Recently I’ve been going through old atomizers, trying to clean them so they work again. The first thing I tried was what the manufacturer recommends: holding it under extremely hot water for a good while, then leaving it out to dry for 24 hours +.
This resulted in a few atomizers that died on me, and the results were, while pretty good, not tremendous. But then I stumbled upon another method for cleaning them that seems to work much better.
Two words: rubbing alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol, to be precise. Take a small glass, or dish (if it’s deep enough to hold your atomizer), and pour the rubbing alcohol in there. Take your atomizer, and put it in the rubbing alcohol. Let it soak for a minute or so. Then take the atomizer and start agitating it; pick it up, turn it over, let the alcohol run through it from both ends. Do this for about ten minutes or so. When you’re done, blow through the atomizer from the battery end onto a wet paper towel (the glass you used to clean the atomizer should now look like it’s got smoke juice in it — it looks a little bit like whiskey, but for the love of God, don’t drink it — unless you’re Kitty Dukakis or something). **NOTA BENE** As I just indicated, isopropyl alcohol is *poisonous* in high enough amounts. A good alternative (see comments) is Everclear, if you can get it, which is 100% *ethanol* alcohol, and thus a safer route.
Put the atomizer near an airflow (I use the vents on my air conditioner) of some sort. Let it dry for about an hour (if you can wait 24 hours, I would suggest that; you MUST MAKE SURE, if you’re using isopropyl alcohol, that the atomizer is FULLY DRY before using it, as isopropyl alcohol can be poisonous). Now, fill a fresh cartridge with juice, all that, put the e-cig back together. Now, tilt the ecig down, so the juice is running into the atomizer (because you’re going to get a couple of dry hits and the atomizer might burn out on you if you do this — it might burn out on you anyway, I can’t guarantee anything). Start puffing a little bit, not too hard, just enough so that the juice is absorbed by the wick. Eventually you can move on to full puffs. This seems to work pretty well for me.