Unfortunately, even the latest and greatest dry herb vapes can get clogged. The best way to prevent a dry herb vape from clogging is, of course, to first properly understand what exactly is going on when they clog, why, and ways to keep the vapor pathway clear.
Essentially, dry herb vapes take dry herbs and heat them in a chamber to the point where they begin vaporize and create vapor. It is important to note that this is not burning the herb (only combustion vapes burn the herb). Instead, super-hot air is being sent through the dry herbs without making direct contact, gently heating them without bringing them to the point of combustion, and that creates the vapors. That vapor then travels through the dry herb along a vapor pathway, ultimately leading through the mouthpiece, and finally to you!
As you can imagine, there are several points of contact where clogging could occur. As the vapor flows along its path, some of the tiny vapor particles stick to the surface and over time residue can start building. With enough vaping sessions, it will easily build up to where the airway is clogged and vapor is being prevented from leaving the chamber, interrupting the whole process. It can even gum up and restrict your dry herb from being properly heated, impacting your vape from being able to properly create vapor.
Of course, even the driest herb will eventually cause some clogging, required cleaning and maintenance simply because of the nature of convection. When you breathe in the vapor from your pen, the tiny particles from your dry herb are bound to go with it. Though it likely will not be enough to immediately clog your vape, over time, those tiny particles can get lodged and stuck through the vapor path, ultimately causing clogging.
These two processes are critical to a dry herb vape working correctly. Though they have related roles in the vaping process, they are different. Vapor production is what happens first. As your heating chamber warms up, the air inside becomes very hot. This hot air essentially bakes your dry herb. If you were burning it (like you do with a cigarette), smoke would be the result. However, because there is no flame or direct contact to some extreme-heat source, the result is vapor instead.
Once the vapor is produced, the airflow comes into play. Without proper airflow, the vapor that has been produced is just going to chill out in the heating chamber and leak out of any ventilation holes. Airflow allows you to take a draw, where the vapor is pulled from the heating chamber, through the vapor path, and into your mouth. If you have problems with vapor production, you will not have anything to draw. If you have problems with airflow, you will not be able to draw the vapor produced.
Since vapor production is one of the critical steps in enjoying a dry herb vape pen, it helps to know how to get the most out of your experience. The first step is to make sure that the dry herb is properly packed. You want to fill the heating chamber so you can take advantage of the surface area of what is producing heat. This will allow you to produce more vapor without being inefficient with the vape battery life (dry herb vapes use a lot of power to perform, the most out of any vape, so if you are heating to 400 degrees, you might as well have a full chamber). However, it is important to not overpack the heating chamber. Too much dry herb will actually inhibit the production of vapor, defeating what you are trying to accomplish.
Another method to get the most of your vapor is to make the heating chamber as hot as its settings will allow. Higher temperatures produce more vapor from your dry herbs, allowing you to take big draws and puff larger clouds than lower heat settings. This method does have a drawback, however. The hotter your heat, the harsher your draws will be. If you want to prioritize a smooth flavor over a lot of vapor, you will want to dial back the temperature.
You will see both styles dry herb vaporizers available on the market, and though they may appear similar in design, their functions and results are very, very different.
Combustion vapes expose the dry herb directly to a heat source, like a hot coil, resulting in it being burned. This intense burning alters the chemical composition of the dry herbs, creating smoke. In terms of the end result, it really is no different from smoking a cigarette, cigar or any smoking pipe. So if you are looking for a convenient way to smoke, a combustion vape like the AGO is for you. But if you are looking for the dry herb vape that creates a healthier vapor, you need convection.
Convection vapes, on the other hand, never expose the dry herb directly to a heat source. Instead, the dry herb is in a heat chamber, usually stainless steel or ceramic, and the herbs are baked. The super-hot air is what comes in contact with the dry herb, and though it is hot, it never gets the dry herb to the point of combustion where the herb becomes denatured. Instead, the convection process produces vapors. The vapor produced by convection vapes, like the E-CLIPSE, generally is smoother and has more distinct tasting notes. The vapors also smell less, dissipate more quickly, and are easier on the body.
Desktop vaporizers offer a lot of advantages that portable vapes may lack. Desktops can provide much, much more power, as well as handle larger amounts of dry herb. It is possible that they have more customizable heating options, and because of their size, are far less prone to becoming clogged. However, they are an absolute pain to move around with. They are very much built to be stationary.
Portable vapes, on the other hand, do a great job of being easily transportable. They are battery-operated, discrete, and are generally less. Their size does make them prone to complications like becoming clogged, though, and for the best experience, you will need to make more of an effort to keep it clean and clear than you would with a desktop vape.
If you are going to use a dry herb vape, an herb grinder is an absolute necessity, especially for convection vapes. For starters, grinding up your dry herb will decrease the likelihood that your vape pen becomes clogged. You will have less large particles to worry about than you otherwise would.
Also, grinding your dry herb makes producing vapor or smoke a far easier process. The ground-up herb will have more surface area to come in contact with the hot air or coil, plus there will be more spaces for the vapors to pass through. An herb grinder simply allows for vapor production to be more efficient and for airflow to be at its most optimized state. This is especially necessary for convection vapes, as dry herb that is left unground will take a significantly longer time to produce vapor and will produce less of it during a vape session.
Most vapes nowadays offer at least some portion of temperature control and many of these vaporizers have some sort of display screen that will show the actual temperature as well as the various settings. With simple vape pens, you often see voltage options. The higher the voltage, the more heat the pen can produce.
Temperature control is specifically important with dry herb vapes. Unlike vaping oils, variations in temperature can create totally different experiences in the same vape with the same dry herb. Lower temperature settings produce a smoother hit but less vapor, and higher temperature setting produce a harsher draw but far more vapor. A vape with temperature controls will let you find the happy medium of exactly the kind of dry herb vaping experience you want.
Since airflow is such a key part of using a dry herb vape, it is best to know how to optimize the airflow to its fullest. The single most important factor in determining the efficiency of your airflow is how you have packed the heating chamber.
First, you need to make sure that you have used a grinder on the dry herb. Small, tiny particles allow for much easier airflow than a few random nugs. You want to be sure that you do not overpack the heating chamber, too, vapor needs space to flow. If you have absolutely crammed dry herb into the chamber, you will not leave any room for air to properly flow (or for vapor to be created, for that matter). You want plenty of dry herb in the chamber, but generally keeping it somewhat loose will be ideal for the best airflow.
These steps will also make it more likely that the vapor path will remain unimpeded. The vapor path is the route the vapor takes from the heating chamber to the mouthpiece. Consistently keeping the vapor path clear will also be a determining factor in making sure you have as much airflow as possible.
Ultimately, the exact method you use to pack the heating chamber and keep the vapor path clear will vary from model to model. The important thing is that you keep in mind to make sure it is clear, and if you seem to have problems getting a draw, it should be one of the first things you check while troubleshooting.
If you suspect that your dry herb vape might be clogged, it is nice to know the most frequent place it happens. The first place you should inspect is the mouthpiece where the vape filter screen is located. This is a small, bottlenecked area that is an easy place for little particles to get stuck and start clogging the vape.
The filter, though it can be prone to becoming clogged, is a must-have part of your dry herb vape. It filters out the particles of dry herb that hitch a ride on the vapor that you are inhaling. Without the filter, your vaping experience would be overwhelmed by not-so-pleasant inbound herb parts. As long as you keep the mouthpiece and filter clean and clear, you should successfully avoid most clogs.
Though the exact method you may use to clean these two pieces will vary depending on the specific model of dry herb vape you have, there are some general steps you can take that should work for most pieces.
The first step is to take apart your dry herb vaporizer. Generally, the mouthpiece will unscrew or otherwise disconnect from the heating chamber. The filter screen will usually be with the mouthpiece and can be removed unscrewing and tapping it out. This will not only dislodge some old dry herb residue, but your screen should pop out. They can be pretty small, so be sure you do this over an area where you will not lose the vape screen.
Once the vape screen and mouthpiece are separated, you are ready to start cleaning. For the vape mouthpiece, you can use a cloth or q-tip to give it a quick wipe-down. If looking for a more thorough clean, you can soak the mouthpiece in a cleaning solution. For best results, use isopropyl alcohol when cleaning the mouthpiece.
When cleaning the screen, you will first remove any chunky debris that may be sticking to it. Then, you will also soak the screen in an isopropyl alcohol solution. This does a great job of getting in between the tiny mesh of the screen, resulting in a completely clean filter screen! Once complete, you will want to reassemble your dry herb vape to make sure those components do not become contaminated with dirt or dust.
It is not too difficult to find replacement vape parts. You can find them at vape shops or head shops, though your selection may be limited. If you want the most variety or availability of parts to choose from, online retailers will be your best bet. You can also find those replacement parts, and more, right here at nyvapeshop.com. We offer free U.S. shipping with no minimum order, as well as a satisfaction guarantee on the parts you purchase. If you have any questions about the parts we offer, a specific part you are looking for, or even help troubleshoot a dry herb vape, reach out to us and we would be happy to assist!