A dirty or clogged smoking device can greatly affect your cannabis experience. Cleaning smoking accessories is an aggravating but essential part of being a marijuana smoker. It keeps the piece sanitary, promotes longevity and can result in a superior smoking experience.
There are several methods for cleaning smoking accessories, and the one you choose should be based on the type of equipment you use. The following are the best ways to clean your pipes, bongs and other smoking devices.
The Classic Pipe Cleaning Method
The most widespread and traditional way to clean a marijuana pipe is with isopropyl alcohol and salt. This is an effective method of cleaning that has been practiced for decades.
You’ll need ultra-concentrated isopropyl alcohol from the drug store (at least 91% is desired) and regular table salt or sea salt. Fill the pipe until it is about one-quarter full of salt, then place it in a resealable storage baggie and pour in enough alcohol to submerge the pipe. You want the salt and alcohol to create an abrasive mixture, so add more salt as needed.
Let the pipe soak in the baggie for 12 hours. After soaking, shake the bag with the pipe and abrasive mixture inside for at least one minute. Pour the resulting brown sticky liquid into the trash or down the toilet.
Rinse the pipe thoroughly multiple times to remove all the alcohol and salt, then enjoy that first tasty smoke out of your freshly cleaned pipe.
Cleaning a Bong
Cleaning a bong is similar to cleaning a pipe. Most bongs are larger than pipes, so you’ll likely need more isopropyl alcohol. You’ll also need to be gentler with your bong, as it includes additional pieces of glass, including the bowl and mouthpiece.
Remove the bowl and mouthpiece from the bong before cleaning, then seal those areas with crumpled paper towels. Fill the bong 10-25% of its size with salt, then pour in the isopropyl alcohol until it makes the same abrasive mixture. If your bong is large or you don’t have enough isopropyl alcohol on hand, you may need to dilute the alcohol with water.
Shake the mixture throughout the bong until it’s clear, then rinse the bong thoroughly before use. Nobody wants to taste top-quality cannabis with an aftertaste of alcohol and salt.
Cleaning With Boiling Water
Boiling is another classic method of cleaning pipes and bongs, but you must do it with care. Slowly place your pipe in boiling water and allow the heat to melt the resin. Remove the pipe from the water once the tar has melted and wipe the gunk away with a wood or plastic scraper. Metal scrapers can cause damage.
Avoid using the boiling water method with thin pipes or bongs, which can crack. Only thick pipes should be cleaned with the boiling method.
Cleaning Your Vape
Vapes are generally easy to clean, whether you prefer to vape oil, concentrate or flower. Unscrew the chamber and remove any residue with a cotton swab. Unclog the mouthpiece by running it under hot water. Use a sanitizing wipe to clean the outside of the vape, then put it all back together and enjoy.
Prepackaged Cleaning Products
A variety of prepackaged cleaning products are now available for pipes, bongs and other smoking accessories. These liquids, which can often be purchased online or at your local dispensary, can make the cleaning process easier. They typically require soaking your accessory in a liquid, then shaking or scrubbing the tar away.
All bongs, pipes and smoking accessories will get dirty at some point. Use one of the cleaning methods above to clear your pipe or bong of sticky, awful-tasting residue and enjoy an optimal cannabis smoking experience.
AUTHOR BIO: Amanda Smith is the founder and CEO of Canna Style. As an avid cannabis consumer, Smith believes the tools from which we smoke should be beautiful and functional. Canna Style’s mission is to normalize cannabis consumption by changing the way we shop for our smoking accessories.