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Cigar 101

How to Clean a Cigar Ashtray

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

In an era of heightened hygiene, maintaining a high level of sanitation in your man cave is essential – especially when it comes to your ashtrays. While a full ashtray is a sign of a good time, it’s wise to empty your ashtrays out and disinfect them with soap and water or a cleaning wipe regularly. When you do dump your ashtray out, we recommend dumping the spent cigar butts in an old coffee can or metal tin and placing it outside with a metal lid on top. It’s a bit of added insurance that you’re not accidentally dumping any smoldering cigars into a garbage can that can catch fire.

While most cleaning agents will work just fine on any ashtray, not ALL are recommended. What matters most is what kind of material your ashtray is made from. We’ve laid out how to clean an ashtray based on its material.

Ceramic

Ceramic is the most common and classic material ashtrays are made from. The best way to clean a ceramic ashtray is with warm water, dish soap, and a soft sponge. You can also use a disinfectant wipe. But, we do not recommend putting ceramic in the dishwasher. Cigar logos can easily wash off from the pressure and not all ceramic is treated to withstand the intense heat of a dishwasher. Check the underside to see if your ashtray is dishwasher-safe. Classic ceramic ashtrays from Ashton and Arturo Fuente last forever and get tons of compliments.

Glass / Crystal

Soap and water with a soft sponge is also best for cleaning glass and crystal ashtrays. Like ceramic models, many glass ashtrays will feature branded art work in the ash dish or on the sides. Most cigar logos are applied to the surface and are not carved, making them susceptible to coming off in a dishwasher or with any kind of an abrasive cleaning agent. Bleach wipes may not be best either because they can leave noticeable streaks.

Melamine

Melamine is a fancy word for plastic (or acrylic), but melamine is not any ordinary material. It’s actually an insanely durable, fire-and-heat-resistant material. It’s virtually unbreakable and because of its endurance, it’s a perfect material for an ashtray. Tons of major cigar companies manufacture branded melamine ashtrays today. You can find melamine ashtrays from Montecristo, Oliva, Romeo y Julieta, Nub, Rocky Patel, My Father, Cain, H. Upmann, Tatuaje, and E.P. Carrillo. You’ll notice a wide range of colors and shapes, but they all offer one big advantage: they’re great for indoors and outdoors.

You can clean melamine ashtrays with almost any cleaners, including soap and water, disinfectant wipes, or you can even put them in the dishwasher. If you do decide to put them in a dish cycle, just be careful the logo doesn’t wash off. 

Chrome

The Stinky Ashtray has long been a popular ashtray for herfs and backyard barbecues with your buddies. The deep oversized ash dish is coated in chrome. Plain old dish soap and water is best for washing out a chrome ashtray. The pressure and abrasion in a dishwasher can erode the finish and bleach wipes will leave streaks like they do with glass.

Porcelain

Porcelain ashtrays like the Padron 50th Anniversary aren’t cheap. While you don’t necessarily have to wear white gloves to clean a porcelain ashtray, you should only use soap and warm water and a soft, non-abrasive sponge. Clean porcelain gently and dry it with a clean soft towel.

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