🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur.
Washing machines are a great way to automate the all-important mixing phase of ice water extraction or washing bubble hash. Washing hash involves mixing together ice water and cannabis, then sieving the mixture through a series of filters called bubble wash bags. Using a washing machine for mixing enhances the efficiency, consistency, and scalability of output, and is often the best choice for processors working through a high volume of material.
Cannabis is organic matter which can quickly rot and mold if it’s left sopping wet in a washing machine. Even tiny pieces of plant material that find their way into the various nooks and crannies of the inside of the washing machine can harbor all kinds of bacteria and microbes. This means that removing any trace of plant material remaining in the machine after washing is key to maintaining cleanliness and preventing contamination during your next run. And a good cleaning requires more than just rinsing out the machine with fresh water and letting it dry.
How Often To Clean Your Bubble Hash Washing Machine
Washing machines should be cleaned thoroughly after every session of washing hash.
You don’t need to worry about cleaning between runs of the same batch of material, or cleaning multiple times during the day if you’re washing a lot of batches. But when it’s time to store the washing machine for more than a few hours between washes, then it’s time for a thorough cleaning.
If you’re running machines throughout the day for multiple days in a row, it’s a good idea to clean the machine once at the end of the day.
Remember, even a few small scraps of plant material stuck within some inconspicuous crevice inside the machine can be detrimental to the cleanliness of your next run of hash. If you fall behind in cleaning and lots of contamination accumulates, it can be nearly impossible to reverse the damage. Layers of smeared resin across the plastic inside a washing machine are like a superglue that catches all kinds of contaminants. And the resin itself is tough to remove.
That said, cleaning regularly and thoroughly is key.
Supplies Needed To Clean Washing Machines
We’re not interested in using solvents to make cannabis extracts, but we will use solvents to clean our washing machines!
Cold, clean water, a sprayer (the same you use to rinse the resin in your wash bags before collection is good for this purpose), a toothbrush, a kitchen sponge, and isopropyl alcohol are the supplies we use to clean our washing machines.
H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) mixed with water is a good solution to use as well, but we prefer isopropyl (ISO) alcohol. Aim for 90% concentration or higher when buying rubbing alcohol for cleaning.
1. Spray the inside of the drum and underneath the lid with a jet stream of cold, clean water. Aim the water into the edges and crannies to force out any material that became trapped in those tight places while the machine was operating.
2. Check inside for any visible areas of smeared resin and target those with rubbing alcohol. You can use a toothbrush to help with scrubbing.
3. Run a full cycle with cold water and iso alcohol. Right after the cycle is complete, drain the iso water mixture out of the machine. Do not let ISO sit in the machine too long.
4. After it’s been washed out with ISO, run another full cycle with only cold water. Drain the machine.
5. Check inside the drainage hose and make sure there aren’t any visible contaminants stuck inside. Also, check any screen that may be built into the drain inside the machine. You can even separate the base of most machines from the drum and access the insides more easily.
6. Remember, if you use ISO on any surface inside the washing machine, make sure it is thoroughly rinsed away with cold, clean water. Any residual ISO left in the machine can taint the loose resin you collect during your next run.
Note about Turning Plates:
Many washing machines are built with a turning plate at the bottom of the drum inside the machine. This plastic disc, or plate, easily traps plant material and trichomes, and it’s incredibly difficult to clean underneath them.
Before using your machine, it’s a good idea to remove the turning plate. Normally, they are simply screwed onto a screw shaft connected to the base of the machine, so you can unscrew the whole plate by hand without any tools. You may need to wiggle the plate back and forth several times to get it to release, but once it does it should unscrew easily from the screw shaft.
When you remove the turning plate, double-check the drainage hose. If it’s corrugated, you should change it out for a smooth tube. Corrugated drainage tubes, those with ridges along the inside surface, will catch a lot of loose resin as your water drains out of the machine. This trapped resin represents significant losses to your overall yield.
If you look into the labs of all the best extractors who consistently create the most premium products on the market, you’ll notice a coming thread. Cleanliness is king.
Cleaning out your washing machine religiously isn’t glamorous but it’s essential for cleanliness. A machine that’s not immaculately clean can diminish the purity and cleanliness of the loose resin you ultimately collect.
Therefore, thoroughly cleaning your washing machine after every day of hash production is the way to go.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you clean a washing machine used for making bubble hash?
Cold water and isopropyl alcohol work well for cleaning out washing machines after washing bubble hash.
How often should you clean a washing machine used for making bubble hash?
Washing machines should be cleaned thoroughly after every session, or after each day of washing hash. If you plan to leave the machine idle for more than a few hours, it's a good idea to clean it out first.
What if you don't regularly clean a washing machine used for making bubble hash?
If you don't regularly clean the washing machine, it will accumulate resin and debris that can negatively impact future hash runs. If you don't keep up with cleaning it will render the machine unusable for washing bubble hash.
What type of chemicals do you use to clean a washing machine used for bubble hash?
The safe chemicals to use include hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol. We recommend ISO alcohol. And it's vital to thoroughly rinse out with clean water afterwards!
What is a turning plate inside a washing machine for bubble hash?
The turning plate is located at the bottom of the inside of the washing machine drum and looks like a thin plastic disc. This should be removed before use. If left inside the machine, the turning plate becomes a trap for plant material and resin, and it's nearly impossible to clean underneath it.