how to clean a dab rig

How to Clean a Dab Rig

October 28, 2020 Written by Carl Rogers

Knowing how to clean a dab rig can seem complex, especially if you're new to dabbing.

Wax oil rigs don't appear to be simple smoking devices, at first glance. To watch someone torch their dabs can be intimidating. We're here to break rigs down for you.

In this article, you'll learn all about rigs, reclaim, how to clean oil rig, and why it's so important for your health to keep hash oil rigs clean. So, torch up and continue reading to become a dabbing rig expert!


What is a Dab Rig and Why Do I Need to Clean It?


Before we dive in to cleaning methods for dab setups, let's get a better understanding of what wax rigs are exactly.

Dab rigs are pipes designed used for vaporizing cannabis concentrates. Referred to as, vapor rigs, concentrate pipes, oil rigs, wax rigs, hash oil rigs, shatter rig, or just rigs. Devices like these pack a huge punch! Wax concentrates are cannabis in the most potent form.

If you compare smoking flower to drinking beer, dabbing cannabis wax concentrates is like taking shots of 100 proof liquor straight to the dome. Sounds exciting right? It is!

Lighting a dab nail with a lighter simply won't cut it. Instead a butane torch is used to heat up the hash oil. Where are all the pyromaniacs at?

It's important to keep your wax oil rig clean to maintain a proper function and improve your dabbing experience.

Dab rigs begin to build up reclaim which can clog your dab glassware and impede the flavor of your next dab. Reclaim ain't all that bad if you want to reclaim dabs but we'll get into that, later.

Let's jump right into dab rigs cleaning.


What Do I Need to Clean a Dab Setup?


Dab cleaning can be fairly easy and you can actually find items around the house that are effective in getting that resinous buildup out of your favorite rig.

Here's a list of items you'll need to clean oil rigs for wax:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)
  • Coarse Sea Salt or Rock Salt
  • One Resealable Bag
  • Q Tips


How to Clean Wax Rig Step-by-Step


Step 1. Torch Nail

A simple way to clean a rig that hasn't been used very often can be torched until resin or residual carbon is burned completely. With minimal reclaim buildup, torching should sufficiently clean it. Grab an alcohol soaked qtip to fine tune the nail.

Step 2. Take Banger Nail Out of Rig and Place in Resealable Bag

If you've gone too long without dab rigs cleaning, you'll need further assistance. Place banger nail or cup in resealable bag. Pour Isopropyl Alcohol in and let it soak. You can add course sea salt to the mix and shake it up if your nail is exceptionally dirty.

Step 3. Pour Water Out of Dab Rig

This should be done after each dabs sesh to prevent reclaim buildup and preserve flavor of terpenes.

Step 4. Add Alcohol and Salt to Rig

If your rig is very dirty, add course sea salt for deep cleaning your rig. If your wax rig isn't very dirty, just pour alcohol into base of rig.

Step 5. Shake Rig

If you have carb caps, place them over mouth piece and other openings. If you don't have carb caps, place your hands over openings and shake. Use q tip to clean the grooves where reclaim has really built up.

Step 6. Rinse Dab Nail and Rig

This part should be done very thoroughly. Make sure you rinse with warm water for about 3 minutes to ensure all alcohol is washed away.


How to Clean Dab Rig Without Alcohol


For some dabbers, using alcohol for cleaning dab rigs seems too toxic, harsh, and abrasive, which is why we put together a bong cleaning kit that works for bongs and rigs!

shatter rig cleaning kit

Bong Cleaning Kit Includes (used for dab rigs & bongs):

  • ResRemover Cleaning Solution (best bong cleaner)
  • Resolution Colo ResCaps
  • Smojo Screen (to maintain clean dab rigs)
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Smoke Cleaning Wipes

This kit includes all you will need to effectively and efficiently clean dab rigs and dab tools.

how to clean a dab rig without alcohol

Step 1. Add water to ResRemover.

Step 2. Pour ResRemover into dab rig.

Step 3. Place ResCaps on openings of rig.

Step 4. Shake until reclaim buildup has been removed. Fine tune tight areas of dab rig with pipe cleaner.

Step 5. Rinse with warm water.

Step 6. Use 420 Smoke Cleaning Wipes to maintain a clean rig.


How to Clean Dab Banger Nail


After each dab, while the the banger is still warm, use a cotton swab to get any charred residue or extract puddles out of nail.

If you use one side of the swab to absorb cannabis oils, you'll be dabbing without leaving extra residual.

If your nail has seen a few dabs before a cleaning, the reclaim buildup may be too much for just a cotton swap. You can use 420 wipes on banger nail or soak q tips in alcohol or ResRemover solution to remove buildup.


How to Clean Carb Caps


Carb caps actually don't require as much or as frequent cleaning as the nail but should still be maintained after each dab sesh.

Simply wipe carb cap with q tip soaked in alcohol. Or if you're not down to use alcohol because of its level of toxicity, use your 420 wipes that came in your bong cleaning kit.

You can torch carb caps to loosen heavier residue before wiping down.


How to Clean Dabber Tools or Wands


Cleaning for dabbers is typically fairly easy. To clean a wand, torch it over parchment paper to save any reclaim.

Once you've gotten all reclaim off, wipe tool with a paper towel.

Remember to use tweezers to hold wand since heat can quickly transfer through the tool.


How to Clean Any Other Dabbing Accessories


Quartz inserts, tweezers, and terp pearls can be inserted into a cup of alcohol to soak.

If you're not down with using alcohol, use ResRemover that's included in our bong cleaning kit.


What is Reclaim Wax?


Reclaim, in short, is torched wax concentrate that has hardened after a dab sesh. Similarly to resin, reclaim can be smoked or it can be used to make tinctures, edibles, and capsules.

Some dab rigs have a nectar collector that holds the reclaim in a drop-down cup that saves all your reclaim until your ready to clean your rig.


How to Get Reclaim Out of a Rig


All you'll need is your trusty torch and some parchment or wax paper.

  1. Pour all water out of dab rig.
  2. Let it dry out completely. You do not want any water in your dabs/reclaim.
  3. Remove banger nail and hold the connector or drop-down over the wax paper.
  4. Torch reclaim until liquidy. It will pour onto the wax paper.
  5. Let it cool down and harden back up to solid wax form.
  6. Smoke your reclaim, or use it for edibles, tinctures, or capsules.

Keep in mind that smoking reclaim will not taste the best...but you will get high, nonetheless!


How to Get Water Out of Reclaim


It's very important to make sure all water is out of reclaim. If there's water in your reclaim, it will sizzle and pop when you try to smoke and the burn in your throat is very harsh.

You will have water as an issue when you claim your rig if you do not let it air dry 100%.

You can use the double boiler technique. Lay reclaim on flat silicone mat like a slick jar. Place on a plate resting over a pot of water on your stove. When you bring the water to a slow rolling boil the heat and steam will evaporate water that is remaining in reclaim.

Be careful not to overdo it. A few minutes should be enough.




Now that you're an expert on dab rigs and you have a better understanding of why it's important to keep dab rigs clean, you can share your knowledge with others.

Remember dab rigs require daily maintenance to ensure optimal performance and to prevent a treacherous cleaning process after 1 too many dabs.

Purchase our bong cleaning kit if you're not okay with using isopropyl alcohol. You'll be glad you did!