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How to Clean Glass Pipes

HOW TO CLEAN A CANNABIS PIPE WITH HOUSEHOLD MATERIALS

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After many uses, our glass pipe will get clogged up with residue and smudge from our homegrown cannabis smoking sessions, making it hard and obnoxious to use. Applying a virtue of patience and use of some standard household materials, we can clean our pipe up, so it seems reliable as brand-new. These techniques and more can also be practiced to cleanse our holy pipe.

Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol, particularly Isopropyl are easy to obtain. It can be bought through a local drug store or supermarket. Also, Alcohol is antiseptic and disinfectant meaning it has the ability to eliminate germs and bacteria hiding in out pipe.

  • Discarding residues from the pipe. 

Take the pipe upside down and lightly tap to extract any residual particles. Then use a cotton swab, or similarly, thin object to eliminate any large residues, easily removed parts of resin you can reach— using a pipe cleaner can do the job easily.

Do not risk cracking the pipe to reach hard spots, as we only need to discard anything big and easy to reach off instantly. This will accommodate the alcohol cleansed the rest of the pipe quicker.

  • Fill a plastic resealable pouch with the alcohol. 

Try and obtain 90% isopropyl, as it will wash the pipe quicker than the more watered-down 70% solution. Put the pipe inside the bag, making sure it is completely immersed in the solution.

Alcohol breaks down gum and resin, delivering it more manageable to expel and wiping off smudges over time. 

  • Shake the pipe in the bag.

Make sure to run the salt inside the pipe. If possible, displace the salt in the pipe and then use our fingers to seal off the holes of the pipe. We can then rock up the salt inside the container, getting cleared of as much residue as possible. Shake the bag for a couple of minutes or until the pipe is visibly cleaned.

  • Soak the pipe for a couple of hours 

Add a spray of the new alcohol and let the pipe rest for a while, sunk in the fluid, for several hours before jarring it up again. If we are using 70% isopropyl alcohol, then some of the salt may have melted, so be certain to add more further if it seems to be juggling some. Soak the pipe overnight and repeat the method in the morning to clean very dirty soiled pipes. 

  • Wash out the pipe with hot water

Discharge all the alcohol and salt from the pipe with hot water and flushed off the rest down the toilet bowl, as it can stink or clogged up our kitchen sink and pipes if left undisturbed.

  • Wipeout any residual spots 

With a pipe cleaner or cotton swabs, wipe off any small spots, setting the end of the tool in some clean alcohol to get cleared from any resolute stains. To extract any watermarks or non-resin stains, soak the pipe for about half an hour in a mixture of lukewarm water and lemon juice.

Boiling Water and Dishsoap

Using boiling water, a few dish soaps and a pipe cleaner we can wash the resin out of our pipe easily. The boiling water will wash off/loosen up the built-up resin, making it very easy to expel with a pipe cleaner or brush.

  • In a large pan or casserole, pour a room temperature water and place the pipe.
  • Add a bar of small dish soap or a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap.
  • Boil it for about half an hour.
  • Use tongs to wobble the pipe around in the boiling water to loosen the smudge or resins. 
  • Empty water leaving the pipe in the pan and let it cool.
  • Once cool enough to touch, use a common pipe cleaner to remove build-up.
  • Use a decent cleaning brush if necessary or cotton buds with rubbing alcohol.
  • Dry up.

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Using other household materials

  • Using denture cleaning tablets

Put the pipe in the bottom of a glass bowl or container and fill it up with ample amount of warm water to cover the top. Add 2-3 denture tablets in the container and let it rest and soak for half an hour. The fizzing will shed off a lot of residual materials. this technique is meant to remove smudges and residue. 

  • Other alternative household cleaning solutions include:
    • Salt and vinegar
    • Baking soda and vinegar
    • Sand and water
    • Hydrogen Peroxide

Last words

Clean the pipe regularly. A swift rinse and soak in some isopropyl alcohol, practiced once a week, takes only a couple of minutes. But it will keep us from having to resort to extensive cleanings or overnight soakings and keep the pipe shiny and sparkling. Some blemishes will not come out if they soak into the glass, but this only appears if we neglect to cleanse the pipe for several months or years in a row. Take the time immediately to clean it off and our job will be much easier in the future.

A Note from Breezy:

If you use the alcohol method to clean your pipes, you can process the alcohol to make what I call “Poor Man’s Phoenix Tears” to reclaim the resin for topical use (its not suitable for ingestion. See the post “A few words on the properties of Isopropyl Alcohol” for my reasons”) Remember a frequently cleaned pipe is a happy, healthy pipe.


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Natalie Gray is a Biochemical Engineer. She works in the Research and Development team that focuses on the design and construction of unit processes. She is a recreational marijuana supporter and her love for organic chemistry brought her to medical cannabis. She grows her own flowers, working on different projects and study everything above and under cannabis roots.

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