Dabbing 101: How To Effectively Clean Your Dab Rig

Photo by Dyllyn Greenwood

Dabbing is one of the leading consumption methods of cannabis. It offers clean and potent hits that leave even veteran smokers blazed. Unfortunately, glass pieces come with their downsides. Pieces can become littered with germs, and require to be cleaned. Luckily, with a regular cleaning schedule, your dab rig will be much easier to take care of than traditional glass like a bong.

A dab rig is easier to deal with because there is no combustion necessary to dab. Instead of leaving the tar typical of water pipes, dabs build up reclaim. This substance is often able to be dabbed again, wrapped around joints, or made into edibles. Reclaim is resin, and can influence the flavor of the rig, so maintaining cleanliness is key for the true dabbing experience.

Lazy Day Solutions

Stoners aren’t famous for their drive to clean. Dab rigs are made for stoners. For those with light buildup on their nail simply torching the nail until the reclaim melts off is an adequate solution. Make sure to change your water regularly to maximize flavor and the lifetime of the rig between cleaning. If these solutions don’t cut it, then it’s time to put in about ten to twenty minutes of effort.

Getting Gunk Gone

Properly taking care of your piece requires a few tools that should be easy to come by:

  • 90% or high isopropyl alcohol, a necessity in every household for disinfection
  • Coarse salt, although fine salt will work
  • Resealable baggy
  • Cotton swab, cue tip, or pipe cleaner
  • Dab tool, or an otherwise firm metal object, the sharper the better

First, scrape out all the reclaim that you can reach with your dab tool. This is how to get reclaim which is reusable. Some dabs have drop-down pieces that allow better access into the piece. But anything you can’t get via your tool will be lost. Make sure not to use too much force on the glass, but also be forceful enough to get the reclaim.

Once done scraping the piece disassemble everything that you can. Make sure to empty any water which might still be in the dab rig. Put each piece in a resealable plastic bag, then fill the bag with isopropyl alcohol until each piece is fully marinating in it. This will dissolve the reclaim enough for it to get loose. Add a teaspoon of coarse salt into the bag. Spread it throughout the rig, trying to get it in every piece for maximal effectiveness. Fine salt will also work, but will not be as effective. Once the piece is soaking and briny with salt, zip up the bag.

Shake It Up

Making sure that the bag is firmly air-tight, shake the bag enough so that the solution and salt reach every part of the piece. Now let it soak. Depending on how used your rig is, this may take hours or days. Continue shaking it as often as possible to reach every part. Repeat this process until it’s clean. Due to reclaim floating around the piece, it may appear dirtier than it is. Once the process is complete flush the piece out with water. Finish it off by wiping it with a soft cloth and leave it to dry. Do not use any reclaim from this process, as the alcohol is unsafe for consumption. If you don’t like the plastic bag, the same process can be done in the rig. Simply fill the base with isopropyl and coarse salt, plug the holes of the rig, and shake. When using this method, the nail should still get a cleaning using the bag method.

Congratulations! You now have a squeaky clean piece that will impress guests. Happy dabbing!

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