Glass pipes are one of the most commonly used products among cannabis users. Unfortunately, one big downside to glass pipes is that they get dirty fast and can be tricky to clean. There are a few ways to make it easier on yourself, ranging from old-school cleaning methods to new products and updated techniques.
1 – Rubbing Alcohol and Salt
This is one of the most basic ways to clean a pipe, especially since you can often find rubbing alcohol and salt around your home. This method is much more effective if you use a toothpick, pipe cleaner or something similar to scrape away as much of the resin as you can before using the rubbing alcohol and salt. While scraping the inside of your pipe and while shaking the salt and rubbing alcohol inside of it, be careful, so you don’t break the glass. Here’s how it works step by step:
- Gently dislodge loose pieces by running hot water through the pipe or by gently scraping the gunk with a pipe cleaner, toothpick. ** Do not use anything metal or rigid like a paper clip or dab tool these will scratch and potentially crack your piece.
- Place your piece in a plastic or Ziplock bag
- Add rubbing alcohol (70% or higher). Depending on pipe size, add more or less, for small pipes you shouldn’t need more than ¼ cup but larger pieces will need significantly more.
- Add coarse salt like kosher salt, which will help scrub the glass pipe.
- Seal the bag and shake it for a couple of minutes until the pipe is visibly clean. You can put your fingers over the holes of the pipe and shake the salt and alcohol solution through the inside of the pipe to clean the inside more effectively.
- Depending on how dirty your pipe is, you may have to repeat these steps several times. If you pour the alcohol through a strainer you can reuse it a few more times. Just make sure that alcohol is reserved for cleaning your pipes and not used for other cleaning.
- Once you’re satisfied with the cleanliness of your pipe, rinse it with warm water.
2 – Alcohol and Ultra Sonic
This method requires buying an Ultrasonic cleaner, you can find them between $40 - $100. If you have a lot of pipes and use them often this method is best for bulk pipe cleaning, and will save you from scrubbing and shaking a ton of pipes! This method isn’t a quick one and is not recommended for thin, ornate, or fragile pieces. Here’s how we do it:
- Get a bucket or container that fits all of you pipes
- Place all of your pipes in the container and fill it will alcohol until all of your pipes are completely submerged in alcohol.
- Let soak for 1 week to 1 month, depending on how many and how dirty your pieces are, the longer the better.
- Fill your ultrasonic with distilled water, and add pipes several at a time, enough to fill the cleaner in one layer.
- Don’t stack your pipes in the cleaner.
- Let the cleaner run for 5 min each round. After their bath rinse with hot water.
3 – Boiling the Pipe
This method is a sketchy one and not recommended for fragile pipes, thin pipes, or any piece with attachments (horns or other sculptural elements). Basically, only use this method if you have a simple thick spoon shaped pipe, no water pipes or dab rigs. To use this method, boil your pipe in hot water for about 30 minutes to loosen all of the resin. Once you’ve done that, it will be easier to finish cleaning the pipe with alcohol or another cleaning solution. WARNING make sure to not let the water evaporate all the way, this will ensure a broken pipe! Be careful handling the pipe after boiling, use oven mitts to protect your hands. Avoid flash cooling your piece in the freezer or running super cold water over it, the drastic temperature change could break your piece.
4 – Get the Right Cleaning Products
Like most things, cleaning your glass pipes will be a lot easier once you have the right tools for the job. The most appropriate cleaning products for your needs will depend on the specific type of pipe you have. For example, cleaning a glass waterpipe or an elaborate dab rig might be a little bit more complicated than cleaning a simple one hitter. With that in mind, check out the popular glass pipe cleaning products below and decide which of them are the best for your needs:
- Klear Kryptonite Cleaner – This is one of the most popular pipe cleaning products because it’s so incredibly versatile. It’s gel consistency works excellent on dab rigs, and flower pieces; grabbing and dislodging any material that is stuck to the walls of your piece. It can also be used on metal, silicon, acrylic, and ceramic pipes but works well on clothing or hard surfaces too. To use;
- Pour enough Kryptonite in to coat the entire inside of the piece; give it a few good rotations so all areas are coated.
- Let’s sit for 10 – 30 min.
- Rinse with piping hot water.
You are able to re-use the solution several times, but you’ll want to separate the used from the new bottle. Bonus, Kryptonite has a pleasant natural smell that you will very much prefer to the aggressive odor of alcohol.
- Formula 420 – This product is similar to using the salt and alcohol method, but more effective. As the name implies, Formula 420 was specifically developed to help clean glass pipes. This solution is heavily concentrated, so you can mix it with water and make it last longer. The Ziplock / plastic baggie method works great with small pieces. You can also pour it into larger pieces, plug the holes with your hands or a cork and shake shake shake! Rinse with hot water when the piece looks clean.
- Bong-Aid – This 99.99% isopropyl alcohol glass cleaner can be used on just about any kind of glass pipe. Because of the higher alcohol percentage this product will be much more effective than the alcohol you will find in other stores. It can be used on water pipes and is especially useful with water pipes with percs, because of the strength of this formula it can get into those messes that are hard to reach deep inside the chambers of your piece.
- Bristle Pipe Cleaners – One of the most frustrating things about cleaning a pipe is that all of the parts you need to wipe down the most are also the hardest to reach. These pipe cleaners from Zen will help you reach and remove tough resin buildup from the inside of your pipe.
Glass Pipe Cleaning Products in Denver
We know all about what it takes to keep your pipes clean. Stop messing with outdated methods and come visit us for the best pipe cleaning products!
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