cleaning bubblers

3 Tips For Cleaning Bubblers, Dab Rigs, And Glass Pipes

by Lily White
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Having clean dabbing gear ensures you don’t inhale harmful substances like burnt crust that may still be in the equipment after usage. Other residues like old dab rig water could lead to mold and cause allergies if you don’t clean the equipment. The glass pipe may become dark and foggy after a few sessions. When the dabbing equipment gets to this point, it creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria if you don’t clean it after every use.

Regarding dab rigs, cleanliness is efficiency; the more you clean them, the better your sessions can be and lesser issues you can experience. Most manufacturers make dabbing equipment using glass because it’s a safe and simple to clean material. It eases up the cleaning process even further. You’re only required to clean it after every use. There are many tips and ways to do the cleaning without complications. This article outlines these, so read on for this insight!

Dabbing Accessories

Before expounding the cleaning bit, it pays to know the typical dabbing rig parts and tools that need regular cleaning now and then:

Dab rig: It’s usually made of glass. It’s where the cool steamed vapor goes through.

Dab tool: This is used to transfer the concentrate from the dab jar to the heated nail. It’s typically made from quartz, silicone, or titanium to prevent damage since it touches the hot nail during dabbing.

Torch: You use this to heat the concentrate to vaporization point and take a hit. You must be cautious when handling it, especially after the concentrate has started to take effect, because you may quickly get burned.

Nail: This is where you apply the heat source to the bubbler and start smoking the concentrate.

Dab jar: This is usually made from silicone to prevent the dab from sticking onto the jar. Thus, you can easily scoop out the wax and avoid wastage. For ease of cleaning, a rounded dab jar is the best.

Carb cap: This is used to control airflow to the dab nail to prevent overheating and wastage.

Reclaim catcher: This traps excess wax to prevent it from leaking into the water pipe joints and the dab rig.

Now that you know the dab rig parts and tools you need to clean, we can move on to the cleaning tips.

1. Observe Proper Cleaning Practices

Below are the proper cleaning practices and tips for dabbing tools:

  • Don’t use hot water since it may spoil the glass piece and the bubblers. Either the glass will crack, or there’ll be some burning in the equipment. It may decrease the lifespan of your dab equipment.
  • Isopropyl alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent. However, it has a strong smell. Thus, if you’re sensitive to strong smells, you should try to use lemon when handling the isopropyl alcohol to try and help curb the potent smell.
  • You can consider soaking the bubblers, dab rigs, and glass pieces in the cleaning solution (alcohol and salt mixture) to help soften the dirt for a thorough deep clean. Ensure all the tools are fully submerged for a few hours for the best results.
  • Since the glass pipe is fragile, you should ensure you handle it carefully because any small mistake can break it completely. So, ensure you don’t knock any part against a hard surface or each other as it may shatter to pieces. It’s advisable to seclude enough time for the cleaning so as not to hurry the process and end up messing up. Also, since its interior is usually warm and moist, you must clean it regularly to prevent mold buildup.

2. Use Appropriate Cleaning Supplies

You’ll need appropriate cleaning supplies to make your dab rigs, bubblers, and glass pipes spotless. You can purchase them at your local stores or use materials you already have at home. Some of the items you may need include:

Isopropyl alcohol solution: This is a faster method of cleaning your piece, but you must exercise caution because of its strong smell. You can quickly get it from local stores near you. Use the percentage specified on the bottle and dilute it with water because the undiluted solution is highly flammable.

Alternatively, you can use white vinegar and baking soda solution mixture to clean bubblers, dab rigs, and glass pipes. This method is quick and safe. These supplies are readily available at most local stores. Vinegar can effectively remove the concentrate in the glass pipes, while baking powder is a softener. The mixture leaves you with clean-looking dabbing tools.

Funnel: This allows you to pour the cleaning solution into the narrow mouths of the different dab accessories. For instance, the dab rig comprises slim water pipes, and you must run the cleaning solution into them for thorough cleaning.

Salt: Either table, sea, or rock. Salt is an effective natural cleaning product that has been used for centuries. Due to its ionic qualities, it can absorb certain stains, especially greasy ones from the dab.

Resealable bag: You can use this to soak the smaller parts of dabbing equipment after dismantling the whole piece.

Cotton swabs: This tool helps you access hard-to-reach areas and scrub the dirt.

3. Follow The Proper Steps For Cleaning

Lastly, you must know the steps to take when cleaning the tools. Here’s what you must do:

  1. Check the bubblers, dab rigs, and glass pipes to ensure they’re empty before you can start cleaning them. This step ensures you avoid any damages or reactions when the cleaning solutions mix with the substance. Some of these solutions are harsh and can react vigorously.
  2. After assuring it’s empty, remove the tiny parts and place them in a resealable zipper bag. You can start with the larger pieces as they require the most work. Once done with them, clean the smaller parts. This way, you’ll clean every single piece thoroughly.
  3. Next, mix the cleaning solution. You may mix isopropyl alcohol, vinegar, and baking powder solution with salt and dishwashing liquid into the pipe. Ensure you mix it until the salt dissolves completely.
  4. Next, pour the solution into the dabbing tools. Ensure you cover all openings because any small one may cause the isopropyl to evaporate and may not function as intended. Then, shake the solution properly so it may penetrate all corners of the dabbing equipment.
  5. Place the smaller parts in a container with an isopropyl solution. Ensure you give all items a good stir for all the stains to be removed. However, if there are any stubborn ones, you can use Q tips to remove them. Their diminutive nature makes them accessible to hard-to-reach areas.
  6. After cleaning with the solution, you should now proceed to rinse all the parts with room temperature water. Because of the dab rig’s glass, using hot water to clean it can cause damage. That’s why you must only use room temperature water to clean it. Also, check every inch of the piece to ensure they’re clean of all solutions.
  7. Let your glass dry well before you go back to using it to avoid the risk of mold growing in them. Or you can use a towel to wipe it clean.

As you can see above, cleaning bubblers, dab rigs, and glass pipes are very simple. You must take your time after every use to thoroughly clean the dabbing equipment. In the long run, you’ll also taste the good flavors of the concentrates instead of getting awful flavors.

Importance Of Cleaning Dabbing Equipment

Cleanliness ensures the efficiency of dabbing accessories. If you don’t clean them after every use, the residues from concentrates such as resin, shatter, pull and snap, rosin, hash, and budder cutter can harm you. Below are the benefits of regularly cleaning your dab tools:

  • Cleaning makes sure the rig is healthy for use. After some time, the dab accessories can build up a lot of harmful residues because of the burned substances inside the piece. So, if you don’t regularly clean the equipment, the bacteria in it may accumulate and cause issues. For instance, it may cause lung problems due to inhalation of unclean substances.
  • Also, you may be sharing the tools with your close buddies. It can cause bacterial buildup in the bubblers and glass pipes from their mouths. So, after such a session, you must clean the dab accessories immediately.
  • When the rig is clean, the concentrate retains its unique flavor, unlike when the new concentrate mixes with an old one, which may spoil the taste.
  • Regular cleaning also increases the shelf life of your piece. It is because unclean ones can cause the gear to spoil quickly due to their fragility.


Cleaning bubblers, dab rigs, and glass pipes ensure they’re always efficient for use. It’s not a technical undertaking, and it’s something you can do on your own if you master the requisite tips and steps. It’d help if you did it every time after using the dabbing equipment. If you clean regularly, you can always have flavorful dabs, reduce the risk of getting harmful side effects, and increase the shelf life of your piece.

On top of that, make a point of consuming optimal amounts. Overdosing on cannabis may lead to dangerous side effects like lung diseases, dry mouth, or paranoia. Also, it’s advisable to purchase high-quality concentrates from reliable suppliers with a verifiable track record of supplying premium products. Usually, a licensed distributor should be your go-to option. The same applies to the dabbing rigs and accessories. The better their quality, the easier it is to clean and maintain them in good condition.


By Maria Marbel

Bio: Maria Marbel is a New York-based dabbing hobbyist with ten years of experience. She finds pleasure in advising beginner cannabis users on best practices through blogging. When free, you’ll always find her hiking.


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