How to Clean Your Old Cartomizers

cleaning cartomizers

Do you have filthy, gunked up cartomizers that need a cleaning? Don’t throw them away just yet. There’s a new solution…


I’ve always been a cartomizer fan since the day I first got hold of them. My first cartomizers were the dual coil Smoktech’s. These produce tons of vapor and a lot of flavor but their lifespan is pretty short (I’m talking 1-2 days here, on dark e-liquids). After this time frame, the flavor from my e-liquids start tasting “watered down”. I’ve also been using the Boge 510 cartomizers and after a few days, the same thing happens.

The thicker and darker the e-liquids, the faster the coils of the atomizer become choked up. This results in less efficient burning of the juice, hence you get reduced flavor as well as vapor.

I’ve seen quite a few videos on YouTube about dry burning atomizers, but I have not tried those techniques out myself – it looked like too much trouble. And with cartomizers, you need to remove the poly fill material before you do a dry burn otherwise you’d be burning the poly fill itself, which will make your liquids taste horrible.

One cleaning method I have tried is soaking the cartomizers in hot water and although that works to a certain extent, there will always be some trace flavors remaining in the poly fill that are really difficult to get rid of. This is why I generally throw away cartomizers after about 2 days. They’re so cheap and disposable anyway.

However, today I was made aware of the “Cartoblast” cleaning method. Now this is really interesting way to clean out your cartomizers, check out the videos below.

This is the Cartoblast method:

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Here’s an alternative syringe method:

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The Cartoblast apparatus is really simple, and involves a plastic tube with one end that fits over a 510 cartomizer perfectly and the other which gets connected to a syringe. The syringe pumps water through the entire carto, which cleans out a lot of the remaining e-liquid.

I don’t know how well this would work on the dried up juice sitting on the coils though! That kind of gunk is only removable via a dry burn. I have yet to try this out myself but if this works as well as it appears on the videos, then those of you who are Halo G6 or V2 e-cigarette users would be able to keep reusing those cartomizers and save yourselves from ordering new cartos every week or two.

Anyway, leave your thoughts and comments below. If you’ve tried this method, let us all know how well it has worked for you. Were your cartomizers as clean as new?

19 Responses to “How to Clean Your Old Cartomizers”

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  1. Steve K says:

    I do kind of an alternative take on those methods. I use hot water in an ultrasonic cleaner. Mine has 5 minute cycles so I usually run 2 or 3 cycles, then I take the cartos out and blow canned air through the battery end of the carto until all the water is cleared out. Repeat until the filler looks clean. Then I usually dry them by either putting them in my toster oven (which has a very low heat warm setting) or by putting them in a container with rice in it to absorb the excess moisture.

  2. mech says:

    Cool, but, is the oven step is really necessary? I reckon the cartomizers would dry out on their own in a couple of days.

  3. Matt Q says:

    Couple of other great YouTube videos for cartomizer cleaning:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU-IWkc197A

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBNvlMNe2wA

  4. mech says:

    Thanks Matt for the links! Good spotting.

  5. JohnnyQuest says:

    Has anyone actually tried this yet?

  6. BurntOrannge says:

    Assuming cartomizer and atomizer are being used synonymously. (I’m new to e-Cigs) I was told that each night after daily use to run each side under a stream of warm water for 20 seconds, then blow out each side.

    Alternatively, and both of these came from the MFG, if it gets really gunked up, to soak it in vinegar for a few hours then rinse thoroughly.

    I’ve cleaned mine every day, so I’m not experiencing any reduction in quality. I’m using a Janty Jet, and the only two complaints I have are that 1.1 ML most certainly does NOT equal a pack of analouges, and second, why don’t they MFG the tanks without the piece of plastic that covers the wick hole? That’s annoying to dig out, and I’m pretty sure I’ve inhaled at least a little bit of burned plastic from where the wick was in contact with the hanging “Chad” on the tank lid.

    I do find that I get dehydrated too easy though. With analogues, I would never smoke without some kind of fluid in my hand, but I don’t get dry mouth from e-Cigs….I just realize too late that I’m dehydrated.

    Hope this helps

    Anyway, thought I’d pass it on.

  7. Laura says:

    I wash my used carto’s once a week by boiling them for 10 minutes, blowing the water out and letting them air dry. My concern is: Should I be drying them quicker like with a blow dryer? I’m afraid air drying is allowing possible mildew.. I don’t want to introduce anything (more than I already am) into my lungs.. What do you all suggest? Also, do they have to be completely dry before putting juice in? I can’t see why a little water moisture would hurt anything. Thanks for any advice.. Laura

    • mech says:

      Hi Laura,

      To be honest, I’ve never bothered with cleaning my cartomizers. They are so cheap anyway, and I swap new cartos out every 3 or 4 days. They cost about $1.80 each and compared to smoking tobacco cigarettes, it’s way cheaper (I was spending about $15 every 1.5 days on smokes).

      Having said that though, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drying the cartomizers out with a hair dryer – just do it in bursts. Mildew shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re living in a tropical region. After all, when you’re vaping, your cartomizers are always wet from condensation and juice, right?

    • Matt Q says:

      Laura, PG has some anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is highly unlikely that there will be anything in the cartos to cause problems when drying, unless the water you’re using introduces it. Which is also unlikely since you’re boiling the water.

      If you’re still concerned, a Taryn spin gets out more water than blowing them out and they will dry faster. To further speed things up, rather than using a hair dryer you can placing them in a sunny spot, put them in a food dehydrator or even bake them at 200 degrees for a couple of hours.

      You should let cartos dry COMPLETELY before filling. If the fill material has any water in it you will get a taste that’s off and “humid” – which can taste sort of “mildewy”, especially if the cleaning didn’t get out all the residue from previous use.

    • mech says:

      hi Matt Q,

      Good call on that post man. I forgot to mention that Laura should have also put the cartomizer in the oven. I recall a lot of users doing that. I’m just not one for going through the hassles, especially when they’re so affordable.

      Mech

  8. Charlie says:

    What I do is smoke 1 carto for about a week until I have used all 5 of them from the box. After this I remove the white cap and dump them in a pan, fill it with water and let them boil for a few mins.

    After I scoop them out and put them on a paper towel until they cool. Then I blow out the water and take them outside to where I have an aircompressor. I use a small nozel air compressor and give each carto a few quick blasts of air from the connector side, and a ton of junk goes flying out.

    Becareful here because if you blast it too hard the filter stuff could fly out and then it’s no good.

    Usually 1-2 cartos will be like new, and 1-2 will be decent, and 1 is junk. Their life expectancy will now be at least 1/2 of what it was originally but it does help.

  9. Matthew Meadows says:

    I purchased one of these and did not receive all of the parts from Micronix. I’ve been attempting to get these parts for 4 months. He sends me a piece at a time. As far as how it works. I’ve been using it on clearomizers and it does remove alot of the old juice (not all of it though) and it leaves the clearomizer full of water no matter how many times you try to “blow” it out using the cartoblast. I would stay far away from this vendor. No secure credit card transaction and shady business.

    • mech says:

      Thanks for the heads up Matthew. The vendor contacted me saying that he was gonna send me a unit to test out but he never ever did. I’ve totally forgotten about this apparatus until your comment today!

  10. Alex says:

    I took a stainless steel turkey baster and some surgical tubing. total cost-$5.00. essentially the same animal. added benefit of the surgical tubing, it will stretch out to fit just about any carto size. I do advise using a hot pad or oven mitt as that baster gets rather warm. Worked like a champ.

  11. Jeff says:

    I still am using a 2 carts I bought back in Nov 2012 when I first went to vapeing. I use nothing but V2 E-cigs and carts. I use the syringe and 3/8 rubber tubing to cleam mine. Then I put them on a L shaped piece of wire, then that in my drill chuck and high spin them. Then I immediately fill them with juice. Been doing that since Nov last year with no problem.

    The high speed drill pulls all the water out no need to dry them any further.

  12. Jeff says:

    I forgot to add in my post above, those 2 carts are not the only ones I have, I have about 10 others all bought since Nov. I just posted that to show how LONG THEY CAN LAST.

    I also think it depends on what flavoring you are using to how fast the wire coil cruds up. I have some Blueberry that I think doesn’t crud up as fast as my French Vanilla.

  13. Courser says:

    You don’t need to buy a fancy kit to get almost the exact same benefit.

    I bought a hard plastic turkey baster from Walmart and it works pretty great. Take the rubber bulb off and drop your cartomizer in there & replace the bulb. Personally, I’ve put it in screw-end up, but I might try it the other way next time. Then take a glass of warm water and squeeze the bulb to pump water through the carto. Then you can just keep filling and emptying for however long you need to to get the old juice out. The water in the glass will begin to smell and get discolored, so you may want to replace the water from time to time depending on how many cartos you’re cleaning. I tend to do them in batches of about 10 or so.

    Once the carts are clean, I go sit in the tub with the shower curtain closed and use the Reverse Taryn spin on each one to expel as much water as I can. By Reverse, I mean that I have a string with a slip knot on one end that I tighten around the screw end. I’ve never had one come loose yet.

    For the final phase, I put all the cleaned cartos in a small box of rice for a day or two to extract even more water. Then I can refill the carts.

    No matter what you do, there will always be a few that don’t work out for whatever reason. I’ve noticed that as the polyfill gets more compressed, the carts don’t work as well. The vapor gets harsh or it’s just plain burned, even though they didn’t look like it during cleaning. I think those tiny atomizers have a definite shelf life and once they’re toasted there’s not much you can do.

    I should add that I’m re-using Blu carts which generally only hold up for 2, maybe 3 refills. And I don’t mind buying new carts (I have their Premium100 e cigs) and they’re very reasonably priced, but their shipping policies are nuts unless you’re buying over $100. I just can’t afford to drop that much at once. HOWEVER, despite what Blu says on their website, if you’re really stuck, you can buy ‘short’ carts from Walgreens or wherever. I don’t think any retailers carry the 100’s. The shorts work just fine on the Premium100 battery. They just don’t last as long and they are occasionally old and leaky. But again, they generally perform just fine.

    I have some $$ coming in early next month and will buy a bunch of blu carts but also a Halo adjustable voltage battery and some tanks. My refilled carts are just not that reliable (the new ones are very nice) and while the system is fabulous when I’m on-the-go, I’d like something that consistently produces more vapor for home. I also love Johnson Creek smoke juice but I know I’m not getting full benefit by refilling carts. With a tank system I’ll get the full flavor from the ejuice.