How to Clean Your Dab Tools

Developing a good cleaning routine for your dab rig is something that should be developed especially during a pandemic.

Glass is known to be one of the safest and easiest-to-clean materials for smoking equipment.

It doesn’t matter if you use a bong, dab rig, or a pipe – it’s important to clean your device thoroughly and frequently to avoid buildup of bacteria and residue. Doing this will also extend the life of your piece. 

This article will dive in deep on how to keep your dab tools clean so you always have a functional and fresh-tasting device to smoke from. After all, who doesn’t want a better smoking experience?

Why Keeping Smoking Accessories Clean Is Important

Keeping your dab rig and accessories clean also extends the shelf life of your quality dab tools.

There are many reasons to keep your smoking devices clean at all times. For one, your piece will look better. There’s no point in investing in a glass rig if it’s going to stew in tar and ash.

When you keep your gear clean, you can have better-tasting hits that actually feel cleaner. Not only will a dirty dab rig ruin the taste, the buildup of resin and tar will also irritate your throat. 

Keeping your smoking accessories clean can offer you butter smooth hits that are a treat for your throat. A cleaner equipment leads to a better smoking experience.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dab Rig?

It depends on how frequently you use it. If you’re smoking hits every day, the buildup of tar and resin will happen quickly too. It’ll take longer to build up if you’re only taking hits once a week or so. Having said that, it’s never good to just leave it dirty and unused.

The more often you clean your gear, the better. Give your bong or pipe a quick rinse after every smoking session to flush out some of the tar and resin. When the buildup starts getting severe, it’s time to give your gear a proper clean.

What Is Your Rig or Bong Made Of?

Most dab rigs are made up of just three components: a glass piece, a nail, and a torch lighter.

Different materials need different cleaning substances. You could risk ruining your rig if you apply the wrong type of cleaning agent. Here are some ways to clean your equipment.


You don’t need to be told that glass is delicate and can break easily. Glass pieces can be cleaned with both alcohol and non-alcohol substances. However, stay away from boiling your glass pieces – they might crack. Metal is fine to boil.


Although wood pipes can handle hot water, they can get damaged by harsh chemicals. Using alcohol can discolour wood pipes and leave behind some residue. It’s best to use agents like vinegar when cleaning a wood piece.


Silicone bongs are quite easy to clean and they are heat and cold-resistant. They can pretty much handle anything you throw at them. There’s no need to overthink or worry when cleaning a silicone bong/pipe.

How to Clean A  Bong, Bowl, Or Pipe

Add isopropyl alcohol into the bong and add some coarse salt, such as Epsom or rock salt, as an abrasive.

Let’s start cleaning. To begin, you need some items first.

  • Smoking device/equipment
  • Cleaning brush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Scraper
  • Plastic tub
  • ZipLoc bag
  • Tape

Without Alcohol

These are some alcohol-free methods that are effective in removing ash, resin, and tar. You don’t need any harsh-chemicals and can find these items at home.

Dish Soap

  1. Fill the sink with lukewarm water. Add some dish soap and create a bubbly solution.
  2. Using a cotton swab and scraper, remove the residue from the bowl.
  3. Carefully set your piece into the water and soak for 20 minutes.
  4. Use the brush to thoroughly scrub the insides.
  5. Empty the sink and rinse the piece with lukewarm water.

Boiling Water

This is an easy way to clean most pieces unless it’s made from thin glass.

  1. Place your rig in an empty sink and clean out the bowl using a cotton swab.
  2. Boil some water and fill up less than half the sink with the boiling water.
  3. Let the piece sit for 20 minutes, or until the water has cooled down.
  4. Empty the sink.
  5. You can use the brush to remove the tar and residue.
  6. Then rinse with warm water.

With Isopropyl Alcohol

You need to use gloves while dealing with isopropyl alcohol as it is a harsh cleaning agent. Don’t use this on wooden pipes as it can ruin your piece. If you have coarse salt, it can also come in handy.

  1. Take off the bowl and clean it with a cotton swab. Rinse it under the tap.
  2. Sprinkle a tablespoon of coarse salt and then add a generous amount of isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Cover the hole with some tape, cover the mouthpiece with your gloved hand, and shake vigorously for around five minutes.
  4. Empty the liquid into the toilet and rinse the bong with some warm water.
  5. Use isopropyl alcohol and soak a tissue to wipe down the bowl.
  6. You can also soak your pipe cleaner with isopropyl alcohol and clean the inside of the downstem. 
  7. Rinse everything thoroughly.


It’s always important to keep your smoking gear clean. You can get a cleaner hit, a fresher taste and your piece will look good too. You also increase its lifespan if you put in the efforts to maintain it. However, you should know what type of device you have in order to clean it without risking damage.