With smoking rituals and habits come important maintenance and care. Above all, considering the many responsibilities that come with cannabis, learning how to clean weed pipes is essential. Luckily, how to clean a pipe requires minimal materials and instructions, making it an easy task for even the most lackadaisical among us. 

Photo: Unsplash

How To Clean a Weed Pipe

Smoking with a weed pipe can be a fun and enjoyable way to consume cannabis. Considering all of the complex and unique shapes and sizes of weed pipes, the cleaning process might seem tedious or tricky. 

Most importantly, owning and using a pipe for cannabis requires cleaning and maintenance. Without regular cleaning of weed pipes, resin and residue can build up and cause clogging and negative effects on the flavor of your weed. To prevent this, you’ll need to clean your glass or ceramic pipe regularly.

Materials You’ll Need

  • A sealable plastic bag or container 
  • Paper clip 
  • 99% Isopropyl alcohol (or related type of rubbing alcohol) 
  • Salt (preferably Epsom or table salt)
  • Gentle dish soap
epsom salt cleaning pipe
Photo: Unsplash

How to Clean a Pipe Step By Step 

  1. Place the weed pipe in the plastic bag 

First, shake and remove any leftover debris or bits of flower from the pipe’s bowl. Carefully place the pipe in your sealable plastic bag or container. Next, submerge the pipe by filling the bag halfway with alcohol.

  1. Add a teaspoon of salt in the bag 

Next, add a teaspoon of salt into the bag. The salt mixes with the rubbing alcohol to act as a strong scrubbing solution. After mixing, the solution will help deep clean the areas of the weed pipe that can’t be reached by a brush or sponge. Most importantly, coarse salt works best for areas with hardened resin.

  1. Let the weed pipe soak

Then, carefully leave the weed pipe soaking in the bag or container for around 12 hours. This allows for the alcohol and salt solution to dissolve most of the dirty resin. 

  1. Shake the bag

After the 12 hour mark, shake the bag firmly to loosen any additional residue. If you have your pipe soaking in a container, skip this step to avoid breaking the piece!

  1. Remove the pipe and wash 

Next, after some vigorous soaking and shaking, remove your weed pipe from the bag. Rinse it with hot water and dish soap. As a result, this will help to wash out any lingering alcohol or salt in those spots that are harder to reach in the weed pipe. If you notice any additional resin or residue on the pipe after removing it from the bag, use a paper clip or pipe cleaner to remove it. To reduce the risk of scratching your piece, use cotton swabs. After that, scrape any leftover residue and rinse the pipe with hot water.

  1. Let the weed pipe dry

Lastly, check that your weed pipe is completely dried out before using it. If you aren’t satisfied with the cleanliness of your weed pipe, you can certainly repeat the process with fresh salt.

How Often Should I Clean My Weed Pipe?

Have you ever taken a hit of a weed pipe and tasted a subtle charred, smokey flavor after inhaling? That may be the cause of resin build-up from the pipe. No matter how often you smoke out of a pipe, resin and residue from cannabis build up over time. 

Compared to dirty bongs, dirty pipes can harbor toxic substances in the crevices of the pipe. Consequently, inhaling these dirty and toxic particles can cause negative health effects after a period of time. 

For instance, in a 2020 Scientific Reports study, researchers discovered an abundance of toxins in cannabis smoke. As a result, these researchers found at least 110 different toxins that can settle in the interior of a weed pipe.

In other words, it is important to clean your weed pipe regularly to reduce the amount of tough buildup and toxins formed.

Can You Clean a Pipe Without Alcohol? 

So, you don’t have any rubbing alcohol handy? No problem! Alternatively, you can clean your weed pipe with boiling water. The process is similar to cleaning with rubbing alcohol. First, submerge your pipe completely in a pot of water and slowly heat up the water. Make sure the temperature increases slowly, as extreme temperature differences can cause the glass pipe to break or crack. After 30 minutes, let the pipe cool down and scrape off any of the remaining resin with a paper clip or cotton swab. 

weed pipe cleaning
Photo: Unsplash

What To Remember 

In conclusion, cleaning your weed pipe is a crucial part of owning a glass pipe. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, your pipe can cause clogging and undesirable tastes with each hit. Understanding how to clean a pipe will help you prevent resin buildup and optimize your cannabis smoking experience.

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