Why is it Important to Keep My Dab Rig Clean?If you’re reading this article, you most likely need to clean your glass, or you are considering purchasing a dab rig and want to know how hard it is to clean and maintain.
Dab rigs are typically designed with a few aspects that are different from a typical piece designed for dry herb consumption. One example is that many dab rigs are typically smaller than dry herb pieces, as this affects the flavor component of the concentrates. This can mean there are smaller air cavities and harder places to reach when cleaning, and easier places for buildup to occur.
When working with concentrates, small amounts of concentrate that hit hard are getting the job done. If your piece has collected too much buildup and hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you will lose both potency and flavor as it is grabbed by the built up “reclaim.” To get the most out of your concentrates it is important to keep your piece clean!
What Items Will I Need to Clean My Dab Rig?
Some of the most effective cleaning materials for your rig can be found around the house! It is an easy process, and even if you don’t have all the items we recommend, you can still clean most pieces with the basics and some patience.
Here are the recommended items for cleaning your dab rig:
Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol) (70% will work but something above 90% is best)
Coarse Sea Salt or Rock Salt
One Plastic Bag (Ziploc/resealable is highly recommended!)
Cotton Swabs/Pipe Cleaners
How to Clean Wax Rig Step-by-Step
Step 1. Torch Nail
One of the simplest ways to clean your nail is to torch it for a long time until the residual carbon burns off. We recommend using this method only if there is minimal buildup of carbon on the nail. Too much built up carbon will not clear properly, and too much heat will reduce the durability of your nail.
An alcohol-soaked cotton swab can require some more effort to effectively clean a nail, but it will be less damaging to the nail overall.
Different styles of torch can be easier or harder to maintain! Check out more info in our How to Choose a Dab Nail/Banger Guide.
Step 2. Take Banger Nail Out of Rig and Place in Resealable BagIf you've gone too long without dab rigs cleaning, you'll need further help. Place banger nail or cup in a resealable bag. Pour Isopropyl Alcohol in and let it soak. You can add coarse sea salt to the mix and shake it up if your nail is exceptionally dirty.
If it’s been while since you cleaned your glass, you’ll most likely need more than your torch to get a thorough cleaning. First, we’ll start with the nail. You’ll take that plastic bag and place the nail into the bag. Then, pour the alcohol into the and let it soak. (This is where a resealable bag is important, as you can seal it and place it somewhere to soak.) If your nail is in serious need of help, adding some coarse salt can aid in scraping the nail clean.
Step 3. Pour Water Out of Dab RigClearing out old water that has been gunked up helps to keep your piece clean and helps enhance the flavor and potency of future hits.
Step 4. Add AlcoholFor glass that isn’t as dirty, simply pouring alcohol into the base and letting the piece soak with the alcohol should get the job done.
Step 5. Add Salt & Shake RigIf you are in a hurry or your piece needs a more substantial clean, adding some coarse salt and shaking the piece with the cleaning solution inside is much more effective than a simple soak. Be sure to plug both ends of the piece before shaking if you don’t want a mess on your hands!
Shaking with just alcohol is also much quicker and more effective than a simple soak!
Step 6. Rinse Dab Nail and Rig
In order to guarantee that none of the alcohol or salt are remaining, it’s important to wash very thoroughly with warm water for over a minute.
Use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner to reach the smaller nooks and crannies of your rig for the most effective clean.
For some dabbers however, using alcohol for cleaning dab rigs seems too toxic, harsh, and abrasive; luckily there are alternatives that are just as effective!
How to Clean a Dab Rig With Water
Now, not everybody has some isopropyl alcohol available. If you don’t have the items previously mentioned, there is another simple cleaning method that also only requires three basic items that nearly every household should be equipped with.
All you will need is water, a pot and stove or hot plate. This is the fastest and easiest method outside of using alcohol. However, you must be more careful using this method as you will be using hot water and steam which can be harmful at the high temperatures we will be using.
Step 1: Boil your Water and Grab Your Dab RigFirst you will want to start by bringing your water to a full boil and letting the steam really start to build up.
The first step is to heat water in a pan until it comes to a boil. The main thing you’ll be using is the steam from this activity, so be sure the pan is effectively steaming. Remember, be careful! Steam is incredibly hot and can cause serious harm in short amounts of time.
Step 2: Hold Your Dag Rig Over the SteamNext you will hold your dab rig over the steaming pan to allow the heat from the process to loosen and break up the stuck on gunk in your rig.
Step 3: Let your Dab Rig Sit for one minuteYou will be able to see as the heat from the steam loosens and breaks up the concentrates in the rig. Be careful not to let the rig get too hot as it could damage the glass, and make sure not to let the piece sit too long or else the concentrates will have a chance to reform in the base of the rig.
Step 4: Pour the Hot Water into the Dab RigAfter the concentrate has been broken down, you will use the remaining hot water to fill the rig. Make sure your glass is durable enough to withstand the temperature change!
Step 5: Shake the Water AroundSimilar to if you use alcohol, you will want to shake the hot water around to further break down and dilute the concentrate to make it easier to remove from the rig.
Again, be extremely careful not to burn yourself with the hot water!
Step 6: Pour Out the Water
Be sure you are dumping out the water in one fluent motion. When dab rig cleaning you don’t want to pour the water out slowly, by doing so you are giving the oil a chance to stick to the sides as you pour.
When emptying the rig, it is very important to do it in one fluid motion, or as close as possible. If the water pours slowly, if the temperature drops low enough, if the water is shaken, and of these things could cause the built up concentrate to re-stick to the rig.
If this happens you will most likely need to repeat the process to fully remove any substances from the rig.
Enjoy your fresh-tasting concentrates, and don't forget to keep the rest of your setup clean! Use our How to Clean Your Quartz Banger in 6 Steps guide to make sure you are truly getting the most out of your experience.