Cleaning Herbal Vaporizers
Cleaning your vaporizer is a necessary evil. With regular cleaning your vaporizer is going to last much longer. The best way to ensure the longevity of your vaporizer is to clean it after each use. With the two ways to vaporize being direct inhalation through either a vapor whipor balloon method, I will cover how to clean both components. They are cleaned rather similarly to begin with though.
The actual tube of the vapor whip is something you are going to want to replace rather than continuously clean. You can find tubing that will fit in most local hardware stores. Reason being is there can be small leaks that will waste vapor and the tubing can sometimes melt a bit over time. As for the mouth piece and the bowl piece you will want to remove them from the tubing by holding them under boiling water. Once removed you place each piece in a separate zip-lock bag filled about halfway with rubbing alcohol. Now treat them like a shake-and-bake and shake them for about five minutes each. Next rinse them under hot water to clean off the rubbing alcohol and you are good to go.
First you want to disassemble the mouthpiece of the balloon. The balloon’s mouthpiece can vary for each vaporizer but ultimately they will all have some rubber pieces and some metal pieces. Mostly all balloon inflating vaporizers will have a balloon constructed like the Volcano Vaporizer. First take any rubber pieces, usually rubber washers for the mouthpiece, and place them in a bowl or cup of soapy water. Next take any other pieces and remove any resin on the pieces. I found that using the edge of scissors works best. Now put them in rubbing alcohol, as opposed to soapy water, and let both the rubber and other pieces soak for a half hour. Once they are done soaking place them all in a strainer together and run hot water over them for a couple minutes to remove the soap and rubbing alcohol. Finally reassemble the mouthpiece and you are all finished.
There are many different surfaces for vaporizers so cleaning each will require different methods, so lets cover those now. All of them are really easy to clean externally, unlike cleaning the inside.
What you want to do is first soak a rag in soapy water for about 5 minutes. While it is soaking clean all the surface dust off of the vape with a dry rag. Next take it out and ring it out a little so it’s not completely dripping wet. Start to clean the surface with the rag and go over it a couple times. Finally just dry it off with a dry towel or rag and you should have it looking brand new.
These are a little more tricky to clean. It can be as simple as wiping it down, but if you have any type of residue or anything on it you have to take it a little further. You’ll want to mix some white vinegar with water and boil it. Once boiled let it cool and then use a rag to wipe the vaporizer down with it. It will take some pressure to scrub off the residue but with this vinegar/water mixture it will be much easier.
These are the easiest of the bunch. The easiest way is to use your favorite window/glass cleaner, Windex for example, and spray it onto a rag and wipe down the vape. It really doesn’t get easier than that.
Quickly I want to cover some general maintenance of your vaporizer that is absolutely essential to not only extending the life of the vape, but also ensuring you get the best taste each time. First you want to replace the screen, never clean it. Not only can you break the screen and risk herb falling through but you can never really get it completely clean. Just replace it, don’t clean it, don’t ask questions, OK? OK.
Lastly I want to stress the importance of using an herbal grinder as opposed to breaking up the herb by hand. I don’t care how good you think you are at breaking up herb it isn’t good enough. You may think you are the Kobe Bryant or breaking up herb, but an herbal grinder is the Michael Jordan (Yea, I went there). Aluminum grinders of course work the best, but a plastic grinder isn’t the worst thing in the world. But I suggest ponying up the small extra amount of money for an aluminum one. The reason of course this is so important is as the hot air passes through the blend you want as much surface area as possible. If you have have huge chunks of herb it is only going to vaporize the outside of it and you will be left with herb in the center that will completely be going to waste.