If you search the terms ‘how to clean glass pipe’ on Google, you will get over 10 million results. This means you can pretty much find any method you want on the internet, but most of the time those methods won’t be enough to give your pipe the kind of super clean you want it to have. I’m saying this from experience. I tried many methods and just never found one that cleaned my glass on a molecular level. It was always a mediocre result at best.
Cleaning your glass pipe is an important step in cannabis consumption. Not only might you feel cleaner, but the resin build-up can cause serious problems down the line. (Never go to a head shop and buy one! These pieces are cheaply made and will not last more than a few months). I will give you 5 easy steps to clean your glass pipe so that it lasts as long as possible.
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Why do you need to clean your glass pipe?
The resin that builds up inside your pipe will start to break down and release unhealthy toxins. I’m not going to get too scientific, but it’s definitely not fun to poison yourself with chemicals!
These toxins will also cause the taste of your bowl to change. The first time you taste a freshly cleaned bowl is one of the best experiences in life. You really get that true taste of the cannabis you are smoking with no funny aftertaste.
Your glass pipe will last longer if you clean it. When you smoke from a clean pipe, the gases that form in your pipe will not be able to burn holes in the bowl and actually burn themselves out before they can create these dangerous effects.
The biggest problem is the flavor of your bowl. The flavor of your cannabis is only one part of the smoking experience. You can use a variety of other things to improve it (dry herbs, rosin, etc).
How often should you clean your glass pipe?
It’s up to you. Some people claim to clean their pipe every time they use it, some clean it every week, some of my friends refuse to clean their pipe from beginning to end. It all depends on your level of consumption and what kind of accessories you have used while smoking.
How often you want to clean your bowl will also depend on how big of an adhesive residue builds up inside your pipe. The more you smoke out of your glass, the more resin will build up.
I like to clean my glass pipe on a day where I am going to smoke a lot of weed. I do this because it gives me an idea of how much resin is building up in my bowl.
If you are new to smoking and not used to consuming tons of squares, the amount of resin buildup might seem rather small the first time you clean.
Things you need to clean your glass pipe.
Let me start with a disclaimer. There are a million ways you can clean your pipe and any method you come up with is probably not going to be good enough. I know my process works and I will explain the methodology behind it.
The best glass to clean your pipe is high-quality borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass tends to have a lot of tiny cavities rather than larger ones, which makes it easier for the resin to get trapped inside them when you smoke from it.
Pipes that have a long, thin neck are easier to clean than pipes with very short necks. This is because residues usually end up in the long tube that connects the bowl to the mouthpiece, not in the opening where you will be putting your finger and therefore cleaning your pipe.
The biggest key to cleaning your pipe is time and patience. You need to dedicate yourself to this task and take your time cleaning every part of your pipe.
How to clean glass pipe: Follow these 5 steps.
This is very simple but it is important to remember. Sometimes the metal bowl is cemented on and pretty much impossible to remove without breaking it into a bunch of pieces. If you are unable to remove the bowl, there is nothing you can do about it until you can buy a new pipe or find a way to remove its metal bowl without damaging it too much. Follow these steps.
Step 1. Wash your hands
This should be the first step before you do any cleaning task. You should always wash your hands before you handle any glass or water.
Step 2. Fill your sink with warm water and soap
The best thing to use is baking soda or something that will remove scum and grease from your pipe while also leaving a fresh smell.
Step 3. Soak your pipe in warm water
You need to soak your pipe for at least 10 minutes, or until the water that was sitting at the bottom of your bowl stops bubbling. Pay close attention to the air tube where you will be cleaning. We want to make sure that no resin can fall down this tube into our sink.
Step 4. Preparing for scraping
You will see a lot of foreign objects (hopefully none of them alive) floating around in your bowl. This is a good time to clean out all of them. You can use a pipe cleaner to scrape this stuff out, or you can use a match. Once you have scraped everything out, let it sit for 5 minutes and scrape it again if needed.
Step 5. Scrape the resin buildup with your finger
This is probably the part everyone will dread because you don’t want to scratch up your finger like some kind of weirdo.
Useful tips on how to clean glass pipes.
- Use a wooden match.
The best tool to use for scraping is a wooden match. I know it is not the most sanitary thing in the world, but it works! All you have to do is rub the head of the match around your bowl and you will get all that nasty build-up off.
- Skip this step if your glass pipe has a metal bowl.
If you are unable to remove your metal bowls and all you have left is this decorative piece, skip this step.
- Wind the bowl a little bit on your finger.
If you are still able to remove the bowl, you can use this technique to loosen it up. If the resin is too stubborn, do not worry the scent will not be ruined by a few minutes of smoking!
- Scrub your pipe with baking soda.
This is an optional step and I don’t advise you do it if you have a metal bowl. If you cannot get your metal bowl off, use it as a scrubbing tool.
- Brush the resin off of the rim.
This is only necessary if you used any type of nail or sharp object to remove your metal bowl. You will brush away all the resin from the rim so that it doesn’t burn into the next bowl you smoke from.
How do you clean a dirty glass pipe?
If you have neglected your bowl for a very long time and it is dirty and covered in resin, you are going to need a little more effort to clean it.
- Use a cotton swab to clean the inside
You need to scrub hard when cleaning the inside of your bowl. It will be difficult to get all of the resin out if you only scrape with your nail or match, so use a cotton swab to clean out every crevice. Once you have done that, give it another rinse.
- Wash the outside of your bowl
Wash your bowl with warm water and soap to remove any dirt and resin that is still on it. Scrub hard with a cotton swab. Once you have done that, give it another rinse.
Now your bowl is clean! Now you can put it back together and enjoy it to the fullest!
Note: If you choose not to use borosilicate glass, make sure you are using a thick glass pipe so that scum and residue won’t accumulate in the water chamber.
What is the fastest way to clean a glass pipe without alcohol?
The fastest way to clean a glass pipe without alcohol is two-fold. First, you need to scrub the bowl with soap and warm water. This will remove a lot of gunk. After that, tilt your pipe at a 45-degree angle so that water can run down into the base of the bowl and clean it out from there.
With a little preparation and the right tools, cleaning your glass pipe should be a simple task. If you have any other tips or suggestions for how to clean your glass pipe, please leave them in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you!