Vaporizers & Vaping

How To Clean a Vape Pen in 4 Easy Steps

Gabi Antunes

Aug 7, 2019

Proper care, cleaning, and maintenance is essential for optimal function of any vaporizer you own, including your vape pen and your portable vaporizer. Over time and with frequent use, material, dirt, and sticky residue can impede the flow of vapor and decrease the quality of your session. Clearing this buildup is key to enjoying your vape for years to come.

While each vape model and style differs, one fact remains the same: every vape’s components, nooks, and crannies need to be cleaned regularly to ensure the best vaping experience. No matter your model, cleaning your vape is a relatively easy and straightforward process. These general guidelines outline the components of your vape which need to be cleaned, the supplies you’ll need, and a brief how-to on proper vape cleaning.

Understanding your vape pen’s components

While there are many different styles of vape pens on the market, many have the same essential function. Many pen-style vapes are comprised of a battery, which takes up the majority of the device, and an atomizer or heating coil. Many pen-style vapes have the heating element embedded in the screw-on cartridge, purchased separately. The battery, which can come in long, short, squat, collapsible, or many other shapes and sizes, is typically a single, solid unit. If your vape pen has a chamber for dry herb, it will need to be cleaned regularly.

Portable vaporizers often have multiple components which need to be taken off for cleaning. The PAX 3 and PAX 2, for example, have a removable mouthpiece, oven lid, and oven screen, all of which are cleaned separately from the body of the vape. These types of vapes often have an accessible vapor pathway which needs to be swept out to remove vapor-blocking residue.

Materials needed to clean your vape

Before setting out to clean your vape, be sure to review the user manual, which should contain specific instructions for cleaning your model. No matter which vaporizer you have, you’ll likely need the following supplies:

  • Warm water or rubbing alcohol: Dip the cotton swab or pipe cleaner in 91% isopropyl alcohol or warm water to wipe away residue. Many parts cannot be submerged in liquid, so mind the instructions before cleaning.
  • Cotton swabs: These gentle tools get into small and hard-to-reach places.
  • Paper towels: Lay out your parts to dry on a paper towel, or use a paper towel in place of a pipe cleaner.
  • Pipe cleaners: These long and slender items can reach into the vapor pathway on a portable vaporizer.

Step 1: Cleaning the mouthpiece

If your vape has a removable mouthpiece, take it off the vape as per the instructions. Depending on the materials from which it’s made, clean the mouthpiece by dipping it in rubbing alcohol or water, or use a cotton swab to wipe away grime. For example, PAX 3’s mouthpiece is crafted of food-grade silicone, so it can be submerged in liquid.

Step 2: Cleaning the chamber and heating coil

Completely empty out the chamber of any consumed material. You can use a special tool or a cotton swab to remove the material and discard. Once emptied, dip a cotton swab in warm water or rubbing alcohol and wipe down the sides of the chamber. If the chamber has a lid, use the cotton swab to remove any dried bits or sticky residue. If the heating element can be accessed (in other words, not embedded in a screw-on cartridge), it can be cleaned by using the dab tool to scrape away residue, and then rubbing with a cotton swab dipped in warm water or rubbing alcohol.

Some portable vaporizer models have an oven screen between the vapor pathway and the materials inside the oven. Follow your vape’s instruction manual to pop out the oven screen. Most metal oven screens can be submerged in liquid and then wiped down with a cotton swab or paper towel. Allow for the piece to dry completely before replacing.

Step 3: Cleaning the battery

The vape pen battery or the body of a portable vaporizer can be simply wiped down with a microfiber cloth or a paper towel. Use a cotton swab dipped in warm water or rubbing alcohol to clean the connector where the cartridge screws into the battery. Be gentle while cleaning as to not disturb the connector. Do not submerge the battery in liquid.

Step 4: Cleaning the vapor pathway

Insert a pipe cleaner dipped in rubbing alcohol or water into the vapor pathway. Gently run the pipe cleaner to the end of the vapor pathway and move it back and forth to loosen any buildup. If you do not have a pipe cleaner, use a dry paper towel.

PAX cleaning instructions

PAX 2 and PAX 3: Empty the oven before cleaning. Remove the mouthpiece and the oven lid. Dip a pipe cleaner (included) in rubbing alcohol and insert it into the vapor pathway, moving the pipe cleaner back and forth to loosen any debris. Push the pipe cleaner to the end to pop out the oven screen. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the stainless steel oven and the magnetic oven lid.

The mouthpiece and the oven screen can be submerged in rubbing alcohol. Do not submerge the oven lid in any type of liquid. Allow all components to dry fully before reassembling and resuming use of your portable vaporizer.

PAX Era: Unlike PAX 2 and PAX 3, PAX Era has no removable parts aside from the pod, and requires minimal to no maintenance. It is recommended to keep PAX Era in a case to keep it safe from dirt and debris.