean is the electronic base. This part is not completely necessary to clean, but it can’t hurt to give it a good wipe down. First, make sure that the base is unplugged. Then use the brush and cotton swabs to wipe down the base, and turn it over to dump out any excess debris. As an added step, take a paper towel dipped in a small amount of rubbing alcohol and wipe down the outside of your base to sanitize it.
After all of the pieces of your vaporizer are clean and completely dry, then it’s time to start reassembling! Carefully put all the pieces back together and load yourself a bowl -- you’ve earned it.
It is best practice to clean and maintain your vaporizer on a regular basis, to keep your vaping sessions tasting clean and pure. In between sessions, use a brush to clean out the vaporized herb remains. This works best when the bowl is still slightly warm, so that any stickiness can be easily removed. The more often you clean your vaporizer, the longer it will last as well. Although deep cleaning can be a bit of hassle, it will happen less often the more you clean between sessions.
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