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: 25 minutes.
Items needed: You will need electrical tape, isopropyl alcohol and coarse salts 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 1/3 full of salt. To get the salt into the chamber, add a small amount of salt into the bowl and jiggle it down. This is the most time-consuming step. Even the dry salt will knock pieces of soot off the walls of the pipe as you fill it.
- 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.
- Tape up the bowl end of the pipe
Once the alcohol has been added, seal up the open side of the pipe with the electrical tape. You might want to bring a paper towel to dry the edges before you attempt to tape. The isopropyl alcohol will prevent the tape from sticking. You may also want to place the bowl in a zip-lock bag before the next step to prevent leakage.
- 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 or repeat the steps. Hopefully, you taped each side carefully and thoroughly to prevent leaking. You should do this step over a sink or outdoors. The liquid may leak a bit during this process. The smelly, brown liquid will stain and make your carpet or furniture stink.
- Remove the tape and rinse
Take the tape off your pipe and drain the liquid out. With hot water to rinse the isopropyl alcohol out thoroughly. You don’t want to inhale isopropyl alcohol. Alternate covering the mouth hole, carb and the hole of the bowl. You may need to use a paperclip to scrape out the baked-on resin at the bottom.
- Wipe out the bowl
The bowl will most likely dirty still since the agitation happened within the bowl. Add isopropyl alcohol and some salt to the bowl. Then, with a paper towel wipe vigorously to remove all the baked-on soot. After that, you can use a bent paper clip to scrape out the inside of the bowl.
Shake out all the water, blow air into the pipe and wipe the exterior of the pipe.
It’s as good as new! Well almost
It’s Important to Periodically Clean Your Glass Bowls and Pipes: Protect Your Respiratory System
If you have been consistently maintaining your glass bowl and is mildly dirty, you can quickly clean it with a denture cleaner—which takes about two minutes. 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.
Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung.Lung.org
In conclusion, if you’re going to indulge in combustible marijuana smoke (versus vaporizing), you need to do your best to protect your lungs. According to Lung.org, smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung. Recent studies show that marijuana smoke causes bronchitis and damages cell linings in large airways. Protecting your respiratory system won’t seem like a top priority when you’re healthy. But picture not being able to take a normal breath, chronically feeling short of breath, or requiring expensive asthma inhalers. Rescue inhaler drugs such as Albuterol, Metaproterenol, Levalbuterol or Pirbuterol are fairly inexpensive with insurance. Corticosteroids inhaler drugs such as Fluticasone, Budesonide, Mometasone, Beclomethasone, Ciclesonide can cost around $250 a month.