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How to Clean a Dab Rig? Step by Step Guide


How to clean a dab rig

Aside from simply replacing the water, you'll need to give your rig a deeper clean every couple of days or so.

Residue, oils, and impurities can accumulate over time, affecting both flavor and performance.

If left unkempt, the stagnant water can start growing dangerous things like Strep and E. coli or even mildew that you don't want to inhale.

Regular cleaning maintains the fresh flavors of your dabs, ensures smooth hits, and keeps your equipment looking as good as new.

So, how exactly do you clean a dab rig? If you are new to the area of dab rig, you maybe don't know and curious about how to clean your dab rig.

In this guide, we'll delve into the process of maintaining a dab rig to keep your favorite rigs shiny, and enjoy the purest and most flavorful dabs.

What is a dab rig? Parts of a Dab Rig

Parts of a glass dab rig

Dab rigs are made of various materials, but mainly glass and silicone.

Borosilicate glass is strong and temperature-resistant enough to withstand constant use.

Silicone is known to be non-stick, lightweight, portable and can withstand high temperatures and a beating without being damaged.

The pieces that make up a dab rig are the base, water chamber, mouthpiece, joint, nail/banger and carb cap.

Every rig comes with these pieces, but some contain different types of percolators and chambers to give you a unique experience.

What You'll Need to Clean Your Dab Rig

Before you start any dab rigs cleaning, you'll need to make sure you've got all of the necessary supplies ready to go. This includes:

1. Isopropyl Alcohol (91-99%)

This potent solvent is the linchpin of the cleaning process. It dissolves and breaks down oils, residues, and impurities that accumulate in your rig.

You can also use a 420 glass cleaner or white vinegar instead.

2. Coarse salt or rock salt

Considered the scrubbing agent, coarse salt works in tandem with isopropyl alcohol to dislodge and remove tenacious buildup.

As you gently shake the mixture, the abrasive action of the salt aids in scrubbing away stubborn residues from hard-to-reach corners.

3. A large sealable plastic bag

The resealable bag should be large enough for the pieces to fit.

You may want different containers to separate the pieces to keep them from banging together and potentially breaking.

4. Rubber Plugs

They are used to hold the cleaning solution securely inside the glass rig while cleaning.

Plugging the holes with cleaning rubber plugs or caps will be less messy and safer than using your fingers.

5. Pipe Cleaners and Q-tips

These slender tools are indispensable for accessing intricate parts of your rig that are challenging to clean otherwise.

Pipe cleaners are adept at navigating through the twists and turns of the downstem, while Q-tips offer precision cleaning for the most delicate components.

6. Warm water

Warm water rinses away loosened residues and cleaning solutions, leaving your rig fresh and residue-free.

It's crucial to use the appropriate water temperature to avoid thermal shock that could damage your glass rig.

How to Clean a Dab Rig? Step by Step Guide

After you gather your materials, complete the following steps to clean your glass dab rig.

Step 1: Disassemble Your Rig

The first thing you should do once you put on the gloves is taking apart the various components, including the banger/nail, which often accumulates the most residue.

If you clean your dab rig while all the accessories are still attached, you may end up damaging or breaking it.

Step 2: Cleaning the Main Chamber

Next, empty the dirty water from your dab rig, getting as much out as possible.

Pour a mix of isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt into the main chamber of your dab rig.

Cover any openings with your hands or rubber plugs, then shake vigorously, ensuring the salt/alcohol mixture is thoroughly coating and working its way through your rig.

if the water chamber is very dirty, Let your dab rig sit for at least half an hour or more with the cleaning solution in it. This will help some of the oil buildup come off and loosen up before you continue cleaning.

Step 3: Soaking the Components

Put the smaller pieces like the banger/nail, in a resealable zipper bag.

Fill the bag with enough isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt to submerge the entire piece.

Shake gently for a few minutes to scrub off the residue.

Also, if the banger/nail is too dirty, keep it soak in the alcohol solution for more time to help loosen up the concentrate.

One of the simplest ways to clean a nail or banger is to heat it with a torch until reclaim or residual carbon burns completely off.

Step 4: Rinse Thoroughly

After you give your dab rig and components a good soaking, it's time to give them a thorough rinse.

Rinse your items with warm water for several minutes to ensure that any residual rubbing alcohol is rinsed off before drying.

Step 5: Clean the Tricky Spots

Are you still seeing some dark spots or residue? Use paper towels or rag to wipe off any remaining residue.

For tight spots or hard-to-reach areas, use Q-tips or pipe cleaners soaked in isopropyl alcohol. This helps ensure every nook and cranny is clean.

Once you're done, you can give it one more thorough rinse.

Step 6: Dry Completely

Once cleaned to a degree that you find acceptable, dry any excess water.

Before reassembling and using your rig, make sure all components are dry. This ensures optimal performance and safety.

How to clean a silicone dab rig?

A silicone dab rig with quartz banger

Cleaning a silicone dab rig with rubbing alcohol can cause the silicone to erode.

Instead of using alcohol, a mixture of warm water with liquid dish soap can make for an effective cleaning solution.

You'll find that rather than soaking the dab rig, gently scrubbing it will get rid of the leftover resin.

If you find that you have a lot of hard resin on your dab rig, you can place it in the freezer overnight. This causes the reclaim to fully solidify, and makes it easy to crack off.

How to clean an electric dab rig?

the Lookah Unicorn electric dab rig

Start with disassemble your E-Rig. This typically involves removing your e-nail and bubbler from the base of the unit.

Place the quartz or titanium e-nail in the alcohol solution for a while. After that, Rinse your nail with warm water.

If needed, clean the mouthpiece and any other removable glass parts with alcohol or a specialized cleaning solution.

In addition, you can simply wipe down the plastic body of the rig using a water and soap solution, and drying with a soft cloth.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dab Rig?

Aside from changing the water of device, serious consumers should also clean the dab rig with alcohol every 7-10 days to reduce resin buildup.

The nail should be cleaned at least once a day, because tar accumulate quickly, which will affect the overall flavor of your dab rig.


Now that you know how to clean a dab rig, you can ensure that yours stays as clean as the first time you bought it.

If you followed these steps and your glass dab rig still doesn't look as nice as you'd like, try repeating the steps again and increasing time durations and shaking intensity.

Cleaning dab rigs might seem like a tedious chore, but with the right tools and techniques, it becomes a straightforward process.

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your dab rig ensures a clean, flavorful dabbing experience every time. Keep do it!