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Tuesday December 17, 2019

By Erin Hiatt

420 Culture

Cannabis concentrates are becoming an increasingly popular way to consume cannabis, so big, in fact, that cannabis market research firms ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics anticipate that concentrates will outpace sales of flower by 2022. Dabbing has become a trendy way to consume marijuana, and with it, dab rigs have become a staple for consumers. 

Perhaps keeping your dab rig clean isn’t the first thing on your mind, but taking good care of your rig will not only help you get the most flavor out of your concentrates, but will help prevent reclaim build-up, that dark, sticky resin that accumulates on the inside. Using a dab rig thick with resin can deliver harsher hits that can potentially exacerbate respiratory conditions like coughing and asthma. To avoid any issues, it’s best to clean your dab rig and apply regular maintenance as necessary to keep it fresh and clean. Keep reading to learn about the easiest and most effective methods for cleaning your dab rig.

Cleaning Reclaim from Your Dab Rig

Luckily, cleaning a dab rig is ludicrously easy. In fact, if you clean it after each use you will need nothing but a cotton swab (or Q-tips) and hot water. Simply wipe down the joint on your rig and the connecting joint on your nail or banger with a wet (with warm water) cotton swab or one soaked in isopropyl alcohol (ISO), and change the water inside to reduce the gunk. If you clean your rig regularly and only consume concentrates from it, then you should be able to clear all the reclaim from the inside of the piece by filling it up with hot water and shaking.

Reclaim on a dab rig
If your rig has reclaim caked on, you might need to put in a little elbow grease to get it back to clean.

Should you let your dab rig sit between uses, cleaning will be a bit more intensive, but still pretty easy to do. You’ll just need a few more ingredients. Here are the best ways to clean stubborn reclaim from your dab rig. 

First, you’ll need some basic ingredients: over 90 percent ISO (which can be found at drug stores and many grocery stores for a low price), coarse salt (Epsom salt works well), re-sealable plastic zipper bags, cotton swabs, and a paper clip or steel wire. 

Next, soak the rig in warm or hot water to remove any resin. If that doesn’t work, try holding the rig over a pot of boiling water and use the steam to loosen reclaim (Be careful! The glass will get very hot), or use the paper clip or steel wire as a scraping tool – although this may not be the best option for anyone with a high-end rig since it could scratch the glass potentially. After the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let it sit for about a minute. Add hot water to your piece – doing your best to fill in holes and gaps beforehand – and shake vigorously. Try to pour out the water in one swift motion so reclaim oil won’t stick to the side of your rig.

For reclaim that’s a bit more stubborn, the next step is to add salt and ISO. While waiting for the water to boil, fill the base of your rig with ISO and shake vigorously. Next, rinse with very hot water. If simply using ISO won’t do the trick, fill the base of the rig with coarse salt, shake, then add ISO and repeat. Rinse to sparkly shine with very hot water.

What to Do if Reclaim Has Sat for a While

Should your rig be in dire need of a cleaning and the above steps don’t work, you could put ISO (enough to cover the piece) and coarse salt in a re-sealable zipper bag to soak for a few hours or even days. Be sure to shake it every few hours to get the salt working its cleaning magic. Then, remove it from the bag and rinse with warm water. 

This super easy cleaning method can be used on any water pipe device such as bongs and smoking pipes, which means that should you desire a specialized cleaning product, those used for bongs will work perfectly well on your dab rig. 

There are several cleaners out there that distinguish themselves from ISO cleaning. Some, like Bong Fresh Cleaning Kit, uses magnets to clean your accessory, and bills itself as totally nontoxic and eco-friendly. Others, like 420 Rod, are made to help clean in hard-to-reach places, while Resolution Caps grips on small glass openings to keep all the cleaner in your accessory. But, cleaning with hot water, ISO, and coarse salt are really efficient and reliable tools to clean your rig, and less expensive than buying specialized products at the end of the day. No matter what option you choose, cleaning your dab rig is a must for any concentrate enthusiast.

What method do you use for cleaning reclaim from your dab rig? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!


Erin Hiatt Erin Hiatt

Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work - which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor - covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

Erin's work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let's Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedInWordpress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.

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