Cleaning Electronic Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes offer a great alternative to traditional cigarettes. They’re safer (95% less harmful according to Public Health England), versatile, and you are free to smoke them in many places where smoking tobacco cigarettes is banned.
However e-cigs are not "disposable" like regular tobacco cigarettes many of which are stubbed out on the pavement or thrown out of car windows by smokers. You must take care of e cigs if you want them to last. If you want to get the maximum enjoyment and money saving out of your electronic cigarette, the single most important thing you can do is clean and maintain it regularly. Proper care will increase the lifespan of your e-cig and ensure the best performance, giving you long-lasting and satisfying vaping with each device. Here’s everything you need to know about care and maintenance for your electronic cigarette.
The Importance of Cleaning
The importance of proper cleaning of your electronic cigarette cannot be overstated. E-cigarettes collect dirt, debris and e-liquid residue over time. When these build up, it’s necessary that they be cleared away to keep the device in excellent working condition. Ignoring this task can lead to decreased battery life and a less satisfying vaping experiences, as flavour and vaporization (vape cloud) can be compromised. Regular cleaning performed about once per week will keep your e-cig in top shape, ensuring that your battery and other components are functioning at their peak and your overall vaping experience is maximized for each use.
How to Clean Your E-Cigarette
There are a few steps to cleaning your electronic cigarette, and it’s important that you don’t skip any. At a minimum, you’ll need a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel, but you may want to have some warm water, cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol handy too. For really dirty e-cigs with hardened grime, you may need a toothpick or tweezers to remove dried-on residue. Here are the steps for cleaning:
- Disassemble the e-cigarette. Before you can clean it, you’ve got to take it apart. Each component needs to be separated from the other parts so that you can get into all the grooves and crevices for cleaning. The number of parts to disassemble will vary depending on the type of e-cig you have. You can refer to the manufacturer’s instruction for more details on disassembly.
- Using a clean cloth or paper towel, carefully clean the atomizer. Wrap the cloth around the atomizer, gripping it tightly, then twist and spin it to remove grime and residue. Be sure to get in between the threads and any other hard-to-reach places.
- Next, do the same thing for the battery. Use a clean section of the cloth to clean the battery, focusing on the connection point where gunk can build up. Be sure to remove all the grime, as dirt and grime here can interfere with the connection and cause battery issues.
- Be sure to clean the charger as well. Unplug it, and then use a cotton swab to clean it.
- If you use a damp cloth or a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean your electronic cigarette and charger, remember to let it dry thoroughly before attempting to use it. Any remaining moisture could cause it to short out, so be sure it is 100% dry before using.
Bottom line: make sure each part is clean and wiped free of dirt and e-liquid residue. Pay special attention to the battery and connector points, as even trace amounts of grime can interfere with power flow and negatively impact your vaping.
Maintenance for your Electronic Cigarette
Cleaning your device as described above is an important part of everyday and long-term maintenance, but it’s just one aspect. There are other maintenance tasks that will need to be performed periodically as well. Like regular cleaning, maintaining your e-cigarette properly will extend its lifespan and give you more satisfying vapes each time you use it.
Battery Maintenance Pro Tips
Properly maintaining your electronic cigarette’s battery is a huge part of caring for your device and ensuring its longevity and function. Use the following tips to extend your battery life and make the most of your vaping experiences:
- Use the battery often. Batteries perform better when they’re used regularly, and the lithium ion batteries in e-cigarettes are designed for frequent use. Regular use increases the battery’s efficiency and power flow.
- When using your e-cigarette, avoid letting the battery fully drain before putting it on the charger. Taking your battery down to nothing is bad for the battery and can make it difficult for it to fully recharge. It can also decrease the battery’s life span over the long term.
- Don’t store batteries empty when you’re not using them.
- Store your batteries safely. Sunlight and heat can damage batteries, so keep them in cool places out of direct sunlight. Avoid contact with water and moisture as well, and be careful not to drop or knock them around.
- Unscrew the cartomizer from the battery when you’re not using the electronic cigarette. Even when it’s not in direct use, having the two parts connected results in battery drain. It’s not a lot, but just a slow use of battery juice means you’ll be charging your battery more frequently than necessary.
- Don’t let the battery sit on the charger after it’s fully charged. Unplug it as soon as it’s done so you don’t overcharge and overwork the battery. The only exception to this rule is when you’re charging a new battery for the first time, as it is recommended that you leave the battery on the charger for an additional hour or two for its first charge.
Why Should You Care About Maintenance?
E-cigarettes offer a multitude of benefits over regular cigarettes, including cost. They are cheaper than the cost of buying packages of cigarettes week and week. Wouldn’t you rather your money provide you with the most value possible? As well as reducing the costs coming out of your pocket every week, e-cigs have also been shown, through studies, to reduce the health risks of smoking regular cigarettes. Do regular cigarettes want the competition of e-cigs? No, of course not. Purchasing e-cigs cuts into the profits of manufacturers of regular cigarettes. However, to comply with many bars, restaurants, and work places new rules and regulations guarding non-smoking workers from the impacts of second-hand smoke, e-cigs provide a great alternative for those who still want to enjoy smoking.
A study performed at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, at the Centre for the Study of Tobacco Products, had this to say, according to researcher Thomas Eissenberg, “Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use.” How is that for an incentive? Lower costs, you still get the nicotine effect, you get a “water vapour” effect that results in a very short-term puff of smoke, and it doesn’t affect non-smokers. It’s a win-win situation. When you take care of your e-cigarette, clean it properly, maintain it so that is stays in its best condition, you have an investment that can help you in multiple ways.
No evidence has presented itself yet that would indicate that the small amount of smoke produced by e-cigarette vapour is harmful in any way, shape, or form to bystanders and/or nearby non-smokers. People who don’t smoke in the first place almost never take up smoking by using e-cigs, so there is no argument there for getting people addicted to e-cigs. It just doesn’t stand up in the court of evidence, or logical thinking.
There is some evidence that e-cigarettes are helpful in enabling smokers to quit smoking altogether. If that is your goal, and you have tried numerous other alternatives with no success to show for it, e-cigs can help in that way as well. In any case, any possible risks associated with e-cigarettes are greatly reduced when compared to constant use of tobacco cigarettes. It is pretty much agreed upon across the board the benefits of e-cigarettes far outweigh any possible harms.
Who are the Primary Users of E-cigarettes?
A recent study shows that 22 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have tried e-cigarettes. This compares to 13 percent of adults who have tried e-cigs at least once. Usage among those aged 65 years or older was four percent. The statistics go on to show the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes. Forty-eight percent of current smokers have used e-cigarettes; new smokers try them and those who have recently quit have been known to find favour with them as well. The US based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention was behind this recent first-of-its-kind study.
Proper storage of your device and associated parts is another area to think about. Consider investing in a soft or hard carrying case for storing your e-cigarette, spare batteries, E-Liquid, and any other loose parts to keep them secure, protected, and cleaner. Cases will protect your parts from damage that can be incurred if things are dropped or knocked around, and they’ll also limit the amount of dirt and grime that can build up. Plus, you’ll be able to find things faster when you need them! You can even get a lanyard to attach your e-cig to for quick and easy use if you don’t feel like taking it out of a case all the time.
Proper storage of your device and other components will keep your electronic cigarette more secure, ultimately reducing the frequency of replacement parts and increasing the lifespan of each piece.
Every now and again you will find that it’s necessary to replace certain parts of your electronic cigarette, or even the whole device. This is just the nature of e-cigs - parts will wear out, stop functioning, and they’ll need to be swapped out with new ones. Here is a breakdown of parts you can expect to replace over time:
- Pre-filled cartridges. This one is pretty obvious. If you use pre-filled cartridges, this will be the part that you replace the most because it will run out of e-liquid. When the juice runs dry, you’ll need to change the cartridge out for a new, full one.
- Cartomizers. Cartomizers, or the atomizer/cartridge combo, have been reported to last up to a year with proper cleaning and maintenance, but a more realistic expectation for the average vaper is that the cartomizer will need to be replaced every couple of months. When your cartomizer begins to fail, you’ll notice decreased vaporization and flavour.
- Batteries. Batteries (notice this is plural...you should have at least a couple of back-ups) will last quite awhile with proper care. Depending on the size of the battery, you can expect anywhere from 400 to 1,000 puffs between charges, which equates to hours of use. In terms of battery lifespan (not charge), most batteries will give you 2 to 3 years of use, provided you care for and maintain them correctly.
Taking good care of your electronic cigarette and maintaining it properly will improve your overall experience as a vaper. Regular cleaning and correct battery usage will give you longer sessions between charges, as well as enhanced vape clouds and flavour with each use. This will also result in a cost savings for you, as replacing the battery and other parts won’t have to be done as frequently. With the tips above, you can make the most out of vaping, enjoying your e-cigarette for longer and saving yourself some money along the way. Remember:
Regular Cleaning + Proper Maintenance => Longer Lasting & Better Performing E-Cigarettes