Ever noticed your vape juice turning darker? You might’ve noticed this in the bottle but it’s more noticeable in the tank – the normal reason for juice turning dark is oxidation – air or light mixing with your nicotine and darkening it. But in your tank there’s something else – the heat from your coils slowly caramelises the sweeteners and sugars in your vape juice and creates a gunk all around your tank that continues to build up even after coil changes. To truly get consistently great flavour and performance from your vape, you’re going to have to clean the tank.
It’s not just caramelised juice you need to clean out. Over time, general residue will accumulate, be it dust or lint from your pocket or bag, even the mouth piece will need a clean.
Switching out your coil is the first step.
Over time when your coil degrades, it’s going to initially reduce the flavour you get from your juice. However after that, if the cotton isn’t already burnt, it’ll start to degrade to the point where it’ll thin out, which means juice will pass through the gaps and go straight into your coil, rather than wrap around it.
This leads to juice popping, when there’s too much juice and it suddenly heats up and expands. It also leads to fully flooded coils that are prone to leaking if your tank has bottom airflow.
You should change your coil either when you lose flavour or it starts to give a burnt taste, or, when you can see the cotton is turning brown.
Let’s get to the basics and dissect the tank:
You’ve got your Drip tip at the top (or the mouth piece).
After that is the top of the tank that the drip tip fits into.
Then you’ve got the glass that is usually held in place with rubber O rings on both the top and the bottom of the tank.
Under the glass is where the coil is held in place.
Like we said, there’s then the base of the tank.
Now, this is going to get messy, so have some paper towels on hand to catch any juice that’s still in the tank.
Take the tank apart.
To start, grab the base and the top of the tank and turn counter clockwise (some tanks vary, especially vaporesso ones). Usually you’d screw the coil into the base of the tank, but some tanks differ, such as the PockeX kit. Once you’ve got the top off, you should be able to carefully pull the rest apart.
The glass is typically fitted with an O ring, so it may be tight, but it should pull off. Now you should have the top, the bottom, and the glass separate.
Take out the coil, and if your tank has a removable drip tip, pull that out of the top.
You can now start cleaning! Be sure not to use ANY cleaning products – if your tank is detached from the battery then you can use warm water, but as long as there’s no huge grim parts you should be absolutely fine with kitchen roll. We’re just gonna throw this out again, KEEP YOUR BATTERIES AWAY FROM WATER. And don’t wash your coils. If you’ve built the coil yourself you could get away with scraping it with a wire brush, but for prebuilt coils just replace it.
Inspect all the parts – if there’s any stains or residue still clinging on then rinse under warm water and if need be, get an old toothbrush on it. After you’re done cleaning, take a dry rag or paper towel and dry the parts off as best you can. Let them dry off for a while on their own – this gives water that’s clinging in crevices a chance to work its way out. While you’re waiting for the water to leak out, inspect your O rings. Now’s a great time to replace them if they need swapping out – chances are your tank or kit came with spare O rings in the box.
With your O rings, you’re not just looking for snapped rings – tears or permanent stretching will cause a problem, i.e. leaking issues.
Putting your tank back together
Now that everything’s clean and dry it’s time to reassemble. Make sure you’ve got your O rings back on their respective parts – there should be at least one, sometimes two on the base to hold the glass in place. There should also be at least one on the top of the tank, also for glass. If your drip tip came out, chances are there’s one or two for that too!
Grab a fresh coil and fit that bad boy into the base (or top, you PockeX lovers). Now’s a great time to prime your coil if you’re ready for it. Just squirt several drops into the top of the coil until the cotton is saturated. Fit the glass to the opposite part, for most of you that’s the top, for some it’s the bottom. Now add the drip tip back to the top and screw the parts back together until they’re finger tight. You shouldn’t need tools to assemble your tank, just until it grips properly. Overtightening leads to it’s own issues.
Pro tip: speaking from experience here, we’ve had a customer contact us to say their Smok tank wouldn’t fit back together. You typically need to have a coil in there for it to go back together. Typically, the coil screws into the base, and the top of the tank screws into the top of the coil. If you don’t have the coil there’s nothing to connect the top and bottom.
Now fill ‘er up! Either prime your coil or leave your tank with juice in for 5 to 10 minutes before you start firing the coil. There you go, fresh tank flavour!
While you’re on our blog, you might find these articles helpful!
Nicotine Numbers and Which Strength You Need
How to clean your vape tank
How coils work and when to change them
How to make juice last longer
How to make Coils last longer
Why vape juice turns dark
MTL and DTL – What’s the difference?
Nic Salts vs Freebase: The difference and benefits
What happens when you quit smoking
Vaping: Twice as effective as patches and gum?
Using E-cigs to stop smoking
How to choose your first vape/e-cig
The Problem with Home Crew Vape Shops
Or you may like our new kit breakdown series “OUTTHEBOX” where we give in depth explanations of vape kits and an unboxing experience.