No one could have predicted just how popular disposable vape pens and e-cigs would become. These ultra-convenient, slimline, stylish devices exploded onto the market, and have amassed a strong fanbase of loyal customers.
But the problem lies in the name; with disposable vapes offering unparalleled convenience and quick access to your vape hit, how economic are they? Can you refill a disposable vape, or do you have to throw it away? Let’s find out.
Can You Refill a Disposable Vape?
The simple answer is yes, but it’s not as easy as refilling a standard vape pen.
Vapers are nothing if not innovative. Along the way, experienced vapers developed a way to refill disposable devices that aren’t designed to be refilled. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. We’ve outlined all the essential steps you need to refill disposable vape pens.
How to Refill Disposable Vapes
Even though we are explaining the steps, we don’t recommend refilling a disposable vape. If the product is not designed to be refilled, it’s probably for a good reason. After all, manufacturers understand the limits of their products better than the average vaper.
Alas, vapers are an ambitious bunch. We’ve laid out a step-by-step guide on how to refill a disposable vape so that you have the best chance of getting it right.
Gather Your Materials
Before you embark on your first refill, you need to gather these materials.
- Disposable vape device
- Syringe or eye dropper
- E-liquid of your choice
- Tank or cartridge
Got them? Great, let’s jump straight into the method.
- Remove the mouthpiece – You might have to use a screwdriver to do this. More often than not, you’ll have to turn the mouthpiece counterclockwise. You need to be careful because a lot of the time there are wires attached to the bottom.
- Clean the cartridge/tank – You should remove any excess e-liquid residue by running the cartridge or tank under warm running water. If you’ve got the time, you can even leave it soaking in warm water for a few minutes. Then, just use a piece of tissue to dry it.
- Fill the syringe – Grab your favorite vape juice or nicotine-free vape juice and fill the syringe or eye dropper with it. You want the syringe to be half full. By using these precise tools, you are giving yourself a better chance of success in the next step.
- Put the e-liquid in the cartridge/tank – Inject your vape juice into the cartridge or tank. You need to avoid overfilling and underfilling. If you put too much e-liquid in the tank, it could spill out and leak into the battery. Likewise, too little e-liquid can be a problem. If there’s not enough liquid in your tank, you’re bound to get dry vape hits.
- Reinstall the mouthpiece – Slot the mouthpiece back into place as gently as possible; remember, you want to avoid breaking any of the internal tech. If you do, you’ll have to buy a whole new disposable vape pen.
Once you’ve completed this process, you need to wait for a few minutes. This will give the e-liquid in the tank a chance to soak into the coil. Firing the device too early can result in a burnt hit, which is very unpleasant.
As with any DIY project, there are a few safety considerations.
- Wear protective equipment – We encourage DIY vapers to wear goggles, aprons, and anything else that might protect them in a dangerous situation.
- React to signs of danger – If your device sparks, falls apart, or becomes hotter during any stage of the process, you need to stop immediately.
- Don’t attempt if you’re a beginner – It might seem like refilling a disposable vape is easy, but some beginners struggle to get the hang of refilling a normal tank!
If you are wondering whether you can refill a disposable vape without electrical knowledge, the answer is yes. But we would encourage anyone who is undertaking this job to have at least a basic understanding of alkaline batteries.
Not sure how to tell if your disposable vape is fake? Our guide provides the signs to look out for.
Should You Refill a Disposable Vape Pen?
When all is said and done, you should use your best judgment. To help you make a decision, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of refilling disposable vape pens.
Pros and Cons of Refilling Disposables
There’s no doubt that refilling disposables makes them last longer. Vapers let out a sigh of relief when they discover that they can refill most disposable vape pens themselves. The time cost of constantly going to the shop to buy a new disposable vape can be too much, especially for people who have busy work or family lives.
Basic disposable pens usually cost something between $5 to $10, so it’s easy to think that they’re cost-effective. Most disposable vapes offer up to 600 puffs, which equates to four or fewer days of vaping. Of course, people who prefer longer puffs will get far fewer days out of their disposable vape.
Vapers can save money by refilling disposable vape devices when they run out of e-liquid. In this scenario, vapers only have to think about the cost of liquid, which is cheaper than buying an entirely new device.
Plastic and battery waste is one of the biggest problems that is plaguing the vaping industry. Most cartridges can’t be recycled because they contain nicotine. Disposable vapes don’t have detachable pods, and a lot of vapers don’t go to the extra effort to disassemble their device before they throw it away.
Disposable vapes can break down into microplastics, tiny pieces of plastic that pollute the ocean. Microplastics haven’t been extensively studied, but some research suggests that they are toxic for humans and animals.
Given all this, it’s easy to see why a growing number of vapers are refilling disposable vapes. It’s an environmentally friendly option. For a lot of people, it aligns with modern moral values.
Can Break Your Device
If you don’t handle your device properly, you could break it. This is a common problem, especially for beginners who jump headfirst into refilling their disposable vape pens. Remember, there are lots of fiddly internal bits to work around.
Once the damage is done, there’s no going back, and you’ll have to buy a whole new disposable vaping device. Then again, if the alternative was buying a new disposable vape pen anyway, you might as well give it a go! With the correct safety precautions, of course.
One of the problems with refilling disposable vapes is that it’s difficult to clean the tank completely. These kinds of cartridges and tanks aren’t designed to be refilled, so it might be difficult to move a piece of tissue around the small, enclosed space.
This can result in e-juice residue remaining in your vape pen long after you’ve added the new liquid. Mixed flavors are not that appealing, especially when each liquid has a different VG/PG composition.
You don’t want to take a drag on your new Cotton Candy flavored juice and taste Guava or Red Berries, do you?
Can Affect Performance
When you take it upon yourself to disassemble and reassemble disposable e-cigarettes, you have to consider the potential pitfalls.
- Is the cartridge attached properly? If not, it might leak into your disposable vape pen and render it useless.
- Can you firmly screw the mouthpiece back in place? If not, you’ve probably dislodged something.
- Do you understand battery safety? If not, you could expose yourself to dangerous situations.
Even the most confident DIYer will need to monitor their device once they’ve completed the refilling process. Slight mistakes can cause big internal problems that act as a final death blow for disposable vapes.
Alternatives to Refilling Vapes
One alternative to refilling disposable vapes is pod systems. Pod systems provide a great vaping experience and come with all the convenience and style of disposable vapes, without any of the hassles of disassembling the device to refill it.
Pod kits are typically small, slim, and featureless, although you can nab a kit that has customization options. Most cartridges are pre-filled, which means you don’t have to worry about leaks, internal damage, or any of the other problems associated with disposable vapes.
Just slot the pre-filled cartridge into your pod system and start vaping. It really is that easy!
Another alternative is hybrid disposable vapes. These vapes exist somewhere on the scale between traditional single-use disposables and standard vape pens. They look and act like disposables, but they are either refillable, rechargeable, or sometimes, both! Aspire One Up R1 is a good example of a refillable, rechargeable hybrid that is available for under $10.
Refillable disposables are a great option for people who want stylish convenience. It’s important to know that they are a bit more expensive than traditional disposables, but they last much longer.
See our selection of the best pod vapes currently on the market.
When vapers ask ‘can you refill a disposable vape’, they’re often looking for a quick, cost-effective solution. It’s a bit more complicated than that. Anyone who wants to disassemble their device and put it back together again needs to understand the safety concerns. Once you’re up to date on the possible pitfalls, you can begin saving money and reducing waste.
Unsure? Read through our article again, and make sure that you understand each step before you give it a go.
Want to learn more about how to recharge your disposable vape? check out our step by step guide.