You know that feeling. You come home after a long day and want to destress and get into a state of relaxation in a hurry. But then you encounter the sticky film left behind from day after day of dabs. If you’re familiar with concentrates and extracts, you certainly know the resiny compound left behind on glassware that water alone simply doesn’t remove.
It’s gross and everyone hates it, including yours truly.
I mentioned in an earlier column that I like to keep my session spaces neat and tidy. My dab and vape setup are no exception. But it’s not enough to just have the tools, I want my collection to fit seamlessly into my home and office decor.
A dabber’s best friend for cleaning is simple isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol. It breaks up the compounds that make extracts and concentrates impossibly sticky. It’s also used as a solvent during the extraction process used to create some products. But that’s a lesson for another day.
I knew I found my alcohol storage match made in heaven when I was strolling through the antique markets in Old Towne Orange, California. I came upon a vintage Barbicide container, and knew right away this was going to be an ideal way to keep my glass clean. One key tip to remember: With a container this large, the alcohol can’t be reused many times. It turns brown and ugly as the resin breaks up and dissolves. I recommend changing the alcohol out after every second use to be sure your pieces are truly clean.
I keep cotton swabs and cotton balls handy in a small bathroom storage container I found at Target, and everything is nicely contained on an awesome record player rolling tray I got from Be Lit, an accessory company with a wide assortment of rolling trays and other zen weed life accessories.
I’ve had the opportunity last year to get to know Be Lit’s owner, Brandine, and was inspired by her quest for a life with meaning and balance. But back to the cleaning,
Using a container like the Barbicide jars used by your friendly barber or hairstylist allows you to soak small glass pieces for long periods of time. They have a handy lid that lifts a drainage basket as you pull, so you don’t have to stick your hand in alcohol to get to your glass. Drop a dirty banger in the basket, close the lid and let it sit while the alcohol goes to work on tough, sticky, gross resin. Once it’s soaked for a while, it’s very easy to wipe with cotton swabs or a cotton ball.
Hint: If it’s been soaking for a while and you *still* can’t get it clean, it’s time for new glass. Don’t be gross. Invest in cleanliness.
Keep in mind: Alcohol is flammable. Make sure each piece has been thoroughly rinsed with water and dried prior to putting it anywhere near a flame. See that cool torch in the photo? Don’t light it near the alcohol. Bad things come to those who are reckless with fire.
You’ll probably also want some long, sharp tools to clear out any residual crust. When I need to get into those hard-to-reach or delicate spaces, I turn to a gift given to me by a former Marijuana.com editor — a guitar pick-shaped multipurpose tool. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife for dabs — it has a roach clip and mini dab tool along with a scoop, blunt cutter, and other handy appendages that come in clutch when you need to get residue out of a spout.