Using a dab pen is, without a doubt, the most potent way to enjoy the herbal concentrates you love. That’s partially due to the potency of the wax concentrates and partially because of the ease with which dab pens work. All that you need to do is put a dab of wax on your device’s coil and start vaping. Within a few minutes, you’ll achieve the same effect that you would have achieved with a much lengthier smoking session. A dab pen usually has wide-open airflow, enabling you to take huge puffs with no difficulty.
The downside of dab pens, though, is that unlike some other types of vaporizers such as oil pens, the components generally aren’t disposable. With an oil pen, you typically use a cartridge just a few times – sometimes only once in the case of a pre-filled cartridge – before throwing it away. With a dab pen, however, the coil is a semi-permanent component that you can clean and reuse indefinitely until the coil eventually fails due to heat stress. Wax coils aren’t cheap, so you naturally want this component to last as long as possible. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to clean a dab pen properly.
Cleaning a dab pen isn’t just important for ensuring that the components will last as long as possible – it’s also what’s best for the quality of your vaping experience. Waxy concentrates will always have stray plant material and other inclusions that don’t turn to vapor when they’re heated. Instead of vaporizing, those inclusions stick to the coil in your wax pen and form a dark, crusty layer that eventually affects the flavor and vapor production of your device in a negative way. It’s easy to prevent that from happening if you clean your dab pen periodically. If you wait until the residue is so thick that it ruins your device’s flavor, you’ll find it much more difficult to clean.
Without further ado, let’s walk you through cleaning your dab pen and restoring the device’s original flavor and vapor production.
How to Clean a Dab Pen: Exterior
The most important thing to remember when cleaning the exterior of your dab pen is that you should never immerse the device in water or allow the electronic components to get wet. Moisture inside the device could compromise the integrity of the internal components permanently and may even cause a potentially dangerous short circuit. To clean the main body of the device, use a soft lint-free cloth to remove dust and other contaminants. If debris is trapped in the device’s charging port, remove it with a toothpick. Be careful not to scratch or bend the charging port’s metal components.
How to Clean a Dab Pen: Non-Removable Components
Your dab pen may have some components that are susceptible to collecting residue over time but aren’t removable. For example, part of the device’s air path – or its heating nail – might be permanently attached. In this case, you’ll need to use a little liquid to clean those components but should be careful to ensure that no liquid contaminates the device’s internal electronics.
To clean your dab pen’s non-removable components, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and rub the residue with the cotton swab to dissolve it. If the component is very dirty, the cotton swab will eventually darken. Repeat the process with fresh cotton swabs until a swab comes out clean. Dip a fresh swab in water and use it to remove the alcohol from the components you’ve cleaned. When you’re done, allow your dab pen to dry completely before using it again.
How to Clean a Dab Pen: Removable Components
In general, the components of a dab pen that are most likely to become dirty with long-term use are removable. Those components are generally made from glass, ceramic, or metal and may include stems, air paths, bubblers, and coils. Here’s the good news: Cleaning the removable components is the easiest part of cleaning a dab pen.
To clean your dab pen’s removable components, simply place them in a bowl of rubbing alcohol and leave them for an hour or two. The alcohol dissolves the residue, leaving the components completely clean. Rinse away the alcohol and allow the components to air dry before using them again.
There are two important things to remember when you clean your dab pen’s removable components with alcohol.
- Although alcohol will dissolve the residue on your dab pen’s components, those components may still have some discoloration after cleaning. It’s completely normal for the components of a dab pen – or any type of vaporizer – to discolor permanently with use.
- Some of your dab pen’s removable components may have rubber washers to help control airflow and prevent leaking. Alcohol can potentially dissolve rubber, so you should soak these components only as long as is necessary to remove the residue.
Did you know that you can also use high-proof drinkable alcohol such as high-strength vodka or Everclear to clean your dab pen’s removable components? Rubbing alcohol isn’t drinkable, so you have to throw it away when using it to clean your dab pen. If you use drinkable alcohol, on the other hand, you can actually keep it – and you’ll essentially have a reclaim tincture. You can bottle the tincture and place a dropper under your tongue when you need a quick lift.
When you clean your dab pen, there are pros and cons to using the cleaning liquid to make a tincture. On one hand, high-proof drinkable alcohol is significantly more expensive than rubbing alcohol – and a reclaim tincture will never be as potent as fresh wax. On the other hand, wax concentrates aren’t cheap. If you use rubbing alcohol to clean your dab pen, you’re essentially throwing a small portion of your wax away. If you reclaim the residue and make a tincture from it, it’ll ensure that you’re extracting the maximum possible benefit from your wax concentrates and wasting as little as possible.