Keeping your gear clean and performing some basic maintenance can go a long way to helping prolong the life of your gear, and making your vaping experience better all around. Nothing is more frustrating than gear that doesn’t work (or stops working when you are not somewhere with the parts for fix it).
Basic Juice Clean up
This is for user strength juice (0-36mg/ml nicotine content). If you are working with anything higher than that, there are an entirely different set of considerations and other equipment that you will need to handle spills. I will probably cover than in another post since it is a very advanced topic. If you are making your own juice and you spill it (and are unsure how to handle that), clear the area, and call 911. Depending on what you are working with it may be treated as hazardous waste.
There are a few things you should have on hand that will make cleaning up any spill much easier:
- Paper towels or napkins (I prefer paper towels).
- Rubber or nitrile gloves.
- Cotton Swabs.
- Kitty litter (this is just really handy to have in general), or similar absorbant material.
- Plastic trash bags.
- Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol).
If you spill a couple of drops, grab a napkin or paper towel and wipe it up. Dispose of the napkin somewhere that pets and kids are not going to find it and put it in their mouth.
If the drip has dried, a little bit of isopropyl alcohol or a cotton swab dipped in vodka will dissolve it.
Tank dump (<5ml)
It happens. You’re fiddling with your APV, and accidentally unscrew the top cap of a bottom coil clearo, instant juice spill. I’ve done it. Try to minimize the juice to skin contact. If it spilled on you, set it down, go wash your hands, and change your clothes if necessary.
Again, we’re talking a couple of ml at most, so paper towels or napkins should be fine. If you spilled it in the carpet, you’re gonna want to get that out of there. Juice is flammable. It will evaporate over time, but you don’t really want to leave it there because it is poisonous to kids and pets, and it will stain (plus it’s sticky and will attract ants). A damp rag or paper towels will suffice at these quantities.
Again, minimize skin to juice contact (keep in mind that it will soak through the napkin or paper towels).
Bottle drop (5ml-30ml)
Oops glass bottle off the counter onto tile. Or maybe you just dropped an open bottle. I knocked a completely full 15ml bottle off of my patio table onto my concrete deck. That was fun.
If it’s outside, no big deal; just grab a dust pan and pick up the glass, then hose the rest down really well. It’ll dilute past poisonous levels (everything in juice is water soluble), and probably kill any insects that it comes in contact with in the bargain (nicotine is a common pesticide).
Just make sure that there is none left in quantities that could harm kids or pets.
You could also pour some kittly litter over it and let it sit for 5 minutes, then just sweep the litter up and throw it in the trash.
If it was inside, well you’ve got a bit more work.
If it was in carpet, you are gonna need a lot of paper towels. If it was a full 30ml bottle you’re gonna want to go rent a carpet cleaner. It’s cheap, and the easiest way to get it out.
If it was on hard flooring or a table or something, mop it up with a towel or paper towels (again mind the juice to skin contact), and make sure you get all the glass bits (if it was a broken bottle).
You’re going to want to rinse off the surface, a mop will do fine. If it was carpet and not quite enough to justify a carpet cleaner, some resolve and a rag will probably suffice after you sop up the bulk of the juice.
Open a window and let the room air out.
You just dropped that 236ml bottle from MBV and it broke all over the place.
First, get the kids and pets away from the spill and open a window. Again juice is flammable, make sure there are no open flames in the area.
Pour kitty litter on the spilled juice. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Sweep or vacuum up the kitty litter with a shop vac. Dispose of the litter.
If it was in carpet, you need to go get a carpet cleaner and really make sure you get it all out (it’ll soak into the pad beneath the carpet, so go slow and maybe make a couple passes where the spill was).
If you spilled that much juice on yourself or someone else, go immediately strip and rinse off in the shower, scrub with soap and cold water. Call poison control. Better safe than sorry.
I wipe down the battery connection with a paper towel every time I remove the clearo. If you have some dried out juice on there a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or vodka will take care of it.
I rinse with hot water, soak in vodka for 10 minutes, flush with bottled water (my water is hard, and I get spotting on everything, so I just use bottled water), and pat dry.
If it’s really gunked up, I’ll soak the head in vodka for 20 minutes or so, but usually I give it a quick rinse with hot water, drop it in some vodka, swish it around, then flush it with bottled water and pat it dry.
If the tip is particularly dirty I’ll make sure I scrub it a little with a cotton swab or my fingers when I’m rinsing it in hot water.
Cartomizers (and Carto Tanks)
I wipe down the battery connection with a paper towel every time I remove the carto. If you have some dried out juice on there a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or vodka will take care of it.
A quick wipe with the paper towel is good for cartos (for tanks I do pretty much the same thing as with clearos). These are disposable, so I don’t really do much else with them. When they get funky or burn out I toss them.
Drip tips need to be flushed out, regularly. Hot water works fine. One a week or so I let them soak in vodka for 10 minutes, flush with hot water, and then rinse with bottled water.
Dripping Atomizers and Drip Shields
I wipe down the battery connection with a paper towel every time I remove the atomizer or drip shield. If you have some dried out juice on there a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or vodka will take care of it.
I rinse with hot water and then drop the whole thing in some vodka for about 10 minutes, flush with bottled water, and pat dry.
Juice tends to splatter on the top cap so I drop that in vodka when I start work. By the time I’m done with the rest of it, I just flush with bottled water and pat dry.
I drop the entire deck in vodka with the top cap off (wick/coil and all). I’ll let it sit for maybe 10 minutes, rinse with hot water, dry burn the coil, flush with bottled water, and pat dry.
I wipe down the battery connection with a paper towel every time I remove the unit. If you have some dried out juice on there a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or vodka will take care of it.
I take a cotton swab and wipe out the battery connector every time I take the topper off my APV. If there is any juice in there I’ll dip the other end of the cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and swab it out too.
I generally just wipe it down if I spill any juice on it, but once in a while if I notice it is getting dirty I’ll wipe it off with a paper towel dipped in isopropyl alcohol.
I wipe my threads out with a dry paper towel once a month, and apply noalox to them (just a tiny amount goes a really long way!) before reassembling if the threads are metal on metal.
I wipe the screen on my APV’s that have them with a microfiber cloth as needed, though a clean paper towel will work fine too.
eGo Type Batteries
Again, I take a cotton swab to the inside of the battery connector every time I remove a topper, and if there is any juice in there I dip the other end in isopropyl alcohol and swab it out.
Wipe it down with a clean paper towel. If you notice any dents, holes, or tears stop using the battery immediately and recycle it.
Rechargable Batteries (Lithium or IMR)
I wipe them down with a clean paper towel (usually there is nothing on them) once a week and inspect for damage.
If you notice juice in the battery connection of your APV, pop the battery out and make sure that there is none on the battery.
If you notice any dents, tears, or holes on your batteries or the plastic wrapper around the battery, stop using them immediately and recycle them.