How To Clean A Dirty Pipe
As cannabis becomes more and more mainstream, new users aka the “canna-curious” are flocking to dispensaries in search of dried flower, by far the best selling cannabis product on the market. While it’s common knowledge that smoking dried cannabis flower requires a pipe–and there are many different kinds to choose from–what these newbie smokers might not know much about is how to properly clean their new dirty pipe and why it’s so important to smoke out of a clean pipe.
Weed pipe clogged? Bong not clearing properly? It might be time to deep clean your smoking apparatus and luckily we’re here to show you the best ways to do it. After just a few uses, cannabis pipes become caked from the inside out with a thick black “tar” called resin, the byproduct of the combustion of cannabis flower. Smoking out of a dirty pipe not only tastes terrible, but comes with a slew of health risks and is considered bad stoner hygiene.
Why be dirty when it’s so easy to be clean? We don’t know about you, but to us, the crisp, smooth smoke that comes out of a clean pipe is unmatched! Whether you have a spoon pipe, a one hitter, a water pipe (bong), or a bubbler, we’re showing you the best, easiest ways to clean each kind of pipe.
What is a Cannabis Pipe?
There are four main types of cannabis pipes:
Why is it Important to Keep Your Weed Pipe Clean?
The obvious answer is when you frequently use your pipe it can get extremely dirty with only a few uses, and we don’t know about you, but tasting resin and ash while we’re trying to enjoy our smoke is a no-go. Aside from taste, there are a multitude of reasons to keep your pipe clean. Resin and ash residue can hinder performance of your pipe, causing clogging, minimized air flow, and a foul taste. Furthermore, a dirty pipe can catch on fire! Or more specifically, the residue can catch on fire and believe us, that is an experience you do not want to have.
Since you have to use a flame to light the dried flower to smoke it, having a dirty pipe is a constant risk you just don’t want to take! There are also health risks associated with smoking out of a dirty pipe. Resin and ash contain carcinogens, germs, and even mold in extreme cases so keeping your pipe sparkling clean ensures you aren’t exposing your smoke and lungs to those harmful elements.
5 Best Ways to Clean Your Dirty Pipe
Now that we know why it’s important to clean your dirty pipes, let’s go over how to clean them. Most of these cleaning agents can be found at home, right in your own cupboard. Please be careful handling your glass pipes as you clean them, and as always, if your pipes have more than one part be sure to disassemble them prior to cleaning. Get ready to make your pipe shine like new! We recommend using 90% rubbing alcohol because the higher concentration will dissolve resin and debris more readily.
This method is best for smaller dirty pipe and one hitters, and it’s very easy. Simply place the dirty pipe in an airtight container or bag and submerge in 90% rubbing alcohol overnight or for 12 hours. Rinse with hot water and use alcohol-soaked q-tips to scrub off any remaining residue.
This is similar to the aforementioned method above, but works much quicker and is best used for bongs and bubblers. For smaller pipes and pipe components like those from a bong, place a single dirty pipe or piece of the pipe into a ziploc bag. Submerge with rubbing alcohol and add anywhere from an eighth- to a quarter-cup of kosher salt. Shake vigorously, taking care not to hit the bag against anything that could break the glass. The salt helps scrub residue off the pipe and cleans much more quickly than an overnight soak.
Great for a quick fix, but won’t clean your dirty pipe as thoroughly as the above methods. Mix equal parts vodka and water in a coffee mug and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Let your dirty pipe sit in the solution for at least 10 minutes and rinse with hot water.