Maintaining clean smoking equipment should be a priority for any cannabis enthusiast. Properly cleaned instruments are healthier, safer, and less messy to use. A dirty bong or pipe can ruin your smoking experience by clogging up or exposing you to burnt resin and plant matter.
But what does it mean to have truly clean equipment? Glass smoking accessories not only become dirty, but also often burn and change color. This discoloration, caused by intense heat or resin, can make cleaning glass difficult. These cleaning tips and tricks will help you have the most enjoyable session possible. You’ll get maximum airflow and actually be able to smoke and taste your weed. You deserve to enjoy those terpenes, so get to scrubbing!
Most of the supplies you’ll need to clean your equipment can be found around the house. Check this list for all of the essential (and optional) cleaning supplies needed.
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) -A higher percentage of alcohol will clean your glass better — Look for a product with an alcohol contain ranging between 70 – 91%.
- Pipe cleaners – Pipe cleaners come in a variety of shapes and textures. Soft, flexible pipe cleaners commonly used in craft projects are perfect for gently scrubbing instruments. Coarse bong cleaners may do a better job removing sticky resin since their bristles are more robust. But be careful — pipe cleaners made of abrasive materials may cause scratches.
- Cotton balls or Cotton swabs
- Iodized salt or Epsom salt
- Plastic sandwich bags – Any sealable, waterproof bag can be used.
- Paper towels or Cleaning rags – Absorbent, soft towels will be useful for wiping out the bowl and drying off the glass.
- Debowler – This handy tool is perfect for scrapping plant matter out of a spent bowl, or using as an ashtray.
- Pipe cleaning solution – Designed with the needs of a stoner in mind, this cleaning solution expertly removes resin from glass, metal, and ceramic pipes.
- Preventative bong cleaner – Add a few drops of this natural solution to your bong water to keep your glass clean.
How to clean your glass
Glass smoking equipment comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. This method of cleaning can be used for any glass instruments, ranging from simple pipes and bowls, to delicate downstems, and intricate bongs.
Step 1: Rinse
Rinse your glass pieces with hot water to remove the first layers of grime. For items that are especially dirty or clogged with resin, you may want to leave them soaking in the hot water for a bit.
A hot rinse and a good soak will loosen up the resin and plant material caught in the equipment. Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed your pieces, you’ll notice that the resin will begin to wipe off easier than before.
Step 2: Scrub the glass clean
Pipe cleaners are perfect for scrubbing the hard-to-reach parts of your equipment. Use a pipe cleaner to brush out the innards of a pipe or downstem. Gently rub any dirty spots with the bristles until the glass has been cleaned. Pipe cleaners can be purchased online, at local smoke shops, in dispensaries, and even at craft supply stores.
Cotton swabs or cotton balls are great for gently scrubbing delicate areas. Use cotton for cleaning bowls and mouthpieces. Cotton balls and swabs are sold at grocery stores, pharmacies, online, and at many other retail locations. Having both pipe cleaners and cotton at your disposal ensures you’ll have the cleanest equipment possible.
Step 3: Alcohol and salt bath
Take your glass items and place them inside of a sealable, plastic baggie. Pour rubbing alcohol into the bag until the equipment is submerged in half an inch to 1 inch of alcohol. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of iodized or Epsom salt into the bag as well.
Push the air out of the bag, seal it up, and shake vigorously. The mixture of alcohol and salt will scrub and dissolve any remaining resin, plant matter, or debris. Let the equipment sit and soak in this solution for at least an hour. Once the glass has finished soaking, give it a final round of vigorous shaking. Use a pipe cleaner if any residue remains on the glass at this stage.
Step 4: Rinse and dry
Run your glass equipment under a stream of clean water to remove any alcohol, salt, or cleaning solutions. Wipe the pieces with a paper towel or microfiber rag. Let the equipment sit out and fully dry before use.
How often should you clean your equipment?
Your smoking instruments don’t need to be cleaned before every session, but it’s a good idea to maintain your equipment on a regular basis. In general, consider cleaning your pieces after every few uses. Keeping your pieces clean will lead to more enjoyable smoke sessions overall. Use these tips and tricks in the future so that you never have to smoke out of dirty equipment again. Keep it clean, and stay lifted!