Health & Wellness

No More Dirty Dabs. How to Clean a Dab Rig at Home.

Are you cleaning your dab rig on the regular? If not, you're missing the best part of dabbing.
Are you cleaning your dab rig on the regular? If not, you're missing the best part of dabbing.

If you’re reading this, you probably have a super duper globbed up dab rig that has not seen a bit of alcohol or salt since you bought it. Shame on you. But luckily, cleaning your dab rig is super easy so you won’t have to live that quality of life for too much longer. 

If you want to clean a pipe or a bong, we've got you covered here.

What is a dab rig?

Obviously a dab rig is a device that you take dabs out of. Dabs are a concentrated form of cannabis compounds, i.e. cannabinoids and terpenes. They are created from pressing up trichomes that are separated from cannabis flower via multiple methods. Dabs come in a variety of consistencies including wax, shatter, and budder, just to name a few. All of them will gunk up your dab rig and dab nail over time, so clean it.

How to clean a dab rig

The cleaning of your dab rig starts with gathering all the materials needed.

What materials you need to clean a dab rig:

  • Your dab rig and banger
  • Your dab torch
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Salt (coarse sea salt works best)
  • Ziploc baggies (sandwich or freezer size)
  • Cotton swabs

Step 1: Torch your dab banger

First of all, if you’re not cleaning your banger with a cotton swab after every dab, change your life immediately. It’s imperative for maintaining the quality of your sessions. 

Now, if you have a super dirty banger, one quick way to clean it is to torch it until the gunked up dabs melt and vaporize off. If your banger is so dirty that this won’t work, proceed to Step 2. Hell, even if it does work, you should still do Step 2.

Step 2: Clean your banger 

Now that you’ve torched your banger to hell, it’s time to ACTUALLY clean it. To do so, pour your rubbing alcohol and salt into a plastic bag (that closes). Sandwich bags work just fine. 

Place your banger into the bag with the liquid cleaning solution and swash it around. You’ll see the oils fall from your nail into the liquid below. Once seemingly clean, take the banger out of the bag and use a cotton swab to clean out any last bits of dab residue.

Step 3: Clean your dab rig base/chamber

Now that you’ve got the nail clean, it’s time to clean your dab rig’s chamber. 

Depending on the size of your device, you might be able to fit your rig into a plastic sandwich bag just like your banger. If so, follow the same instructions above. If not, take your cleaning solution of salt and alcohol, and pour it inside of your banger. 

Plug up the openings with rubber stoppers, reservoir caps, or your fingertips, and then shake/swash the solution around in the inside of your dab rig. 

Just like the banger, you’ll slowly start to see all of the built up gunk fall to the bottom of your banger as reclaim. 

Cannabis reclaim can be used in a variety of ways. It can be collected then used to top off a bowl, roll into infused joints, and even eat as an edible. You can also dab reclaim, however, it will be much less enjoyable than a fresh dab because all of the terps will be gone. Also because it’s old and nasty.

If you’re health conscious, you may want to avoid consuming cannabis reclaim altogether due to the ash and tar.

Step 4: Allow your pieces to dry

Once all of your pieces have been cleaned out with your salt and alcohol solution, sit them out to dry. 

CAUTION: Don’t use them again until they’re completely dry. You don’t want to be inhaling burnt alcohol.

Step 5: Reassemble your dab rig

Once your pieces are completely clean and dry, go ahead and reattach your banger to your rig base.

Step 6: Smoke a fresh dab

After reassembly, it’s time to celebrate by taking a fat dab to the face. You should notice immediately that the taste and smoothness is exponentially better than when you were smoking from golden-tinted glass and a near-brown banger.

Why you should clean a dab rig 

There are multiple reasons why you should clean your dab rig. 

For one, it’s just pretty disgusting to inhale anything from any device that’s incredibly dirty. 

Imagine eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the same fork, knife, and spoon for over a year without ever running them through the dishwasher. Not only would your utensils be gunked up with dried up food, sauces, and residue saliva, but also, every time you used them to eat, you’d taste every bit of your past meals (except you’re getting the old and gross version of that flavor). 

That’s exactly what it’s like to continuously dab from a filthy rig.

For two, flavor. There are a lot of benefits to smoking dabs, most of which boil down to a cleaner smoke than flower, and the maximum exposure to terpenes. 

This means that dabs are the best way to taste everything a strain has to offer. A dirty rig will distort the flavor from your dabs, which completely defeats the purpose of choosing the most flavorful way to smoke weed.

For three, concentrates aren’t cheap (unless you’re buying super low budget concentrates). So if you’re going to be forking up the $40-$100 per gram that it costs to get dabs, you should want to experience them in the best way possible. A dirty rig is not that.

Best products for cleaning your dab rig 

If you’d like to opt out of making a homemade cleaning solution, there are many companies that have made specific products for helping cannabis lovers live their best dabbing lives.

Formula 420/710

Formula 420 is a company that makes some of the best weed-related glass cleaners out there. I personally use their Formula 420 cleaning solution, as well as their Formula 420 Soak ‘n Rise to clean all of my pipes, grinders, and smoking accessories. 

Specifically for cleaning dab rigs and accessories, they have their Formula 710 solution. You cannot go wrong with either of these products.

Grand Master Smoke Cleaning Solution

The Grand Master Smoke cleaning solution has been around for years, and is currently a best seller on Amazon if you search for bong cleaners (bong cleaner, dab cleaner, it’s truly all the same). 

The solution is highly respected for not containing acetone or salts, as well as being biodegradable and reusable. That means you can pour the liquid into your dab rig’s banger or base, clean it out, and when you pour the solution out, if there’s still more cleaning to do, you can use that exact same liquid. 

The real kicker here is that you get a whopping 32oz of liquid, which will last you quite a while.

Past these two solutions, you really don’t need anything else. There are lots of other products out there, and they’ll all do exactly what you need them to do: clean your dirty ass dab rig and banger. In the end, that’s all that matters. 

Now go wash out that glass and smoke your celebratory dabs.

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