It doesn't matter if you own an eGo style vape pen or a state of the art electronic mod, being a vaper is something we all need to be proud of and I know for a fact that so many of you value your personal vaporizers and treat them with respect. And besides constant e-liquid refills, battery charges and coil head replacements, your mod doesn't require much of your time and attention and it's always there to give you that nicotine buzz you're craving for. However, in order to greatly improve your device's lifespan and keep it in good working condition there's one thing you need to do from time to time, and this is general personal vaporizer maintenance. And because there are so many types of devices and accessories out there today, I'm going to try to give you some tips for cleaning several categories of vaping gear.
The most common issue with even the best personal vaporizers is that sometimes it can happen that e-juice spills on the 510 connector and the atomizer produces condensation due to the differences in temperature. Both the e-liquid and condensation can have a bad effect on the threading and especially on the 510 pin so it's always a good idea to clean your connector each time you remove the atomizer. Just use a Q-tip, a paper towel or a cloth to remove any moisture or residue. It's important to do this because if you just leave it like that it's going to either corrode your connector or prevent the pin from making good contact with your atomizer or tank. This will cause poor electrical conductivity, inaccurate atomizer resistance readings or the inability to detect a atomizer or tank mounted on the mod.
This is probably the only maintenance you need to do in case of an electronic mod with a built in battery or an eGo style vape pen; however, when it comes to mods that require an external battery like 18650 or 18350 you will also need to clean/polish the positive and negative contacts from time to time with something mildly abrasive like a Scoth Brite pad. Because of the moisture in the environment the pins tend to oxidize and we have to polish them in order to improve conductivity. This will ensure powerful hits all the time and a better battery life.
Mechanical mods on the other hand are a totally different story and they do require some special attention. This is because they are mostly build from metallic tubes that oxidize with time and need to be polished and cleaned properly once every few months. To polish your mechanical mod you'll need some tools like a drill or, even an old toothbrush (in which case the effort is going to be a lot more intense). You are also going to need some warm water, detergent, cleaning paste, metal polish, a cape cod cloth and a microfiber cloth.
First you need to take the mechanical mod apart and soak all the pieces in warm water mixed with detergent. Then you have to apply some cleaning paste on it and rub it thoroughly with the cape cod cloth for a couple of minutes. After that use the toothbrush and then switch to the microfiber cloth for the last few minutes. Finally apply the metal polish and clean your mod until it looks like brand new. In case you have a drill, look for an old style metallic cartomizer and mount it in the 510 connector before locking it firmly in your drill machine. After applying some cleaning paste on the cape cod cloth just roll it around the mod and start powering your drill until it spins at a medium speed. Finally switch to the microfiber cloth and then apply the metal polish. This technique will ensure the same (or even better results) in only a fraction of the time. Use only the cape cod cloth or something similar on the inside of the tube.
Don't forget that the other parts of your mech mod also need cleaning so make sure you use the toothbrush to clean the top cap and bottom cap after carefully dissembling it and wiping the coils and pins too. In case of the pins also use the cape cod cloth to remove any oxidation and make everything shiny again. And even though you might be tempted, don't use WD40 on your threads because it won't have the desired effect. Instead try using a specialized lubricant like No Ox ID.
Besides the mods, your atomizers also require some cleaning and we are going to start with the tanks. These are usually easy to dissemble and they are made of a few individual pieces. To clean your tank just empty the e-liquid and remove your coil before rinsing all the parts in warm water. This should be enough for removing e-juice residue and all sorts of deposits on the glass or stainless steel parts. If you left your tank with e-liquid inside for a long period of time and now it's stuck there are some things you can try. One would be to use some rubber gloves to have a better grip when trying to unscrew the parts, but if this still doesn't work you'll have to soak the whole tank in hot water. Finally you can try leaving it in the freezer for a couple of hours before giving one last try.
You can also clean your coils when switching from one e-liquid to another and you can do this by soaking them in warm water overnight. After that just blow the excess moisture while covering the airflow holes (the ones on the base) and leave them to dry out. Some people use rubbing alcohol or vodka, but I find this a bit hazardous especially if they are not completely dry when you mount them back in your tank.
Rebuildable dripping atomizers or RDAs are often some of the messiest accessories to your mod, and this is mostly because they need to be kept in a vertical position all the time. Also you're constantly dripping e-liquid on the coils and spills are part of the experience. So in order to thoroughly clean your RDA you'll need to dissemble it, remove the coils and rinse everything in warm water. After that just clean them all with a microfiber cloth.
And since we're on the topic or RDAs, you can also clean your coils and make them good as new with a very simple method. Just remove all the wicking material and then keep pressing the firing button on your mod until they start glowing red. After that just dip the coils into a cup of water and repeat the process (makes sure to only dip the tip of the atty and not parts of the mod and that you don't press the firing button as the coils are submerged). After they are completely dry it's time to rewick with cotton and everything should feel brand new.