Do you work extra hard to make your RDA coils as perfect as they can be? Do you invest in pre-made RDA coils to get the best flavor and vapor production available in the vaping world? Do you use sweetened e-liquids that gunk your coils up quickly? If you answered “yes” to those questions, you need a solution for coil maintenance that’s better than simply throwing your old coils away and building new ones each day. Building your own vaping coils is certainly more affordable than using a tank with pre-made coils, but your time is worth something – and no matter how experienced of a coil builder you become, there’s no way to build a coil from scratch in the same amount of time it would take to replace a drop-in coil for a sub-ohm tank.
There’s no need to throw a high-quality RDA coil away when its flavor quality begins to decrease. If the coil’s metal is still in good shape, then you can simply clean it up and continue using it. In this article, we’ll share three RDA coil maintenance methods that you can use to clean your coils and help them last longer. Each of these methods will require you to replace your wick. Remove and discard your wick before beginning.
The Wash and Brush Method
Item needed: small wire brush
You can clean your coil using the wash and brush method while it’s mounted to the RDA, but it’s easiest to remove the coil, clean it and then re-mount it. While holding the coil under running water, scrub the gunk away with a small wire brush. If you’re using a complex coil such as an Alien coil, take special care to get inside all of the coil’s nooks and crannies. If you don’t remove all of the gunk from the coil, your effort will be wasted because even a small amount of gunk will have an adverse effect on flavor.
Are you finding the gunk difficult to remove with a brush and running water alone? Place the coil in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. After allowing the coil to soak in the water overnight, removing the gunk with the brush should be much easier.
The Dry Burn Method
Note: Not for titanium or nickel coils.
The fastest way to remove gunk from a coil is by using the coil’s heat to burn the gunk away. People disagree as to the safety of the dry burn method for cleaning RDA coils. Repeatedly heating a coil until it glows can accelerate the oxidation of the metal, and no one is certain what the safety implications of allowing a vaping coil to oxidize might be. If you’re not comfortable with that, simply use one of the other two cleaning methods described in this article.
After removing the wick from your coil, reduce the wattage on your vaping device to a moderate level. Press the fire button in brief pulses until the coil emits a dull glow. You should begin to see smoke rising from the coil; that’s all of the gunk burning away. The coil will stop smoking after a few moments, and the glow will become brighter. At that point, you’ve burned off the majority of the gunk. You may find it helpful to brush the coil a bit with a wire brush to remove any remaining bits of carbon. You want the coil to be as clean as possible before you resume using it. If any gunk remains on the coil, it’ll affect the flavor.
The Ultrasonic Cleaner Method
Item needed: ultrasonic jewelry cleaner
Buying an ultrasonic cleaner might be a bit of an investment, but it’ll serve you well if you want to keep your RDA coils working as long as possible. It’ll work even better if you buy a second RDA, so you can use one while cleaning the other. To use an ultrasonic cleaner for maintaining your vape coils, you can simply remove the wick from your coil and drop the entire RDA into the cleaner. Since an ultrasonic cleaner uses nothing but water and agitation, it’s safe to clean virtually any material. If you only have one RDA, you can remove the coil from the RDA, clean the coil and remount it.
People have reported remarkable results when using ultrasonic cleaners to clean their RDA coils. Using nothing but gentle, continuous agitation, an ultrasonic cleaner can power through the gunk caught in the deepest nooks and crannies of a coil. Many people find that ultrasonic cleaners make their coils look almost like new.
Making Your Coils Last Longer Between Cleanings
The only thing better than a simple RDA cleaning method is a strategy to prevent your coils from becoming gunky in the first place. The best way to make your coils last longer between cleanings is by using unsweetened e-liquid. Sucralose – the most common e-liquid sweetener – doesn’t vaporize like e-liquid’s other ingredients. It burns and leaves coil gunk behind.
Some other pointers to remember about coil gunk:
- Max-VG e-liquids cause coil gunk more quickly than e-liquids containing more propylene glycol.
- If they aren’t filtered extremely well, e-liquids with natural tobacco extracts can cause coil gunk.
- Some types of e-liquid flavorings may contribute to coil gunk, even in e-liquids without added sweeteners.
The next thing to remember about making your coils last longer is that your building technique can greatly influence coil life. If a coil has a hot spot, for example, that part of the coil will operate at a much higher temperature than the rest of the coil. You’ll end up with a lot of burned wicks if you don’t fix your hot spots before using your coils.
Proper wicking technique can also help your coils last longer. When you trim the cotton, ensure that the ends of the wick just touch the bottom of your RDA’s drip well. If you leave the ends of the wick too long, e-liquid will collect at the ends of the wick and darken. The dark, stale e-liquid will eventually degrade the flavor when you vape.
Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. A professional freelance writer and SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience, Jason works with vaping companies around the world to increase their targeted web traffic and improve their revenue
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