If you’re tired of tossing out disposable vapes, you’ve likely wondered whether it’s possible to restore them and get more use out of them.
In most cases, it’s technically possible to revive a dead disposable vape pen. Whether it’s worth it or not is subjective.
You see, disposable vapes are “disposable”, which means that you toss them out after the battery dies or the vape cart runs out of juice. Refilling the e-liquid or recharging the battery involves steps not intended by the manufacturer. You run the risk of damaging the vape or worse.
So, how do you make a disposable vape work after it dies? The answer depends on if you’re out of vape juice or have a dead battery.
Recharging a disposable vape battery that isn’t meant to be recharged could cause damage, fire, or injuries. Refilling the e-liquid involves fewer risks, but still comes with drawbacks. If you decide to give it a try, here’s what you need to know to make a dead vape pen work again.
Can You Make a Disposable Vape Work After It Dies?
Disposable vapes are made for short-term use. They come fully charged and prefilled with e-liquid. You puff on the pen until it runs out of juice or battery power.
Most disposable vape pens include several components designed for temporary usage:
- E-liquid cartridge
- Heating element
- Power source
Puffing on the vape activates the heating element, vaporizing the e-liquid. When one of these disposable vaping pen components dies, you typically need to toss the pen.
However, refilling a disposable vape is sometimes possible. You may also be able to recharge disposable vapes with dead batteries in certain situations.
Here’s a closer look at how to potentially refill e-liquid and recharge a battery in a dead disposable vape.
How to Refill a Disposable Vape Pen
Refilling a disposable vape pen may allow you to get more use out of it after the e-liquid runs out. It’s not the easiest task and may not be worth the effort for the typical user.
If you want to attempt to refill a disposable vape pen, use the following steps:
- Step 1 – Remove the mouthpiece
- Step 2 – Measure out the e-liquid
- Step 3 – Add the e-liquid to the cartridge
- Step 4 – Reattach the mouthpiece
You also need to gather the right supplies. At a minimum, you’ll need a syringe or eye dropper and e-liquid (or vape juice). If you’re a first-time buyer, we recommend checking out our guide on how to buy vape juice to find the right product.
Step 1 – Remove the Mouthpiece
On most disposable vapes, you’ll find that the mouthpiece screws into the chamber holding the e-liquid. You’ll need to carefully unscrew the mouthpiece by turning it counterclockwise.
Some companies seal the mouthpiece to the chamber. In these cases, you’ll need to carefully cut the seal using a small utility knife. There’s also designs that require you to pry the mouthpiece away from the chamber instead of turning it, as not all vaping pens have a cylindrical design.
Step 2 – Measure Out the E-Liquid
Fill a small syringe or eye dropper with the right amount of e-liquid. Most syringes and eye droppers include markings on the side, so you shouldn’t have any problems measuring the liquid.
You may need about two millimeters of e-liquid, depending on the vaping device. Small vape cartridges may hold just 0.5 to 1 ml of liquid while larger vaping devices with vape tanks can hold much more.
If you’re not sure how much to use, you can check the product listing for the same vape pen or comparable products.
It's also important to point out that you don’t need to fill the vaping pen to its full capacity. Adding one or two milliliters should be enough for several days' worth of use.
Take our INNOBAR 3500 vaping pen as an example. It holds seven milliliters of e-juice, but you’ll only need a few drops to start puffing again.
Step 3 – Add the E-Liquid to the Cartridge
Slowly push the plunger on the syringe or squeeze the bulb of the eye dropper. A syringe offers more precision and reduces the chances of spilling e-juice.
If you go with a syringe, look for a blunt-tip syringe. The blunt tip is meant for uses other than injections, such as filling a liquid.
When using a syringe, place the blunt tip into the tiny opening on top of the e-liquid cartridge. Slowly inject the vape juice.
It’s also a good idea to keep the cartridge connected to the battery. Keeping the cartridge connected makes it easier to handle and decreases your risk of spilling.
This should make it a little easier to handle and keep you from spilling e-liquid. A paper towel or clean rag can also be handy for wiping excess liquid before you put it all back together.
Step 4 – Reattach the Mouthpiece
After refilling the cartridge, wait several minutes before reassembling the vape pen. Screw or press the mouthpiece back into place. You should now be able to puff on the vape pen until the battery dies.
How to Recharge a Disposable Vape Pen
Along with running out of e-juice, disposable vapes can run out of battery power. Without power, the device can’t heat the heating element and vaporize the juice.
Don’t attempt to recharge the battery unless the disposable vape includes an actual rechargeable battery. Trying to recharge a disposable battery could cause a fire or worse.
Recharging Disposable Vape Pens with Rechargeable Batteries
You’ll find some disposable vape pens with rechargeable batteries, though most are made with single-use batteries that cannot be recharged.
Disposable vapes with rechargeable batteries often have a USB-C or micro-USB port. Connect a standard phone charger and cable to recharge the battery as needed.
For example, the Innokin INNOBAR S3 is equipped with a USB-C port. The e-liquid offers up to 5,000 puffs but the battery needs recharging eventually.
Most rechargeable vapes include an indicator light. The light typically pulses or changes color when charging to let you know when the battery is charging. It may also turn off when charging is complete.
How to Deal with a Battery That Won’t Charge
If the rechargeable battery in your vaping pen doesn’t charge, try swapping out the charging cable. Don’t use a high-speed USB charger. High-speed charges could cause the battery to overheat or fail to charge it all.
The USB port may also require cleaning. Dirt, oil, and other debris can collect around the port, which keeps the cable from connecting to the metal contacts. Try to remove buildup around the port using compressed air, a toothpick, or a cotton swab.
If the previous steps don’t work, the battery may be dead. Rechargeable batteries have a shelf life. You can only charge them a certain number of times before they can’t hold a charge anymore.
You may notice that the battery doesn’t last as long after a full charge or fails to hold a charge at all. In these cases, you’ll need to replace the battery (for devices with replaceable batteries) or toss the disposable vape pen and get a new one.
Dangers of Trying to Recharge Single-Use Vape Batteries
If the device doesn’t have a USB port, the battery isn’t meant to be recharged. You can find tutorials on how to recharge a disposable vape without a USB port. However, these tutorials often fail to point out the dangers involved.
Recharging a single-use vape battery requires you to take the vape pen apart and disconnect the battery from the heating element and other components. You could damage other parts of the vape pen, rendering it unusable. Using the same methods with any other type of battery cell could result in a fire.
In a disposable battery, electricity flows in one direction. Trying to charge it could cause an electrical fire, injuries, and further damage.
How to Prolong the Life of a Disposable Vape Pen
The following suggestions may help you get more use out of your disposable vape pen, reducing the need to refill it with e-liquid:
- Use shorter puffs
- Use your vape less frequently
- Avoid chain vaping
- Purchase a high-capacity disposable vape
The number of puffs that you can get out of a disposable vape varies significantly based on the length of your puffs. If you take long, deep drags, you’re likely to go through your e-liquid faster. Take shorter puffs.
Using a vape less frequently could also extend its life. Cut back on your usage. Keep the vape in a different room, so you don’t feel the temptation to pull it out and start puffing on it randomly throughout the day.
It’s also a smart idea to avoid chain vaping, as it reduces battery life and e-liquid faster. It’s better to wait a few seconds between each puff from the vape.
Another option is to buy a vaping device with a larger capacity. A disposable vape pen typically lasts a few days. However, our innovative INNOBAR 8000 has the equivalent of about 8000 puffs, which should last the typical user about a week or longer.
Advantages of Reviving a Disposable Vape Pen After It Dies
The main advantage of refilling or recharging a dead vape pen is to save money. Vape kits and refillable vape devices require a larger upfront investment.
People typically buy disposable vape pens for convenience and lower costs. Refilling or recharging the vape device allows you to get more use out of it, resulting in more savings.
You also avoid contributing to e-waste. You may end up discarding fewer disposable vape pens, which means fewer batteries end up in the landfill.
Disadvantages of Reviving a Disposable Vape Pen After It Dies
While reviving a disposable vape pen can save money and reduce waste, it’s also inconvenient. Here’s a few other reasons to avoid refilling or recharging a disposable vape pen:
- Risk of leakage
- Exposure to nicotine or chemicals
- Damage to the battery
- Damage to the housing or mouthpiece
- Low-quality e-liquid
Refilling a disposable vape pen could result in leakage. Overfilling or spilling vape juice during the refilling process could expose your skin or eyes to harmful chemicals and nicotine. You may experience a negative reaction when directly exposed to the liquid.
Refilling the liquid or recharging the battery could also damage parts of the vape pen, including the battery. Damage to a lithium-ion battery could lead to a risk of fire or overheating.
Another potential issue is ending up with low-quality e-liquid. Refilling the vape pen requires you to buy vape juice. For those that don’t know what to look for, you run the risk of getting the wrong e-juice or a lower quality option.
If you’re not interested in the hassles that come with refilling a disposable vape pen, we recommend using a vape designed for long-term use.
For example, 510 vape pens use refillable vape cartridges or tanks and a rechargeable 510-thread battery. These options allow you to refill the e-liquid and recharge the battery as needed.
FAQ About Reviving Dead Disposable Vape Pens
How Many Hits Are in a Typical Disposable Vape?
Some products only offer about 200 puffs per e-liquid pod while others offer thousands of puffs. The number of hits in a disposable vape pen varies depending on the heating element, battery power, and the capacity of the e-liquid cartridge.
How Much E-Liquid Does a Disposable Vape Cartridge Hold?
Most vape pens hold about two milliliters of e-juice. While our INNOBAR 8000 holds 17.5 ml to offer a weeks-worth of use, our refillable ArcFire vape pen uses 2-ml and 3-ml pods that you can easily change out in just seconds.
Disposable vape pens may last a few days or a few weeks. Users often try to save money by refilling or recharging dead vapes. While it’s possible to refill or recharge some of these devices, it also comes with drawbacks.
Trying to take apart a disposable vape could damage it. You may damage the mouthpiece, the vape cartridge, the battery, or the housing. If you happen to successfully take it apart, you still need to add vape juice. As the cartridges are not meant to be refilled by the user, you’re likely to spill or waste some of the e-liquid.