One of the best ways to make sure the potency and flavor of your concentrates stay as pure as possible, is cleaning your dab rig. It’s not hard to do, but it’s often a step that isn’t prioritized, leaving many patients with dirty and grimy rigs. We’re here to help you make sure your dab rig is clean, so your consuming experience is the best it can be. If your dab nail has become discolored or you see residue on your piece, it’s time to clean it!
Know the material of your dab rig
It may seem obvious but knowing what your dab rig is made of is important because different materials will dictate different cleaning methods. Most dab nails are made of quartz, titanium or ceramic. First things first – make sure you pour the water out of your rig into a sink or drain. If you use your dab rig regularly, you should do this on a daily basis, as it prevents reclaim (which can cause clogging) and helps to preserve your concentrate’s flavor. Now, let’s break the cleaning process down with some suggestions on how to clean these nails or bangers from Hemper, Leafly, and WeedMaps:
Cleaning quartz and ceramic
You will want to clean out your quartz nail after each use. Yes, each use. This can be done quickly with a pointed end Q-tip or cotton ball dipped in isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) or the Formula 420 Pipe Cleaner, to wipe away the yellow reclaim residue that is left inside your bucket, banger or nail right after you take dab. Remember, never use bleach or acid-based cleaning products on a quartz nail.
Cleaning your nail regularly helps to get rid of any residual oil or wax. Nothing is worse than passing around a dab rig with residue from your last use. Prevent this by doing a quick swab after you are done. Make sure to avoid using a metal dabbing tool to scrape inside a quartz or ceramic nail. This can cause some serious irreversible damage. Once you clean your nail, heat it again without any concentrate to help burn off any excess rubbing alcohol.
For a deeper clean, heat your nail or banger with a torch lighter until reclaim or residual carbon burns completely off. If you find that torching your nail isn’t enough to clean off the carbon or build-up, Weedmaps suggest placing the nail in a sealable container or plastic bag and letting it soak in alcohol. If you are using a sealable bag, try adding salt and shaking the bag. Once the reclaim and residue is cleared from your dab rig, wash it thoroughly in warm water and shake away any excess that is left over.
Make sure your banger is made from quality quartz. This will preserve the color of your nail longer and will be an all-around better vaping experience for your concentrate of choice. Lower quality bangers also have poorer resistance to temperature shock and are less sturdy than more high-end pieces, according to Bad Ass Glass.
Yes, you can clean your titanium nail and you should! But because titanium is a porous metal, skip the rubbing alcohol. It will damage your nail and also leave a poor after taste, which will not fare well with the flavor of your concentrate. You should also make sure that the titanium nail is made from high quality titanium, as there have been noted potential health concerns around using titanium nails in dab rigs. Again, cleaning your dab nail is fairly simple – first heat the nail using a dab torch and while the nail is hot, scrape off the residue with your dabber tool and brush clean. Be careful with this step, as your nail will be hot after torching.
Keep in mind that low-temperature dabs, between 400-600 degrees Fahrenheit are the best. Therefore, spend some time finding the optimal heat up and cool down time on your nail so you can maximize each dab. Oil can combust at high temperatures and that can cause permanent stains on your nail, which you will want to avoid.
Cleaning your dab rig and nail is more of an art rather than a science. To keep regular maintenance easy, place a bunch of Q-tips and isopropyl around the areas you vape. This will remind you to stay vigilant. Make it part of your consumption experience and after a few times, it will become routine.