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How to Clean a Dab Rig?

The Every Day Dabber: Keith Haring Dab Rig

If you have taken the plunge into the world of dabbing and bought yourself a dab rig, you may be wondering how to clean your rig. Keeping your dab rig clean is an important part of rig maintenance. A clean rig will give you optimal inhales, a great flavor, and a piece of mind knowing there’s no nasty bacteria lurking around. Lucky for all of us, cleaning a dab rig is a pretty simple process, regardless of the type of a dab rig you have. Cleaning your rig is  important to do periodically. Let’s roll up the sleeves and dig in.

Why do you need to clean your dab rig?

Because you are using THC concentrate with your rig, it’s just a matter of time to start having a buildup of excess oil. This buildup can clog up your rig and make a less than optimal dabbing experience. With a clogged up rig you will lose out on flavor and you may not be able to have as efficient of an inhale. When you notice that the dab does not taste good is a sign that it’s time to clean the rig.

Also, you are mixing THC and water in your rig, which means bacteria can grow in your rig. You don’t want to be spreading any viruses or bacteria, especially if you are sharing your rig, so better to keep your rig clean.

Bottom line. A clean rig gives you better dabs.

How to clean your dab rig step by step

The good news about cleaning your dab rig is that it’s just about the same as cleaning a regular bong. Once you clean your rig a couple of times, you’ve gotten the hang of it. There are a few ways to clean your rig. The easiest way is to simply use hot water, but it may not be the deep clean your rig needs. A more advanced, effective way is to use rubbing alcohol and salt.

How to Clean Your Dab Rig with Water

  1. Bring water to boil in a kettle and remove from heat.
  2. Let the water cool for a minute or two.
  3. Remove any attachment from your rig.
  4. Add the water to your rig and shake it while covering the mouthpiece and where the nail goes in.
  5. Dump the water out quickly from your piece.

Be careful when handling hot water and glass.

Keep in mind that hot water and glass may not mix. If the glass is not good quality tempered glass it could crack.

If you pour the water out slowly from your piece, oil can get stuck on the glass, so you want to pour it out quickly.

You could also take advantage of steam, while the water is boiling to help loosen up the buildup, by holding the piece over the kettle, but please be careful with hot steam.

How to Clean your Dab Rig with Rubbing Alcohol and Salt

What you need:

  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • Salt (table, rock or sea salt)
  • A sealable plastic bag
    Q tips and/or alcohol wipes
  • A cloth (to dry the rig)

Before you start cleaning your dab rig, disassemble it. Remove the attachments from the base including the mouthpiece and the nail.

Cleaning your rig

  1. Pour rubbing alcohol into the dab rig to cover the base
  2. Add salt into the rig
  3. Shake the rig (repeat as necessary)
  4. When the rig looks clean, rinse with warm water
  5. Dry the rig off with a cloth

Cleaning the banger

  1. Place the banger into a plastic bag
  2. Fill the bag with rubbing alcohol
  3. Add salt to the bag
  4. Zip the bag closed.
  5. Shake the bag (repeat as necessary)
  6. Dry the banger. Make sure the banger is completely dry before using it.

Cleaning the carb cap

  1. Put the cap into a plastic bag
  2. Add rubbing alcohol
  3. Add salt to the bag
  4. Close the bag.
  5. Shake the back, let is soak and repeat as necessary
  6. Dry the cap

Cleaning the tools and accessories

Tools and accessories can be cleaned by using a Q tip, an alcohol wipe or by immersing the pieces in rubbing alcohol.

That’s it. After you are done cleaning your rig, let it dry completely before using it.

Helpful tips:

Soaking the rig can help remove tough buildup.

You can use a Q tip for the hard-to-reach areas.

How often should you clean your dab rig?

The short answer is, it depends. It depends on how often you use the rig, how clean you keep it, and how often you share it. The more frequently you use it, the more often you should be cleaning your rig. 

Good rule of thumb is to clean your rig every 3-6 months. If your dabs start to taste not so good, it’s probably time to clean it, even if it hasn’t been that long since you last cleaned it. Also, if you see obvious buildup and are not getting great inhales, it’s time to clean the rig.

Alternatives to Rubbing Alcohol

If for whatever reason you don’t want to use rubbing alcohol, here are a few other options: 

Vinegar + Salt

The drawback with vinegar is, it smells. It can also take longer to break the buildup, so be prepared for a longer soak time.

Vinegar + Baking Soda

It’s still vinegar so you know it will smell. Expect a longer soak time to break buildup.

Lemon juice and water

Although lemon scent is great, this is probably the least effective cleaning method to remove buildup.

There you have it. Choose the cleaning method that fits your needs or try one or more to see which one works the best for you. One of the best ways to ensure efficient and safe use is to regularly clean your rig.

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