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There’s also the matter of hunching over your work bucket, scooping and lifting ice, and pouring water. With potentially dozens of repetitions in a day, and hundreds over the course of a week, it’s easy to see how washing hash can cause strains to your body. One of the key areas to strain is your back, and it can also be one of the most painful.
The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to reduce stress on your back during long days in the lab. Let’s review them here.
Work on Counter Tops Installed at a Comfortable Level
When possible, avoid placing your equipment on the floor so that you’re not hunched over your work station. It’s better to keep things at a level that allows you to stand upright, since bending over and lifting puts a lot of stress on your back.
Working on counter tops is much easier than working on the floor. For example, placing your washing machine on an elevated surface is a better option than leaving it on the floor. Always keep in mind what you can be doing to remain in a more upright position.
Use Wash Bags with Mesh Sidewalls
Holding bags while they drain is one of the hardest parts of the job. Sourcing bubble hash wash bags made with mesh sidewalls will speed up the drainage process. While traditional bubble bags are constructed with waterproof nylon sidewalls and mesh filters at the very bottom, newer and improved versions of wash bags are made with mesh that extends several inches into the sidewalls. This additional mesh increases the surface area through which water can drain, thus speeding up the drainage process.
Allowing water to drain quickly through the wash bags decreases the amount of time you need to hold the bags in suspension. Less time holding the bags means less strain on your back.
Keep Bubble Hash Wash Bags Clean
Another way to improve drainage time is to ensure that your wash bags remain clean at all times. As trichome heads accumulate on the screens they need to be completely removed after each round of filtering. Trichomes that aren’t removed will quickly build up and then block the pores through which water and contaminants need to pass. Clogged filters make for slower drainage, which equates to extra strain on your back. Some extra greasy resin will make frequent cleaning an absolute necessity.
Thoroughly rinse the filters with cold, pressurized water after each round of filtration. Some extractors even clean the filters with ISO multiple times throughout a wash. This should be done with caution, and a very thorough rinsing afterwards.
Hash wash bags should also be cleaned thoroughly at the end of every work day. For more info on cleaning, see our article on How To Properly Clean Bubble Bags.
Create a Bucket Stacking System
Being smarter about how you handle your wash bags can go a long way in reducing stress on your back. Another improvement to filter bag workflow is the bucket stacking system, where each filter bag gets its own bucket (or bucket top), and the bucketed bags are then stacked one inside of the next.
This system essentially creates better structure for each bag, making them easier to manage and quickly stack and then remove during the washing process. Learn more about building and using this stacking system in our article on How To Make a Bucket Stacking System for Washing Bubble Hash.
Devise a Setup for Hanging Bags in Suspension
A final tip for optimizing the bag drainage process is to create an apparatus that holds the bags in suspension for you. You can eliminate the need to manually hold each bag while it drains by getting creative. Use a ladder, cross beam in a ceiling, or even some type of pulley system to hand the bags in suspension while they drain.
Quality hash wash bags like these from The Press Club are made with grommets, which make it easy to attach clips or hooks for use in suspension.
Modify Work Bucket for Drainage
If you’re hand-mixing rather than using a washing machine, you may be using a standard work bucket that you manually empty into the filter bags after mixing. This requires lifting the bucket and slowly dumping the mix into the filter bags, which can be hard on your back. This is especially true when you repeat this action a dozen times a day or more.
Instead of picking up the work bucket after each wash, install a valve at the bottom for automatic drainage. This a drainage valve, you can set the work bucket on a countertop and then open the valve to let the water flow into the filter bags positioned below.
When you install a valve, make sure the design is minimalistic, reducing the opportunity for trichomes to get stuck inside the valve. You can also install a hose to the valve, to give you better directional control of the flowing water. If you install a drainage hose, be sure to use one with smooth sides, not corrugated. Corrugated sides are trichome traps!
Washing hash is hard work! Being mindful of basic movements that you repeat throughout the hash washing process is the first step in working as smart as you do hard.
Your lower back is especially prone to stress after a full day of production. We hope that these pointers help you reduce back soreness and tension.
What tricks do you have for minimizing stress on your back? Let us know in the comments!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the best countertops to use in a hash washing room?
Stainless steel is the best material to use for virtually all equipment in your hash washing room. It’s easy to clean and doesn’t readily harbor contaminants.
What are the best bubble hash wash bags?
The best bubble hash wash bags are made with high quality, durable materials and include mesh sidewalls. The Press Club’s premium hash wash bags are designed and constructed for fast draining and reliable performance wash after wash.
Can you use ISO alcohol to clean bubble hash wash bags?
Yes, but a thorough rinse immediately after scrubbing (gently) with ISO is mandatory. It’s critical to remove all traces of alcohol before the next round of washing.
What is the best cannabis cultivar to relieve back pain?
ACDC (a medium THC/high CBD flower), Blueberry, and Bubba Kush are examples of cannabis strains known to alleviate pain.
What is the bubble hash bucket stacking system?
A method that uses multiple buckets stacked one on top of the other to hold the filter bags. The bottoms are cut out of regular 5-gallon buckets and each bubble hash wash bag gets its own bucket. These buckets are then stacked in sequence with their respective bags. Learn more about this setup in our article How To Make a Bucket Stacking System for Washing Bubble Hash