Your drip tip creates the safe distance between you and the heat of your atomizer, as well as playing a role in keeping juice away from your lips. This means that a drip tip is effectively a safety device in itself, but there are still a couple of concerns worthy of consideration.
Some users have reported blistering on their lips from a drip tip getting too hot, and although the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects of PG should serve to remove any nasty components, it’s worth cleaning your drip tips regularly to avoid a build-up of gunk.
Heat resistant drip tips protect against burning lips, using materials like delrin, acrylic Pyrex and ceramics to prevent heat transfer. Get yourself some if your tips get too hot!
Bottom-mounted coils and longer drip tips are alternative solutions to the problem of burning lips. You could also just have a brief break from vaping if your tip gets too warm.
Drip tips should be regularly cleaned, in hot, soapy water and/or alcohols to remove gunk and keep them germ-free. Alcohol-based wipes can be useful, but be wary of using alcohol to clean acrylics – prolonged exposure could damage the tip.
I don't let anything get hot enough to care I guess. As far as keeping your tips clean, I do a quick boil on mine every now and then or just use some ‘vapor towel.’ ‘Dimitri's Sex Toy Cleaner’ also works just fine. – Phil Busardo (TasteYourJuice.com)
Heat Resistant Atomizer Drip Tips
The problem of burning lips isn’t a reality for many, even using metallic, heat-conductive e-cig drip tips, with relatively short periods of use the drip tip will only get a little warm. However, if you use your e-cig mod for long periods of time – or if the atomizer is particularly close to the tip – you might find that heat with your drip tip becomes an issue.
There are many potential solutions to this, but the simplest is to use a drip tip made of heat resistant material. Options include delrin, acrylic, Pyrex (or glass) and ceramic, with delrin also available in combination with stainless steel or just as a heat-resistant connector for your existing tip. Alternatively, there is a slightly more flamboyant solution in the potential use of an elongated drip tip, which basically works by increasing the space between your mouth and the atomizer. All you have to do is pick your preferred solution, start using it and the heat on your lips should be a thing of the past.
Of course, there are other solutions too. One is just to watch how you vape; if your drip tip is getting seriously hot, chances are you’re vaping for extended periods of time or pumping a lot of power through your setup. Take a break every so often and let the tip (and your atomizer) cool down a little, or reduce your voltage. If the problem still continues, consider getting a tank with the atomizer mounted at the bottom, like the KangerTech ProTank; by increasing the distance between you and the heat source, it should solve the problem.
Cleaning Your Drip Tips
Over time, your drip tips will accumulate gunk on the interior (saliva, food and drink residue e.t.c.), and if you share them with other people the outside also presents a possible route for the spreading of germs. It isn’t exactly a major concern (compared to battery failure, for example), but it’s easily rectified with some quick cleaning, so there’s no need to take the risk. PG is a bactericide and a fungicide, but the outside won’t have much exposure to it, and it’s easy to clean drip tips anyway.
All you have to do is rinse your drip tips under the hot tap or soak them in hot water and soap for a while before rinsing to keep them clean. Alternatively, you can use isopropyl alcohol or even drinking alcohol to clean your tips, but be wary of soaking acrylic tips in alcohol, because this could crack and damage the acrylic. Ensure they’re thoroughly rinsed and dried out before use and your drip tips will stay shiny and germ-free. As always, exercise caution if you’re cleaning up accumulated juice, because you can absorb nicotine through the skin.
Many vapers use some alcohol-based wipes too, but these are especially useful for when other people have a puff on your e-cig. Carry some around with you if you share your e-cig regularly and want to minimize your chance of picking up opportunistic germs, or alternatively take a spare drip tip (or a few) around with you for other people to use.
Drip tip safety is an often overlooked topic, but it isn’t an area with significant danger as long as you’re willing to clean your drip tips regularly and take a couple of steps to stop them from getting hot. It might seem like another superfluous expense, but if your drip tip gets hot and you don’t want blistered lips, getting a heat-resistant tip is well worth it.