How to Clean Your Vape Coil and Tank

How to Clean Your Vape Coil and Tank

Posted by Pure E-Liquids on 2nd Dec 2020

cleaning coilsDisaster strikes - the flavour is starting to go in your vape, or it suddenly starts to develop a burnt taste. Perhaps even both. These are common issues with your device which can happen due to multiple reasons. One of the best ways to fix these problems is through good old fashioned maintenance. Because a vape is a technical gadget, multiple components produce those smooth throat hits or powerful clouds of vapour. Some of those key parts are the coil and the vape tank itself. The former produces the heat to turn that e-liquid into vapour alongside the wick, while the latter stores the e-liquid ready for use.

However, once both feel overused, you’ll notice the difference in each draw of vapour. Whether you’re a seasoned vaper who doesn’t watch the puff counter or a beginner trying something new, the amount you use your device is important.

Also, how often you clean your device plays an equally pivotal role. While it doesn’t look possible when you see the device in full swing, it can actually be taken apart and cleaned with ease.

Giving your tank and coils some love and attention go a long way. Not just saving some money on replacements, but helping you understand your device too. Let’s run through the best ways to clean both components and answer some frequent questions posed by vapers of all levels.

How to Clean Your Vape Coil

This is a simple task that doesn’t involve much preparation or effort. First of all, you must take apart your device, removing the coil from your vaping device. Take out the batteries too, as well as the tank. It helps when you take the device apart to take a few camera snaps or even a video to remember how it goes back together (just in case).

Now, because e-liquids are naturally sweet from a mixture of ingredients such as Vegetable Glycerine (VG) or Propylene Glycol (PG), debris, dust and thick sweeteners can naturally build up. This is part of the issue that damages your coils and affects your vape flavour or production levels. The same applies to the remaining e-liquid left in your tank. What you need to do is wash all these parts out by cleaning them regularly. Before you can do all of that, it’s important to know how to disassemble your device.

Taking Apart Your Device - Step by Step

Removing all the necessary parts of your vape carefully is essential for cleaning and keeping the device in a workable condition. With a Sub-Ohm tank for example, you have the following components:

  • Drip tip or mouthpiece
  • Pyrex tube
  • Coil
  • Airflow ring - but only if you have airflow holes
  • Top cap split into two separate parts (cap and tank side with slot to fill)
  • Alternatively, can also get top cap with slide fill or hinged
  • Some have mouthpiece instead of drip tip

While it’s easy enough to do, for beginners you might not believe it’s even possible when looking at the finished product. However, with most vape mods and pods, as well as some pens and vaporisers, you can disassemble either partially or completely. Here is how you go about it with a Sub-Ohm tank:

  1. Hold the vape base firmly, while unscrewing the top cap.
  2. Remove the drip tip or mouthpiece but be careful not to lose the connected o-ring which is designed to prevent e-liquid leakages.
  3. Place the Pyrex tube in a safe place.
  4. Finally unscrew your coil which is either connected to the top cap or the base.


tank disassembled

Deep Clean Your Vape

The last thing you want is the remains of a Platinum E-Liquid with a Tobacco flavour lingering with your new fruit flavoured e-liquid. Cleaning your coil can be done in several different ways, but the method depends on how much time you have. Let’s run through the best way to do this:

  1. You can pick between two methods initially. With Soak, pop the key elements of your device in ethanol, cheap vodka or even vinegar for a few hours as a deep clean. Cover them with a towel to stop evaporation and speed up the process. Or for faster results, scrub the key bits of debris and build up with a cloth containing these substances.
  2. Once your soaking is complete, rinse the coil, tank and other parts with warm water for 20 seconds.
  3. Brush away any remaining debris with a toothbrush or microfibre cloth.
  4. Allow those to dry, laying the parts out separately on a cloth or kitchen roll, but not in direct sunlight to avoid damaging your device.
  5. Once they are completely dry use a paper towel or kitchen roll again to apply in a twisting motion through the device. Alternatively, you can hold the paper at the base of your device and blow into the open end to push the remaining particles out of the airflow holes.

How Long Should I Let My Vape Coil Soak?

There is no right or wrong answer. Soaking depends on the amount of time you have before using your next e-liquid. You can start by leaving your device for up to ten minutes to soak the parts individually. However, if left to soak for a few hours, expect better results and the easier removal of certain stains.

How Long Do Vape Coils Last?

Although you can clean coils and tanks, this will only prolong the life of them briefly. Understand that if the coils are burnt beyond repair, no amount of cleaning will help. If discolouration or that burnt taste persists, seek a replacement. However, if they’re generally just dirty, which is common, expect three to four good cleans before needing to swap for a new one.

How well and frequently you maintain your vape will significantly reduce the need to swap coils often. One way to do this is by always priming them before each use of your chosen e-liquid. A few drops into the wick will help for greater saturation and to avoid burning or overheating your coil.

How Do You Remove Gunk From the Coil?

A simple trick to remove any gunk from your coil before giving them a clean, which is instructed above, is to dry burn them briefly. The heat alone without any e-liquid left in the tank will burn off the majority of gunk build up. Remember first to take out any wick before doing this, then let it cool down after and re-add the wick once done. After that, you’re good to vape again with a better taste expected.

clogged coil and wick

Can You Clean a Burnt Coil?

You can attempt to clean a burnt coil, but only to stall its inevitable end. Chances are even after cleaning them the best you can, they will still need to be replaced if the bad taste remains. If you have an ultrasonic cleaner like a jewellery machine, that’s the best way to know for sure if it can be cleaned after burning the coil. Should that unclean darker colour remain, it’s time to wave goodbye and invest in a new one.

Can You Clean Coils With Rubbing Alcohol?

Ethanol is the best pure alcohol example to use for cleaning your tank or coils. A cheap vodka soak can also work wonders. However, we advise against using rubbing alcohols like Isopropyl. If any remains on your key components, it could not only damage your health but also alter the device flavour production significantly.

Top Tips

  • Add a little squeezed lemon to remove any stronger burnt elements.
  • Alternatively, mixing water with a tiny amount of washing up liquid can help to remove stains.
  • To quickly dry your device components after a deep clean or simple rinse, use a hairdryer on a lower heat.
  • You could also deep clean by soaking in PG liquid.
  • Finally, we can’t stress this enough - do not put your batteries in water. If you need to clean them, wipe away any dirt with a dry cloth.

What Happens if I Put Alcohol in My Vape?

Leaving any remains of cleaning alcohol in your vape can happen, but it should be avoided. Doing so can cause serious damage to the body. You can find out more here.

How to Clean Vape Tank

Whether you use a box mod, vaping pod or vape pen, cleaning the tank is easily done and keeps your flavours at optimum levels. You can follow a similar process to cleaning your vape mod tank as you do with your coils. Alternatively, try adding a little baking soda as an alternative to clean the tank.

However, with a vaporiser pen or ‘cigalike’, it’s a slightly different process. Because these components are much smaller and sometimes not even possible to remove individually, you can simply clean with a cotton bud soaked in PG or with a cloth. Be careful not to get any water on electrical parts or the buttons of the device to avoid damage.

How Often Should I Clean My Vape Tank?

Doing so once a week should be sufficient enough to keep the flavours clean and enjoyable. As we said earlier, you do not want to mix them to keep each e-liquid as pure and natural as possible. Rinsing out your tank regularly and deep cleaning often will not only improve flavour but avoid gunk build up. Remember to always dry all parts completely before beginning to vape again!

When to Replace Vape Tank

Replacing your tank isn’t needed as often as replacing your coils unless there is major damage like a hole causing leakages. However, to keep up with the times, developers often bring out a variety of tanks which can complement your experience.

Whether you seek larger vapour production or intensified flavours with adjusted airflow control or temperature alteration, tanks are important for the overall experience. The aim is to always keep your device at optimum performance by looking after your vape. Never fill up the tank too high with e-liquid. Plus, don’t allow the tank to dry up with no e-liquid for too long either.

However, if they get clogged up, which is particularly the case with high VG e-liquids and Sub-Ohm tanks, you’ll need to sort this issue. Otherwise, vapour production will be down and your airflow vents will get blocked, leading to much smaller clouds.

Unfortunately, sometimes there is only so much cleaning you can give a tank and update with a new model can give your vape a new lease of life.