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How to clean your pipes

cleaning your pipes is easy if you stay on top of it
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Presumably, you are here because you’ve just finished reading our overview on why you should clean your cannabis accessories. Or maybe you already know the importance of hygiene and have been brought to us by way of Google or a friend’s recommendation. If it’s the latter, you have excellent taste in friends, and congratulations are in order. No matter how you got here, you will learn how to properly and efficiently clean a pipe.

Believe it or not, this wonderful one-hitter has not been crafted from beautiful, black tinted glass. It’s a cheap but effective pipe that was once crystal clear. Does it still function in its current condition? Of course! I can still cram some dried flower into the front and get a lung full of smoke from the ass-end; however, it now tastes like shit. No, not literal shit, but that shitty taste that re-heated, caked-on resin provides with every draw. How can we rectify this problem?

What you’ll need

  • A bowl big enough to submerge your glass
  • Cotton swabs (also known as Q-tips)
  • Bong cleaner or Isopropyl Alcohol

What Do We Do Now?

So you’ve gathered the above materials and can now get scrubbing. Scratch that, with a pipe this short and a bowl this big, you need only give it the appropriate amount of time and a little legwork. Just to clarify, you will not be using your legs in any way to clean your pipe.

We can start by pouring some of our specially formulated bong cleaner into the bowl. In this case, it was specially developed by Compliments to clean boo-boos, but glass is tougher than skin, so I’m sure we’ll be alright. Regardless of whether you are using Isopropyl alcohol or a cleaner specifically designed for bongs and pipes, you’ll want to wear gloves. Most cleaners are skin irritants, the severity of which will vary based on the specific product, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You’ll want to fill the bowl up enough that your pipe can be fully submerged, but don’t overfill. We didn’t include paper towels in our materials list, so we, unfortunately, can’t clean up any mess if we spill.

Now you’re ready to soak your pipe. Just dump it in the bowl, carefully, of course, wait about ten minutes, and watch the magic. It’s not really magic; as the pipe soaks, the cleaner will slowly attack the sticky resin, washing most of it away. It’s only magical if you’re five years old or really high.

Now we can carefully (yes, we must do everything carefully) remove the pipe from the bowl, pouring out any excess liquid to avoid spilling; remember, we don’t have any paper towels. The pipe looks significantly cleaner, but we are not finished yet. Now it’s time to put in that legwork we mentioned earlier and manually remove any left-over resin. We can gently wipe away the gunk using our cotton swabs, slowly revealing the shiny, transparent surface. You’ll want to get into all the nooks and crannies, no point in only doing half a job. 

You may find that some spots refuse to budge, even with more vigorous prodding. Dipping one end of a cotton swab into the left-over cleaner (in the bowl, not the bottle) can make things easier. If that doesn’t work, giving the pipe another good soak will get the job done.

Our wonderful one-hitter is now clean, but just as we don’t want to inhale the burnt-off remnants of previous highs, we don’t want to inhale any left-over cleaner. Give your pipe a good rinse under the tap and allow it to dry before your next sesh.

Not all accessories are the same; for more cleaning tips and to keep all your peripherals looking new, catch up on our series below

How to clean your vaporizer
How to clean your bong
How to clean your grinder