By Vanessa Matthews
Whether you’re a brand-new dabber delving into all the possibilities, or a seasoned one looking for some additional tweaks in your routine, you may be interested in this intriguing process called “seasoning” for your dab nail. Sounds weird, right? Well, once you realize the purposes of doing it, it may not sound so weird after all.
First of all, what is a dab nail?
A dab nail, also known as a banger nail, is a water pipe attachment that allows you to vaporize concentrates. They function by heating it up to a high temperature with a torch, dropping in the wax, and inhaling the vapor that is released. This potent vapor gets pulled through the percolator, gets cooled by the water in the chamber, and is released through the mouthpiece to be inhaled. Nails come in several materials including quartz, titanium, and even ceramic. However, quartz is by far the most popular of the bunch, offering a pure taste and heat resistance, while maintaining the attractive aesthetic of glass throughout your piece.
What is seasoning? Why should you do it?
Now that we’ve covered the bare-bones basics, what the heck is seasoning? Well, it’s not just what we do to make our food taste amazing. It’s basically akin to seasoning a new cast iron skillet: The porous surface absorbs all the oils to improve the flavor of each dish to come. In the case of seasoning your dab nail, the purpose is to achieve dabs that are both great-tasting, as well as safe to inhale. “What could be so unsafe about hitting an unseasoned nail?” you ask? Well, while the seasoning process isn’t a total necessity, it is a way to go into your sessions with 100% certainty that no unwanted chemicals or invisible residue from the manufacturing process remain in your hits. That, plus the additional benefit of dabs that are far more potent in flavor. Here are the simple steps of seasoning your dab nail:
1. With the dab nail securely in the joint of your dab rig, torch the entire bowl (not the tube) of the nail until it begins glowing red.
2. Once it glows red and is thoroughly heated, stop torching, without allowing time for cooling.
3. While the nail is still hot, get a small amount of cannabis concentrate on your dab tool, and apply it to the surface of the nail’s bowl. Apply it as evenly as you can to the base and walls. A cotton swab works well for this.
4. After coating the inside of the bowl with a small layer of wax, allow the nail to cool. Repeat this process 3-5 times, and the process is complete!
Cleaning a quartz dab nail
Even with the best maintenance, you’re going to have to clean your nail eventually! Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get your gunky black quartz nail looking brand-new again.
1. Soak in either an isopropyl alcohol and salt solution, or a glass cleaner of choice. This can be done in a dish or a sealable plastic baggie. Soak in between 6-24 hours. The more time you allow it to soak, the more ability your solution will have to dissolve the buildup.
2. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
3. To clean off remaining residue that didn’t clean off from the soak, lightly torch the nail to melt the excess. Wipe off with a dry cotton swab. Then, use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to swab everything clean.
4. Rinse your nail once more!
5. Allow it to dry. Ta-da! WIthout too much elbow grease, you have yourself a sparkling clean dab nail ready for some smooth, clean dabs.
Staying up-to-date on the upkeep of your dabbing materials doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need the knowledge of effective methods! Now that you have some extra information on how to prep and clean your nails, you’ll be able to maintain your tools with ease, and have an overall quality dabbing experience. Happy Dabbing!