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Cleaning Trichomes; What Does It Mean?

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

You may have been left slightly confused when you've seen us talk about "cleaning trichomes", "clean Dry Sift" or even "uncleaned Dry Sift" on social media, possibly imagining us with a sponge and dish soap, literally cleaning the Sift like you would with your dishes. However, this couldn't be more wrong or further from the truth!

In this blog post, we're going to put some clarity on the matter and help you to understand exactly what we mean when we refer to cleaning Dry Sift or what we would call "clean Dry Sift".

Dry Sift after being "cleaned"

Please note that this blog post is for educational purposes only, and should not be used for any illegal activity. We are not liable for anything you choose to do with this information.

With some skill and patience, it is possible to obtain up to 99.9% purity in your Dry Sift

The term "clean Dry Sift" simply means that the Dry Sift in question has gone through a certain process to ensure that there are no longer any contaminants present (or an extremely small amount, at 0.01%), as seen in this photo. With some skill and patience, it is possible to obtain up to 99.9% purity in your Dry Sift with the technique we are about to share with you.

But first, let us talk about some the common misconceptions about cleaning Dry Sift. It may seem pointless, but this could actually help you understand that what you've

"Uncleaned" Dry Sift

always thought or assumed to be correct, was actually in fact wrong or not nearly as effective for the purpose of cleaning.

1) "Carding" Will Clean My Dry Sift

Although on our blog post "The Art of Dry Sifting/Sieving" we recommend moving each layer of trichome heads with a bank/gift card, after the Sift has built up on the screens, we do not believe that spreading the trichome heads across the screens like butter on toast is a good technique. Doing this will only force many trichome heads through the very screen that they're supposed to be sitting on, possibly damaging them in the process and pushing contaminants through with them. Simply moving the trichomes across the screen, holding a scoop-like angle with your card pushing forwards, is more than enough to allow each and every trichome head the opportunity to touch the mesh, giving them the chance to fall through the mesh if possible. Fall is the key word.

The Anti-Static Brush provided with our 4-Screen Sets can also be used for this, by sweeping the trichomes gently around the screen. We believe this to be a refinement process, not a cleaning process.

2) I Don't Want To Shrink My Trichome Heads By Cleaning Them

This is a very false opinion. Cleaning your trichomes will not shrink your beautiful, bulging resin glands, it will only separate them from plant matter or any other nasties you don't want in your Dry Sift, that's it! For example; cleaning 165u heads on the 75u screen does not mean you will end up with 75u Dry Sift. Only what passes through the screen will be considered less than 75u. You will however, be left with some super clean 165u heads that no longer contain any contaminants!

3) You Can Only Clean Sift That's Been Collected From A Certain Screen

Also not true. Any Dry Sift you collect from any of our screens can be cleaned to up to 99.9% pure! For example; Sift collected from our 165u Screen and even the 149u Screen can be cleaned to remove any contaminants, leaving you with an extremely high quality end product.

As long as the trichome heads you wish to clean are larger than the correct screens for cleaning (45u or 75u), then you're able to find ultimate purity in any of those piles you've collected and refined. You may find that the 149u Screen (and below) doesn't even need to be cleaned, after the initial Dry Sifting process and refining (moving across the screens). These can be extremely clean as they are!

Enough about all that, what is it we're going on about!?

Static Sift separated from contaminants


You guessed it: Static-Tech!

The only true way to achieve ultimate purity in your Dry Sift, to a very high standard, is by using a technique known as "Static-Tech". This means that we will be utilizing static electricity to remove the trichome heads from any contaminants such as plant matter or loose fibres that have wormed their way into your Sift. If you're not sure what static electricity is, then rub a balloon on your t-shirt and lift it above your head, near your hair (if you have any! If not, try it on someone nearby who has!).

Sadly, when using the static technique to clean trichomes, you don't want to use a balloon. This wouldn't end well and is a cause for disaster. Instead, the more popular tools of choice would be either the spine of a DVD case or a brand new, clean paint roller (without the handle of course). But before they can be put to use, they'll need to be wrapped in parchment paper; preferably brown parchment or purpose-made extract parchment, as these don't contain a silicone coating. This is known to reduce the terpene levels of your Dry Sift.

How It Works

As the tool is swept across the pile of Dry Sift on either our 45u or 75u Screens, it creates a static charge on the parchment, and picks up trichome heads on the following/back edge to your swipe (as seen in this photo). On the leading edge you will see a line of contaminants that are green and darker in colour. This should be brushed into a separate pile to the trichome heads you've collected with static tech. It's always good to go through the contaminants pile with your tool once more to ensure you collect every last trichome!

By doing this, and by brushing each line into two separate piles, you will essentially be "cleaning" your Dry Sift of any contaminants. Once you've finished, you'll be left with a stunning pile of golden trichomes along with a second pile, containing green plant matter and anything else that had made its way into your Sift.

So now you know what it means to clean your Dry Sift, you can put your dusting brush down and learn exactly how to do it in our detailed guide on how to perform Static-Tech. Head over to our post "The Art of Dry Sifting/Sieving", where you'll find all the information you'll need about the process by scrolling down to the last section.

Static Dry Sift during pressing

We hope you've enjoyed this blog post. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for the most up-to-date content/offers. We encourage you to upload ALL of your Skunk Sifters related content to IG (following country/state laws). Tag us @SkunkSifters and use our Hashtags (below) to be featured on our page!


Photo Credits:

- @TheFoxFarmer

- Anonymous Customer

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