What is a dab straw? How to use and clean one?

Today, vaporizing waxy concentrates for inhalation – also known as dabbing – is one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis.

Traditional dabbing methods using dab rigs can be intimidating, messy and complicated for some. That's where a premium dab straw comes into play.

Dab straws allow you to conveniently enjoy waxy oils or concentrates – just like a hummingbird or butterfly collecting nectar from a flower.

What makes them so unique is that they eliminate all the hassle of setting up a traditional dab rig, which is great and convenient for those dabbers who like to dab on the go.

They are probably the most efficient and easiest way to dab without the need for all the extras.

Want to dive into the world of dab straws? Our guide will walk you through the components of the dab straw, how it works, how to use it, how to clean it, and more.

What is a dab straw?

Dab straws, also known as nectar collectors and honey straws, are vertical and small dab rigs with a tubular design that are easy to transport and disassemble when needed.

Dab straws consist of a tube with a mouthpiece on the top and a “straw” on the bottom that is heated. You can use them for dabbing all kinds of concentrates.

The Dab Straw is made of glass, silicone or other heat-resistant materials and is available with or without a water filter percolation chamber.

The tube is used to inhale the vapor, while the “straw” is heated with a burner so you can vaporize concentrates.

The “straw” or dab tip can be made from materials like borosilicate glass, quartz, or titanium. Of the materials, titanium will last the longest, while quartz and glass will give you the purest terpene flavors.

Originally, honey straws required a burner to heat them. Today, there are electric versions that do not rely on an external heat source.

How does a dab straw work?

Dab Straws work like regular straws that use suction.

The straw-like tip is heated to about 370 °C (700 °F) or more and then placed in a heat-resistant container or bowl containing swabs.

The wax melts immediately and turns into steam when it comes into contact with the straw.

At the same time, the user inhales through a mouthpiece on the top, which directs the freshly generated vapor upwards through the device.

How to use a manual dab straw?

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use a commercial dab straw.

Step 1: Gather your materials

You need: a straw, a container or bowl, cannabis concentrates and a butane burner.

If your dab straw has a water chamber, fill it (with water) and then tighten all connections well.

Step 2: Prepare your concentrate

Using a dabbing tool, apply a small amount of concentrate to the heat-resistant surface.

This can be in the form of shatter, wax or oil.

Step 3: Heat the tip

Turn on your butane torch and heat the tip of the straw until it is red hot.

Distribute the heat evenly by rotating the straw.

Step 4: Apply the tip to concentrate

Wait a moment (about 15 to 30 seconds) for the tip to cool down.

Dabbing at extremely high temperatures will destroy many terpenes and flavors, so wait until the tip is no longer orange or red before dipping it into your concentrate.

Place the tip on the concentrate and inhale through the mouthpiece at the other end of the nectar collector.

The hot tip evaporates the concentrate into steam.

Step 5: Inhale the steam

Once the concentrate has vaporized, place your mouth on the mouthpiece at the other end of the straw and pull to inhale.

Breathe slowly and evenly to fully enjoy the aroma and effects of the concentrate.

Be careful not to inhale too hard as this may cause discomfort or coughing.

Step 6: Clean the dab straw

To maintain functionality and extend life, it is important to clean your glass dab straw after each use.

Clean the straw with a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol.

Gently scrub the inside and outside of the straw to remove any residue or debris.

How do you clean a dab straw?

To keep your dab straw in top shape, clean it thoroughly every 1-2 weeks.

Disassemble your Dab Straw and place the parts in a zip-lock plastic bag filled with isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt.

Let them soak for 15 to 30 minutes, shake them, then go over them once (and a second or third time for stubborn residue) with a cotton swab or pipe cleaner and let them dry.

Straws for dabbing are generally a bit more delicate than other glasses, so be careful.

While isopropyl alcohol is commonly used to clean glass dab straws, continued use on silicone can cause the material to become brittle and lose flexibility.

As a safe alternative, you can use special cleaning solutions for silicone or mild mixtures of soap and water.

Dab Rig vs. Dab Straw: Which is Better?

A dab straw is a type of portable dab rig that allows you to do dabs outside of your home.

Traditionally, dab rigs are larger devices that can only be used at home. The dab straw is here and it's going to change the game.

The Dab Straw has a much smaller design compared to a Dab Rig. It is vertical and has a straw-like shape that makes it easier to inhale concentrates.

Instead of applying concentrates to a heated surface like a dab nail, the dab straw applies a heated tip directly to the concentrate.

The main parts of the electric nectar collector are the tip, the water chamber or body, the mouthpiece and the concentrate container.

Manual Dab Straw vs Electric Dab Straw: Which is Better?

There are different types of dab straws, including manual and electric dab straws.

An electric dab straw like the Fifth Ave Green House Seahorse Pro is essentially a miniature version of a manual dab straw. The main difference between the two is that the heating element is powered by a battery instead of a manual torch.

The other difference is that with an electric dab straw, you apply the wax to the element of the device before it heats up – not after.


In this ever-changing industry, dab straws are growing in popularity, changing their shape, size and design.

Dab straws are widely used and enjoyed by many people in the dabbing world and are great for a quick session or an on-the-go adventure.

Using a glass dab straw for cannabis concentrates is easier than it seems. This guide provides step-by-step instructions for beginners and enthusiasts.

With this knowledge, you can enjoy your concentrates with confidence and enhance your dabbing experience.

We all love a good dab straw, and you will too. It's a fun addition to your dabbing collection.

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