The best method for removing soot from old tops (tops with non removable filters) is the vacuum clearner method':
- Put the filter unit on a vacuum cleaner intake.
- The vacuum cleaner will draw air through the filter, just like normal inhalation does.
- While air is being sucked into the filter, direct a lighter flame at the filter, so that the filter is heated red hot (both torch and candle flame lighters will work).
- Only a small portion of the ceramic will be heated red hot, and this portion can be moved around to all the areas that have soot.
- Do not touch the flame to the ceramic (that will deposit soot). This process is amazing to watch: the soot just disappears like it was never there. It burns away completely and cleanly, leaving no residue. If the vacuum cleaner is powerful, the air velocity through the filter might be excessive. If this is the case, then create a vent in the vacuum hose so that less air is pulled through the filter. Pictures show a side view and top view of the process.
If you have a red/orange deposit on the ceramic filter, that means your VaporGenie has been used with a conventional flint lighter. Conventional flint lighters produce toxic flint dust, and this flint dust accumulates on the ceramic and appears red. This red deposit will not affect the performance of your VaporGenie. See our warning about toxic flint dust here.We no longer recommend the water cleaning method because this damages the wood (causing it to crack) and because it leaves a residue on the ceramic. Please only use the vacuum cleaner method to remove soot from old style wooden VaporGenie pipes.
Extra filter tops cost $25, and extra pipe bottoms cost $25 (including postage) - Click here for info on ordering replacement tops.