You’ll need a nail (banger), dabber tool, and carb cap to use your dab rig. It would help if you also had a torch to heat the nail and a clean container to store your concentrates.
To clean your dab rig, fill a Ziploc bag with rubbing alcohol and add salt to it. The salt acts as an abrasive to scrub the buildup, and the alcohol loosens the resin.
How to Use Your Rig
A few key parts of any best dab rigs are the nail, banger, and torch. The nail is the heating element, usually made of quartz or another material that can withstand high temperatures. The banger is the part of the rig that funnels smoke into the mouthpiece. A carb cap is an optional accessory that helps regulate airflow and maintain heat.
Your rig’s best nail or banger depends on your preferences and budget. Quartz nails are best for most rigs because they heat quickly and retain temperature well. Titanium nails are also durable and heat up fast, but they can crack or chip more easily than glass.
Before using your rig, it’s important to clean each piece thoroughly. Place the nail in a resealable bag with isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt. Then, shake the bag and swab away any gunk stuck to the surface.
Tips for Cleaning Your Rig
The vapor that travels through your rig deposits residue throughout the chamber stem, and joint. This leftover oil is known as reclaim and can get gummy over time if not cleaned regularly. Some dabbers use a reclaim catcher (an attachment between the nail and banger) to collect this reclaim for later use.
Isopropyl alcohol is the standard cleaning solution for dab rigs. It’s powerful enough to break down residue but gentle enough not to damage your rig. You can also use cotton swabs and coarse salt to scrub stubborn buildup.
If isopropyl alcohol is hard to find or you’re concerned about damaging your rig, you can also use acetone. It’s available at drug stores as a nail polish remover and works similarly. Just be sure to rinse your rig thoroughly after using acetone. Doing a full rig teardown and deep clean every three to six months is recommended.
Maintaining Your Rig
Clean your rig after each use. Rinsing with clean water prevents stains from dirty water and keeps the rig cleaner for longer. Rinsing your rig also helps remove dislodged resin and can prevent the rig from drying out, ruining the dabbing experience.
If you’re using a banger, try using a reclaim catcher to collect leftover oil from the rig. These devices fit between the nail and main stem of the rig to act as mini chambers for collecting reclaim.
Clean the reclaim catcher by adding it to a zip lock bag with rice and isopropyl alcohol. Gently agitate the bag and soak for 30 minutes or overnight. After the soaking, pour off the cleaning solution and rinse with warm water. Allow the rig to dry completely before your next session. You can also use a dab tool or cotton swab to apply a light coating of isopropyl alcohol to the nail, which will help sanitize the piece.
Buying a Rig
If you’re new to dabbing, buying a rig can seem intimidating. However, finding the right rig for you and your budget is easy!
Most dab rigs are made of glass, but there are also some silicone and titanium options. Silicone rigs are a great option for beginners because they’re cheaper than glass and can be broken down for easy cleaning. However, they don’t offer as much percolation and can cause the vapor to taste off.
It’s important to clean your dab rig regularly to avoid inhaling harmful substances. Dirty water develops a top layer known as a biofilm that can harbor pathogens like Strep and E coli. Changing your water often will prevent these nasty bacteria from infecting you when you inhale. Cleaning your rig can be time-consuming, but it’s essential for the best dabbing experience. To make cleaning easier, you can buy a kit containing all the necessary supplies. These kits typically include cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol wipes, like Iso-Snaps.