Dab rigs are a great addition and a must-have for any enthusiasts of wax concentrates. A dab rig serves a special purpose, as it’s uniquely able to process wax and concentrates in a much more efficient way than a regular water pipe could.
A high-quality rig can greatly improve your dabbing experience, but they also get dirty and fast. This comprehensive guide will take you through the steps to begin cleaning your rig and have it looking good as new.
Remember, the more you commit to frequent cleaning, the less dirty your rig will get. So try and clean your dab rig regularly for peak performance and hygiene. Cleaning dab rigs doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming either, and improves the experience exponentially. Even the dab’s flavor improves with a clean dab rig. Little actions like cleaning your nail off with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab after a hit can reduce the needed frequency of deep cleans.
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Cleaning Dab Rigs / Wax Oil Rigs
Dab rigs and oil rigs are a must-have for concentrate and wax lovers. Traditional bongs or water pipes are well designed for smoking weed, but concentrates are different. Dab rigs are generally smaller and contain a tighter space for the smoke to gather. But it’s not the dab rig that makes up the entire kit, it’s also the dabbing accessories. For a full dab rig cleaning kit, you’ll need the following:
- Dab Rig (Wax Rig)
- Dab Banger or Bowl (also called a dab nail)
- Dab Tool
- Carb caps
- Isopropyl alcohol
- A cotton swab or paper towels
Torch your nail
The first step of this process will be to use your torch to heat the nail and make sure any reclaim doesn’t come off. More will be explained in the below “Collect Reclaim” section, but the easiest and quickest way to make sure there’s no extra wax on your dab nail is to torch it.
This basic method ensures you’re not leaving any reclaim in your nail before cleaning. Once it heats up and cools off you can remove the nail and proceed to the next step.
Some nails even have a drop-down attachment optimized for collecting reclaim. For this, you’d simply flip the nail upside down and torch it as reclaim drips down onto a wax paper and creates extract puddles.
Dab Rig Cleaning
Clean dab rigs are the key to an optimal smoking experience. The following step of cleaning your dab rig setup is to clean the rig itself.
For this, you’ll need to remove the banger (nail) from its slot and make sure there are no big pieces of wax anywhere on the piece. Feel free to rinse the dirty rig with warm water first. This will dislodge any bigger pieces and set you on your way to collect reclaim, but more on that later.
Remember, this is deep cleaning. Typically, users will refresh the water in their rig as often as every day, but this is a cleaning that may only occur once a month, so make it count!
Clean with an at-home solution
While store-bought options work very effectively, so do solutions made from at-home ingredients you might have under your sink.
You’ll need a cleaning solution such as an isopropyl alcohol solution (rubbing alcohol) as well as rock salt, or coarse sea salt. First fill up your dab rig’s chamber with a healthy amount of the alcohol solution, then add coarse sea salt.
By adding salt to the isopropyl alcohol, you create a chemical reaction that provides a deep clean to any piece, not just dab rigs. To make sure it reaches everywhere, you’ll want to shake vigorously until the whole rig is soaked. If your rig is extra dirty, feel free to let it soak overnight, or at least for a few hours.
While your piece is soaking, you can move on to the smaller pieces that need cleaning. This includes the dab nail, the banger, as well as any carb caps that could use a scrub. If you’d like to be extra gentle with these pieces, feel free to simply wipe them down with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. Cotton swabs are especially effective for those hard-to-reach places. If you don’t have cotton swabs, a paper towel would work as well.
If not, fill up a plastic bag with a bit of isopropyl alcohol solution, and add coarse rock salt. Then, carefully place each piece into the bag, and gently shake it so it’s all covered. Just like the rig, you can leave these dab tools soaking overnight or at least a few hours depending on the grime.
Now that it’s been sitting in the solution for a while, feel free to clean out any leftover gunk with a pipe cleaner, then follow up with a room-temperature water rinse. If gunk is still left over, try hitting it with hot water, or even boiling water if it’s still lodged in there.
If you’ve been dabbing for a while, you may notice excess wax or concentrate build-up in the piece in addition to the grime. If you have clear wax build-up, you have reclaimed this for another use.
First, as mentioned before, you’ll want to torch your nail. Once this process is over, you can focus on reclaiming dabs from your oil rig.
For this, you’ll want to soak your rig, or the dab nail you’ve been using, and rinse it with hot water for about a minute. This water doesn’t need to be at a full boil, just hot enough to separate the concentrate from your dab rig.
Once hot enough, the concentrate should slide out of the piece and onto whatever you’re washing it over, sink, counter, etc… You can even put a paper towel down so that the wax falls right on the paper.
Once it’s out of the rig you can transfer it to a piece of wax paper as it cools. After it cools you have your reclaimed dab! You can use this to take dabs just like you did with your store-bought wax.
Can the Same Cleaning Method for a Dab Rig be used for Cleaning Rolling Papers When Rolling a Joint?
Dab Cleaning with a store-bought solution
If you don’t have the at-home ingredients, buying a true and tested glass cleaner could be the way to go. These products are highly dependable and take the guesswork out of the equation. And with this, no need for coarse salt.
With these, simply spray the solution into your rig and shake vigorously. While that’s sitting, spray the solution into a small plastic bag with your dab tools, nail, and carb caps. Seal your bag and shake lightly, and let soak for at least an hour. Dab nails tend to get pretty dirty, so it’s best to leave them for a sufficient amount of time.
While you’re waiting, this is a good time to refill your butane torch so that it’s all ready to go for your next dab sesh. Keeping the torch full with butane will ensure proper function for every sesh.
Once a few hours have elapsed, simply rinse with room temperature water, or hot water if the debris on the inside is persistent.
Recap for a clean dab rig
To wrap it up. A dab rig or wax oil rig is a great choice for any wax or concentrate lover. They perform specifically for concentrate use, unlike your run-of-the-mill water pipe or bong. A clean rig is a good rig. Having it cleaned regularly will drastically improve the performance of your rig.
Cleaning dab rigs can happen today if you have the ingredients at home, namely rubbing alcohol and coarse salt. If not, an official glass cleaning solution will expedite this process, and make it an easy clean. Remember, regular maintenance is the best policy for a clean dab rig.
Cleaning methods range in scope, but as a golden rule, the more frequent the better. An example of this would be to soak a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol before a hit, and clean the nail after it’s cooled down. Another would be to soak your dab rig in warm water after finishing a sesh.
Now that you know how to clean a dab rig, you can rest easy knowing your rig will last a long time.