How to Unscrew Vape Tank when Stuck

Ever tried giving your mods a twist, and your tank simply won’t move? Or perhaps you left your month-old juice in without noticing and wanted to give your mod a clean, only to find out that it refuses to budge even a little.

One of the most common problems whenever we vape is getting our tank stuck. Whether it’s grime, rust, or maybe you applied too much strength whenever you were giving your mod a turn, sometimes tinkering can go sideways just in the worst moment. And no matter how much you try to twist and turn, the mod pieces simply won’t budge.

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Well, luckily, there are a few tips and tricks before you decide to buy a new vape altogether. In this small guide, we’ll go over how to unscrew a vape tank when stuck, including some common causes, our best safe tips and tricks, and some tips on preventing this from happening again. So before we let chaos ensue, take a deep breath, and let’s go down some possible solutions together.

Key Takeaways

  • There are several causes behind a stuck vape tank, including overtightening the mods, friction between metallic parts, rust, old e-juice gunk, and improper maintenance.
  • Some methods you can use to help you get your tank unstuck include getting a better grip with products like rubber gloves and bands or getting a non-stick cloth.
  • You can also add to these methods by freezing the tank, using the tap-and-twist method used for jars, or simply getting industrial lubricant and letting it sit for a few minutes before giving it another go.
  • Prevent getting your tank stuck by avoiding the use of too much strength while clicking things together, buying quality vape juice, cleaning your mods regularly, and removing e-liquid when you are not using your mod for longer periods.

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Causes Behind a Stuck Vape Tank

Some common mistakes include overtightening your tank, using cheap vape juice that sticks everywhere, bad maintenance, e-juice, rust sticking to your tank, and even friction caused by old O rings. Let’s take a quick review of each of them and how we would go about preventing them.

Overtightening the Tank

The most common cause for your tank to get stuck is over-tightening. While it is a rookie mistake, sometimes we just tighten it above the usual to make sure the vape flavor and smoke are secure, but overdoing it can seriously harm your vape’s pieces in the long term.

The way to prevent this is to tighten your tank to the battery mod only until it clicks or feels secure. Try using less strength before you do a massive fill, and even make a quick e-juice test first to see if there isn’t any leakage or vapor coming out.

Cheap Vape Juice

There’s an old saying that the cheapest is not always the best, and in vape juice, it really shows. Sometimes, vape e-juice with low-quality sweeteners or additives can leak or stick to parts where it shouldn’t, making a sticky, gnarly mess over the components of the rest of your coil. It could even damage your coils and pass the chunkiness to the mod and tank, gluing everything in its pass.

So whenever you think about not splurging that extra 5 or 10 bucks for renowned brands of e-juice, remember that sticky and crusty sugary glue. If you do try homemade or other types of vape juice, just make sure they use VP (vegetable glycerine) and PG (propylene glycol) as their main ingredients with safe sweeteners like maltol or sucralose.

Improper Maintenance

Sometimes cleaning and maintenance can definitely be a hassle. We totally get it if you’re not super regular with your cleaning. But, not having a proper cleaning routine can definitely make your vape’s part get sticky or rusty, especially with several months-old e-juice gunk.

The way to prevent this is to find a system that works for your cleaning habits. Like using soaked alcohol cotton swabs or putting your e-juice and products in a place near where you’d be cleaning. If you don’t have enough time to keep your device clean, you might also think of changing to disposable devices as your main vaping device and only use and clean your regular vape every now and then.


Remember, vape devices have metallic chassis and other parts that are constantly, well, touching each other. Rusting can still occur around some areas, especially if they are in constant contact, like the section where the tank is screwed to the battery mod. This is common in places where vapes can be exposed to constant humidity or e-juice leaks.

If this is something that happens frequently, you might have to get a dehumidifier jar from the supermarket and put it around your vape collection and e-juices. These are usually around the home section and can be used to help keep closets moisture-free. That said, you can look for another place to stash your things as well.

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Friction Due to Old O Rings

Lastly, your device might be suffering from friction due to old parts, specifically the O-rings. If you tend to overtighten this section, you might deal with parts that quickly get old due to the constant tension. Make sure to not overtighten and check your O-rings ever so often, especially with older tanks. Worst case scenario, make sure to change up your tank every 6 months if you feel like the grip is getting looser after tightening the battery mod with the tank.

What To Do If Your Vape Tank is Stuck

We’ve checked some common causes, but if you are already stuck with your tank piece you might want to know solutions. In the next section, you’ll find some quick fixes if you are stuck (no pun intended) with your vape pieces.

Try Rubber Gloves

One of the best ways to unstuck your tank is to use a better grip, which in this case, can be done with some rubber gloves. Try keeping some surgeon gloves around your stash just in case, as they can help you get that grip and avoid natural grease that might be making your tank slip.

Freeze the Tank

Another option is to put your mod in the freezer to help the metal shrink with the temperature change. If you do this, try taking out the batteries to prevent any funny business, but just letting your mods in the freezer for a few minutes to an hour should help.

Use Rubber Bands

No rubber gloves or cloth scraps you can use? Try securing the tank with a rubber band. Simply wrap it twice around a metallic area and take a grip on the zone when twisting. Avoid wrapping the band around the glass area, as it can break the glass if there’s too much pressure.

Use a Non-Stick Cloth

Another way to help you get your pieces unstuck is to get some non-stick clothing around the parts that you need to twist and an extra way to get more grip. Try going for non-stick clothes, like microfiber, and avoid cleaning rags or other fabrics that could slip away.

Tap and Twist

Remember that old trick whenever you had some stuck jar in your pantry? Well, it can also work for your vape tank if needed. Gently tap the metallic area against a hard surface and rotate it a little in the process. This should help getting the parts unscrewed much easier. Just a quick heads-up, don’t tap the glass part as it can break if you apply too much force to it.

Use an Industrial Lubricant

Okay, if things get too bad, you can definitely bring the heavy artillery. And by heavy artillery, we mean a can of WD-40 industrial lubricant. All you need to do is spray some aerosol between the tank and battery mod to remove dried vape juice, rust, or things that might be sticking your two pieces together. Let the lubricant sit for at least 15 minutes and then use a piece of clothing to dry it off. You can then definitely mix any of the above methods to help it turn if needed.

Soak in Warm Water with Vinegar (for mech mods)

The last resort you can do is give your mods a warm water and vinegar bath. Only do this if you have a mech mod, and make sure to take out the batteries and any other part that could get messed up with water. With that out of the way, just run the vape tank with the mixture first and then submerge it. Make sure to use warm water, but not scalding hot, as the temperature change can break the glass and you only want to melt the sugary gunk.

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How to Prevent Vape Tanks from Getting Stuck?

So, how can you prevent your tank from getting stuck again? There are a few tips you can use to get the best experience, like not overtightening but still getting a good hit, or preventing leaks from the bottom of your mod.

Avoid Overtightening

As we mentioned before, most problems like friction, leaks, and even strained airflow can be fixed by avoiding overtightening. Don’t use too much force when getting a grip on your vape device and try using gentle, but solid turns whenever you get your pieces back together.

Buy Good Quality Vape Juice

Buying vape juice with a mix of VG and PG and sweeteners you can identify is key to avoiding spilling gunky, old e-juice everywhere. So if you are a beginner or have a hard time using different vape juices, try sticking to a single brand that you can trust.

Regularly Clean Your Vape

This will go without saying, but if you are using a modular vape device, you’ll have to start getting your cleaning habits straight. You can absolutely break down cleaning your mess into small tasks, like getting pre-soaked alcohol swabs you can use or taking the time once a week to do a quick cleaning and make a ritual out of it. Alternatively, you can change to disposable products, keep your modular vape for special occasions, and clean it after each use.

Remove E-Liquid When Not in Use for Longer Periods

Lastly, try removing old vape juice whenever you are not using your device. This way, you prevent leakage and rust from forming between the battery mod and the tank whenever you are not using your device. So make sure to keep it clean between sessions, especially if you are a casual or not-that-frequent-smoker user.

Final Thoughts

We’ve come to the end of our quick guide with a few tips on how to unscrew the vape tank when stuck. We’ve explored some common causes, like overtightening, using cheap vape juice, bad maintenance, rust, and friction caused by old parts.

We also went over a few ways to unstuck your vape mods, like some useful tips to help you get more grip, like using rubber bands, gloves, and even non-stickable rags or cloths. You can also use a lubricant, or if you have a mech mod, you can try a warm water and vinegar soak, which can also help with the cloudiness and cleanliness of your tank.

Remember to clean your vape mods frequently to prevent this type of situation, only buy high-quality e-juice with sweeteners you can identify, always keep a steady airflow, and stop consuming it if you ever hear a crackle or look at leakage, as they can all be signs that you might need a deep cleaning due to gunky e-juice parts.

Stuck Vape Tank: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Get a Stuck Vape Tank Off?

To get a stuck vape tank off, use a non-stick cloth, rubber gloves, or rubber bands to get a better grip on the tank. You can also use industrial lubricant to help things loosen off.

Can I Unscrew the Vape Tank With Juice in It?

Yes, you can unscrew a vape tank with juice in it. Just be careful to avoid squeezing the glass while unscrewing. If there is too much juice that might be causing a jam, you might need a deep cleaning.

What to Do if You Cannot Unscrew Your Vape Tank?

If you cannot unscrew your vape tank, you might want to use industrial lubricant and a mix of different strategies to help it loosen up. If you have a mech mod, you can use the hot water with vinegar and an alcohol wipe to help dissolve the e-liquid.

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Last update was on: November 29, 2023 12:26 pm
Writer & Contributor | + posts

Jamie has been writing about vaping and cannabis for several years and is usually one of the first to know the next big thing in cannabis. Jamie also writes about tattoos and BMX biking.

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