How To Properly Clean A Dab Rig
3 min

How To Properly Clean A Dab Rig

3 min

We get it. When it comes to getting high, cleaning your kit is much less exciting than just about anything else. But a dirty dab rig will ruin the smell, taste, and experience of dabbing for you. Follow our guide to make sure you never experience a subpar dab again.

If, like us, you’ve fallen for the delights of dabbing, then we’re sure you’re just as enthused as we are about it. That being said, you’ll find that, over time, resin starts to build up on your dab rig.


Why Keeping Your Dab Rig Clean Is Important

The problem with this buildup, which is known as reclaim, is that it can seriously alter the taste of your dab. As this is one of the major reasons people partake in dabbing, it seems counterintuitive to ruin the experience for yourself.

If your dab nail is covered in reclaim, you’ll also find that the hits feel much harsher, which can make the experience quite uncomfortable. If you suffer from health issues like smoker’s cough or asthma, it can be especially hard on the lungs.

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Tools And Equipment

With just a few of the right tools, you’ll find it a piece of cake to get your dab rig beautifully clean. Of course, it’s possible to invest in some specialised dab rig cleaning formulas, but making your own home solution can be just as effective and much cheaper.

If you have a silicone dab rig, please skip the isopropyl cleaning method as it can seriously damage your rig.


  • Isopropyl alcohol (go for one that is 90% or higher)
  • Coarse salt
  • Ziplock bags (large enough to accommodate the removable parts of your dab rig)
  • Pipe cleaner or cotton tip
  • Dab tool, paper clip, or steel wool
  • Soft, dry cloth
  • Rubber plugs


How To Clean A Dab Rig

There’s going to be a slight difference in how you go about cleaning depending on what your nail is made out of, and how dirty the whole thing is. The following is based on cleaning a regular quartz banger-style nail.

If you’re running low on time, you can clean your dab nail by burning off the reclaim. You can also scrape off the resin using your dab tool and a gentle amount of force.

The next step is to plug all the holes of your rig (excluding the mouthpiece) with rubber plugs and fill it with hot water to soak. This will loosen the resin a little bit, and will ultimately make the remaining resin come off much easier when you get to the actual cleaning.

Put enough isopropyl alcohol in the Ziplock bags to fully immerse the removable parts of your dab rig, and then add the coarse salt—enough to get in contact with all surfaces. Place each part in a separate bag. The isopropyl alcohol will dissolve any of the harder resin, while the salt will also help with the cleaning process. Shake each bag vigorously until you see residue coming loose. After thoroughly rinsing all parts, rub them down with a soft, dry cloth.

Replace the water in your rig with alcohol and a good amount of coarse salt. Next, plug the mouthpiece with a rubber plug and give your rig a good shake. If your dab is really dirty, you may want to leave it to soak in the solution for a couple of hours, or even overnight. Once all residue has come loose, pour out the salt/alcohol solution and rinse your rig with warm water. Remove the rubber plugs and give the exterior a rubdown with a soft, dry cloth.


Cleaning A Titanium Dab Nail

If your dab nail is made of titanium, you may find the “heating/cooling method” to be the easiest way to clean it. Holding the nail securely between tongs, heat the nail until the reclaim burns off totally. Then, dip it into some tepid water to get rid of the white oxidation.


Cleaning A Silicone Dab Rig

Cleaning a silicone dab rig with 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.


Similar to a glass dab rig, take off the e-nail and place in the alcohol solution.

When it comes to cleaning the rest of your rig, take advantage of your nail’s soaking time by gently wiping down the body of the rig. If you can take out your e-rig mouthpiece, remove it and clean with the alcohol solution, then dry.

If your e-rig has a cleaning mode, this essentially operates the same way as burning off the excess reclaim. Then, you can simply wipe down the body of the rig using a water and soap solution, and drying with a soft cloth.


Maintenance And Watch-outs

There’s no getting around the fact that if you want to keep your dab rig working at its best, the smartest thing to do is clean it every time you finish using it. While this might sound like a waste of time, it will keep everything running smoothly and stop you from having to go through time-consuming and frustrating cleans later on.

All you need to do for regular maintenance is wipe down the inside of the nail using a wet, lint-free cloth. This easy sweep will get rid of a lot of lingering reclaim before it has a chance to harden. Another often overlooked way to keep your dab rig clean is to make sure you change the water regularly.

For more information on dab rig maintenance and upkeep, don’t forget to check out our dabbing section, where you’ll find plenty of spare parts like high-quality nails and dabbing tools, as well as dab rigs, silicone storage containers, and much more.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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