How To Clean A Dab Rig

Dabs are a great way to enjoy cannabis concentrates without having to smoke them. They also allow you to take advantage of the benefits of THC without the negative side effects associated with smoking. In order to get the most out of your dab rigs, they should be cleaned regularly.

A dab rig is a device used to vaporize cannabis concentrates. The term refers to both the equipment and the method of consumption. They’re becoming a more popular way to smoke cannabis products due to the purer smoke and stronger high that they give. 

Unlike bongs, which involve burning your product and inhaling the smoke, dab rigs produce a vapor that is much cleaner and smoother; however, just like a bong, you need to clean your rig regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt and residue from affecting the taste and quality of your smoke.

How To Clean A Dab Rig

Luckily, cleaning your dab rig doesn’t have to be a huge chore, and this handy guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to clean a dab rig. So let’s get started, shall we?

Dab Rigs: A Quick Breakdown

As mentioned earlier, a dab rig is a similar device to a bong. But where bongs are typically simple devices made of the pipe itself, the bowl, and a stem, dab rigs are a bit more complicated.

The main body of a dab rig isn’t too different from a bong; it has a chamber to hold water that will filter and cool the vapor, with a long neck leading to a mouthpiece. The main differences between them come from where you put your product.

While a bong has a simple stem and a bowl where you put your bud, a dab rig has a more complicated setup. You still have a downstem, but it’s joined directly to the water chamber. There is also the nail (where you put your concentrate), and the joint (which connects the nail to the downstem).

The nail is heated up with a torch, and the concentrate is placed inside. The heat vaporizes it, and this vapor travels into the chamber to be cooled before it’s inhaled.

Cleaning your dab rig is important for maintaining the quality and taste of your vapor. A dirty dab rig can leave your vapor tasting burnt and impure, as well as making it harsher to inhale. 

A build-up of residue and dirt can also prevent your rig from working properly – if the nail is filled with gunk, then you can’t heat your concentrate evenly and will lose a lot of your vapor. 

Like any other smoking device, you need to clean your dab rig regularly to ensure you’re getting the best experience when you use it. Dirty rigs will make using them unpleasant and harmful to your health. 

How To Clean Your Dab Rig In 6 Easy Steps

With that out of the way, we can take a look at how to actually clean your dab rig. This isn’t hard to do if you know what you’re doing, but without the right knowledge you can end up with a rig that’s still dirty or even broken. 

This step-by-step guide will take you through each part of the process, so you can enjoy a clean rig and smooth dabs.

Gather Supplies

First things first, you’re going to need some supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ziploc Bags
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Salt (rock salt works best, but table salt will do just fine)
  • A Jug/Bowl
  • Microfiber Cloths
  • Q-Tips 
  • And of course, your Dab Rig

Disassemble Your Rig

Next, separate your rig into its individual parts. Depending on how intricate your rig is, this may be a bit trickier, but having the parts separated will make sure that each piece is cleaned properly. Remove the nail, joint, and any other individual pieces and put them to one side.

Create Your Cleaning Solution

Create Your Cleaning Solution

Now it’s time to make your cleaning solution. In a jug or bowl, mix approximately 2 cups of isopropyl alcohol with half a cup of salt.

Stir it thoroughly until all the salt is dissolved; this might take a bit longer if you’re using rock salt, but having solid pieces of salt can lead to your dab rig getting scratched or scuffed while you clean it.

Don’t use any soap or disinfectant, as these will leave a residue on the inside of your dab rig that will be harmful if inhaled. Even if you rinse it properly, this can still cause you issues that are easily avoided.

They are also less effective at removing tough pieces of concentrate and dirt, and can even damage your dab rig depending on the material it’s made out of.

Sticking to a mix of isopropyl and salt is just as effective as using disinfectant but without the risk of inhaling toxic chemicals.

Bag And Soak The Parts Of Your Dab Rig

From here, take your mixture and pour it into the main part of your dab rig. You might want to use a funnel to make this easier.

Put the separated pieces of your rig (i.e. the nail, joint, and any other attachments) into Ziploc bags and fill these with the remaining solution.

Putting each part in its own bag will stop them from knocking into each other, which can damage them, but it isn’t necessary if you’re careful.

Shake the bags gently to agitate the solution, and shake the rig itself to make sure it gets into any hard-to-reach places. Make sure you cover the openings on your rig to prevent making a mess. This will help loosen up any larger pieces of dirt and residue, making it easier to clean.

Leave the rig and its parts to soak in the solution for at least an hour, although leaving it overnight will ensure your rig gets a nice deep clean. You’ll have to go without your rig for a while, but trust us – it’s worth it!

Scrub The Hard-To-Reach Parts

After leaving your rig to soak, you can start to tackle the tougher build-ups. Don’t pour out the solution just yet, as you might want to leave your rig to soak a little longer afterwards. Using a Q-tip, work away at any stubborn pieces of dirt and residue in your rig. 

Pay extra attention to the hard-to-reach spots, especially in the nail, joining, and the nooks and crannies of the interior. Some rigs have a percolator built-in, which can be a pain to clean without scrubbing it.

The solution should have loosened up most of the larger pieces, and it shouldn’t take too long to get rid of the last few bits of dirt.

Rinse And Dry

Rinse And Dry

With all that done, pour out the solution from your rig and the bags. Now you need to thoroughly rinse all the parts of your dab rig to ensure there’s no solution leftover.

Use warm water to do this, as using water that’s too hot or cold can crack, shatter, or otherwise damage your rig.

This is especially important if you’ve left it to soak overnight, as the pieces will be cold and prone to shattering on contact with hot water.

If there are any remaining pieces of dirt, go at them again with a Q-tip to remove them and rinse your rig again. It’s important to get rid of all dirt and residue to give you the best dab possible.

Once your rig has been rinsed, it’s time to dry it off. Most of the work can be done by letting it air-dry, but you can speed this up by wiping it with a microfiber cloth.

Avoid paper towels, as these will leave small pieces inside your rig that can impact the vapor. Make sure the rig is completely dry before using it again, especially the nail and joint.

With your dab rig washed, rinsed, and dried, you’re ready to get right back to using it!

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a dab rig can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time doing it. By following these easy steps, you’ll be able to get back to using your perfectly-cleaned rig in no time. 

Cleanliness is important when it comes to your dab rig, and keeping your dab rig clean will make sure that it’s hygienic, and will leave your dab rig working perfectly with a smooth vapor.

So what are you waiting for? Clean your dab rig, and look forward to the great use you’ll get out of it. Enjoy!

Scott Peters
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