How to Clean a Dab Rig with Only Four Items

By Emmett H.W. Nelson | June 15, 2017

There is nothing more off-putting than being invited to smoke out of someone’s glass only to be offered a grimy, gunked-up bowl, bong or rig. It is uncouth and lacks decorum; never mind ruining the taste off anything smoked out of it. The way in which folks care for their glass is telling and should be noted.

Any smoker worth their weight in shake surely knows the difficulty and displeasure of cleaning months or years of resin caked to the inside of a glass pipe. The tar like substance that accumulates with each toke eventually will block air flow and force the issue. Remaining vigilant and cleaning regularly is the only surefire way to avoid the obnoxious chores of procrastination unless blunts and joints are your preferred method to smoke flower.

From soil to oil


As flower falls out of favor, dabbing presents a less burdensome build up of residual matter over time, but rigs require a regular cleaning schedule to ensure that terpene taste is on point and so the haters won’t hate when posting that #stopdropandglob video onto Instagram. It doesn’t make a difference whether a rig cost a grip or it was a gift from somebody trying to impress, keeping it filthy is foolish and cn an be easily avoided.

It’s time to forget about boiling glass in pots of water to clean them and collecting resin balls to smoke when there is no more weed to go around. No need to purchase a bong cleaning solution or a set of scrubbing brushes. The process for cleaning a dirty rig is simple and requires all of four items.

  • Isopropyl Alcohol (91% is best, 70% will do)
  • Salt; coarse salt works well on heavy duty cleaning but regular table salt is fine.
  • Hot water; running from a faucet.
  • Paper towels

How to Clean


Step 1: Acquire glass dab rig. A rule of thumb to follow states that if you can’t afford to replace it you can’t afford to buy it. A very sound line of reasoning; follow it.

Step 2: Get the piece dirty. Dab to your little hearts content noting how quickly a brand new piece of glass collects resinous material.

Step 3: Finally decide that your rig is dirty enough to necessitate a thorough cleaning.

Step 4: Funnel salt into the rig and coat the inside. Add alcohol, filling up as much as possible. Use paper towels to plug mouthpiece opening and down stem.

Step 4a: You may run hot water over the outside to loosen the reclaimed concentrates from the inside of the piece.

Step 5: Shake well. Be forceful but not violent. Finesse is your best friend. Percolators may become broken or detached through unnecessarily vigorous cleaning.

The resulting slurry of salt, alcohol and reclaim can be poured down the sink or disposed of in the toilet or trash can. Rinsing out with a continuous stream of scalding hot water for at least a few minutes before next use will make it like smoking out of virgin glass.


Emmett H.W. Nelson

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