When you first get a new vaporizer, you’ll quite possibly find yourself just wanting to rip it out of the packaging and put it to use. However, you can do a couple of things to ensure you’re getting the best possible experience from that device.
Cleaning a Vaporizer Before Using it
While it’s easy to assume that if something looks clean, it probably is, there’s more to it, especially regarding vaporizers. During manufacture, a range of oils, grease, and other less-than-desirable substances can find their way onto the parts in your vaporizer. While it may not be enough to see, smell, or even feel, it can result in a terrible time once things start getting hot. So even though some manufacturers take a lot more care regarding how clean a device is when you first receive it, it’s never a good idea just to trust that it’s sufficiently clean or that it was stored in a clean environment before purchase.
Grab some q-tips dipped in isopropyl alcohol or alcohol wipes and go to town wiping down the various surfaces in the device that will get warm. When doing this, just take a little time to review the manufacturer-provided cleaning guide to see if any of the materials shouldn’t be exposed to alcohol. When cleaning, ensure you aren’t dripping any alcohol into the device, especially when it comes to electronic vaporizers, as this can cause damage. For plastic or wood parts (most commonly housing), a damp cloth is often sufficient just to give everything else a bit of a wipe-down.
Machine oil and many other common surface contaminants have an awful taste when heated and can really put you off using a new vaporizer, but it doesn’t have to if you spend a little time giving it the once over before use. You may even be surprised by how much gunk and grime you discover while cleaning.
The second thing you can do to ensure your vaporizer is ready for use is to perform a burn-off. It involves setting the vaporizer to the highest supported temperature without any material loaded into the device and letting it run for several minutes until smells or vapor dissipates. At least ten minutes is a good starting point, but if you’re still finding the device is producing some questionable smells, you can typically let it run a little longer without issue.
Plastics and other materials commonly used when building vaporizers can often release and off-gas a bunch of undesirable things when heated for the first time. You certainly don’t want to be breathing these in either. Don’t just assume that an isolated vapor path means that other parts of the device won't get warm and start to release compounds you don’t want to inhale. Spend a few minutes letting the vaporizer do its thing until you’re confident enough to let it cool down and start loading it up for its first real use.
Please note that analog vaporizers may not be suitable for a burn-off, so if in doubt you should or even can perform a burn-in with your device, consult the manufacturer to see if they have any recommendations. However, a generic burn-off or procedure for most electronic vaporizers will work just fine and typically won't cause any problems.
How to Perform a Vaporizer Burn-Off
- Unpack your device and give it a full charge
- Ensure any packing materials are removed, the device is clean, and the vaporizer is ready to use.
- Turn on the device and set the temperature to the maximum acceptable setting enabled by the device.
- Let the vaporizer warm up, and then continue heating for several minutes until any smells, vapor, or smoke coming from the device dissipates.
- Turn off the device and let it cool down before proceeding with regular usage.
Don’t Forget About Your Accessories
Something that is often neglected in terms of before-use prep is accessories like grinders, stir tools, and other items that come into contact with your material or are otherwise involved in your use of vaporizers. It’s good to treat your accessories in the same way you do your primary gear and assume they are less than perfectly clean when you first get them. If you’re putting the effort in to ensure your vaporizer is in top-notch condition, why not everything else in your vaping kit? It’s always nice to cover all your bases, especially when it comes to things you’re going to be inhaling.
What is the Best Way to Prepare a Vaporizer for Use?
While it may seem easier to just burn off than clean, it’s much better to do both starting with a thorough cleaning. It’s not uncommon to see people have their first experiences with a new vaporizer that many others are raving about, only to start reporting weird tastes and harsh vapor. Often, this can be a simple case of not spending a little time getting the device clean and ready for use.
It’s well worth it to put a little work into ensuring your vaporizer is in the best condition before using it for the first time. In turn, it will ensure you get an accurate representation of how the device truly performs. You never know if that little bit of extra effort will make all the difference, so it’s well worth the time and a great way to give your investment in a new vaporizer the best chance at a great start and a long life in your collection.