The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning a Vape Pen – Vape Juice, Dry Herbs, Wax & Concentrates

As a beginner vaper, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to keep your vape pen clean and functioning normally. As with any new piece of equipment, you want to make sure that you’re doing everything right. Don’t worry – as daunting as it seems, cleaning a vape pen is not an overly complicated task. All you need is a few household items and around half an hour of undisturbed time once or twice a week, depending on your vaping material.

These tips will help you with a thorough cleaning of your vape pen. Of course, you want to make sure that you perform due diligence after every use. That means that you will have to devote a minute or two to vape pen cleaning every day, if you use it that often.

Why is a clean vape pen important?

Well, there are several reasons why you should try to keep your vaping gear clean:

  • Your vape pen will last longer if it’s cleaned regularly 
  • Only properly maintained pens are covered by warranty
  • Cleaning ensures great taste every time 
  • Clean pens don’t deliver harmful substances in the vapor

There are hundreds of different vape pens on the market, but we can neatly classify them all into three different categories. The categorization is done in respect to the vaping material that a particular pen was designed for:

  • Vape juice vape pens – used for evaporating e liquid.
  • Dry herb vape pens – used with dry materials.
  • Concentrate vape pens – used with shatter, wax, and resin.

Cleaning techniques for all of these vape pens are pretty similar. However, there are slight variations that need to be observed because some of them are more sensitive than the others. As a rule of thumb, clean your e juice vape pens every time you change the flavor. It would also be a good idea to change the atomizer at that time to avoid mixing flavors. In case you prefer to stick to a single flavor for a long time, clean the pen and the tank at least once a week to avoid residue build-up.

As for dry herb and concentrate vape pens, you should clean them more often. Wax and oils are runny and sticky so your vape pen chamber will get seriously gunked up if not cared for properly.  Dry herb vaporizers, on the other hand, have a metal mesh in the chamber (most of them) that can get clogged up if left unattended. Empty it after every use and make time for regular, once a week thorough cleanings.

Cleaning Your E-Juice Vape Pen

It’s always smart to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of your e-juice vape pen. It helps during use and is especially useful when you sit down to clean it. Most pens are simple – they have a battery part and a tank. The tank houses an atomizer that heats up vape juice and evaporates it.

There are two different types of e-juice vape pens – pens with a detachable tank and those whose tank is integrated with the battery. If you have an integrated vape pen, cleaning will be challenging. Since you can’t wash them under running water or soak them, you’re going to have to clean them with a damp Q-tip so it might take a little while.

Vape pens with a detachable tank are a lot easier to clean.

  • Disassemble the tank and remove it from the battery. Make sure to remove the atomizer from the tank if you plan on using it again – if it gets wet, you’re going to have to wait until it dries out.
  • Take the tank carefully apart until you have the lower and upper base, airflow control ring, glass, O-rings, and the mouthpiece. Soak all the parts in a bowl of warm water – add a bit of alcohol, vinegar, or baking soda if they are really dirty. After about an hour of soaking, use a small toothbrush and give everything a good scrubbing.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean the battery and make sure to soak any excess liquid that stays on it since you don’t want to damage the circuitry. Take a Q-tip and wipe down the connectors on both the tank and the battery. Also, check if there’s any residual liquid on the battery – if there is, your tank might be leaking so check for that and replace it if necessary.
  • To expedite the drying out process, use a paper towel to wipe down all the parts. Leave them unassembled for a couple of hours and then put them back together. You now have a clean vape pen that’s going to work like clockwork!
  • Cleaning a Dry Herb Vape Pen

There’s a slight difference between e-juice pens and dry herb pens. Dry herb vape pens also have a battery but they do not use a tank. What they use instead is a heating chamber which is loaded with dry material. Naturally, the cleaning process is going to differ in this case. Be careful when cleaning dry herb vape pens – all the parts are sensitive but the coil section is especially so and you do not want to disturb it and render your pen useless.

  • Prepare the cleaning materials before taking your pen apart – have a small bowl of water (for cleaning the mouthpiece), a brush, Q-tips, and paper towels on a table in front of you.
  • Carefully disassemble your vape pen, making sure to gently remove the heating chamber and empty it out on a paper towel. You don’t want to do this over a bin or a trash can because you need to keep an eye out for the metal mesh that’s inside. If you lose it, you’re going to have to replace it before using the pen again.
  • Tap on the chamber to expel all the material from it. After that, clean it with a small brush – a brush will usually come with your pen but if it didn’t, you can use a toothbrush as well. Really get in there to move all the particles that might be clinging to the chamber. Do the same with the mesh. It’s important not to use water or rubbing alcohol on the chamber unless the user manual explicitly states that it’s permissible. Gently clean around, making sure not to bend or break anything.
  • Put the mouthpiece in water to soak for a while and then use a Q-tip to clean it on the inside. You can sometimes use a bit of rubbing alcohol or vinegar to make sure you get all the bacteria that can accumulate there.
  • Take the chamber portion and the battery and clean the connectors with a Q-tip. There will sometimes be a bit of residue on them, which might interfere with the connection so it’s important to check every once in awhile.
  • Put the vape pen back together and use a damp cloth to wipe it down, again making sure not to get the battery too wet. Dry it off with a paper towel and it will be ready for your vaping sessions once again!

Cleaning a Concentrate Vape Pen

Concentrate vape pens can have three different types of atomizers – wicked, wickless, and flat. While some vapers clean each type differently (operating under an assumption that flat atomizers can be cleaned with a bit less care), it’s always smart to approach the cleaning of all concentrate pens with the same level of care. In addition to the atomizer, every pen also has a mouthpiece and a battery.

Concentrate vape pens are the trickiest to clean because wax, shatter, and resin are all sticky and can really get caked in there. Expect to clean them a bit longer than you would other types of pens.

  • The first thing you need to do is activate your pen and let it heat up. As it heats, the material inside will become runny and easier to clean. If you don’t let the pen heat, the residue will be sticky and definitely more difficult to move with a Q-tip.
  • After the pen heats up, it’s time to turn it off and take out the atomizer. Use a Q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol and gently clean the inside of the chamber. You’re going to have to repeat the process several times until the Q-tip comes out completely clean.
  • Cleaning the coil can be a bit tricky since you don’t want to accidentally break it. Use a Q-tip and slow, gentle motions. You can add a bit of alcohol (not too much) to expedite the process.
  • Wax and other concentrates can seep down to the battery part and get on the connectors of the battery and the heating element. It’s important to clean them so that dirt and residue don’t interfere with the connection.
  • If you can detach the mouthpiece, the easiest way to clean it is to soak it in warm water. If not, use a Q-tip to clean it to the best of your ability.
  • Set all the pieces on a paper towel and give them time to dry out. After an hour or so, assemble your concentrate vape pen and vape on!


Clean vape pens last longer and provide you with a quality taste. The best part is that the cleaning doesn’t take much – around 30 minutes every week – and can ensure that your pen doesn’t go dead on you when you need it the most.

How do you get your vape pens clean? Let us know in the comments and share your wisdom with other vapers – we’re sure they will appreciate your insights!


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