The Complete Guide to Cleaning Your Vaporizer

Person holding a mop and a spray bottle of cleaning solution.

Dry herb vaporizers are the most popular choice these days among people looking for a cleaner, healthier way to enjoy cannabis, without all the harmful smoke. Because you’re able to control the temperature, and the weed is never burned. When using a quality vaporizer, you're heating all the herb, not burning some of it before it reaches your lips.

Which means you end up being able to extract more THC or CBD, and the flavor will come through more clearly and taste better. If you want to get even more mileage out of your herb, you can re-use “already vaped bud” (AVB or ABV), which you can consume in a variety of fun ways.

When is it time to clean your dry herb vaporizer?

But as your sessions add up, your vape will become dirty, and it will stop working efficiently. The vapor will taste worse and pack less punch, providing fewer beneficial and relaxing effects. You can slow down this process by grinding your herb properly (different vapes have different ideal grinds), and by avoiding overpacking your bowls. But no matter what you do, eventually you’ll have to learn how to clean your vaporizer properly.

Trust me, it’s worth it in the long run. If you feel like the airflow is getting restricted or your vape oven is looking full of gunk, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and just do it. You’ll be so much happier (and higher) on your next session if you do.

Newer portable vaporizers are designed to be easy to clean, because this is such a crucial part of vaporizer maintenance. You’ll want this to be a relatively painless process, or you know that you won’t do it as often as you should. All you need is a couple of minutes and some isopropyl alcohol, your vaporizer's brush, perhaps a q tip or cotton swab, and the process is over before you know it.

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Cleaning Dry Herb Vaporizer: Do You Have To?

When you start using a dry herb vape that’s fresh out of the box, the draw will be easy and smooth. You can really taste the flavor of the herb, and its efficiency and potency will astonish you. But after a steady amount of use, particles and residue start to build up in the herb chamber and other parts of the device. And this build-up eventually affects performance in a big way.

For starters, the oven becomes coated in that build-up. This prevents you from being able to load a full bowl, and it affects the taste, adding unpleasant flavors that will cover up the more delicate nuances of your vaped herb. And worst of all, it means the oven won’t heat evenly, making it inefficient and bringing down the potency of your draws.

The mouthpiece and airflow pipe also need to be cleaned, as debris will eventually coat these areas too, and will restrict airflow and make drawing vapor through the unit difficult. If your device has a screen, you'll want to clean it with alcohol as well. If you keep using a dirty vaporizer, you’ll lose all the economic benefits you were getting from vaping instead of smoking, because you’ll have to vape more cannabis to get as high from a vaporizer that’s clogged.

Anatomy of a Dry Herb Vape

Before we delve into deep cleaning, it helps to understand a little about how dry herb vaporizers work and the components that need cleaning. Of course, there are all sorts of different vaporizers out there, from desktop to portable, and the details vary between different brands and styles, but their mechanics are all similar. The standard components of a portable dry herb vaporizer are:

Oven or herb chamber

The heating chamber can be at the top or bottom of the vape and is where your herb is heated. Some include a grill for preventing particles from getting through. This will need cleaning most often.

Furna dry herb vapes with pre-packable ovens

The vaporizer's vapor path

This is the route by which the vapor flows from oven to mouthpiece. Particles that do get through start to coat the walls and start to restrict airflow considerably.

Mouthpiece or mouthpieces

Mouthpieces also get clogged up and need regular cleaning to allow proper airflow. On some vapes, the mouthpiece is right above the oven, which means more cleaning is necessary. There may also be a screen that needs cleaning.

Clean a dry herb desktop vape

While desktop vaporizers will look different, and have larger-sized parts and a longer airflow path, it’s the same general setup and will require the same type of cleaning. Cleaning a vape pen might be a different process, search inside the manual for your pen to learn the best method.

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Clean a Dry Herb Vaporizer - Quick Clean

You’ll need to give your vaporizer a quick clean after each use. This is fairly straightforward, you just open the oven and empty out the debris. Your vape should come with a small cleaning brush with bristles to help scrub out the vaporized herbs.

If you do this relatively soon after usage, it’ll make be easier to empty any residue while it's soft and the unit is still relatively warm. Of course, be sure to wait until it’s cooled down so that it’s safe to do so.

But this is just a quick clean that’s good for between each vape session. It’ll not only make your sessions more enjoyable but will also make a deep clean much easier when the time comes.

Deep Clean: Parts Soaked in Isopropyl Alcohol

The amount of time before you’ll have to give your vape a thorough clean will vary, but cleaning it every two weeks to a month is a good guideline, depending on the frequency of use. If you can’t remember how long it’s been, just check the condition of the mouthpiece, vapor quality, and buildup to see if it’s needed. If you feel blockage of airflow, or see a lot of resin buildup on your oven, it’s time.

The deep clean involves dismantling your vaporizer into its components. Make sure to check the specific instructions for your model of vape, you don’t want to end up causing damage while taking it apart. Every vape has its specific cleaning needs, and comes with customized cleaning accessories, you’ll want to use the appropriate method for your model of vape.

Soak heating chamber and screen, wipe down other parts

Most deep cleans involve using a bit of isopropyl alcohol and rubbing the parts with a brush or cotton swab. Difference devices need different maintenance tools: sometimes a pipe cleaner, cotton ball, or cloth is recommended. Pipe cleaners can be especially helpful to wipe a glass tube free of material. Be sure to use the cleaning brush to wipe any removable screens as well - if they come in contact with the vapor flow, they'll gather weed residue and need to be cleaned.

Make sure your vape has cooled down completely before taking it apart for a deep clean. Once you’ve taken apart your vape, scrape or brush out any bits of debris you can see in the oven, screen, mouthpiece, and anywhere else.

Miniature figurine of person sweeping bits of dandelion herb, with large dandelion looming overhead.

Thorough cleaning of the herb chamber

Use your cleaning brush and dip it into isopropyl alcohol. Run it all around the oven chamber and the other parts where you see residue and build-up. Repeat as necessary until you’ve removed all the build-up and it’s looking nice and clean again. Let the oven dry completely afterwards, and place it with the oven opening facing downward to help it dry properly.

When it comes to the mouthpiece and airflow pipe/screens, the process is basically the same. Use the brush or other cleaning tool that came with your vaporizer, dip the brush in the alcohol and scrub the parts, removing all the residue you can find, repeating the process if needed. With a quality vaporizer like the Furna, the process will be simple and satisfying, and only take a couple of minutes.

You may need to soak some vaporizer parts in the isopropyl alcohol solution for a little while. Again, refer to the recommended tips for your specific device. Once they've had a good soak, you can give them a rinse with warm water, then set them aside to dry.

If the removable part is glass or ceramic, you can soak it, but don't submerge plastic parts of the vaporizer.  You can probably give plastic parts a very quick soak, otherwise just use a tool like a brush or a q-tip soaked in isopropyl alcohol, followed by a quick water rinse.

Let all the parts dry completely before using it again, or you can cause damage to your vape. Once it’s completely dry, it can be worth heating the oven for a few minutes without any herb inside, just to burn off any lingering alcohol or residual water in the chamber before your next session.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Dry Herb Vape

Cleaning your device regularly will give you the best possible vaping experience. You'll find it's worth doing every time, and an easy solution to most maintenance problems. Here are a few tips about what to expect with regular cleaning:

Prolongs the life of your vaporizer

With proper, regular cleaning, there’s less chance of causing damage to your vaporizer through buildup of material. This means less frequent deep cleans and less of a need to buy replacement parts.

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Improved taste

When everything is cleaned, you can taste your herb more fully. Just like cooking in an unclean frying pan, you’ll taste the remnants of the last thing in it, and leftover weed in the herb chamber can leave a nasty flavor over time. 

A healthier toke

Build-up doesn’t just mean residual plant matter. After prolonged use, your vape is ripe for collecting bacteria and even mold. Of course, you don’t want this at all as it can affect your lung health after inhaling. Cleaner is always better!

Keeping it Clean

As you can see, cleaning your vaporizer is pretty simple and straightforward, and the benefits are worth the minor hassle: you'll have tastier, cleaner, and more powerful hits. Dry herb vaporizers are good investments, in terms of getting more THC and/or CBD from your weed. It's worth an extra bit of effort to keep yours in the best condition and performance possible. Be sure to empty and clean the chamber after every session, and regularly give the vaporizer a deep clean to help extend its life.

Buying an easy to clean dry herb vaporizer like the Furna will mean you won’t hesitate to clean it when the time comes. And Furna’s swappable oven system makes it even easier to always be ready for vaping, even if you're cleaning one of the ovens. This means clean your vape on your own timetable, whenever it’s most convenient for you.

Furna vaporizers with swappable ovens