Alcohol (Everclear) good or not?

Discussion in 'E-Cigarette Maintenance' started by nuggetz, Mar 9, 2012.

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  1. nuggetz

    nuggetz Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I've been using Everclear to clean my Ego-C attys because it evaporates pretty quick after a few blows into the atty but I at times I notice a change in taste. Not sure if the alcohol affects the coil so I was wondering what you all thought about using alcohol vs just hot water. I have my gunked up attys sitting in a small jar filled with Everclear. The plan being I'll let them soak until I get around to cleaning them but I'm worried that the alcohol might affect the atty. I can't say that the alcohol works any better than just water. Its certainly not magic or at least I haven't noticed that the Everclear has any special ability to dissolve old e-liquid any faster than water. What do you all think?
  2. mostlyclassics

    mostlyclassics Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Hi, nuggetz --

    Everclear is 90%+ pure ethanol (C2H5OH - evaporates fairly quickly) and 10%- water (H2O - evaporates slowly). Provided you have dried your atty thoroughly, there should be no change in taste. I suspect you're not drying your atties thoroughly. Just blowing through the atty a few times does not constitute drying thoroughly. Let them sit at least overnight, preferably on a hot radiator.

    I don't use Everclear for cleaning atties and cartos. Instead, I vastly prefer 91% isopropyl alcohol. Everclear is $19.95 for 750 ml., while 91% isopropyl alcohol is $1.00 for a pint (about 500 ml.) when it's on sale at CVS or Walgreen's or other big chain pharmacy. I also soak for several days before I clean. The isopropyl alcohol really does seem to loosen up the caked-on gradoo over time, and after experimenting with both, I much prefer using alcohol over water.

    Again, I caution you to dry thoroughly after cleaning, especially if you use isopropyl alcohol! My atties sit at least a couple days, and the cartos dry for at least a couple weeks before I'll use them again.
  3. nuggetz

    nuggetz Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks for the information. The difference in taste that I'm noticing would surely go away after some time if it was the result of alcohol still present in the atty. I still think that the alcohol is changing something.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
  4. jshat

    jshat Full Member

    Just my opinion but I would never inhale ISO regardless of how well it evaporates :). As far as ever clear goes I wouldn't use but I would consider it safer. For a better price you could take a look at GemClear it's half the price but I can't speak to its purity.
    Edit: Oops just noticed this was an old thread sorry.
  5. spider362

    spider362 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Also remember alcohol is a solvent and could cause damage to non-metalic parts such as glue and electrical insulators.

    I do use PGA, but only as a water displacement and to promote quicker drying and I let the alcohol come in contact with the parts for only a few seconds. I never soak my parts in PGA, only water.
  6. atty

    atty Full Member

    Has anybody done a side-by-side comparison of Everclear and Isopropyl as to which one is the better cleaner? So far I have not found anything that will dissolve the burned juice on an atty heater. A dry burn seems to be the only choice.

    As an experiment one day, I took an old burned out heater from an EMDCC and decided to throw every solvent I had in the garage at it....Acetone, Xylene, Naptha, Lacquer thinner, Mineral Spirits, MEK....nada. As a last resort I turned to the baddest, meanest oven and grill cleaner I have ever encountered....Hotsy Totsy Oven Cleaner, and it bounced right off of it. I don't know what the actual chemical composition of burned PG/VG, but it is some kind of potent. Needless to say the alcohol family had equal success. I am not suggesting that we start throwing atty's in any old solvent, but I am curious if anyone has even found a solvent that would crack it.
  7. spider362

    spider362 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Drain Cleaner?

    Mild acid like vinegar?

    Not saying they'll work, just throwing out some things you didn't mention.
  8. mostlyclassics

    mostlyclassics Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    The gradoo is probably not PG or VG. I suspect it's partially incinerated flavorings. Also, Chinese e-liquids use a base which may not be pure nicotine plus PG/VG: many seem to have other chemicals and stuff in the base. DeKang menthol, for instance, should be totally clear. But it isn't: it's a tannish/orangish color straight out of the bottle.

    For me the key has been soaking before the gradoo gets too thick. With the clearer e-liquids, this means atties go in the isopropyl alcohol soak after about 6 mls. This is long before the flavor starts to change. Same with Boge cartos: I'll use them for maybe 5-6 mls. Then I clean them. (Ten mls. plus, if the carto is in a tank.) If the glop is still a medium brown, then the alcohol will work. If it gets darker than that, then no solvent will touch the glop.

    Just my experiences. Of course, YMMV.
  9. atty

    atty Full Member

    I've hit the mild solvents, like vinegar (Acetic acid), but haven't considered strong bases, like drain cleaner. Also just thought of Muriatic acid.

    All of these strong chemicals, of course, are not practical for end use, but it is the chemical curiosity of finding something that will dissolve that gunk off the coil. I was absolutely aghast when oven cleaner wouldn't touch it. After all it is burnt remains just like you would find on a stove or grill. Pretty amazing that something as benign as PG and VG would create a substance more impervious to cleaners than animal fats.
  10. ScottGChi

    ScottGChi Full Member Verified Member

    I have little luck with cleaning most things, but I will rinse things out with some whino vodka I got from a convenience store. I'm classy like that.
  11. atty

    atty Full Member

    I'm all for any kind of alcohol, if would dissolve those burnt deposits, but apparently it is not to be. Still looking for that magic solvent.
  12. spider362

    spider362 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I once talked to a man who claimed he had a solvent that would dissolve anything.

    I asked him what did he keep it in...?
  13. tinajfreeman

    tinajfreeman Super Member ECF Veteran

    I use cheap vodka to clean my clearos. I tried isopropyl alcohol and it seemed to leave a residual nasty taste in the wicks.
  14. dfellows5

    dfellows5 Full Member Verified Member

    I use everclear and have had no problems "YET"
  15. spider362

    spider362 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Yep, everclear, or PGA, has no taste and leaves no residue behind.

    Not sure about it dissolving some parts like glue, though, if left to soak too long.

    I use it to displace any water left over from cleaning. Just a quick dunk and blow then prime with juice.
  16. Matthew1980

    Matthew1980 Registered Supplier ECF Veteran

    I would never use drain cleaners, or anything such. Think about inhaling those fumes, even small amounts would be extremely dangerous. I just toss mine, even cleaning them, I feel like mold etc is just not worth it.
  17. atty

    atty Full Member

    If you have followed the last part of this thread, it has nothing whatsoever to do with inhaling. It was a question about what compounds, substances, chemicals, etc. would be capable of dissolving the burned residue on an atomizer. It was strictly a chemical question with clear language that it would not be used as an end solvent for cleaning. Merely a scientific curiosity about the composition of the residue. That's all. :(
  18. spider362

    spider362 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks atty, I had actually forgotten what my post was in reference to and when I re-read it I was shocked I had actually posted it... 8-o You have cleared up my memory loss. :thumbs:

  19. atty

    atty Full Member

    No sweat. Happens to me on a daily basis. More moments of those "walking into a room, flip on the light switch, and wonder what I'm doing there".
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