How to Clean a Dab Rig


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Keeping your dab rig and other smoking 💨 equipment clean is important for many reasons. You may be unsure of what a cleaning session involves and which method is the best one. We break down the two main methods and show you how to do the one we prefer.

Battle of the Cleaning Methods: Isopropyl Alcohol vs. Prepackaged Cleaners

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A debate in the CBD flower smoking community has broken out over which is the best way to clean your smoking accessories. Many people swear by isopropyl alcohol, while some people believe in using specialty pipe cleaners, sometimes referred to as “420 cleaners”. 

This type of cleaner is a liquid that comes in a bottle 🧴 and can be mixed with water to clean smoking accessories. While some people enjoy the convenience of having a product like this handy, many smoking aficionados believe it’s not worth the price. 

Consider the Cost and Convenience

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A bottle of 420 cleaner starts at around $10 and can go much higher. A bottle of isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is just a few bucks 💲, saving you a lot of money over time. 

Ironically, many 420 cleaners count isopropyl alcohol as the main ingredient, making it more cost-effective to stick to buying a bottle of it yourself. 

If you need a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, it’s easy to get one. You can pick one up at any grocery store, pharmacy, or dollar store. Getting a bottle of the specialty cleaners is trickier, since they are only sold in specialty stores, many of them online 📱. 

Discretion may come into play, as a bottle of rubbing alcohol in a bathroom cabinet doesn’t draw any attention to the private habits of a smoker. With a 420 cleaner, you might need to store it somewhere out of the way. 

While everyone should make the cleaning solution choice that is right for them, we definitely prefer the isopropyl alcohol method. We save some money and always have a bottle of it handy. 

Why Cleaning Your Dab Rig Is Important

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Like with most other things in your life that you enjoy, such as your clothing, car, and dishes, cleaning rituals are important. It may be tempting to be lazy and put off the chore of cleaning your dab rig, pipes, bongs, and other smoking accessories, but you will pay the price 💲.

Regular cleanings keep your pieces working their best. You get optimal usage of them, and they will last longer when cared for with cleaning. You will also experience richer, tastier hits, not to mention the full effects you are looking for from your CBD herbs. 

When you make cleaning your smoking accessories a regular habit, each time you do it will be short and sweet. Letting residue and other nasty bits add up over time means the cleaning process will be lengthy and likely frustrating 😠. 

Cleaning With Isopropyl Alcohol

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The cleaning process is pretty simple and starts with gathering all the materials you’ll need for it:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (look for one with a 91% variation)
  • Cotton swabs or pipe cleaners
  • Epsom salt
  • Paper towels or small towels

If you are cleaning a bong, bubbler, or anything that contains water, be sure to dump out the water first. It’s best to do your cleaning in the kitchen or bathroom so you have a handy source for running water 💧. 

Turn on the water and let it run hot, then fill your piece of smoking equipment full of hot water. Covering any holes that would allow the water to escape, shake it thoroughly to loosen up any residue inside. 

Empty out the water, then fill the piece with isopropyl alcohol. If you’ve got stubborn bits of residue, add some Epsom salt 🧂 to the alcohol to help loosen it up. How much salt you need depends on how stubborn the residue is, so start with a small amount and add more as needed. 

Shake your piece for several minutes, allowing the cleaner to do its job. Some equipment needs a second cleaning application to be fully effective. If this is the case, dump out the alcohol and rinse the piece thoroughly with hot water. 

Add more alcohol and more salt, if needed, then shake vigorously for several more minutes. If this still doesn’t result in the sparkly cleaning job you’re after, you can let the piece sit overnight 🌙 in the cleaning mixture.

For any hard-to-reach spots, dip a cotton swab or pipe cleaner in alcohol and give them a good scrubbing.   

Dump out all of the dirty cleaning solution and rinse the piece thoroughly with hot water. It’s important to make sure you get rid of all the alcohol because inhaling any through smoking can be dangerous. 

Dry off your piece using paper towels or a towel. It’s now ready for you to fill with your favorite CBD flowers and enjoy some super clean tokes!

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