The Ritual of Cleansing and Anointing (ProVari Maintenance)
So for a proper weekly cleaning, You need 99% Iso Alcohol, some Q-tips, a few paper towels, and about 15 minutes.
I had to buy mine from Amazon, I could not find it locally at 99% strength.
Make sure you get some 99% Iso Alcohol. The full strength is important! I learned this by using 91% for the first few months I had my ProVari. Then I heard someone really emphasize the virtues of the 99%. I decided to bite the bullet and see for myself. So when I got my 99%, I first cleaned my ProVari with the 91% using my normal routine. I then repeated the process with the 99%. When the Q-tips were clearly picking up residue that the 91% missed, I saw why it was worthwhile.
I get asked all the time, "But Edd, can't I just use a lower % alcohol?"
So let me break it down:
Okay, that is certainly true that you can use it...but let me explain my opposition to 91% alcohol.
1) 91% contains 900% (9X) more water than 99% alcohol. Water is a threat to damage your ProVari. Sure, the ProVari is engineered to resist it, but that doesn't mean we introduce water to the inside of our devices unnecessarily. The less water in the ProVari, the better.
2) It (91%) is significantly more difficult to clean with, and will never get the contacts completely clean. This means that you are going to spend more time stabbing a Q-tip that has two things that can damage your version 2.5 ProVari in it. Isopropyl is a threat to the adhesives on the board of this model, so the less alcohol solution that you must put in the device, the better. No matter how careful you are with the Q-tip, some of the solution will get away from you. With 99% alcohol, one or two swabs with the Q-tip does the job.
3) The cost of 99% isopropyl is not prohibitive. Now if 99% alcohol was $25 a bottle, I would not harp on always using it. I have only needed to order it once. I ordered two bottles like the one on my blog, and they have lasted me nearly a year. I suspect these two bottles are a roughly 2-year supply...so the bottles cost $16 for both of them shipped. Is that cost really an issue? To me, using the best product for the job is an easy choice.
So for me, the choice is clear. If you are in a pinch, you can use i91%. I don't recommend it. Moving right along...
When it comes to the cleaning of the positive terminal, I dip my Q-tip into the bottle, then shake it lightly. I don't want to dump excess alcohol into the unit, I just need enough to clean the positive terminal. A representative with the company said that dousing the silicone components is not exactly great for them, which makes sense to me. So use enough to get the job done, but don't overdo it. Make sense?
So I take that Q-tip and spin it on top of the positive connection applying reasonable force. This is connected to the board well, so I push down firmly, but only use three fingers to do so. You don't need to mash down on it. Now I go on to the firing pin (brass part near the 510 connections). I give this a good scrubbing, there is no need for delicacy here. If there is stubborn resistance here (rare if you use 99%), then I use a clean pencil eraser to work on the stubborn parts, then give it a quick once over with the Q-tip. Once I am finished I lay the ProVari down on its side (on top of a paper towel) to dry.
With the spring, go to town. I use a generous portion (these are usually pretty clean) but the excess alcohol isn't gonna hurt a thing. Once I am finished, I put the end cap onto a paper towel to dry. I will then use a bit of Iso on the batteries positive and negative ends and clean them off of any residue they have picked up. That way I don't just put filth right back on to the connections I cleaned. This is easy and only takes a minute. I then put the batteries on the towel to dry, too.
Now, If I am not using the Noalox, I am complete. I just wait 10 minutes, put it back together, and I am good to go.
Once a month (every fourth cleaning), I add the Noalox to the threads. For this, you need Noalox, Q-tips, and paper towels.
You can get Noalox at Home Depot or Lowe's.
When I am gonna apply Noalox, I use a well-doused Q-tip on the male threads and wipe it down with a paper towel when I am finished, then I do the same on the female threads. I am careful to keep the ProVari pointing UP so that the excess alcohol falls out of it. Just do this over top of a paper towel, the 99% alcohol has a funny effect on some surfaces. Once it is wiped clean, I place on nice fat drop of Noalox on the male threads, and one nice drop on the female threads. I spread this around with a Q-tip. If there is excess, you can blot it off with a paper towel. I find that there is not any if I don't apply too much Noalox.
I now wait 10 minutes, put it back together, and I am good to go.
Here is PB's video, for reference. NOTE: He does some stuff I don't agree with (paper clip) and neglects his spring and threads.
Here are the instructions from ProVape, for reference.
Here is a video from ProVape:
I struck through the last sentence, cause I definitely do not agree with it! I use a pencil eraser which was suggested by Technonut and at least one other poster here. It works just as well without scraping your brass post with a harder metal, which is just a no-no (for me) on general principal. This is just my opinion...
One other thing. During this purification, if you wish, you may recite the Psalm ProVari. It won't make your device any cleaner, but I do think it makes my soul nice and shiny.
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