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How to clean a dab rig properly

Dab rigs have become a popular choice amongst marijuana smokers. This smaller version of the bong, which filters the concentrated vapor via water at its bottom, works on the same principle as a bong.

With the absence of burning in dabbing, dab rig cleaning can be faster and easier than washing bongs when performed often.

This article will provide step-by-step instructions for five methods of cleaning the dab rig. Let’s get right into the details!

Why should you clean a dab rig often?

Cleaning a rig is much more important than making it look nice. Just like standing water in a pond, stagnated dab-rig water may be a breeding ground for all sorts of germs and fungus. 

Disturbed oil rig water may contain fungi and other microbes, including yeast. It would help if you avoided ingestion or inhalation of any of these chemicals.

When a biofilm forms on the surface of the water, it’s time to replace it. Pathogens may appear in biofilm. These chemicals may cause severe sickness when you inhale. An advantage of dabbing is that the dab rig washes out hazardous chemicals, but they could only do that with clean water.

You should only dab with fresh and clean water. If you don’t replace the water often enough, cleaning the dab rig would be a headache for you. 

Regularly changing the water in the rig is also essential since the filtering system can catch any possibly carcinogenic substances.

why should you clean a dab rig often
You should only dab with fresh and clean water

What do you need to clean a dab rig?

There are several ways to clean a wrong rig. You will have to prepare different tools depending on the approach you choose.

The most basic method requires water and a stove (kettle or microwave can substitute) to work. 

On the other hand, you may try other advanced techniques. Here are some most common materials you would need:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (IOS)
  • Salt (rock salt or sea salt)
  • A container
  • Torch
  • Cotton swabs

1. Method of cleaning dab rig by hot water

The most straightforward technique to clean a dab rig is to use hot water. To remove the muck off the item, you can utilize steam that emerges while the water boils.

The instructions are as follows:

  • Boil about two cups of water on the stove, in a microwave or kettle. You can immediately use the boiled water, but it would be better to let the water cool down a little bit. 

  • Use the steam to dissolve the muck. 

  • Pour warm water on the object. 

  • Squeeze the mouthpiece and nail area forcefully while concealing them. If your rig is really dirty, you’ll notice the muck begin to peel off.

  • Pour away the contaminated solution, then rinse with cold water to get rid of any leftover residue. If necessary, repeat steps 1 to 4 as many times as you need to.
Using hot water is the most straightforward method

2. Method of cleaning dab rig by salt & alcohol

ISO can work greatly to clean the dab rig. Over 85% ISO would be sufficient. If you want to take things to the next level, add a little rock salt.

The rock salt assists in covering the surface area, while the ISO aids the hot water taking the reclaim from the edge of the bottle’s sides. Here is how to clean your dab rig with salt and alcohol:

  • Use a torch to heat the nail. If your rig isn’t too dirty, this step can help eliminate all the accumulation.

  • Put the nail in a plastic bag or an airtight container. Then, let it rest in alcohol for a few hours or overnight. Add some salt to the bag and shake it if you’re using a zipper or snap.

  • You should empty the old water from your rig into a drain or a sink before you start cleaning.

  • Fill the bottom of your setup with ISO and let it sit overnight. For thorough cleaning, cover the base with coarse sea salt.

  • Shake the rig to release and remove reclaim accumulation. Remember to cover the valves with your hands.

  • Rinse the nail and rig in warm water. Shake your rig gently to eliminate the leftover reclaim.
cleaning dab rig by salt & alcohol
Torching can help to remove reclaim

3. Method of cleaning dab rig with cleaning kit

The idea of using alcohol to wash dab rigs is displeasing to some dabbers. Then you may use a bong cleaning kit that works with both rig and bong cleaning.

A standard kit includes:

  • ResRemover solution

  • Colo ResCaps

  • Removers for screen pipes

  • Wipes for smoke removal
cleaning dab rig without alcohol
A bong cleaning kit can also clean a dab rig

Everything you’ll need to sanitize dab rigs and equipment is already available in this package.

The comprehensive instruction is simple as follows:

  • Mix the ResRemover with water.

  • Fill the dab rig with ResRemover and let sit for five minutes.

  • Put ResCaps in the rig’s openings and tighten the rig’s screws to secure them.

  • Dissolve any reclaim accumulation by shaking. Then, use a pipe cleaner to fine-tune the dab rig’s hard corners.

  • Rinse well with warm water to remove any leftover residue.

  • Use the wipes to keep your rig clean and hygienic at all times.

How to clean dab banger nail

Heat is one of the fastest ways to clean a banger or nail. Smoking dab requires more than just a regular lighter. Because a lighter can’t supply enough heat, we’ll utilize a butane torch to ignite the dab nail in this case instead.

Here is what you should do:

  • Keep lighting your nail until all reclaimed or carbon remnants have wholly burnt out. You should only employ one torch to clear a tiny amount of residue off the nail.

  • Use an alcohol-soaked swab to wipe the nail if there isn’t enough alcohol for you to clean. When it’s not filthy, this approach is the safest and most natural way to carry out the task.

  • If torching the nails can’t remove all residue or carbon, use alcohol. Pour the alcohol into an airtight container and immerse the nail in the mixture. 

  • When employing a sealed bag, consider adding salt and shaking the bag.

How to clean carb caps

It is not necessary to clean the carb caps as often or as the nail. It would be best to clean them after every dab session. Thanks to the maintenance, you don’t need to worry about the debris. 

To clean the carb caps, follow these simple steps:

  • Use an alcohol-soaked towel to rub the carb.

  • Torch your carb caps if you want to eliminate more robust residues before cleaning them out.

  • If you don’t like the alcohol due to its toxicants, employ some special wipes instead. You can look for suitable ones from online retailers. These products can clean smoking equipment such as pipes or bongs. 

  • If you are using brushes or dab devices, follow the same steps as above.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get wax out of a dab rig?

Even if you’ve followed all of the procedures above and still can’t remove the reclaim or wax from your nail, soak it for longer and scrap it with a toothbrush.

You can try hardening the residue by freezing the rig. This method will make it easier for you to chip off with a brush. 

How to clean a dab rig with hot water?

To remove the muck off the piece, you should employ steam that rises from boiling water. As you place the piece in front of a steaming kettle, the reclaim will begin to soften when the steam passes over it. You need to boil water, take it from the heat, and leave it for one minute.

How to get water out of reclaim?

Your rig may have water issues when it hasn’t been completely dry.

It’s possible to utilize the double boiler method. 

Placing reclaim on a smooth silicone pad will make it easier to clean. Set it over a saucepan of boiling water on the stove.

The liquid in the reclaim would drain when you heat the water to a rolling boil. Beware of overdoing it. It should just take a few minutes to finish.

How to get the reclaim out of the dab rig?

Follow these steps to get the reclaim out of the dab rig:

  • Make sure there is no water left in your rig.

  • Disassemble the banger nail and place the connector on the wax paper, allowing the paper to stick to the connector.

  • Torch the recovery until it is a sludge-like material. The wax paper will get soaked with it.

  • Please wait for it to cool down and solidify back up to complex wax form before using it in your work.


We have shared with you some methods about how to clean a dab rig. The most straightforward way is to use hot water. Besides, you can employ alcohol, salt, or a cleaning kit as well. 

Maintaining your dab rig regularly is essential to ensuring its performance. Since the steps are all simple to follow, you can clean your equipment with ease.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

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