Stoner’s Ultimate Dab Rig Cleaning Guide

July 29, 2019 By Stoner

Dabbing might be one of the messiest ways to smoke besides using some homemade smoking devices. Because most dab rig accessories can be expensive and annoying to try and replace, it is important to understand How to Clean Your Dab Rig. This helps to make it last longer, keep it in better condition, and gives you a better smoking experience. 

At HelpingPot, we know a thing or two about how to make a mess dabbing, and how to clean a dab rig from blackened resin to good as new. In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about how to clean your dab rig and keep it that way. 

After reading this guide, you will understand everything you need to know to clean your oil rig quickly and easily. 

If you are looking for How to Clean Your Quartz Banger, or How to Clean Your Dab Nail, click these links to go to a separate guide which will help you clean these accessories. 

Let’s get started!  

Why Should I Clean My Dab Rig? 

The main reason you should clean your dab rig is to get rid of resin that can affect the taste of your dabs, as well as the overall performance of your rig. Secondarily, you should clean your rig in order to keep bacteria and mold out of it. Over time, moisture and heat can cause both of these dangerous things to grow in your dab rig, which can cause tons of health problems if inhaled. 

How Often Should I Clean My Dab Rig? 

We recommend cleaning your dab rig every 3-6 months, depending on how dirty it is. We also recommend emptying the water in it after every smoke session, in order to reduce bacteria growth. If you smoke very frequently from the same piece, you may need to clean your rig more often than this. 

What is the Best Way to Clean My Dab Rig? 

The best way to clean a dab rig is to use and Isopropyl alcohol and salt solution. Soak your rig in this solution in a container, or use res caps to keep the solution inside your rig. Let it soak for at least 30-60 minutes, or overnight for the best results. You may need a few soaks for really dirty rigs. Make sure you rinse it off when done, and let it dry before using it again.

What Supplies Will I Need? 

In order to clean your dab rig, you will need the following supplies:

  • Salt 
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (91% or higher for the best results)
  • Res Caps (optional) 
  • Plastic bags (if you don’t have res caps)
  • Rubber bands (if you don’t have res caps)
  • Container 
  • Paper Towels 
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Q-Tips 
  • Pipe Cleaners 
  • Funnel

Once you have gathered these supplies, it is time to get to cleaning your dab rig! 

how to clean your dab rig in 7 steps

7 Steps to Cleaning a Dab Rig

In order to clean your dab rig and get the best results, these are the steps you will need to follow: 

  1. Create your salt and alcohol solution – Take your container (we recommend a 5 gallon bucket or a large plastic container that is not corroded by Isopropyl alcohol), and fill it with enough Isopropyl alcohol to fill your dab rig completely – usually 16oz. or less will do the trick. Then, add about ¼ to ½ cup of salt to the solution and mix it around a bit until most of the salt is dissolved. Leave a little in order to give the solution some grains which help with cleaning. 
  2. Take your dab rig apart and fill it up – Remove your dab rig accessories such as bangers, nails, reclaims etc… These will need to be cleaned separately for the best results. Once you have removed all your parts, either soak your rig in the container if you choose, or fill it up with the solution until it is full. 
  3. Put your res caps or bags on – Now that you have a dab rig full of cleaning solution, it is time to make sure it stays in there. This is where the res caps or plastic bags come in. If you have res caps, simply place the appropriate size ones on each of the openings of your rig. If you do not have them, no worries, simply take a plastic bag and wrap it tightly around the opening, then use a rubber band to secure the bag over the hole. 
  4. Shake your rig lightly – Before you put it down to let it soak, give your dab rig a few light shakes to mix things up and get the cleaning process started. This will help loosen up a bit of resin. If you have a dab rig with a lot of intricate parts like percolators that are built into it, just skip this step – it’s not worth breaking anything. 
  5. Let it soak – Let your rig soak in the cleaning solution for at least 30 to 60 minutes, preferably overnight for the best results. 
  6. Rinse it out – Rinse out your rig with room temperature water. Water that is too cold or warm can cause cracks in your glass. Make sure that you take a good amount of time to make sure all the alcohol and resin is rinsed out completely. Occasionally, you may have to soak your rig a second time to get it completely clean. If you cannot rinse your rig out with water, pipe cleaners, paper towels, and Q-tips can help you get the rest of it all. 
  7. Dry your dab rig – Before smoking some dabs on your clean dab rig, you want to make sure it is completely dry, and that all alcohol is removed. This is a very important step, and you must make sure you do it. Otherwise, you can expose yourself to health risks, expose your rigs to the chance of breaking, and potentially ruin your first smoking experience on a clean dab rig, which is just the worst. 

3 tips for cleaning your dab rig

3 Tips for Cleaning Your Dab Rig 

When it comes to getting the most out of cleaning your dab rig, there are a few quick tips that can really help you out: 

  1. Take your time – Look, if you are only going to clean your rig a few times a year, don’t rush through it. Take your time and be sure to take everything apart and place all pieces in safe locations where they won’t break. Let it soak long enough to get everything out the first time. Also, don’t try to skate by with using techniques that don’t involve effective cleaning solutions. 
  2. Don’t try to use boiling water – There are a lot of articles on the internet about how to clean your dab rig using boiling water, but this is probably the worst way to clean your rig, because glass can easily be broken from rapid temperature changes. 
  3. Clean your dab rig accessories separately – Dabbers, bangers, nails, and other dab rig accessories can take a while to clean, and often need a lot more time and effort to get looking brand new. Trying to clean your entire rig in one piece often leads to breaking, or subpar results, both of which are not worth the time it will waste. The best way to clean your dab rig and accessories is to just let them soak in separate containers or bags while your rig is soaking. 

3 natural ways to clean your dab rig with household items

How Do You Clean a Dab Rig without Alcohol?

There are a few effective ways to clean your dab rig if you don’t have alcohol or are just looking for a more natural remedy. 

1. Salt & Vinegar 

This method is almost just as effective as salt and Isopropyl alcohol. The only difference is, it smells a bit worse, and takes a bit longer to get results. However, as long as you soak it for at least an hour, you should be fine. 

2. Vinegar & Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda is also quite effective. It works just as well as salt and vinegar, and takes about the same time to work. Follow all of the same steps in this guide, and you will get great results. 

3. Lemon Water 

Lemon water is not as effective as these other cleaning methods, and takes much longer to clean. Soaking for over 2 hours is recommended. It still works well, but is definitely noticeably less effective than the other methods. Aside from a different cleaning solution, you can follow all the same steps in this guide to clean your dab rig. 

Helpingpot Blog

Learn More About Keeping Your Pieces Clean

Looking for a New Dab Rig? 

Wrapping it Up – Cleaning Your Dab Rig is Easy 

You now have all the knowledge you need in order to clean your dab rig. Now get out there and clean it (like you’ve been telling yourself you were going to for the last 3 months)! 

If you found this guide helpful, be sure to check out our blog for more awesome resources, or our online head shop for some great deals on some of the best brands in the industry. 

Also, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the latest gear, reviews, Dank Deals, and more! Lastly, be sure to give us a follow on Instagram to join the Stoner Community. 

If you found this guide helpful, think we missed something, or tried these techniques, please feel free to give us some feedback in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you soon. Until then, stay up homie 😎!

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