There’s nothing like unwrapping a brand-new, squeaky-clean glass pipe or bong and leading it with its first bowl! Unfortunately, as anyone who loves marijuana glassware knows, keeping it looking beautiful is easier said than done.
There’s no way around it: Burning cannabis flower, hash, or kief produces sticky black resin. And while it’s not harmful, that resinous buildup starts to lend a roached flavor to your smoke. Worse still, over time it will bake to a crusty and hard-to-clean film on that once-beautiful glassware.
Fortunately, learning how to clean a bong or pipe isn’t difficult. All you need are patience, the right tools, and just a bit of advance planning!
Cannabis Basics: How to Clean a Pipe in 4 Steps
Let’s start with cannabis pipes, as they tend to be small and fairly simple.
First of all, you’ll need a few household implements to help:
- A bobby pin or other thin (but stiff) wire implement
- Paper towels, tissue, or an expendable rag
- Sealable plastic freezer baggie
- Salt, preferably coarse or kosher
- Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, 90% or higher, or white vinegar
- Optional: A pipe cleaner (available from craft stores or well-stocked drugstores and dispensaries)
Step 1: Soften the resin by applying gentle heat. You can do this by holding a lighter near it or—hey, it is a pipe!—smoking a bowl through it. You just want to soften that black gunk a little bit.
Step 2: Using the bobby pin or stiff wire, gently scrape the resin from the bowl, walls, and mouthpiece of the pipe. Go easy; glass is scratchable. Be careful what you touch! That resin will stick to and stain almost anything it comes in contact with, so have the paper towel nearby to wipe off the collected resin. And if you want to save the resin for re-smoking later, you can collect it in a small glass or plastic vessel of some kind.
Step 3: Break out the baggie! Put the pipe in the bag, add enough coarse salt to at least surround it by half, and then enough rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to submerge the pipe. Carefully seal the baggie, and then start gently swishing and rubbing the salt-and-alcohol mixture with your fingers to scrub the pipe. Do this for a couple of minutes or until the majority of the resin has been scraped off, and then allow the pipe to soak in the liquid for a couple of hours. Repeat the gentle scrub if any resin remains.
Step 4: Remove the pipe and rinse it thoroughly in hot water. Now gently dry with a towel of some sort, and check it out. At this point, you may want to use the pipe cleaner to remove any remaining trace of resin. Ideally, your pipe should look shiny and new again! Perhaps it’s time for a celebratory bowl?
Cannabis Basics: How to Clean a Bong
Because bongs tend to be larger and a little more complicated, we’ll modify the steps outlined above. After dumping out the bongwater (good for watering your plants!), mix up a thick slurry of a 1/2 cup or so of isopropyl alcohol or vinegar and an equal amount of coarse salt.
Using your hands—we recommend kitchen gloves—scrub the bong inside and out with the solvent and salt mixture. If you have a watertight container large enough to hold the bong, letting it sit in the solvent mixture will aid the cleaning process. Otherwise, carefully rinse and dry it and assess the results!
Now that you know how to clean a bong and your glassware is spic and span, it’s time to taste test some new buds! Use our online menu to place your order now.