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Different Methods For Cleaning Your Cannabis Glassware

February 20, 2021 in Cannabis Accessories

Maintaining clean cannabis glassware will go a long way to keeping your lungs healthy, providing a smooth, tasty smoke, will save you money on cannabis product,s and extend the life of your devices. There are several different methods that work. These include a selection of inexpensive household products and more expensive, specialty glassware cleaning products. There are also differing opinions on the best cleaning solutions to use. In this article, I will discuss why it is important to keep your glassware clean and give several different cleaning methods and tips. I will not include specialty cleaning products.

The Importance of Keeping Your Glassware Clean

After several uses, your glassware will become clogged with cannabis residue which will make it taste bad, make it difficult and unpleasant to use, will result in a harsher smoke and will be costly as you will waste product. The longer the resin is allowed to build up, the longer it will take to remove it. It is recommended that you change the water in your devices every 24 hours. Failure to do so will not only lead to foul odors and flavors but will cause harmful bacteria growth which can damage the lungs.

Different Cleaning Solutions/Methods

  • Isopropyl Alcohol 90%/Ethanol/Acetone
  • White Vinegar and Salt
  • White Vinegar and Baking Soda
  • Sand and Water
  • Denture Tablets
  • Freezing Your Glassware
  • Hot Water/Boiling Water Bath
  • Warm Water and Lemon Juice
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Different Methods for Cleaning A Pipe

Rinse and Scrub Hot Water

  1. Loosen any residue by holding it upside down and gently tapping it over an ashtray. You can soften the resin by applying low heat from your lighter for a minute or two.
  2. Use a pipe cleaner, cotton swab, a needle or a mechanical pencil to dislodge any remaining bits of resin.
  3. If you clean your pipe on a regular basis, a simple hot water bath will do the trick.

Shake Up Epsom Salts and Isopropyl Alcohol

Combine the following:

  • One part solvent; 90% Isopropyl Alcohol, Ethanol or Acetone
  • One part Epsom Salts
  • One part empty space
  1. Cover the holes of the pipe with tape
  2. Combine the ingredients in a Ziplock bag and place the pipe inside the bag, making sure it is completely submerged in the solution
  3. Allow the pipe to soak for about an hour
  4. Shake the bag for a few minutes
  5. Rinse the pipe with hot water
  6. Scrub the pipe with a pipe cleaner or cotton swabs to remove any remaining residue. To remove any watermarks or other stains, you can soak the pipe for 10-15 minutes in warm water mixed with lemon juice
  7. Finish by rinsing it in purified or distilled water

Boiling Water Method

  1. Loosen resin or ash by tapping it upside down
  2. Rinse it with warm water, not cold, as the transition to boiling water may break the glass
  3. Bring a pot of water to boiling on the stove and reduce to simmer. Make sure there is enough water; 3-4 inches to cover the pipe
  4. Submerge the pipe in the simmering water for 20-30 minutes
  5. Using an oven glove, remove from heat, allow it to cool, and check the pipe for any remaining residue.
  6. Use a pipe cleaner, cotton swab, or needle to remove it.  Use warm water and lemon juice to remove water stains

Denture Cleaning Tablets

  1. Loosen resin or ash
  2. Fill a plastic container with enough hot water to completely cover the pipe
  3. Add 2-3 denture tablets and place your pipe in the bottom of the container, allowing it to soak for 30 minutes. The fizz will do the job of removing the resin and the tablets are designed to remove stains. Rinse with clean water

Freezing Method

  1. Place your pipe in a container and put it in the freezer for 30-60 minutes
  2. Immediately upon removing it, use a needle or sharp, thin object to dislodge the resin

Tips For Cleaning Larger Pipes

Wind a pipe cleaner around a pen to fashion a corkscrew-like implement. Pull gently on the pipe cleaner to lengthen it slightly. Insert it into the mouthpiece, rotating it in order to scrape the residue from the pipe stem.

Cleaning Bongs, Dab Rigs and Bubblers

  1. Empty the water
  2. Mix the cleaning solution of your choice and pour it into your device, allowing it to soak for 30-60 minutes
  3. Cover the opening with your hand, tape or aluminum foil and gently shake and swirl the solution
  4. You can also use your hands with kitchen gloves to scrub the inside and the outside of your bong with your preferred cleaning solution
  5. If you have a container large enough to hold the bong and the cleaning solution, place it in the container and let it soak for an hour
  6. Empty the cleaning solution, rinse with clean water and dry

White Vinegar and Baking Soda vs Isopropyl Alcohol and Salt Solution

White vinegar and baking soda mixture is safe, natural, inexpensive and easy to find in stores. The vinegar easily removes the resin and wax, killing any unpleasant odor. The baking soda acts as a water softener. The chemical reaction which results from mixing the two ingredients produces CO2 and a fairly abrasive cleaning solution.

While an alcohol and salt solution works faster than vinegar and baking soda, it is more dangerous. Use at least 71% alcohol, although 90% is better for killing germs. Be aware that the higher the alcohol content, the faster the cleaning process, but the higher the potential for health hazards. It is highly flammable when over 70% strength and not recommended for inhalation. It is very important to thoroughly remove all traces of alcohol.  Also, during the pandemic, it is often difficult to find alcohol on store shelves.

Cleaning your glassware on a weekly basis will only take a few minutes of your time and will save you time and money in the long run!

Sources:
my420tours.com, How To Clean A Glass Pipe, March 11, 2019
wikihow.com, How To Clean A Glass Pipe, updated Nov. 18, 2020
naturalcannabis.com, How To Clean Your Cannabis Glassware
getfluent.com, How To Clean Your Glass Pipes, Bongs and Bubblers Quick & Easy, Naomi C. Abrams

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