Most weed smokers totally forget about cleaning out their pipe until it’s gotten so clogged with resin and residue it no longer works. Only when you can’t get a good haul off your pipe do you consider how dirty it’s gotten. Maybe its time for a good cleaning. Because cleanings are so infrequent, many smokers are left wondering, just how to clean a pipe at all.
Learning how to clean a glass pipe is a right of passage, welcome to the 420 club! It means you’ve smoked enough weed to fill up the inner chambers of your pipe with a thick black and sticky coating of resin. The first time you clean your pipe out, you’ll probably want to consider a more frequent cleaning schedule. Pipes can get pretty gritty even after only a few months of use.
It is true that certain types of pipes, like color changing hand blown pieces, require some build-up before the true beauty shines true. But, this doesn’t mean you should never clean our you glassware. Smoking weed is smoking natural plant matter. The organic build-up coating your pipe is prone to rot, mold, and bacterial build up just like the buds in your stash.
Cleaning out your pipe every once in a while prevents nasty bacterial infections or mold particles from entering into your lungs. It might also help with the harsh or bitter aftertaste you’re experiencing. A clean pipe should feel like an entirely clean smoking experience.
With this in mind, here is how to clean a pipe – four different ways.
How to Clean a Pipe with Orange Chronic
There are more ways to clean a pipe than just soap and water. There is a growing demand for less strenuous methods of glassware cleaning. Today, there are many products on the market, like Orange Chronic a Water Pipe, Metal, Glass Pipe & Hookah Cleaner, which take a lot of the grunt work out of the process.
Step by Step Pipe Cleaning With Orange Chronic
- Wear Gloves: Because of the rather stinky and sticky nature of the resin build-up, you may want to put on a pair of latex gloves. Even rubber dishwashing gloves will work. Gloves will save your hands from absorbing the very unappealing smell of old roaches and rotten weed.
- Run How Water Through the Glass Pipe: In an empty sink, run the hottest water possible through the pipe. You’ll notice that some resin rinses free immediately. The hot water helps to loosen the stuck on resin in before you add the cleaner.
- Squirt Orange Chronic into the Pipe: No need to go crazy, less than a tablespoon of Orange Chronic is all you’ll need to get started. Squirt it either through the mouthpiece or the bowl of the pipe, and run a little hot water in afterward.
- Shake Vigorously: This is the hardest part of the process, and really not hard at all. Cover both ends of the pipe and shake for roughly a minute. You’ll soon start to see how quickly the cleaner gets to work.
- Empty and Repeat: After shaking for a minute, dump out the contents of the pipe and start again. Nobody said the process was going to be appealing, the dark brown liquid flowing out of your pipe is going to be disgusting. Hence, why you should clean out your pipe more than once a year. It might still need a rinse or two, so just squirt in more Orange Chronic and start again.
- Use a Pipecleaner for the Corners: In all likelihood, you’ll need to use a bit of elbow grease to get the final bits of resin out of the corners of your pipe. That’s when a pipe cleaner comes in handy. Bend and insert to wipe the hard to reach corners clean.
Rinse Thoroughly: One more rinse, and your pipe should be as clean as the first day you bought it.
How to Clean a Glass Pipe With Acetone and Salt
Cleaning a pipe with specialty cleaners isn’t always an option. Thankfully there are other easy ways to clean dirty glass pipes using ingredients you likely have at home. One of which is acetone and kosher salt. Both are incredibly cheap ingredients and are widely available.
Step by Step How to Clean a Pipe with Acetone and Salt
- Wear Gloves: Again, nobody wants smelly fingers as a result of this process. Do yourself a favor and wear either dishwashing gloves or latex gloves throughout the process.
- Tape Shut one End: Using electrical tape, seal off one end of the pipe. Ensure there is a watertight seal in preparation for the next step.
- Add Kosher Salt: Sourcing kosher salt is essential. It is pure and, unlike table salt, doesn’t contain any unnecessary additives. You’ll only need to pour in roughly a teaspoon or so, depending on the size of your pipe.
- Add Acetone: Acetone is essentially nail polish remover. Many nail polish removers come scented or with color additives, so try to find 100 percent pure acetone. Fill the pipe with acetone, leaving a small bit of space before the top.
- Tape Shut and Shake: Seal the other end of the pipe with electrical tape. Again, ensure it is watertight because now it’s time to shake furiously. Depending on how built up the residue is in your pipe, you may need to shake for up to five to ten minutes.
- Rinse Clear: With the hottest water possible, remove the tape from both ends and rinse the entire glass pipe clear of whatever residue has shaken clear. Keep flushing until the salt and acetone are washed clean.
- Wipe Any Excess Grime Clean: Just like with the specialty cleaner, there may be some leftover grime, especially near the bowl. Don’t be afraid to pull out your pipe cleaner or rag to really dig into these leftover bits. They will wipe clean with a little bit of work.
Other Methods of Cleaning Glass Pipes
There are, of course, a thousand other ways to get a pipe clean. The most effective methods are listed here, but for those who don’t want to go through all the hassle, there are a few other honorable mentions. Based on experience, these methods aren’t the most effective. However, they’ll at least help clean off some of the built-up residues.
How to Clean a Pipe with Boiling Water
This method is pretty self-explanatory. Grab a pot, add water, and your glass pipe and set it to boil. As the water boils, keep a close eye on it, as this method has been known to crack fragile pipes before. Turn the temperature down to avoid this mistake.
After roughly twenty to thirty minutes of boiling, the water should have already accumulated much of the rot, but you’ll need to dig around in the pipe the get the remainder. Specialty pipe cleaners come in really handy for this process, as just relying on water lone is a long process. Once you’ve gotten as much of the gunk out as possible, rinse clean, and you are ready for your next bowl.
How to Clean a Weed Pipe by Freezing
Yes, you read that correctly. In some situations, it may be helpful to actually freeze your pipe. If you’ve already tried boiling your pipe, or washing with acetone and salt, the next step is to freeze it. If there are still some frustrating pockets of build up; you can always freeze it.
Freezing the glass pipe will hopefully harden the remaining areas of resin, which makes them much easier to chip off. Instead of scrubbing away at extremely sticky resinous patches, once it’s frozen it should quickly pop off with a little-applied pressure.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Pipe Frequently
The more frequently you schedule a good pipe cleaning, the less annoying it will be. Instead of cleaning off a year of grim, you’ll only be faced with a few weeks or months. Not only does a clean pipe taste and smell better, but it improves to total smoking experience. You’ll have the opportunity to truly appreciate the strain of weed you smoke, instead of just tasting the nasty rotten resin. You’ll thank us once you experience the difference.