How to clean a titanium nail and other dab devices
So you’ve taken the dive into the veritable abyss that is dabbing, acquired the rig and the dabber, the carb cap and nail. You’ve dabbed everything from the darkest faux nug run poop soup to the the clearest distillates and isolates these new markets have to offer. But for some reason, maybe that titanium nail isn’t looking as shiny as it once did.
I especially notice this on my electric dab nail, or e-nail. I started out with the titanium nail that came with the LIT electric dab nail set, which I still use to this day. You can find that review here. I just realized I’ve had this thing for two years now. What a beast. Hey LIT, you should send an updated version to review!
How to clean titanium nail
Have you ever taken an electric nail dab that tasted awful? It’s either because the dab itself was shit, the water needs changed, or the nail is getting dirty. The best way I’ve found to clean a titanium nail is by using Isopropyl Alcohol. Back in my lab days it was nice, because we could just take our nails, put them in a baggy with acetone or isopropyl alcohol, then toss that into this cool machine called a sonicator. It’s basically a bath of water that heats up and vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies. Usually about 15 minutes in one of these and all the dirty dab nails would come out looking nice and clean. It also helps to take care of your titanium dab nail. If you aren’t familiar with the qtip tek, you should be.
Once you take a dab or two, puddles start to build up in your dab nail. The qtip tek is exactly what it sounds like. Take a q tip while the puddle is still somewhat hot, and wipe that shit out. The more often you do this, the less build up you will get in even the best dab nail or glass banger, which will result in a cleaner titanium nail or quartz banger or even a glass nail, and a better tasting hit. Did we cover all the bases or nails there?
Some people also like to use q tips dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I’m not a huge fan of doing this because I feel like it’s unnecessary. Assuming you swab the titanium nail or quartz banger after you take a dab, the material left behind should still be plenty hot to easily soak up. I always prefer this to the hiss of cold isopropyl hitting a hot nail. Especially if it’s one of those cheap dab nails. Doing that is just asking for it to break. If you want to be helpful with the isopropyl, wipe the mouthpiece off in between people using it.
People especially like to do this with an electric dab rig, because they say the heat helps the isopropyl take up the residue. I think this is true as far as wanting to use warm solvent to extract with, or to clean out a rig, because the solvent will pick up more stuff when it’s warm. But for nails and such, I feel it’s a bit unnecessary.
For titanium nails, and even on my quartz dab nail on my electric oil rig, I’ll sometimes use a metal wax carving tool that came in this kit I found on Amazon. It’s shaped like a small cylinder and fits perfectly inside the electric dab nail to scrape the black char off. Just be careful, as you can break stuff if you are using metal on glass or quartz like that. I don’t really recommend it.
What is that stuff left behind on my dab nail?
The black char looking material that builds up on dab nails is, to the best of my knowledge, basically carbon. Ashes to ashes and dabs to carbon. I’m sure there’s some other stuff in there, but it’s mostly from fats and waxes in dabs that are not winterized. It can also be caused from dabbing shit that still has some plant material in it, usually a rosin of some sort. If you want to test this, get some really clear looking distillate, and a new nail. Assuming you aren’t burning the shit out of your dabs when you take them, there should be very little residue left behind. That’s why I always recommend a good flavored distillate when people are using coil pens.
You can really see it well on a ceramic nail, since the black carbon char contrasts nicely over the white ceramic dab nail. If you use ceramic nails, you should probably just stop and get yourself a nice titanium nail or quartz banger. I feel like ceramic, for all that it offers, is far too fragile, and a huge pain in the ass to get the temperature right. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of inhaling ceramic dust when the dab nail starts to chip and flake. Most dab nails and dab bongs, or rigs, can be cleaned using the same two things. Isopropyl Alcohol and salt. There’s a ton of products out there you can also try and use, but I’ve always had perfect luck with the iso. Just make sure it’s as high of a percentage as you can get. I prefer the 99% stuff. You can get it on Amazon.
Seasoning a titanium nail
People also ask about seasoning titanium nail or seasoning quartz nail quite often. I’ve always seen and heard conflicting reports on this. It seems like everyone has their own ritual when it comes to seasoning a quartz nail or how to season a titanium nail. You wanna know how i do it? I don’t. I just dab yo. I heat my nail up, wait the proper time, then dab that shit. The nail will get seasoned on it’s own. People just like to get straight up silly with their dab game. I should know, I’m one of those people, but I get silly in my own way.
If you insist on seasoning your dab nails, I’ve seen people heat the shit out of their nail until it’s glowing, then put like a half gram of reclaim on it. I’ve seen people use their good dabs, I’ve seen people season titanium nails with their poop soup. I’ve seen someone season a titanium domeless nail and accidentally get the nail too hot, so that when the material hit the dab nail, it burst into flames. I’ve even seen people attempt to season those tiny cheap dab nails with the dome. If you aren’t familiar with those, they are the tiny glass nail pieces that actually look like a nail, and come with a glass dome of some sort.
Whichever way you decide to keep your titanium nail, or your highly educated nail, or your Joel Halen pig trough quartz banger, or your Hoye’s Quartz XL banger, clean,as long as you do keep it clean, that’s stuff stoners like.
So that’s how to clean a titanium nail and also how to season one properly. Have anything to ad? Please let us know in the comments section below.
By Mat Lee