Hey guys, today we are going to cover one of the first issues that new dabbers face which is, “How do I clean my dab rig?” We know everyone wants to keep their rig looking fresh and also get the best tasting results while using it, but it can be hard if you are using it a lot. Thankfully, cleaning the rig is simple once you know a few tricks.
Whether you are just starting to build up some residue or you have something as dirty as this guy on the left, it’s surprisingly easy to get your oil rig clean with common household items.
First, you are going to need some isopropyl alcohol, preferably 99%, so that you are getting the most cleaning power and effectiveness from the alcohol. Second, you will need some sort of abrasive like any type of salt (kosher, Epsom, table salt, sea salt, and others). But, if you have small holes to get through like in a honeycomb perc then you may want a finer grain salt to reach these spaces.
Another note is that this process can also be done with 190 proof or greater grain alcohol and be reclaimed later, but we will go over that in a future article. This is specifically if you want to get the rig clean without having reclaim. Although, our content is always evolving and we may add that to this article. Let me know in the comments if you think talking about reclaim here is a good idea.
Some people may opt for fancy cleaners that label themselves as being specifically for this purpose and after using many of them throughout the years, I can assure you that good old ISO and salt is one of the best solutions as well as the most cost effective.
The first step in cleaning your rig is to empty the water out of it, if there is any, and pour in a little salt. This will help have full formed salt rocks in there when you start shaking. Pour in a fair bit is isopropyl alcohol and let it stand for just a second if it’s already contacting your residue. Next, you will want to plug up the openings of your rig with either your fingers or some sort of cork. I used a silicone wine stopper that I had laying around my kitchen and it worked well.
Let everything settle and see where you are at, if the concentrate residue is mostly gone then you’re basically good to go. If the residue is still present, what I recommend is holding the rig at an angle so the alcohol covers the area and let it soak there for a few minutes. For a truly filthy rig, you may need to soak it for longer or fill it full and let it soak for 30 minutes or so.
Once all this is done, pour this mixture of alcohol and wax residue into the trash, watch out because it is going to be sticky and nasty. Also, keep in mind that this mixture is super flammable and so you should be very careful with alcohol near any heat sources like a butane torch or any open flame.
For most dab rigs, this is basically going to get the job done. The only thing that can make each rig’s clean different is styles of percs and how easy it is for things like abrasives to penetrate the chambers. For my example piece here, there was a pretty tight honeycomb that I had to work extra a bit to get clean in the middle chamber. For a larger grain salt, you can wait until it dissolves a little to get it through the perc.
After all this, you are going to fill the piece with running water from a sink, hose, or bathtub; depending on the size of the rig. You want to get all that alcohol flushed out and take any loose particulate as well. For my example piece, I filled it with water and took dry rips with my banger off so that the water would be forced through the honeycomb perc.
Another pro tip from a guy who has cleaned a lot of rigs, most likely your rig has accumulated some grime on the outside from sitting in your dab station. You can take a paper towel and apply some alcohol around the outside. This will also end up leaving the outside look great since most glass cleaners, like Windex, rely on isopropyl alcohol as well.
So take this information with you and get that rig clean and hitting smooth as the day you bought it. If you want to share photos of your cleaned out rig or the dirty one you are about to clean, feel free to hit us up on Twitter and Instagram