A Guide to Cleaning Dab Rigs, Nails, and Tools

My Personal Guide to Cleaning Dab Rigs, Nails, and Tools

As a cannabis enthusiast, I understand that cleaning dab rigs, nails, and accessories might not always be on top of our to-do lists. Though it may not be the most thrilling part of our hobby, maintaining our equipment is crucial for extending its lifespan and enjoying flavorful dabs time after time.

Don’t worry, learning to clean a dab rig and its accessories is simpler than it seems. Using a basic isopropyl alcohol solution or even warm running water can do the trick. I’ve put together this handy guide to help you, my fellow dabbing aficionados, learn the best ways to clean a dab rig, nails, and accessories.

Why Keeping Your Dabbing Equipment Clean Is Essential

Having dab after dab is a blast, but eventually, we need to deal with the built-up resin that coats the insides of our dab rigs, nails, and accessories. This charred, dark residue, known as reclaim, can significantly alter the original flavor profile of an extract.

To truly savor each extract, it’s crucial that we use a clean dab rig. Dabbing from a resin-caked nail not only impacts the flavor but can also produce harsh hits, which may be uncomfortable for those with respiratory conditions, coughs, or asthma.

Cleaning your dab rig and accessories also prolongs the life of your precious dab tools. Neglecting to clean them can result in a charred and chazzed effect, leading to breakage much sooner than if you’d simply cleaned them regularly.

Essential Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning your dab tools doesn’t require pricey, dab rig-specific solutions. While these specialized formulas can be effective, a simple homemade solution works just as well. For most of our dab equipment cleaning needs, these are the main supplies we’ll need:

  • 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol
  • Salt (coarser is better than fine salt)
  • Resealable zipper bag
  • Cotton swab and/or pipe cleaner
  • Dab tool, paper clip, or steel wire

How to Clean a Dab Rig

Once you’ve gathered the necessary dab rig cleaning supplies, you can start the actual cleaning process, which may vary depending on the state of your dab rig. Additionally, different methods may be needed for cleaning different dab rig materials.

For cleaning glass dab rigs, most of us dab enthusiasts use the following method:

  1. If it’s safe and feasible, scrape off as much resin as possible using a dab tool, paper clip, or steel wire. Applying a reasonable amount of force can help you remove reclaim manually, reducing the time it takes for the rest of the cleaning process. Additionally, soaking the dab rig in hot water helps remove loose resin.
  2. Place the dab rig in a resealable zipper bag. Fill the bag with enough isopropyl alcohol to submerge the entire piece. The alcohol will dissolve the stubborn resin on the dab rig.
  3. Add a tablespoon or more of coarse salt to the zipper bag. Coarse salt’s abrasive qualities can help remove resin better than fine table salt. Make sure to add the salt throughout the dab rig, so it comes into contact with the entire piece.
  4. Carefully zip up the bag, ensuring the solution doesn’t leak out. Shake the bag vigorously, allowing the salt and alcohol solutions to dislodge resin in hard-to-reach places. For particularly dirty dab rigs, it’s recommended to let them soak for several hours or even a day to ensure complete resin removal.
  5. As the dab rig soaks, shake the bag frequently. Bits of reclaim may float around in the bag, making it difficult to see the condition of the dab rig. If reclaim remains after the process, feel free to repeat these steps as needed. Once the dab rig is thoroughly cleaned, rinse it off with water and wipe it with a soft cloth to dry.

Cleaning Silicone Dab Rigs: The cleaning method for silicone dab rigs differs slightly from that of glass dab rigs. Since alcohol can break down silicone over time, it’s best not to use it for cleaning silicone rigs. Instead, mix warm water and mild soap to create a cleaning solution. Scrub the silicone with the solution to remove the resin. Some users even suggest freezing silicone dab rigs overnight, as this can help crack off the reclaim afterward.

My Guide on How to Clean Dab Nails and Tools

As cannabis enthusiasts, we should keep our quartz bangers or nails squeaky clean for the best dabbing experience. To do this, use a cotton swab to clean any extract puddles or charred residue while the banger is still warm after each use. Use one side of the swab at a time to absorb any loose cannabis oil. Ideally, we should dab without leaving any residual extract.

For the residue that builds up on our quartz dab nails over time, we can use isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. Apply a few drops on the swab to help break apart any caked-on residue. We can also soak our quartz bangers or nails in an isopropyl solution for up to a day for stubborn residue.

Many of us use the torching method to clean residue off titanium nails. Simply heat the nail until the reclaim burns off. Others dip the heated titanium nail with tongs into room-temperature water to remove the white oxidation residue that forms.

Some e-nails have a “cleaning” mode that essentially burns off excess gunk lining the e-nail. Cleaning takes up to 15 minutes, and afterward, we can scrape off the leftover residue and enjoy dabbing with a squeaky-clean e-nail.

How to Clean Carb Caps

Although they don’t get as dirty as other parts of our dab rig setup, it’s still essential to know how to clean carb caps. We can clean carb caps regularly after each use with a cotton swab, alcohol pad, or paper towel. Some of us like to torch it a bit to loosen the gunk. For carb caps with heavier residue, use isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to get into hard-to-reach places or let it soak overnight for extra cleaning power.

How to Clean Dabber Tools

Cleaning techniques for dabbers depend on the amount of residue. Usually, torching it and wiping it with a paper towel should suffice, but an alcohol pad or cotton swab with alcohol can also do the trick. Be careful when torching it if you’re holding it since heat can quickly transfer along the tool. Use tweezers to avoid getting burned.

How to Clean Dabbing Accessories

Terp pearls, quartz inserts, tweezers, and other dabbing accessories can get resinous and sticky too. To clean terp pearls and quartz inserts, always use tweezers to avoid touching the hot surface. Drop them into an isopropyl alcohol solution for a few minutes and clean them with a paper towel or soft cloth. Tweezers can be cleaned similarly, although it’s important to note that some have silicone parts that don’t react well with alcohol.

How to Keep Your Dab Tools Clean

The easiest way to keep a dab rig and its accessories in pristine condition is to clean them after every use. Of course, this can get repetitive and time-consuming, but regular maintenance keeps each component in working order. To reduce long and arduous cleaning processes, cleaning a dab rig, nails, and accessories after each use is recommended.

After taking a dab, we should wipe down the inside of the nail or chamber with a wet cotton swab. Frequently changing the water in dab rigs can also reduce the amount of grime that forms inside. We can use isopropyl alcohol or plain water, depending on the consistency of the residue, to clean our accessories.

Cleaning dab tools doesn’t have to be a chore. These step-by-step instructions can be applied to cleaning a bong, smoking pipe, or any other water pipe device used to smoke cannabis. Cleaning oil rigs will prevent residue from affecting a dab’s flavor and aroma so that we can have a clean and flavorful experience every time.

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Harriett S. Miller

Meet Harriett S. Miller, the guy who never met a CBD strain he didn't like! He's been researching and experimenting with CBD for years, and it's safe to say he's a bit of an enthusiast. When he's not busy trying out new strains, you can find him scoping out the latest cannabis accessories and gadgets. Harriett is dedicated to spreading the word about the benefits of CBD and helping people discover the perfect products to enhance their cannabis experience. He may be serious about his research, but he's always up for a good laugh (or a good puff).

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