A Faster & Better Way to Clean Your Volcano Vaporizer

As outlined in this article –
How To Take Apart and Clean the Volcano Vaporizer – Photo Illustrated – I’m a fan of using isopropyl rubbing alcohol and sea salt for cleaning my Volcano. I had no complaints about the process and thought it was pretty effective. Well they say necessity is the mother of invention…
As I prepared for cleaning last night, I realized I was without any heavy duty zip loc bags : ( I went for the recycling bin to see what I could find. A large wide mouth pasta sauce jar caught my eye. All the parts fit in easily and filled it about a third of the way. Hmmm, this could work!

After adding the alcohol and salt I sealed it well. Using a rolling motion I was able to get a tumble action going, and watch the salt and alcohol do all the work. Everything cleaned up faster than I’ve ever seen. I loosened the cap, turned over the jar, and strained out the alcohol, keeping the parts inside. Added hot water for a rinse, tumbled and swirled some more. Dumped the first rinse and repeated 2 more times.

Dried and re-assembled, cleanest Volcano ever – in 3 minutes or less. My theory is the increased room allows the cleaning solution to get more movement and scrub more vigorously with the salt.

Next time, I’ll look for a mayonnaise jar since they’re plastic, which might be a little gentler and less noisy. I also think they seal better. Plastic jars are quiet, but may not hold up to the alcohol. I’ll stick to glass jars. I recommend a heavy duty mason jar reserved for this purpose. You can save the alcohol and get several cleanings out of it. If you’re worried about glass breaking while you agitate, wrap in a plastic shopping bag first.

Tip: if you can’t find the washer for the plunger screen… it’s probably stuck to the inside of the jar in a drop of residual water.


  1. Stoney Bear on August 27, 2018 at 11:27 am

    I use a cheap-ass French press from IKEA.
    Currently $10 but I got mine a couple years ago for $8.

    Put the dirty parts either below the screen plunger, or rest them on top of it…your choice.
    Pour a few inches of rubbing alcohol and salt in the glass French press.
    Put the dirty parts and screen plunger in the glass French press and let soak for 5 minutes.
    (Measure and cut a new bag hile you wait?)
    Swirl, changing directions repeatedly.
    Repeat the soak and swirl until clean.
    Dump the dirty rubbing alcohol and salt.
    Either pull up and remove almost clean parts and screen plunger before dumping if resting on top of screen, or keep almost clean parts in glass French press body while dumping if under the screen plunger.
    Warm water inside glass French press body until clean.
    Repeat the soak and swirl of parts with warm water until clean.

    Don’t use your cleaning French press for anything other than cleaning.

    I sometimes reuse the alcohol and salt if I have any glass parts that are due for a cleaning.
    Because one does not live by Volcano alone.

  2. Stokes on August 2, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    The problem I’m having is even after cleaning the plunger component sticks in the valve and doesn’t slide. IT feels like it is dragging against something. I’ve used most of the cleaning recommendation here and still have the problem. I went so far as to purchase another solid valve. It worked for a while and then started sticking like the other one. Any ideas?

  3. Doug on March 11, 2018 at 12:36 am

    Instead of constantly disassembling and cleaning the filter screen insert for the solid valve, I use a second insert. I keep one in a container of iso alcohol and give it a shake. The next day it is spotless. This way I don’t lose that incredibly tiny nut and washer that hold the screen onto the stem. When I notice the screen getting clogged, I just switch it with the one that was in the alcohol.

  4. Grumpy Gus on January 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Is there a forum on how to take apart the volcano?

  5. Crazy Journalist on February 5, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I am considering using a metal cocktail mixer to clean my Volcano parts. Had someone tried it already?

    Also, does it really worth to get the oil out of the alcohol? To get the oil, I cannot use Isopropyl alcohol nor salt in it, right?

  6. justin on July 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    hello, i can’t figure out how to take apart the bag from the volcano in order to replace it.. do you have any demos that explains it?

  7. chris on April 12, 2011 at 10:40 am

    One more thing, off topic as it is. There is a company called tokeez, they make that lighter leash thingy we’ve all seen. they also make aftermarket bags that fit the ‘cano. They’re 12″ by 36″; 50% bigger than easy valve bags. They have cool designs too. like a multi-gun pattern and girly shadows. Theyre sealed up top, so ya dont need a zip tie. I dunno, I think theyre cool.

    • biggbonger on March 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

      I am using the tokeez bags just now. A little longer than ones I make from the roll…(usually around 24-26″)…but way quieter than the stock bags. So I kinda like ’em so far.
      I also got the lighter leash too. Very handy. And got 2 free Volcano bags with my order, but today I found them in a store about 10 min. from me. πŸ™‚

      • OJsCuite on April 1, 2017 at 6:45 am

        What are these bags called? I looked up the site but am not finding them, I love my volcano but am trying to see how to get the refill bags for less and this is the first thing like it am hearing of.

        Are they less than the originals they sell? Or is it just larger?

  8. chris on April 12, 2011 at 10:33 am

    imho an hour in the dip tank, followed by a hot water rinse and minimal effort with toothbrush will bring just about anything back to new. Plus that dirty alcohol is full of pure honey oil.

  9. chris on April 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I find the dip tank works superbly. A bakeware dish with an alcohol safe cover, a permanent coffee filter as the liftable floor/strainer. I also have a large brownie batch sized pyrex pan to evaporate out the alcohol when it comes time to harvest the oil. The storz&bickell grinder isnt alcohol safe, and will leach plastic into your alcohol. if you like the bath method you’ll need an alcohol safe grinder too. I even run my storage jars through said alcohol. waste not want not.

  10. PATSY PITTMAN on April 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    How mush sea salt to how much alcohol?

    • Vapormaster on April 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      I usually use a tablespoon and just enough alcohol to cover the parts.

  11. jeremy on March 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    he didn’t mean the alcohol will damage the volcano parts, he meant the plastic jar your thinking of using. which also immediately sprang to my mind.

    even if it doesn’t apparently damage the mayonnaise jar, you could still leach crap into your salt alcohol mixture from the plastic. while one would hope it would all be rinsed away, one could not be 100% sure that unhealthy plastic residues do not remain on the supposedly clean parts. i personally wouldn’t even use a ziplock bag. but if you were curious try using the same bag (or plastic jar)over and over. take a picture of the container and compare the container to the picture after subsequent uses. if your plastic container even just starts to get cloudy, your dissolving plastic into your mixture. the plastic you leech into your mixture will not necessarily rinse off like salt or evaporate like alcohol and as a result may still be there when you smoke.

    might seem extra paranoid, but if i weren’t into splitting hairs of this nature i probably wouldn’t own a vaporizer.

    not all plastics will be dissolved by alcohol but i don’t think a mayonnaise manufacture is going to invest in solvent resistant plastic for their containers.

    • Vapormaster on April 16, 2011 at 6:34 am

      Good point Jeremy. I inspected my mayo jar and found it to be in surprisingly good condition. The damage was from scratching by the metal parts. But I agree with you and now recommend using a heavy duty glass mason jar for cleaning. Better safe than sorry. If you’re worried about glass breaking, wrap the jar in a plastic shopping bag before you start your agitation.

  12. CubsPhan on September 23, 2010 at 6:57 am

    just make sure you get the 90% solution of isopropyl alcohol and it will do wonders with the sea salt right before your eyes. Dont get some weak solution like 20% or whatever between.

  13. Sean on September 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Watch out with the plastic and isopropanol, as it will eat some kinds of plastic!

    • Vapormaster on September 23, 2010 at 7:40 am

      I’ve yet to notice any damage to the plastic components that I’ve used IPA to clean for years. The manufacturer actually recommends it, so I think the type of plastic is not susceptible to damage from the isopropanol.

  14. Yobrosup on December 19, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Just to be clear you guys vaporize sticky material with the volcano, right? I wanna be sure the alcohol/sea salt will strip that sticky stuff off the pieces.

    • Vapormaster on December 24, 2009 at 9:06 am

      Yes it’ll work for the stickiest of sticky. Hasn’t failed me yet

  15. Max Power on July 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    The best way I have found of cleaning the volcano is to fill dissasemel the pieces, place them in a tall tupperware container, and then fill the container with isopropyl alchohol. Leave the parts soaking in your “dip tank” until they are clean. Remove the parts with a spoon, and wash the parts with hot water, until there is no alchohol remaining. Every once in a while you will have to top up the alcohol, and pour the contents of the tupperware thru a filter, to remove particulate. Then, every once in a while, evaporate the alcohol, and what is left is high quality oil. πŸ™‚