It might sound like a trivial thing, and an admittedly often overlooked step, but keeping your dab nail clean is one of the most important things you can do to improve your dabbing experience. Not only will a clean dab ensure that the pure and potent flavors of your concentrates come through strong, but it will also extend the overall life of your nail. Not to mention the fact that no one wants to dab off of a grimy dirty nail.
If you own a bong, you’re likely already aware of the importance of regular cleaning. And just like your bong, the more regularly you clean your nail, the less time it will take to get it looking like new again.
This simple guide will show you the basics of how to get, and keep, your dab nail as clean as a whistle. However, before we dig in, we want to make mention of one important aspect: what your nail is made of.
The material your dab nail is made from will dictate, in large part, how to best clean your nail. Common materials most dab nails are made from include: quartz, titanium, or ceramic.
A common misconception among titanium dab nail owners is that you should never clean your titanium nail. However, keeping your titanium nail clean is equally as important as it is for dab nails made out of any other type of material.
Because titanium is a porous metal, you absolutely do not want to use rubbing alcohol on it. Doing so may cause unrepairable damage, as well as leave you with an aftertaste that is not only unpleasant, but potentially unhealthy.
NOTE: due to potential health concerns surrounding titanium nails, you should only use a titanium nail if that nail is made from the highest quality titanium.
As it relates to “when” you should consider cleaning, a good rule of thumb is this: if your dab nail is showing an accumulation of residue or has become discolored, then it’s probably high time to clean it.
Cleaning your titanium dab nail is simple, easy and won’t take much time to do. The most effective way to clean it is to first heat the nail using a dab torch. While the nail is hot, gently or scrape off the residue with your dabber tool and brush clean.
Avoid using any soaps or harsh chemicals. Again, titanium can be porous. If you feel like you need some form of lubrication to brush clean, consider plain water.
And remember, when wiping down your nail after torching, it's HOT. We know that should be obvious, but still, we need to mention it.
How to Clean Quartz Bangers, Quartz Nails, Domeless Quartz Nails, Etc.
Few things are as gross than dabbing out of a filthy quartz nail. And if you plan on sharing with friends, don’t be “that” guy (or gal) that comes to the circle with a grimy dab nail expecting everyone to be cool with it.
The best way to avoid a reputation as someone who uses a dirty dabber is to keep your quartz nail clean at all times. This includes cleaning the nail after each and every use.
Unlike with titanium, in this instance, you absolutely should NOT be using a dabber tool to scrape the inside of the quartz nail. Attempting to scrape your quartz or ceramic nail with a dabbing tool or other apparatus can cause serious damage to your nail.
Some General Rules of Thumb
It’s common knowledge among expert dabbers that low-temperature dabs are the best. Therefore, it’s imperative to find the optimal heat up and cool down time on your nail so that you will get the most out of each and every dab. By doing so, you will not only maximize both potency and flavor, but you will also keep your nail cleaner after each use. Dabbing at extremely elevated temperatures may cause the oil to combust, which can also cause permanent stains on the nail.
You can use cleaning solutions or rubbing alcohol on most of your nails, with the exception of titanium nails. If you feel that your nail is very dirty, then go ahead and let it soak in rubbing alcohol to achieve a deeper clean. Use of rubbing alcohol will likely aid in removing all residue, and when coupled with some light scrubbing with a Q-tip, your nail will look and perform just like new again.
Pro tip: The best way to keep a quartz nail clean is to use a Q-tip to clean out the bucket after each dab that you take. In order to do this, dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and use it to clean out the inside of the quartz bucket, banger, or any other quartz nails directly after taking a dab. Doing this will help to get rid of any residual oil or wax. One more pro tip: Q-tips with pointed ends are a lot better at getting into all the little nooks and crannies of the nail than Q-tips with rounded ends.
Worry not! Any and all residual rubbing alcohol will be burned off the next time your nail is heated. Speaking of which, its always a good idea to give your nail a good heating without any concentrate on it after you clean with rubbing alcohol.
What Have We Learned?
Details of the how and when aside, the most important takeaway in this article is that in order to keep your dab nail functioning at peak performance, it’s imperative to keep your nails clean and free of residue. Since concentrates aren’t exactly cheap, you owe it to yourself to keep your dab nail clean so that you can get the best flavors you can from them.
After all, a little bit of cleaning after each dab will go a long way in saving you money and extending the life of your nail in the long-run. One more thing: be sure to also spend some time cleaning that nail joint. This will ensure that no excess oil gets into your dab rigs joint, which will ultimately cause the dab nail to stick and/or break.
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