If you like to vape, you might end up with a hand full of half-empty or faulty cartridges (or pens) laying around. They don’t make them like they used to. Defective cartridges are everywhere. It seems like a waste to throw away these cartridges, even if it is bad or the original vape pen no longer works properly. They’re packed with super potent extract, and you might want to get it out one day.
For a lot of us, throwing away a half-full cart seems sacrilegious. Instead, we store them in a stash box or junk drawer until we figure out what to do with them. Sound familiar?
We can show you how to get the last drops out of a bad or almost empty vape cart. So go through the junk drawers and get them ready – let’s get to work.
- Some folks recommend smashing the cart to get at the good stuff. Breaking into your cart is not only dangerous but desperate. Just follow these steps and there should be no broken glass or a mess.
- Don’t use fire to heat the concentrate or the device. Vape pens were never designed to encounter the flame from a lighter or a torch. If you try to heat the cart with fire, you have to consider what else is being heated. Plastics, metals, and glues could transfer from the device into the concentrate. Where does the concentrate go? Straight into your lungs. So, don’t use fire (lighters, torches, etc.) to heat the cart.
- Know when to give up. While these options should work for most carts, we haven’t tried them all. There may be a cart that doesn’t give up the last hits so easily. In this case, just throw it away. Your health and safety are more important than a few dollars of cannabis extract.
How to Get the Last Bit Out of a Vape Pen
For those with bad, bubble-filled carts, skip ahead. This section is for those trying to get the last bit of concentrate from the bottom of your cart.
Option #1: Heating Pad
Most of the time, what you need is to loosen the thick concentrate into a more localized area of the cart through heat. If you have a heating pad, put your leftover carts on the heating pad overnight. They should liquify within a few hours, and you should be able to get a few bonus pulls out of it.
Option #2: Air Exchange (Floor Register) in Your House
You can sit leftover mouthpieces up in an in-floor heat register. First, remove the battery, and the cart should sit nicely between the slats. As long as the heat is on in your house, it won’t take long for the oil to move closer to the heating element.
Option #3: Carefully Pry it Open
This really depends on what kind of vape you use, but normally you can pry them open with a little effort. Pull apart the elements using a small tool (needle-nose pliers, screwdrivers, etc.) until you access the concentrate.
Use a toothpick to get the concentrate out and dab into a pipe or add into a joint. It makes for a great smoke, even with a tiny dab. If you end up breaking the glass, just throw it away. It’s not worth the risk of inhaling glass
Getting Rid of the Bubble in a Faulty Cartridge
If you get a defective vape cartridge where a bubble annoyingly interrupts your vape experience. No matter how hard you haul on the mouthpiece, the bubble prevents more liquid from hitting the heating element.
Option #1: Use a Hair Dryer
A hairdryer is a safe and effective alternative to using a lighter or torch.
- Remove the battery from the cart and set it aside.
- Put the cart mouthpiece side up (fastener side down) on a table. You can use tape or styrofoam as a means to stabilize the bottom during this process.
- Turn the hairdryer on low. It should sit a foot away from the cart to start. You can move it closer if you need to.
- Heat up the cart until you see movement inside. The oil heats up and begins to liquify. The bubble will move out of the way and pop near the surface. You’re back in action and ready to vape.
Option #2: Double Down with a Second Cart
If the first option doesn’t work, another option is to use gravity. This requires a secondary full (or partially full) cart with the same universal screw tip.
- Using a little bit of tape, link the screw ends of the two carts together so they are lined up. You want to move liquid from one cart to the other, so a good alignment ensures no mess.
- Use your fingers to hold the two carts upright. The bad cart should be on the bottom and the full one on top.
- Turn the hair dryer on and blow towards the carts. Move closer as the liquid heats up.
- You’ll see the bubble in the bottom cart start to move up. It should dislodge and travel through the connection. During this process, some liquid from the full cart will go opposite to fill the bottom one.
- Once the bubble has disappeared into the top cart, turn off the hairdryer.
- While still warm, disconnect the carts and invert to ensure the oil is next to the heating element and ready to vape.
The downside to vape pens is their disposable nature. Vapers seem to collect empty vape carts or, half-empty carts like it’s going out of style. These carts are impossible to recycle in most cases and wasteful to throw out. So we all keep them, hoping one day we’ll make use of the extract.
It’s generally not that hard to get a few more good pulls out of an empty vape cart. For any defective ones, you only need a hairdryer or heating pad.
Instead of shoving that leftover and faulty cart into your junk drawer, use these tips to get it out.
1 thought on “Got old vape carts…?”
Tried most of these tips and had some good success with all of them. Super baked 😉
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