How To Season a Titanium Nail
Titanium is one of the best materials for the nail in your dab rig. They’re extremely rugged and durable, and do a great job for a portable or home setup.
The nail needs to be seasoned, and if you get this wrong with a titanium nail then there is every chance that you can end up with a negative experience. Anyone who has been unfortunate enough to taste the metal on their first dab with a new nail will tell you how awful it is.
Don’t be put off, though. In this guide we’ll show you how to season a titanium nail properly, avoiding that nasty taste for your first dab rig experience using this virtually indestructible metal. Quartz nails have gotten very popular and seasoning a quartz banger is very similar.
What Does Seasoning a Nail Mean?
It sounds like slang, right? Seasoning the nail is the process of getting rid of the ‘new’ coating, and any elements on the titanium that are more for aesthetic appeal than to actually give any sort of benefit to the user. It can be seen as ‘breaking in’ a new dab rig or new nail.
There are multiple methods to do this (as we will explore below). You’re basically just getting the remnants of the manufacturing process off the nail. Polish, and the metallic finish, can leave their horrible signature on the taste if you’re not careful. They’re rarely dangerous, but let’s face it, you want to enjoy the dab, not taste like you have tried to eat a car exhaust.
Method #1: Heat, then Cool
Extreme hot and cold can do the job, getting rid of any residue on your nail before you use it with any dab. You’ll need a bucket of ice water, a pair of pliers, a method of heating your dab, and some spare ice.
Step 1: Fill a bowl or bucket with ice and a little water. The bowl needs to be durable, either being made out of a strong plastic or even metal. The heat changes within might cause damage to a flimsy bowl.
Step 2: Hold the nail by using a pair of pliers to avoid heat transferring onto your hands, as you are going to be using some very hot temperatures. Ensure whatever you use to hold it will not melt.
Step 3: Use your torch or heating method to get the nail hot. I mean really hot. It should take 45-60 seconds and it will start glowing red.
Step 4: Switch off the torch and slowly and carefully put the hot nail into the icy water. Move it around to get rid of any residue and effectively ‘wash’ the nail. Take it out and shake thoroughly to get rid of the water.
Step 5: Repeat. You want to do this a few times so that you don’t have to worry about residue being left over. Lift the nail out of the water and shake it off before heating again.
Before step five, there is an optional step. If the ice has melted and the temperature of the water has risen then it is a good idea to try adding some more ice.
Method #2: Using Oil
You may not want to use your precious dab oil to season, but it can end up with very good results and avoid any nasty tastes.
Step 1: Put the nail into the rig and light it as usual, until it is glowing brightly. Then, turn off the torch.
Step 2: Using a dabber, apply oil to the whole surface of the nail, covering it thoroughly before letting it cool.
Step 3: Repeat this process 4-5 more times to make sure that the whole titanium nail is seasoned ready to be used again.
You’re performing a lot of the steps of actually using the dab rig without any of the benefits. You can see why this is frustrating for some people! However, once you’ve completed four or five coatings your nail will be ready to use properly, and you should avoid those nasty tastes. Think of this as giving your dab a protective coating of oil.
Top Tip: Don’t use your expensive concentrate oil. Though some oil will need to be sacrificed in the process of cleaning, don’t waste the expensive stuff. There are some other options. You can’t just use olive oil, which would otherwise be a good way to save some money. It’s a bit too viscose for this purpose and won’t properly coat the nail.
You can use coconut oil or essential oil to coat the nail and get rid of the nasty flavors. Using concentrate oil is a huge waste, and it doesn’t come cheap. Essential oils will do the exact same job.
Cleaning Your Titanium Nail
Another step that you need to consider is the cleaning. After it has been seasoned, and after it has been used, you’ll need to clean it properly.
The method of cleaning is pretty simple. You need to use isopropyl alcohol for the best effects. Take the nail out of the rig and drop it into a solution of isopropyl alcohol. You can leave it there for anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Rinse it off with water and then dry it naturally. Don’t use it straight away while it is still damp.
After you’ve seasoned the nail, whichever method you choose, make sure you clean it afterwards so it is ready to use in the future.
Let’s be honest about it, seasoning a nail is one of those jobs that it can be really tempting to skip. It’s not a fun job, and if you’ve got a new titanium nail for your dab rig then the chances are you want to use it as quickly as you possibly can. However, this is not something that you should cut corners with. Failing to season can truly make for some horrible dabbing experiences, whereas spending 10 minutes and sacrificing a little bit of essential oil can mean your nail is ready to go.