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Cleaning, fixing and fiddling around with your vape device is perhaps the least enjoyable part of vaping, but if you have a refillable vaporiser then it’s important to know how to get the most out of your tanks and coils.

However if you are using one of our pre-filled E-cigarette or VAPE starter kits, then congratulations, you don’t need to read anymore!

As the pre-filled pods are designed to only be used once they do not require deep cleaning or dips in ethanol to work correctly, just screw a refill on and puff away. The pre-filled refills are designed to be as easy to use and simple as possible, so you won’t have to give them a deep clean.

For those people who do use e-liquids though, today we are going to explain how you can clean your device to get the most life out of them.

cigalikes that use pre-filled refills with e-liquids and coils built in require minimal maintenacne


On a pre-filled e-cigarette there are only two parts, the refill and the battery. However on a refillable vaporiser there are three main parts to look out for and clean. They are:

The Battery: The power source of the vapourizer. This can come in all shapes and sizes, and in some cases might even be removable from the actual hardware. In most cases though the battery is the main hardware of the vaporizer, and is the part you charge and what is sending energy into the coil.

The Coil: A heating element held in the tank that vapourises the e-liquid into vapour. The coil (sometimes known as vape coils) is made up of a housing and a wick that sucks up the e-liquid from the tank. Electricity is passed from the battery into the wick and coil, which heats the wick inside, and vapourises the e-liquid. 

The Tank: The tank (sometimes known as the vape tank) holds the e-liquid and typically also holds the coil inside. Normally there is a mouthpiece on the tank that you will then puff on to get the vapour.


Unlike a pre-filled cartridge which always starts off clean and without any old e-liquid to clean, if you refill your device then you will need to make sure to clean your vape as a dirty tank can affect the flavour and overall performance.

Although the ingredients in e-liquids don’t generally stain, residue of the vegetable glycerin (VG) and the Propylene Glycol (PG) can build up over time. Eventually this residue will start to affect the flavour of the new e-liquid you put into your tank or stop the coil from working properly.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) is perhaps the worst offender for this as the most viscous ingredient and if left unchecked can gunk up your coils. If you use a high vg e-liquid this can cause the coil to work less effectively than it should (so less vapour), give your vapour a burnt taste and generally give you a less satisfying vape experience than normal.

Residue from old e-liquid can also stick inside the tank, coating the inside creating a layer of congealed e-liquid. This can obviously affect the flavour, even if it is the same e-liquid every time. If you like to change flavours then it is doubly as important to wash your tank as the remaining e liquid can contaminate the new flavour, creating a new less inviting flavour.

Generally we suggest giving the tank a quick clean at least once a week, and a deep clean once a month to make sure your coils are running as effectively as possible and there is no old e-liquid to pollute the new e-liquid.


Cleaning your tank is fairly simple:

1) Make sure your tank is completely empty of e-liquid.

2) Disassemble your tank, taking everything off you can. For some devices that will just mean removing the coil, for other more complicated tanks there might be more to it.

3) Hold the tank under warm running water for about a minute to remove any remaining e-liquid residue.

4) Make sure there is no e liquid still sticking to the tank, if there is rinse and repeat.

5) Use a piece of kitchen paper or cloth to wipe excess water from the tank as much as possible.

6) Leave the tank for around ten minutes to air dry and let any remaining moisture evaporate.

7) Take a cotton bud or a screwed up piece of paper towel and dry any remaining water which might not have evaporated.

Sometimes though a quick clean isn’t enough, and you will need to give your tank a deeper clean. This can be because you have been using your tank a lot, are using a particularly thick e-liquid or you are using the tank again after a long time.

To give your tank a deeper clean follow the steps above, but instead of holding your tank under running water, place it in a bowl of warm water and leave it to soak for a couple of minutes.
If your tank is still dirty after all this, or you just really want to make sure it is clean, then you can add some extras into the bowl or replace the water in the bowl to make sure the tank is clean.

Washing up liquid - Add a few drops into the water, stir and leave for a few minutes

Baking soda - sprinkle into the warm water and leave for a few minutes

Ethanol, aka grain alcohol or Vodka - we would suggest very cheap vodka (as why waste good vodka on cleaning?) and replace the water with the alcohol

Vinegar - An age-old cleaning chemical, it will dissolve your old liquid in just a few minutes. Make sure to only leave your tank in there for a few minutes to prevent its smell and taste from lingering.

Make sure to thoroughly rinse your tank after using any of these chemicals!
Apart from the washing up liquid these chemicals are non-toxic, however you do not want to turn any of them into vapour. At best you would get a disgusting flavour, and at worst you might feel ill.

To make sure you have washed away all the chemicals you can dip the tank back into water for a few minutes after you rinse the tank under water.

Lastly if you are finding that you are needing to deep clean your tank a lot, or just don’t want the hassle of going through this every time you might want to buy an ultrasonic cleaner. Normally these are used for cleaning jewellery and precious metals but many people with intricate tanks are starting to use them to give their devices a proper clean.


Now we have cleaned the easier part of your vape device, it is time to move onto the coil. These can be a bit trickier as there are such a wide variety of them. Replaceable coils that come with sub ohm tanks and clearomizers (if you use vape pens these will be the ones you use) can be cleaned, but it won’t do too much. By cleaning them you can get an extra few days out of a tired coil. 
It can be useful though if something has gunked up the coil, or you are waiting for your order of a wick and coils and you need to make them last for a few days extra.

One of these coils normally lasts a week or two (depending on how much you use it of course) so if you do want to clean them then halfway through their life would be best.

If you have a rebuildable coil though (for those with vape mods) cleaning your coil is highly suggested, even mandatory. For the rebuildable coil try burning the coil, which means taking the wick out and turning the vape on for a few seconds should clear it. If that doesn’t work you can then move onto the steps below.

For either type though there are a few ways to clean them:

1) Soak your coil in ethanol, vinegar or cheap vodka for at least a couple of hours

2) Rinse under warm water

3) Rinse once more with some distilled water

4) Blow air on the open side of your coil to force water to the wicking holes

5) Leave it out until the  water has evaporated. Putting your coil near a heater or in the sun can speed this up


With this hopefully you can make sure that your vape is as clean as can be, and that you get the best vape experience as you can.

However if you are reading this and this all seems like a lot of trouble, then it might be a good idea to try a pre-filled version instead like our E-cigarette starter kit or VAPE starter kit.

With a pre-filed version you don’t have to worry about cleaning coils or tanks as that is all built into the refill, and they are designed to work perfectly until the e-liquid inside runs out. That means no changing coils, no bathing them in ethanol or buying yourself a ultrasonic cleaner.  Just screw a refill onto a battery and start puffing away. You can even switch flavours without having to clean the tank, just take the cartridge off the battery and put the new one on!

So if you are ready to quit smoking and want to try the UK's best cigalike - try the SMOKO E-Cigarette FREE.  Simply pay the UK shipping. See how making the switch from cigarettes can be as simple as screwing a refill onto a battery.

The Perfect Vape starter kit for beginners looking to quit smoking - 9.5/10

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