A Guide To Unclogging Your Cartridge

Apr 24, 2024
A Guide To Unclogging Your Cartridge

Much like the drain to our showers, the traffic out of LAX, and your nose with a bad head cold; your favorite cartridges can become clogged. While not as gross as digging out a clump of hair or bad enough to make you miss work; a clogged cartridge can have you losing your mind very similar to traffic out of LAX. So let's all keep our hair on our heads, by taking a moment to read this Vape Blog on how to clear your cartridge out and get it back into working action!

The Draw Method

One of the simplest and most intuitive ways to unclog your cartridge is funnily enough to use it some more, well with different intentions that is. Instead of trying to hit your vape, simply apply power for 2-3 seconds and slowly start to pull on your mouthpiece. After a couple seconds you may feel the clog basically give way to your draw and feel the airflow restored, this is one of the more common fixes as it deals with your regular clogs. You may have to repeat the process several times so don’t get frustrated, overall this is a great method to clear most clogs.

Blowing Through Your Cart

Most cartridges will have an opening at the top with a mouthpiece and a hole on the bottom around the 510 threading or whichever attachment method is in use. As this is the main airway of your cartridge, if you attempt to blow through it you can potentially dislodge whatever is clogging it. Make sure that your cartridge hasn’t been in use for a couple hours so that it isn’t hot to the touch, additionally don't go crazy trying to force air through it may take a little while. By pushing back against the oil in your cartridge you are actually forcing it back into the chamber and allowing it to be heated again.

Two clean cartridges resting side by side

Cleaning the Mouthpiece

Sometimes when your cartridge clogs it is a result of the mouthpiece becoming physically stuck by either gunked up oil or a mix of pocket lint that has become packed in there. When there is an actual dirt-berg of something within your mouthpiece, your best plan of action is to locate a pair of tweezers or just a simple paper clip. With these you gently reach or pick at the obstruction until it is removed, remember to not press too hard as you could break through and damage your cartridge.

A good tip while manually cleaning the mouthpiece is to try to get chunks of the obstruction out, that way slowly but surely you will have it cleaned without driving yourself crazy. Additionally if your clog persists using a q-tip dipped in a slight amount of isopropyl alcohol you can physically clean the surface so as to slowly break the clog down. As always with isopropyl alcohol make sure to leave ample time for all liquid to dry to avoid causing more issues and ensuring your safety.

How Do Cartridges Clog?

Now that we’ve gone through the nitty gritty of how you get rid of a clog, it’s important to understand just how they get clogged in the first place. You see in order for your cartridge to work there has to be a flow of air for the vapor to pass through, but for a variety of reasons this can get clogged. They say knowledge is power so let's briefly run through these common issues that we’ve seen spring up time and time again.

Everybody Clogs; It’s Normal

As oils are naturally a sticky substance, it’s no shock that over time the small air holes within your cartridge can become clogged due to oil heating and cooling over time. Most of the time this is caused by the inherent act of using your vaporizer, so don’t feel bad if you get a clog.

Close-up of a cartridge attached to a vaporizer


Another common culprit of cart clogging is the crowd favorite preheating feature that many vapes have, while amazing for your clouds unfortunately over use of the function can lead to clogs. To avoid this make sure to hit your vape normally in between preheating sessions and avoid doing back to back preheats for an extended period of time.

Long Time Off

Interestingly enough a lack of use of your cartridge can also lead to a clog thanks to the sticky materials settling into an even thicker mixture. So if you have a cartridge that hasn’t been used in a while, and that you're sure is not expired, be prepared to encounter some clogging. When cartridges do clog this way what often happens is this thicker oil will flood the chamber and prevent you from properly heating.

Leaving On Its Side

Lastly, one very simple way that your cartridge can become clogged is by laying it on its side or upside down for an extended amount of time. This causes the oil materials within your cartridge to begin to move about within the glass chamber and can cause a clog.

In Conclusion

The moral of the story today is that your cartridges, while incredible in their effects, are actually fairly simple devices to fix when it comes to clogging. No matter which technique you make use of, remember that gentle handling and taking your time are the two most essential steps to successfully removing a clog. Now get out there to enjoy your freshly cleared cartridges and be sure to check out the rest of our tips over at the Sutra Vaporizer Blog!