Cleaning your bongs, pipes, bowls, and dab rigs is a part of life for everyone from the daily smoker to the seasonal smoker. When your glass piece has been loved and used frequently over time, there’s a build-up of resin and other gunk that just must go.
If you find your airflow blocked or that the taste of your hits just isn’t as fresh as it used to be, it’s probably time to clean your smoking device.
While it might not be the most exciting of activities for smokers, it’s something that is rewarding and super simple to do. And when it comes to taste and cleanliness, it’s an absolute must to clean your pipe, bong, and smoking device. No matter what type of piece you’re packing, (glass or wood) this guide will help you easily clean your glass for a tasty and clean experience.
How to Clean Your Pipe, Bong, and Smoking Pieces
From simple ingredients you likely already have in your house, to tried-and-true solutions, it’s actually very easy to keep your smoking devices clean. When you consider the quality hit you get with a clean piece, you’ll want to spend a few minutes every few months to keep your pieces clean and clear of build-up.
No matter how often you smoke, your pieces will gather a natural build-up of resin that can inhibit fully experiencing the flavor profile of your cannabis. From pipes and bongs to wood pieces, there’s a technique that will solve all your needs. These are not one size fits all solutions, so depending on what you’re packing, you’re going to want to choose a cleaning option that is best for that piece specifically. We’ve broken it down my cleaning solution which will apply to different pieces. Don’t go using these on all pieces if it doesn’t apply to the material.
If you’re going to be smoking out of a piece with water in it, you can start with a prevention technique: lemon juice. The acid in lemon juice is a natural emulsifier that will help to keep your glass water piece nice and clean while you’re using it. This will only go so far, however, and you’ll have to literally rinse and repeat. But if you’re looking for something that will make it easier to keep things clean as you go, then this is an awesome trick that’s cheap and can even add to the flavor of you’re already tasty weed.
White Vinegar and Baking Soda: Glass Pieces
Grandmas across all the lands have been using this combination to clean everything from mold to tile floors for decades. Apply their knowledge to your pipe or bog to get back to a clean hit with full airflow! Vinegar is the perfect remover for resin and wax, it is also a natural deodorizer, while baking soda acts as a water softener. If you’ve ever mixed baking soda and vinegar, you know it creates a fizzy, volcanic reaction. Depending on the piece you’re cleaning keep this in mind. For a bong, you’ll want to place the solution directly in the shaft, while a smaller piece can go in a plastic bag.
How to use it: Take either your ziplock plastic bag or your bong and first pour in the baking soda. The ratio here is about 2 to 1, with more vinegar than baking soda. Starting with the baking soda will help you regulate the fizz and foam that comes from adding vinegar. Slowly add vinegar, shake about, and let sit for anywhere from a few hours to overnight. You’ll soon have a sparkling clean piece.
Olive Oil: Glass and Wood Pieces
Considering that cannabis is fat-soluble, using a carrier oil like olive oil to adhere to the built-up resin makes sense. Many users on Reddit have commented that they swear by this method. We prescribe to the philosophy of “don’t knock it till you try it” so this is at least worth a shot for certain piece. If you’re packing wood or glass pieces, olive oil can help to adhere to and remove the resin.
How to use it: If you’re working with a small smoking device, place it in a plastic bag with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Stay away from adding any water, as oil and water don’t mix and you’ll dilute the cleaning power of the olive oil alone. Shake the piece around with the oil and let it sit for a while. This will allow time for the oil to adhere to the resin. Then, remove the piece from the plastic bag and wash it with dish soap and water. You’ll soon have a sparkling clean wood or glass piece that is ready to use. TIP: You can also use other oils like avocado oil, sunflower oil, or any other “fatty” oil.
If you’re working with a bong, place a few tablespoons of oil in the bong and cap the holes with your hands or a piece of foil. Shake it around a bit and then let it sit, making sure that the oil is touching the area that contains resin. Use the same method to clean the oil out, with soap and water.
Salt and Isopropyl Alcohol: Glass Pieces
Perhaps the most well-known and by far the fastest method of cleaning pipes, bongs, and smoking devices is salt and rubbing alcohol. Using a rubbing alcohol that is between 70% and 90% alcohol. You can find this at drug stores or pharmacies and it’s what will work the fastest to get you back in rotation. When salt reacts with rubbing alcohol, it creates bubbles of hydrogen gas and a corrosive sodium ethoxide. This reaction helps with breaking down the tar and resin.
How to use it: First and foremost, using alcohol with such a high percentage is toxic to inhale, and is also flammable. Use caution when working with this solution. In a plastic bag, pour in a good amount of rubbing alcohol. About a half cup is good for smaller pieces, and a larger plastic bag with a cup of alcohol is good for larger pieces. Add up to a tablespoon of salt and give it a good shake for a few minutes. Let the solution sit overnight and in the morning, rinse with soap and water. If all the resin isn’t gone, literally rise and repeat.
Boiling Water: Glass and Wood Pieces
This is a popular option but is honestly the least desirable. Boiling both wood and glass pieces can compromise the integrity of the material, making the piece either crack or explode. Take caution if you use this method and only boil for 10 minutes maximum. This isn’t really even an option we recommend, but it’s so popular that it’s worth noting what not to do when cleaning your pipe or bong.
If you’re looking for some tasty flower to pack your fresh and clean piece with, stop into The Spot 420 and we’ll help you discover the best strain for your desires. There are many ways to enjoy cannabis and we’ve got them all covered at The Spot 420 in Pueblo and Trinidad.