How to Clean Vape Tank & Coils? (Simple Ways that Work)

To clean your tank and coil, you should first take everything apart. Then, clean your tank using an ultrasonic cleaner, cleaning agents, soaking it in PG, or rinsing it. 

To clean your coils, rinse them under running water, soak them in alcohol, clean with a coil cleaning tool, rinse them under running water one more time, and then soak them in distilled water.

Why Clean Your Vape Tank and Coils?

The cleaner your vape device, the better it will perform. Cleaning your vape and vape coil regularly keeps your vape working at optimum capacity and your flavor and vapor production crisp.

Residue builds up over time in your vape device and will eventually cause issues if you don’t perform proper vape tank maintenance. Flavorings with a high vegetable glycerin content and overly sweet flavors will get stuck in the coils and tanks of your vape pen or other devices.

Sometimes, changing your coil heads isn’t enough because there can still be leftover flavor from your last liquid stuck in the tank. If you have a gunked-up coil from old vape juice, you’ll be able to taste the flavor of your e-liquid less, and it may even taste burnt. Or, the old flavor may mix with a new flavor, resulting in a bad combination.

It’s also wise to clean your tank and coils to get a closer look at all the parts of your vape pen and make sure nothing is damaged. In addition, people usually keep vapes in pockets so dirt can accumulate.

You should also note that if you have a rebuildable atomizer, you will probably have to clean it more often than other devices. 

Finally, you might want to rinse off a new vape with warm water and wipe it with a paper towel to eliminate any contaminants it may have gathered in the production and shipping process. You can also do a final dry burn on your coils lightly before using a new vape. 

What is in a Vape Tank?

The vape tank sits above your battery and holds your e-liquid.

There are many ways to customize tanks, but the main components are always the same. They include:

  • The coil
  • The drip tip – mouthpiece
  • The chimney – attaches to the coil and lets air through the tank
  • The top section
  • The tank section – made of plastic or glass
  • The base section – attaches to the coil and connects the battery

How to Clean Vape Tanks?

Cleaning your vape tanks is not a complicated process. 

To clean a vape tank, you first need to remove your replaceable coils and take your tank apart. 

While taking your tank apart, make sure you’re keeping track of how to put it back together. Write it down if you need to. 

Place all objects in a small bowl or plastic bag while you’re cleaning.

Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaners work by sending sound waves at your vape. These devices function at a frequency higher than humans can detect, so they give your vape a deep cleaning. 

To clean your tank, fill your cleaner with water mixed with a little bit of dishwashing liquid. The ultrasonic waves will move through the fluid at high speed to make microscopic bubbles, scrubbing dirt and buildup from your tank.

Always use the inner basket while running your ultrasonic cleaner. 

Mid-frequency ultrasonic cleaners, running at around 40khz, are the easiest to find and the best to use to ensure proper cleaning. Look for one that has a 10-minute cycle.

Using Cleaning Agents

Common cleaning agents can also help you clean a vape and for a low cost.

Baking soda works because it is a mild alkali, which makes dirt dissolve in water. This substance is also a great way to remove flavor residue from e-liquid. 

To clean a vape this way, get a small toothbrush wet and sprinkle some of the substance on the bristles. Scrub each part of your tank, rinse, and air dry.

You can also use ethanol. Ethanol is a grain alcohol that is biodegradable and non-toxic and will kill microorganisms, bacteria, and microbes and get rid of dirt. 

Use a 70% ethanol and 30% water mixture to let the pieces soak for 10 minutes. Then, rinse thoroughly.

Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent often used to clean kitchens and bathrooms, making it a great way to eliminate any flavors stuck in your tank. However, you will need to rinse the tank thoroughly, or the pungent vinegar smell will linger.

Soaking Your Tank in Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is the main ingredient in e-juice, along with vegetable glycerine (PG and VG, respectively). VG won’t work to clean your tank because it is a much thicker liquid.

To clean your tank with PG, fill a cup or bowl with PG and let all your tank pieces soak for up to two hours. 

Place the pieces on a napkin so they can drip dry. The napkin will also absorb the remaining liquid. 

Since PG carries flavor, it will pick up all the flavor left in your tank from your e-liquid and remove it.

Rinsing Your Tank

If your tank isn’t particularly dirty, you can just use warm water. 

Take the tank apart and separate all the parts and rinse them under running water.

Now, put a bowl of water in the microwave for two minutes. Once you’ve rinsed all your parts, put them in hot water. You can also put a few drops of dish soap in the bowl for deeper cleaning. 

Let the pieces sit until the water cools down. 

Lastly, give the pieces another rinse in running water. Carefully dry the parts with a napkin and let them air dry until they are completely dry. 

Do not use a blow dryer to dry your pieces. Too much heat can hurt your O-rings.

How to Clean Your Vape Coil?

Eventually, you will need to replace your vape coils, and no amount of coil cleaning can help. But when you perform a proper cleaning of your replaceable coils regularly, you will extend their life, keep your vape at peak performance, and maintain a clean vape coil.

If your vape coils are clogged with residue or a bit overfired, cleaning vape coils can help bring replaceable coil heads back to life. 

First, find your coils. They will either be directly inside the atomizer or in a small metal chamber. 

To clean your replaceable or rebuildable coils, hold them under hot tap water for a couple of minutes to get off as much residue as you can.

Next, fill a bowl high enough to cover the coils with rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka. Then, do a coil soak by placing them in the bowl and covering it with a paper towel to keep the alcohol from evaporating. This step is necessary because letting dirty coils soak ensures a better vape experience and can reduce burnt taste.

Once the alcohol has changed color from all the dirt and e-juice gunk, you can remove the coils. 

Place your replaceable or rebuildable coils under hot tap water again and rinse them in a bowl filled with distilled water. Blow air on your coil’s open side to force water towards your wicking holes. 

You can also do a light dry burn to help get rid of coil gunk from old e-juice. 

How to Know When You Need to Replace Your Coils

At some point, cleaning won’t help, and you need to replace your coils. Coils get heated and cooled down rapidly over and over, which is bound to burn them out eventually.

If you chain vape, you will need to change your coils more often than if you let your vape rest 30 seconds between hits.

If you don’t clean your coils and you chain vape, you might have to change your coils as often as once a week. 

Ultimately, cleaning your coils will keep your coils around longer.

For replaceable coil heads that come in sub-ohm tanks, it’s probably better to just get a new coil because even a deep clean won’t revive them. 

Gurgling Sounds

Vapes shouldn’t gurgle. There are many reasons your vape may gurgle, but your first step should be to change the coils. 

If the vape is still gurgling, you’ll need to investigate further.

Flavor Mishaps

A coil head that isn’t doing its job can make your e-liquid flavor taste weird. It’s easiest to notice an odd taste if it’s an e-liquid you’re used to because you’ll be able to track the difference in taste.

Your flavor may also be weaker than usual. If your last hit is weaker than your first, your coil may be dead.

Lastly, your flavors might taste mixed if your coils are dead. For example, if you’ve switched from coffee to grape and now you’re tasting both, your coils might not be working.

Low Vapor Production

Over time, your coil head will create less and less vapor. If it is getting harder to produce big clouds, that can signify that your coils are on their way out. 

Low vapor might also mean a dying battery, so be sure to change the battery before changing the coil.


Can You Clean Vape Coils with Vinegar?

You can clean your tank with vinegar, but usually, you should soak your coils in vinegar, not the tank. Vinegar is highly acidic, making it a great cleaning agent, but its smell lingers, so you’ll have to rinse the tank in your vape pens thoroughly afterward.

How Do You Clean a Burnt Coil?

You’ll most likely have to replace a burnt coil. To test it, run the burnt coil under running water. If the color starts to change, you might be able to clean it. But if it stays dark, you have to replace the coil.

Can You Clean Mesh Coils?

Yes, you can clean mesh coils with water the same way you clean Clapton coils. The only difference is that you have to take out the absorbent wick.

Can You Clean Your Battery?

Yes, but use a wet towel instead of dousing it in water.