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How To Clean An Atomizer

West Coast Vape Supply

As you will notice throughout your time of vaping, your atomizers will start to give off a bad taste.  The bad taste is because your atomizer is filled with left over liquid that has sat in the bottom and got gunked up.  What is the solution to this? Clean it! Yes, that’s right, cleaning the atomizer will solve that nasty gunky taste and bring your atomizer back to life! I will explain how to do this in just a few quick steps.

First, gather the following to clean your atomizer:

  • 4 Paper Towels
  • 1 Tooth Pick or Paper Clip

Blowing out your atomizer:

In this first step, you will need to take a paper towel and wipe the battery end of your atomizer to clean any liquid.  You will then need to take your atomizer with you and make your way to a sink.  While hanging over the sink, put the battery end of the atomizer to your lips and blow.  You are trying to blow any left over liquid out of the atomizer into the sink.  Have a glass of water or something to drink near by because you may get a bit of liquid on your lips.  It’s not fun getting liquid on your lips, but trust me, this is a really good step to cleaning out your atomizer.  Once you blow 2 to 3 times, that should be good enough.  Now take your paper towel that you used earlier and wipe the atomizer off again.

Breaking the gunk:

Take another paper towel and wrap a part of it around a tooth pick, paper clip, or anything small enough to fit into a tight place.  After wrapping the tooth pick, stick it in the atomizer and swipe around the outer edges to release any built up gunk that is stuck in the bottom.  Earlier when you blew through the atomizer, it only helps remove some of the loose liquid inside.  Using this tooth pick method will help release the liquid that has gotten thicker and can’t be blown out.  This should only take 10 seconds at the most, so don’t feel like you really need to take your time with it.

Cleaning your workspace:

Some of you may not be like me, but I like to have a clean workspace and the item I’m working on, I like it to be clean as well.  Remember, cleanliness is happiness.  Corney sounding, but very true.  With that being said, I’d like you to take another paper towel and wipe your atomizer down once again.  This step of the cleaning process is optional and is very much personal opinion. Clean it or not, let’s continue with the next step!

Direct Dripping

Just let it sit:

No worries, you’re almost done! Lay a paper towel somewhere flat and a place that will not be harmed, moved or anything of the sort.  Now place your your atomizer on the paper towel, battery end up.  You are doing this so that any loose left over liquid can have time to drain from the atomizer.  I usually let it drain for around an hour or two, but I’ve heard of other people letting it drain for 1 day.  Whatever you may choose, this will definitely be better than what you had, for sure! Now that you’ve waited the allowed time for the atomizer to sit and drain, what do you think is next? More cleaning! Haha – Break a peice of the paper towel off one of the paper towels you have already used.  Twist the paper up small enough to fit into the atomizer.  Now stick the twisted paper towel into the atomizer and twist a few times.  This will take out any of the excess liquid on the inner surrounding of your atomizer.

Now, you have a clean atomizer.  Screw that baby on and vape away! I hope we’ve helped!

Blake Brown
Blake Brown

Blake is the owner and creator of the Guide To Vaping blog. He has expressed his passion for the vaping industry through his deeply rooted and highly informative content. Being a writer and content provider for the vaping industry for year's, Blake has also gained experience from working with multiple blogs and well respected companies.

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  1. Hi, due crappy luck with damn atomizers, i have gone through many procedures, in order to rid the nasty , harsh and burnt taste, including the method you described above. Nothing works for me at all, from soaking, cleaning or dry burning,etc. Over the past few weeks since i started vaping, ive spent more money on bloody atomizers that dont even last a week never mind a month! It would have been cheaper for me to just stay on ciggs. im so disheartened by whole e cig, as its been nothing but a waste of money for me so far. i dont understand why such methods seem to work for others but not myself!

    • I started in 2013..on my own…learned the hard way just like you and paid out the (read wallet). Things I learned…..pressure and temperature changes make ’em leak, clean it every time you fill it, coils need to be replaced about every week, draw on it for a bit after you stop the ignition since thee is still vapor in the system that will condense as liquid and f things up, important to clean the base of the tank below the seal (where the coil indirectly connects to the battery) – this is where the thickest of the deposit will gather and really have a bad affect on your flavor….. there shoulda been a class

  2. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such bad luck. Trust me, I’ve had my share of bad luck. Don’t give up because once things start going great for you and you’re not smoking tobacco cigarettes, you’ll feel amazing just as I do. First thing I want to ask you to help you fix your problem is… are you using a cartridge or a drip tip? and, are you direct dripping? I’m almost certain this will be your problem. Before I learned about direct dripping and drip tips I had the same problem. Read dripping vs cartridges post that I’ve made and I believe you’ll find your problem fixed. I would also look into purchasing a drip tip. If you would like to talk more, feel free to contact me.

  3. Hi there, thanks for your response. But to answer your question, i have just been using the cartridges, and keep having to fill up the pad within it/and or drop onto the atomizer, in an attempt to mask that horrible, harsh burnt taste that i seem to get after a short while, even on a new atomizer! I tried using a cart without a pad, but again, aftera few drags ended u with that awful taste again! Its so annoying, because ive lost count of how many attys ive gone through! I have ordered a drip tip to see if that makes a difference! I was thinking of trying the isopropyl alcohol cleaning to see if that would clean out my used attys, get rid of that nasty taste and improve performance, but appparently that method is il advised??

  4. When I first started vaping I along with 2 of my friends had the same exact problem. As time went on we found out that the burnt type taste is actually from the wool filter in the cartridge actually dropping fibers onto the atomizer and burning. We’ve also found out that if you use a cartridge it is very easy to run your atomizer dry, which then burns the wick inside of the atomizer. With just those two things are your problem. What seemed to really help me along with my friends is directly dripping onto the atomizer and using a drip tip instead of a cartridge. By doing this, you will notice a huge increase in taste, vapor, and over all have a much better experience vaping. However, the downside to this is that you will use a bit more liquid than normal and you will have to redrip 3 drops every 5-7 puffs. Let me know if this helps. Good luck 🙂

  5. Hi Blake. Well, since last time, ive managed to resolve my issue with burnt tasting atomizers by using a tank cart! I did however have to chop down the filler to half its amount, which keeps the brige primed, but it works great! Normal carts much like yourself, i totally despise!! the’re worth the plastic the’re made from! I did geta drip tip, but i just got annoyed after a while with having to keep dripping every few drags!
    i also bought some 510 t atomizers and carts which ive yet to try out, but from all the reviews ive read, they seem to be great, due to the lack of a wick, and constant drain of liquid to the atomizers pin. I’ll start using them when my other supplies are at a dangerous low!! Things finally seem to be running smoothly, and it took about a month and a half!!!! Better late than never hey! 🙂

    • Adam, great to hear from you again. Like the new layout of the site? I hope so!

      I’m glad to hear things are going better for you now. It’s all about experimenting with what works best for you personally. I’m currently still using my Riva 510 and now my new dripping LR atomizer. It works great! I’ve ordered my first mod and will be doing a review on it once I receive it and test it all out. Be sure to check back with us, I’m constantly updating with more information and reviews.If you ever get a bit of time, I would love to see some feedback on the site in the user reviews section and I’m sure many others wouldn’t mind a quick review on some of the liquids or products you’ve acquired throughout your vaping career.

      I’m glad you found your way back to the site man, I wish you the best!

  6. What’s a tank cart and where do you buy them? thanks!

  7. You say to use a tooth pick wrapped in a paper towel…could you use a Q-tip? It’s roughly the same size.

  8. i am having the problem that i am not getting as much vapor as i did before and my battery is fully charged so is my atomizer no good now???? help me please

    • It sounds like you’ll need to replace your atomizer. If you hear a gurgling sound and have limited vapor, then your atomizer has been flooded. Depending on use and length of use, atomizers can last with satisfactory results up to 2 weeks, and I’ve had them last up to 1 month. If you’re not having a problem with your atomizer, it boils down to how long you want to extend the time of using it. Of course, using an atomizer up to 3 weeks isn’t going to perform or taste as well as it did when it was brand new. I typically replace my Aspire coils every 2 to 3 weeks, but could get much more time of use from them if I wanted.

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