Today I want to go over what to do when you get yourself a brand new vaporizer. You might think the best thing to do is to pack it full of flower, heat it up and start ripping it, but there are a few steps that I would recommend undertaking before you actually use your new device.
I always like to think about a new vaporizer like any other new product that you might buy. For example, if I go to the store and buy a new frying pan, I’m not just going to put some eggs in there and cook them. I’m gonna make sure I clean that frying pan first so that it is ready to use, as there is going to be some taste otherwise.
Vaporizers are like any other product that is manufactured, and there is always going to be remnants of the manufacturing process on a device. Some vaporizers are definitely better than others for this and they will require very little preparation, whereas other ones need a more thorough cleaning.
You can help assess this by taking a few dry pulls from your vaporizer without it being heated. If you notice very little or no flavour at all, you won’t need to do a very thorough cleaning process, but if you do taste a little something, let’s go over how to get rid of that.
Step 1 - Physical Cleaning
The first thing that I do when I get any new vaporizer is to disassemble it and clean the components with isopropyl alcohol. If it has a glass stem as with a Solo 2 or something like a cooling unit on the Crafty+, I placed that in 99% isopropyl alcohol, give it a good shake for 30 seconds, then rinse it’s really well under a tap. After a rinse I always dry it in front of a fan rather than just let it air dry, as this will dry it more completely and much faster.
It’s important to not soak anything made out of plastic or with o-rings in isopropyl alcohol, but I have never ran into a single problem by giving something a quick shake and it is the best way to clean them. I do this will any stems, accessories, and anything of that sort that is included with the device, so if it says don’t put it in isopropyl alcohol I’ll leave that up to you, but I alcohol-rinse it like I described without worry.
While that is drying, let’s move on to the vaporizer itself. I take an alcohol wipe and I go over the entire exterior of the device first. Even though you’re not vaping the exterior of the device, I just feel more comfortable knowing that it has been cleaned with high strength isopropyl alcohol before I start handling it myself.
Depending on how wide the bowl is, I either get in there good with that same isopropyl alcohol wipe, or if the wipe cannot get in there properly, then I take a Q-tip soaked in isopropyl alcohol and thoroughly clean the bowl. I always do this upside down so that no liquid can run down into the device, and then leave it upside down for a minute or two for the alcohol to completely evaporate.
Step 2 - Burnoff
After everything has dried, I reassemble the vaporizer, and then I do a burnoff. Burnoffs can be very effective to get rid of any persistent manufacturing taste, but I only ever do them after I clean the device with alcohol.
When I do a burn off, I never go to the very highest temperature that a device can go to unless it has preset temperatures. I think about it like flooring the accelerator in your car; sure your car can do it, but it is certainly not going to be good for your engine to do that for a long period of time.
If it has single degree temperature control, I turn the device up to 410°F. If it only has a few settings, like with a Pax for example, then I turn it up to the highest preset temperature the device has. If it has a stem, mouthpiece or cooling unit, I leave that off while I’m doing the burnoff.
For your burnoff, turn your vaporizer on and let the device get up to temperature. I then let it go a full cycle until it automatically turns off. Next I wait a good five minutes for the device to have a chance to cool down, and then I do that process again. I don’t ever do this more than three or four times, and always allow for the device to cool down between burn off sessions so as not to not overwork it.
After the cleaning and the burnoff, let it cool right down and give it a few more of those dry pulls. You should notice that the taste has dramatically improved at this point, but if you find there’s still room for improvement, or if you just want to go that extra mile, that’s where I start doing some ghost hits to season the device.
Step 3 - Ghost Hits/Seasoning
I find this to be the most effective method to get rid of that new vaporizer taste in a hurry. This won’t work for every single vaporizer, as it's going to depend on the model, but I am able to use it with a healthy amount of vapes.
All I do is take some of my ABV, and then completely load up the bowl of the vaporizer. I tend to refresh my bowl when the flavour and the thickest vapour is gone, so my ABV is still pretty green and definitely has some active ingredient left in it. If your ABV is super brown or almost black you won’t want to use that, so in that case I would just use some inexpensive flower in its place.
Next we have to find where the air intake is for the vaporizer. This can be a bit tricky for some vapes, but I did it with three different Vapes here: the Fury Edge, the Pax 3, and the Argo. With the Fury Edge you will see the air intake right on the bottom of the device, the Pax 3 has the air intake coming around the outside of the bowl perimeter, and the Argo has the air intake down in the mesh/webbed section.
Once you identify where the air intake is on the device, go ahead and heat the device up to the same temperature you were using for the burn off. Once the device has heated up to temperature, you’re just going to gently blow through the air intake to force the vapour through the device. Essentially the best way to get rid of the flavour of a new vaporizer is to use it, but this allows us to apply that same technique, without having to inhale that unclean tasting vapour.
When I blow into the air intake, it forces vapour through the device, and this is going to stick like glue to any of those little flavour particles and get rid of them. Depending on how much manufacturing flavour there is, I might do a couple of bowls like this, but typically I find after the cleaning process described, one solid bowl at that same burnoff temperature will be enough to finish off the cleaning process.
Out of these 3 steps outlined here- alcohol cleaning, burn off, and ghost hits - the ghost hits are the single most effective way to get rid of any off taste in your vape. It won’t work with every vape, but in that case just performs steps 1 & 2 until the taste is gone.
One of the main reasons that I like to vaporize is for the healthier consumption aspect, so don’t short yourself so close to the finish line by using your vape right out of the box. Give it a good solid cleaning as described here and get the best flavour and function from your very first hit.
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