Vape 101: How to Remove Oil From Prefilled Cartridge – 2024 Guide


One of the most commonly-asked questions regarding vaping concerns how to remove oil from a prefilled cartridge. It’s no secret that, although these cartridges will save you money in the long run compared to cigarettes, they can still be pricey.

Today, we’re going to dive deep into this topic and present a few solid solutions.

Why Remove Oil from a Prefilled Cartridge?


Before we dive into the ‘how,’ it’s worth exploring why people do this in the first place.

For one, removing leftover oil allows you to potentially refill the cartridge. In addition to satisfying your inner environmentally-friendly voice (vape cartridges cannot be recycled and end up in landfills, after all), this allows you to potentially refill the cartridge and use it again.

Removing the oil also allows you to use it in different applications or put it in another empty cartridge if the one you’re removing it from happens to be non-functional. Regardless of the reasoning, having a strategy for removing the oil can be very helpful.

Is it Safe to Remove Oil from a Prefilled Cartridge?

Before you get too excited, you need to know that some pre filled vape cartridges are unsafe to tamper with. To determine if you’re in the clear, look into the oils that the cartridges contain. If you see ingredients like propylene glycol or various glycerols, the oil is unsafe to heat directly with an open flame. Doing so would produce the toxic chemical formaldehyde.

Cartridges containing pure CO2 oil, however, are generally safe to reuse. Consult a medical professional regarding the ingredients, which may be difficult for laymen to understand.

How to Remove Oil from a Prefilled Cartridge

A syringe is your best bet for getting the oil out of the cartridge.

Your best bet for getting the job done in a way that protects both the oil and the cartridge is to use a syringe from a specialized oil recovery kit. These typically come with a variety of tips designed to work with the most common vape pens (which you can visit to read about).

The first step is to remove the cartridge’s mouthpiece. This is sometimes as simple as unscrewing it. In other cases, you may need to use tools to pry the lid off, as seen below.

Regardless of how you remove the mouthpiece, once you do you’ll use the syringe to pull the oil out before transferring it to a new cartridge or another container. You may find that a hair dryer set to low and aimed at the cartridge you hope to remove the oil from facilitates this process.

Why the syringe? The viscosity of the vape oil is typically such that pouring it out (even when you have a clear opening) is not easy. Even using the hair dryer, you’re likely to create a mess.

With the syringe, you’ll be more precise. There’s no fiddling around and wondering how to get all the oil out of a vape cartridge; you can direct the syringe where it needs to be.

How to Refill a Disposable Vape Cartridge

As with removing the oil, you’ll need to approach refilling a new cartridge by first removing the mouthpiece.

Alright, so you’ve got the oil out of the faulty vape cartridge. What next? If you intend to use the oil for another application, it’s pretty self explanatory; just eject it from the syringe into wherever you need it.

But what if you want to use the oil to refill a disposable vape pen? Perhaps, for example, you’ve removed oil from multiple prefilled cartridges and want to refill one now.
If you used the syringe method, the process is self-explanatory; insert the syringe into the new cartridge’s opening and eject the oil. And that’s how to refill a vape cartridge!

But how to refill a vape cartridge without a syringe?

There is a method for achieving this but, again, it can be messy. It involves fastening the cartridges together (mouth-to-mouth, so to speak) and using your hairdryer to coax the oil from the old cartridge into the new one, as seen below.

Now that you know how to get all the oil out of a vape cartridge as well as how to refill a vape cartridge without a syringe, let’s explore another potentially useful topic. If you’re weary of using conventional carts and constantly refilling, consider trying premium vape cartridges for an exceptional smoking experience.

How to Fix a Vape Pen Cartridge

What if, instead of removing the oil and placing it in another cartridge or container, you’d like to learn how to fix a vape pen cartridge?

Of course, you first need to determine the problem.

According to, the vape pen may be completely separate from the cartridge itself, as in an issue with your actual vaporizer. Ensure the battery is connected properly and fully charged.

If that’s not the issue, consider cleaning the wires. Begin by disconnecting the battery, unscrewing the heating chamber from the unit, and softly brushing away any debris from the wires.

If you see air bubbles around the cartridge’s base, remove the mouthpiece and the gasket underneath, if there is one. This turbulence may disturb the air bubble and get it to move naturally. If you are looking for top industry vape pens, click here to see vapes by Hemper

These are some tips for how to fix a vape pen cartridge. But when should you just call it a day and move on?

When to Call it Quits

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The first reason you might want to wave the white flag and give up on trying to remove oil from a prefilled cartridge is if you’re in any way unsure about the safety of the oil in question.

It’s really not worth risking your health over a cartridge that, at the end of the day, can be replaced relatively inexpensively.  Read more about e-cigarette lawsuits on

Another reason to call it quits is if, despite knowing how to fix a vape pen cartridge as outlined above, you can’t find the root of the issue. At that point you may be better off replacing the unit, particularly if you’ve been using and/or refilling it for a while.

How to Get the Last Out of Your Vape Cartridge

If you do decide to call it quits as far as removing oil or fixing the cartridge, you’ll probably still want to know how to get the last out of your vape cartridge.

Remember the strategy of using a hair dryer to loosen up the oil? That can work just as well here, too. Of course, the goal here is not to ultimately remove the oil but rather loosen it up and perhaps make it easier to vaporize.

Just place the hair dryer a few feet away, set it on low, and point it at the cartridge for a few minutes. Replace it in the vape and try to use it once more.



In this post you learned how to remove oil from a prefilled cartridge, how to refill a vape cartridge, fixing a cartridge, and lastly getting the most out of a cartridge.

You should be a pro at this point! With some practice, you’ll be able to reuse your cartridges and fix them with no effort!