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How to Clean an Atomizer

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Before I get into the meat of this article, I should state right off the bat that there is no super effective way to clean an atomizer. At best, you will see a marginal difference that is very temporary.

At worst, cleaning an atomizer the wrong way will kill your atomizer completely or have you inhaling fumes that will make tobacco smoke seem like a healthier alternative!

I’ve spent hours and hours on forums, reading all of the crazy ways people say they clean their atomizers. Don’t believe me? I dare you to stay awake long enough to read every post in this e-cigarette forum thread. Seriously, when a thread is 31 pages long, it’s pretty clear that there is no definitive answer!Seriously, when a thread is 31 pages long, it’s pretty clear that there is no definitive answer!

People claim all kinds of things work – putting them in a jewellery cleaner, boiling them in water, putting them in a glass with denture cleaning tabs, soaking them in Everclear alcohol, lemon juice or isopropyl alcohol.

I’ve heard people even say that they put them in the silverware tray of their dishwasher. There are people that scrape them with pointy tools and even people who light them on fire, too.

For every person who claims they have the perfect atomizer cleaning method, you’ll find a dozen more that says that it doesn’t work at all.I’m beginning to think that what works for one person may all be in that person’s head!

If you are hell-bent on trying to clean your atomizer, at least do it intelligently. Remember, you are going to be inhaling anything that you soak an atomizer in, so using any liquid other than water is probably not a very good idea. All depending on the type of atomizer you are using, these are the only sane options, as I see it:

Standard 510 or 901 Type Atomizers

Although fewer people are using these type of atomizers all the time, there are still a ton of people using the old style atomizers that vaporize e-liquid clinging to fibers in a cartridge.

The best way to clean a standard 510 or 901 style atomizer is simply to blow through one end and catch the old e-juice in a paper towel at the other end. You can swap ends after a couple of good blows if you like.

It is also a very good idea to set the atomizer, battery side up on a paper towel overnight, letting any excess e-liquid drain out the big hole side.

Although some people claim that it helps to run hot tap water through the atomizer and then blow it out, we haven’t really noticed that it makes much of a difference.

If you DO want to try rinsing a standard atomizer out, please do not use boiling water. Also, be sure to let the atomizer air dry for at least 24 hours after blowing any excess water out of it.

WARNING: DO NOT stuff a paper towel inside of an atomizer. Particles of the paper towel can be left behind, creating a potential fire hazard.

Standard Clearomizers or Cartomizers

There really is nothing you can do to clean a cartomizer, which is what the early standard clearomizers use.

Because the gauzy filler material is interwoven into the atomizer coil of a cartomizer, you can’t really blow out excess e-juice because a lot of it stays in the filler material. Trying to rinse them out isn’t effective either, for the same reason.

Cartomizers are meant to be disposable, which is why they are so much cheaper than a standard atomizer. Just consider yourself lucky if you can refill them a few times before they start tasting burnt, start to leak or start spitting e-juice into your mouth.

It IS a good idea to always wipe down the clearomizer tube after you fill it, to keep any excess e-liquid from getting on your hands.

Clearomizer Coils and Atomizer Heads

Clearomizer coils, like the ones in a Kanger T3S, are also very inexpensive and most people just replace them when they start producing less vapor or their seals become worn and they start to leak.

Although the Type-C and C2 atomizer heads used with an eGo-C or eCom e-cigarette aren’t quite as cheap as T3S coils are, most people don’t mess with trying to clean them either.

If you want to give it a shot, some people have reported success with running very hot water over a clearomizer coil or Type-C/C2 heads and then letting them air dry for at least 24 hours. Once again, you should never use boiling hot water.

Wiping down the clearomizer tube with a paper towel is always a good idea, too.

To Clean or Not to Clean?

I know there are plenty of people who have convinced themselves that their atomizer cleaning method really works and extends the life of their atomizer by weeks or months.

If you’ve got a way that you think works for you, by all means, keep doing it (as long as you aren’t potentially harming yourself by using something other than water).

Me? I’ll just buy another atomizer, thank you. I’ve tried every zany method I’ve ever heard about and none of them seem to really do much at all. When I compare the cost of an atomizer head or coil to what I used to spend PER DAY on regular cigarettes, it’s a no-brainer; I’ll gladly fork out a few bucks for something that lasts a week or two. I’ve got better things to do with my time than mess around trying to clean an atomizer!

When I compare the cost of an atomizer head or coil to what I used to spend PER DAY on regular cigarettes, it’s a no-brainer; I’ll gladly fork out a few bucks for something that lasts a week or two. I’ve got better things to do with my time than mess around trying to clean an atomizer!

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