Vaporizer Burn Off
3 min

What Is A Vaporizer Burn Off And Why Should You Do It?

3 min

You may enjoy that “new vaporizer” smell when you take it out of the package, but it's actually a sign of some latent residue that could hurt your lungs if you vape it. Don't worry, though, because you can clean it right out by doing a burn off. Find out what a burn off is, and see how it makes new vape that much safer and more enjoyable to use.

Nothing is better than the sweet feeling of unboxing a brand new vaporizer. You placed your order online, waited for the delivery van and, finally, the vape device of your dreams is waiting on your desk, ready to be used for the first time. You’ve even fully charged it, so no bad surprises can ruin your first vaping session...or could they? The first toke tastes funny, and so does the second and third. What could be wrong with your brand new (and likely expensive) vaporizer?

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Just like most other newly manufactured products vaporizers can have leftover residues and oils from the manufacturing process, or dust from packaging and transportation. Have you ever eaten the first piece of bread that you make in a new toaster, or the first cup of coffee from a brand new coffee machine? We can assure you, it will taste like crap. All of these devices, vaporizers included, need to be cleansed of this initial residue. For vaporizers, that means undergoing a very simple and straightforward process called “burn off”.

How Do Vaporizers Work?

How Do Vaporizers Work?

Vaporizers, whether they are portable or desktop, can work in two different ways: conduction or convection. Conduction vapes work by heating the material directly, which gets things going faster, while the convection varieties heat the air around the material, often resulting in less harsh smoke. Hybrids, which are also quite popular, are vaporizers which utilize both methods, interchangeably in some devices, and together in others. Without going too in-depth, we can summarise these processes by simply saying that they both involved heat, oven-like chambers, and herbs/concentrates inside of them.

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How Do Vaporizers Actually Work?

It is also important to notice that the vape and its components undergo several production stages during manufacturing, and these stages are very likely to leave chemical residues, especially in the oven chamber and mouthpiece. So, how can you make sure you are not inhaling nasty substances when you set up your device right out of the box? Let’s find out.

What Is a Burn Off?

What Is a vaporizer Burn Off?

Burn off, also called “burn in”, is the process of eliminating residues from your vape by running “empty” cycles. For empty cycle, we mean running your vaporizer without any precious herb or concentrate. As we mentioned, it’s quite common for machinery to leave a residue of oils and lubricants during the production, and these are often the culprit for the weird “new part” smell emanating from your oven chamber.

Why Would You Do a Vaporizer Burn Off?

Why Would You Do a Vaporizer Burn Off?

Even though some hardcore users claim the vaporizers are completely residue-free, it’s definitely not a waste of time to dedicate 10–15 minutes for a practice that will ensure your vaping experience is the best it can be. Better safe than sorry, right?

The burn off is good practice for any new device you own, especially those that will come into contact with your body (especially your mouth and lungs!).

How To Do a Vaporizer Burn Off: Portable vs Desktop Vaporizer

How To Do a Vaporizer Burn Off: Portable vs Desktop Vaporizer

The difference between the two devices are not many, but they are important. For a portable vape, you should fully charge them before the first use and throw in the heating chamber any liquid pod or capsule if you have any, to make sure they are residue-free too.

On the other hand, the desktop vape will be plugged in during the burn off, but we suggest to use the fan-assisted function if available to speed up the process, and also to attach the balloon. We recommend running the empty cycles for no longer than 5 minutes in this case, as the fan will intensify the burn off.

How To Do A Vaporizer Burn Off Infographic

How To Do A Vaporizer Burn Off Infographic

How To Do A Vaporizer Burn Off Infographic

Steps of Burn Off

Step 1. After unboxing your device, fully charge before the first use, or just plug it in if using a desktop vaporizer.

Step 2. Add the needed accessory (capsule or pods) to the heating chamber. Turn the temperature to its maximum setting and run 1 full cycle (do not exceed 5–10 minutes).

Step 3. Remove any accessory and add some dry herb (not cannabis, though, perhaps something like peppermint). This step is optional but will ensure even more peace of mind when it comes to taste. Avoid using lavender or chamomile as are said to leave a lingering aftertaste for several sessions.

Step 4. Discard the dry herb.

Step 5. Run another empty cycle at the highest temperature.

Your vape is now ready to offer you the best flavor possible!

What to Keep in Mind After the Burn Off

What to Keep in Mind After the vaporizer Burn Off

We highly recommend carrying out this practice every time you buy a new device, as it will ensure every vaping session afterward is safer and tastier. But you can make the cleaning process even better—they do say that cleanliness is next to godliness. Let’s see what you can do.

You are probably familiar with the maintenance that goes in keeping a vaporizer in top shape. If you need a quick recap, just know that these devices tend to accumulate all the good, sticky bits that you love about cannabis. To ensure that you are not running into any hiccups, and know the taste of your precious weed won't be ruined, we just want to remind you of the importance of cleaning.

And with this, our last tip: Cleaning your devices may involve some kind of chemical or cleaner, often alcohol-based. Considering that, we strongly recommend a quick 5-minute burn off after each cleaning cycle. After all, we don’t want you to inhale anything toxic!

Cleaning and pre-cleaning are just some of the practices in the maintenance of your device, but they will prolong its life as well & save you money in the long run. In other words, you can get the most out of your new vaporizer!

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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