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By Smoke Cartel Crew on Jul 13, 2016

'Tis the season to ready your dab nail! 

From low-temp dabs to carb caps, dabbers go through many steps to enjoy the full flavor of their concentrates. These steps begin with seasoning and/or cleaning your new nail.

Please note: Only titanium nails require actual seasoning—ceramic, quartz, and glass nails do not need to be seasoned, but they should still be cleaned prior to use for the best possible result.

While titanium heating elements are designed for vaporization, they need to be seasoned before use to remove any foul tasting finishes created by the manufacturing process. Seasoning a nail is just like seasoning a new pan—it ensures you have a tasty experience right from the start.

You’ll need the following items to clean your nail:

  • Nail (quartz or titanium)
  • Torch
  • Your smoking apparatus (rig or water pipe)

If you are also seasoning a titanium nail, you’ll need all of the above, plus:

  • A titanium or quartz dabbing tool (preferably the same material as the nail you are seasoning)
  • Your oil of choice (coconut oil and hemp oil are both great options)

OK! Let’s get started...

  • Place your nail securely on your rig or water pipe.
  • Heat all of the dabbing surfaces of the nail with the torch. Do not attempt to heat up the entirety of the nail (the base/joint), lest you damage the joint of your pipe.
  • Allow your nail to get hot. The nail will not glow bright red as it is brand new. The red glow is created by a buildup of carbon overtime and is only acquired after use.
  • Once thoroughly heated, allow the nail to cool naturally. You can repeat this step if desired. This is all you need to do if you’re preparing a ceramic, glass, or quartz nail! Congratulations, you nail is clean and ready for use! See steps 5 and 6 for instructions on how to season your nail.
  • Now that any dust or manufacturing residue has been burned off your nail, begin heating it again until just below red hot. Allow to cool for five to ten seconds, and then add the oil to the nail as if you were dabbing it (don’t, btw). Coat the dabbing surface of the nail as evenly as possible, then allow to cool completely. Note: If your oil is burning or sizzling when you add it to your nail, it is too hot and the seasoning will not take correctly. Adjust your heating time accordingly if this occurs.
  • Repeat a few times—three is good.


Seasoning a nail is that easy! There are videos out there with people seasoning their nails with odd substances like salt, or even jelly. Don’t do that! Save your jelly for a sandwich. It's is not good for your heating element and just makes a mess!

To further preserve your quartz nail over time, check out our article explaining Q-Tip Tech and how to slow the oxidation process and wear on your nail. Enjoy!


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About the Author

Smoke Cartel - Online Headshop

Smoke Cartel Crew

Written by the staff here at Smoke Cartel. Our passionate team of headshop professionals are dedicated to educating people on products in the online headshop industry, from glass, to vaporizes, and all the consumption devices and accessories in between.

We believe that knowing how your products are made, what they were originally designed for, and how to properly use them - is essential to keeping our customers happy. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

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