If you have been smoking out of your glass pipe or bowl for a while without cleaning it, you might notice it may not be performing like it used to, has a weird taste and even irritates your lungs and throat when you smoke out of it and is no longer see-through. There may be a buildup of soot and resin in your pipe which is not healthy to smoke. Scraping it with a paperclip or another object is not effective. Follow these easy steps to help maintain and restore your trusty glass pipe or bowl with these household items.
How do you know when it’s time to clean your glass bowl or pipe? Visually, your bowl will have a deep color and will be opaque. When you smoke out of a dirty bowl, it will make the smoke a little harsher on your respiratory system and add an undesirable flavor to your pot. According to the American Lung Association, smoking combustible marijuana has shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke1. If you’re going to smoke from a pipe, it’s important to reduce risk by keeping it clean.
Thorough Cleaning with Isopropyl Alcohol and Salt
Time needed: 15 minutes.
Items needed: You will need electrical tape, isopropyl alcohol and course salt like sea or kosher salt. If you do not have electrical tape, you can improvise with a plastic wrap with less efficacy.
- Tape up one side
Use the electrical tape to seal the carb and bowl end of the pipe so water barely leaks. Wrap the tape around the pipe twice or more to ensure it’s sealed tightly.
- Pour salt into the open end of the bowl
Generously pour salt into the open end of the bowl. If you have a courser ground of salt such as sea or kosher salt available, please use it. The salt will serve as a scrubbing agent within the bowl. Fill the bowl about 2/3 full of salt.
- Add isopropyl alcohol
Add the isopropyl alcohol to the pipe, leaving enough room for the salt and alcohol to move around during the agitation process. Once the alcohol has been added, seal up the open side of the pipe with the electrical tape.
- Shake and agitate
Shake the pipe up and down for about 4 to 10 minutes allowing the salt and alcohol to breakdown and scrape the edges. If you haven’t cleaned your pipe in a long time, you may need to agitate for additional time. You should do this step over a sink or outdoors. Brown and stinky liquid may leak a bit during this process.
- Remove the tape and rinse
Take the tape off your pipe and drain the liquid out. With hot water on blast, rinse the pipe thoroughly. Alternate covering the mouth hole, carb and the hole of the bowl.
- Wipe out the bowl
Use a paper towel soaked in isopropyl alcohol with a dash of salt and scrub the inside of the bowl until you have removed all the caked on soot.
Shake out all the water, blow air into the pipe and wipe the exterior of the pipe.
If you have been consistently maintaining your glass bowl and is mildly dirty, you can clean it with a denture cleaner. Just place your glass bowl or pipe into a cup, fill with warm water and drop in a denture cleaner tablet. Typically denture cleaner takes about three minutes. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.