How To Clean A Dab Rig
Dabbing is a method of marijuana consumption that is usually for more experienced stoners than beginners. Contrary to popular belief, THC users are actually pretty on top of things in the cleanliness department because we have to be. Especially when it comes to dabbing, having a clean dab rig is essential and a frequent cleaning is an absolute priority if you would like to have the perfect dab. So do you deep clean a dab rig and how often you should clean your dab rig? Here is all you need to know about dab rig cleaning methods and how to best preserve your dab rigs for more longevity.
What is a dab rig?
If you are new to the cannabis community - welcome! It is nice to welcome beginners because we know what it was like to feel uncomfortable and out of place when first arriving. Asking basic questions might seem silly but we all needed to start somewhere! No question is a stupid question and a quick run over of the basics should get you caught up to speed.
A dab rig refers to a device and tools that are used to dab cannabis concentrates. While a water bong is used to smoke and toke bong rips, a dab rig is used by a basic method called vapor where the concentrates are extracted instead of burned the way you light up flower.
When using a dab rig, a butane torch must be used in order to heat up the banger, or the part of the dab rig that holds and melts the cannabis concentrates into vapor.
Why clean dab rig?
A lot of harmful bacteria can start to build up if you leave THC and water in your dab rig to sit and mix together. For obvious reasons, it is important to clean your dab rig and any other smoking device and accessory for basic hygiene purposes and overall cleanliness. Having friends over or even allowing your roommates and significant other to use your dab rig might result in an exchange of germs so wiping down your piece and undergoing a regular cleaning will help to extend the life of your dab rig and overall quality as well.
How to clean a dab rig
Now that you have a better idea of a dab rig and overall setup with dab tools, the bigger question is how to clean dab rig. A dab rig can be cleaned in many ways but the most important part is making sure a dab rig receives regular maintenance for the best dabbing experience. Whether you clean a dab rig with alcohol or without isopropyl alcohol, it is a priority to clean each crevice corner and hard to reach places because a dirty rig will creep up on you quickly if you’re not paying attention! Cleaning a dab rig regularly is what will allow the dab rig the ability to properly function.
How to clean a dab rig step by step guide
There are a few ways to clean your dab rig but the next few steps are general steps of action to take when cleaning dab rigs. Feel free to use cleaning solutions or isopropyl alcohol for cleaning dab rigs but we will show you how to do both!
Step 1: dab rig cleaning supplies
You’ll want to gather all dab rig cleaning supplies and make sure you are ready to go prior to starting the cleaning. This makes the entire process a lot easier rather than needing to run and grab the coarse sea salt at the last second when it could be prepared beforehand. Here’s a general list of items you’ll need for a clean dab rig:
- Plastic bag. You’ll need plastic bags for holding each dab rig piece with the cleaning solution. It is recommended to have a few plastic bags on hand and better to be safe and avoid a messy cleanup.
- Coarse sea salt. Using coarse salt or any type of rock salt is sufficient and will help in releasing the dab residue that might accumulate when experiencing buildup.
- Cotton swabs. Grab a few cotton swabs to be able to get to the hard to reach surfaces and corners, it also helps to keep your hands clean.
- Cleaning cloths. A cleaning cloth is most helpful because it will help to shine your dab rig and wipe away any unnecessary dust or gunk that the initial rinse might have missed.
- Isopropyl alcohol solution. Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol is the star of the show and definitely the secret to getting the harder parts of a dab rig clean. You’ll want iso alcohol on hand and feel free to use generously.
- Dab rig that needs cleaning! This should go without saying but just in case you need a reminder, keep that dirty dab rig nearby so you can get to cleaning ASAP.
Step 2: mix dab rig cleaning solution
First decide what type of dab rig cleaning solution to use, whether you have a commercial dab rig cleaning solution or creating your own is entirely up to you and is your choice. If making an at-home solution, you’ll want to use the following ratio of isopropyl alcohol to coarse sea salt mixture: for every 16 ounces of iso alcohol, mix with a half cup of rock salt. The solution is complete when the coarse salt has completely dissolved into the rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: take apart dab rig and mix solution
An important step in how to clean a dab rig is to make sure you disassemble your dab rig prior to adding in the cleaning solution. This means removing any attachments like the banger and any separate pieces that can be detached. Set the smaller pieces to the side and solely focus on the dab rig itself.
You’ll want to fill the dab rig chamber with the dab rig cleaning solution. It is best to swirl around and make sure every corner in the chamber is covered and getting the attention it needs. To clean the outside of a dab rig, iso alcohol can be used but try not to overdo it if it is an electric dab rig as it can damage the outside if the alcohol content is high enough.
Step 4: bag the dab rig with cleaning solution
After gently moving around the dab rig (responsibly without making a mess, of course) grab a plastic bag and place it into the plastic bag to keep everything together and avoid the isopropyl alcohol dissipating and evaporating. If covered it will not dissolve so make sure you are doing this step properly! It is best to wrap in a plastic bag then put into a space that can be sealed with a hard cover to preserve the cleaning solution.
Step 5: shake up the dab rig with cleaning solution
This step activates the cleaning solution so that it can start to take effect inside of the chamber. Shaking the dab rig with the cleaning solution inside of the plastic bag avoids a huge mess and also allows the cleaner to fully activate into the hard to get corners and small parts of the dab rig that experiences build up.
Step 6: soak dab rig with cleaning solution
Depending on how dirty your dab rig might be, normally a dab rig should soak in the cleaning solution for about 30 to 60 minutes. If you really want a deep clean, leaving the dab rig overnight in the cleaning solution is the better option and will definitely be put to work while you’re sleeping. It is actually a pretty easy method for cleaning a dab rig that doesn’t require so much elbow grease!
Step 7: manually clean smaller dab rig attachments
Remember the attachments you took off in step 3? You’ll be coming back to that drop down attachment and using all the cotton swabs too. This step is a little more tedious than the other steps but it is totally worth it once you feel like you are smoking out a brand new bong! The cotton swabs with isopropyl alcohol will help to clean a dab rig mouthpiece, nail, carb caps, and so on.
Step 8: wash off and dry off dab rig and attachments
After letting the dab rig sit in the cleaning solution overnight, you’ll want to remove it from the plastic bag and empty out the remaining contents. You should experience a lot of buildup floating around or just loose in the chamber and so washing off your dab rig inside and out extremely thoroughly is an important part to the cleaning process. Washing out your dab rig with water and running it through the chamber will help to remove all of this buildup, including the iso alcohol and coarse salt smell you are probably taking a whiff of!
Use the cloth or microfiber towel to dry off the dab rig inside and out. This part is also essential because quality dabs require a dry space and any type of water droplets might interfere with the ultimate dabbing experience. Doing this small step goes a long way!
How to clean a dab rig without alcohol
So what if you do not have alcohol on hand but still feel obligated to clean your dab rig? Or what if you are aware of the toxic chemicals alcohol contains and do not want any part in it? There are ways around this so don’t fret! Here is a quick guide to know how to clean dab rig without alcohol and just a few other supplies.
Instead of alcohol you can also use a bong cleaning solution or any type of solution that is best for dab rigs, like the resolution gel cleaner that is non-toxic and easily removes resin and tar build up. If you have neither, you will need boiling water and a pot. You probably already guessed it but we are going to be moving out the gunk via hot water and while it is not the best method by far, it most definitely does the job.
Step 1: Heat hot water
Using the stove, heat to boiling water and make sure your dab rig is nearby. You’ll want to place your dab rig over the boiling water heat, and you’ll experience the resin lifting up right before your eyes! It is a pretty cool experience and is even more fulfilling when you can visually see your dab rig cleaning itself.
Step 2: Pour hot water into dab rig
After placing the dab rig over the heat and allowing the resin to lift, pouring the hot water into the dab rig is what will flush out the gunk and other buildup. You’ll want to swirl around the water so that it can get into the corners, but make sure you don’t burn yourself so waiting a few minutes is most helpful.
Step 3: pour out the water
Pouring out the hot water of the dab rig quickly is what will flush out the gunk and resin. Doing this slowly might allow the chance for the resin to stick back to the glass, and that can’t be happening! So doing this a little viciously does help to remove the buildup and if you do experience stickiness just keep repeating the process until reaching clean satisfaction.