Guide: keeping your pipes clean

Guide: keeping your pipes clean

A Clean Pipe is a Happy Pipe!

As with anything else, you’ll want to keep your pipes nice and clean. It’s not only a good idea to prolong the life of them, but often things can get clogged up with resin and ash, reducing the quality of your smoking sessions. A clean pipe tastes cleaner You don’t need to be a neat freak, but you’ll get the most out of them if they’re clean. Soap and water won’t be of much help here, but there are several easy ways to clean them. Not all pipes were created equally, so cleaning them isn’t always the same either. You may need some tools or proper cleaning fluid for some of them. The most important reason to keep your pipe clean is for anyone that you invite over to smoke. They’ll appreciate it for sure.

  • Bigger pipes come with bigger bowls, which get clogged less often.
  • Glass pipes are easier to clean than metal pipes.
  • You can use a screen with a pipe; and you should!
  • Pipes come in all shapes and sizes.

Guide: keeping your pipes clean

What is Weed Resin?

As you smoke, there will be a byproduct left over called ‘resin’, which is a sticky brown or black tar like substance. It’s made of ash, carbon and saliva leftover from combustion. It’ll build up on the inside surfaces of pipes, bongs or anything else you smoke out of. If you don’t clean it out, eventually it’ll clog things up. Cleaning it out can be pretty easy if you’re using the correct tools. If you aren’t using the correct tools, it can be messy and time consuming.

  • Some people smoke resin. This isn’t recommended as you’re inhaling the leftover byproducts from bud you’ve already smoked, and any gross dirty crap that came with it. There is THC in it, but the health risks outweigh the benefits in my opinion. It tastes horrible to smoke too. Proceed with caution.

If you would like to smoke resin, buy it from a reputable source so you get quality. Resin is used to make hash and other products.

Rubbing Alcohol / Isopropyl

First and foremost I would recommend using 99% isopropyl to clean your glass/metal pipe. Most people already have some in their bathroom, and it’s pretty cheap to buy. If you’ve ever cleaned a clogged up pipe using just water and some soap, you know that it’s a nightmare. Weed resin sticks to everything, gets under your nails, smears, it’s a mess. If you have a small glass or metal pipe, cleaning them using isopropyl alcohol is extremely effective.

Note: the term ‘rubbing alcohol’ could mean either isopropyl or ethanol alcohol. What you want is isopropyl.

  1. Fill a baggy with enough isopropyl that you can submerse your pipe fully in it (or other container you can seal).
  2. Add salt! Some people prefer coarse sea salt. 2 tbsp.
  3. Shake shake shake senora! shake that baggy right.
  4. Set it and forget it. Let it soak overnight.
  5. Open it up, empty, rinse with water.
  6. You may need to use a cleaning tool to get 100% of it out.
  7. Rinse that baby again with water. You absolutely do not want to be inhaling rubbing alcohol vapor.

You can also use isopropyl alcohol to get resin off your hands. I highly highly recommend buying lots of it. If you’re buying from a pharmacy, you may need to ask the pharmacist for it as they usually keep them behind the counter these days because some people drink it.

Guide: keeping your pipes clean

Boiling Water and Dishsoap

Using boiling water, a little dishsoap and a pipe cleaner you can clean the resin out of your pipe pretty easily. The boiling water will clean off/loosen up the built up crud, making it super easy to remove with a pipe cleaner or brush.

  • Boil water on the stove.
  • Add a little dishsoap.
  • Put the pipe in the boiling water.
  • Boil it for 20-30 minutes.
  • Use tongs to shake it around in the water to loosen things. Carefully!!
  • Empty water, remove carefully (it’ll be very hot!)
  • Once cool enough to handle, use a traditional pipe cleaner to remove build up.
  • Use a proper cleaning brush if necessary (see below) or rubbing alcohol (also see below).

Pipe Cleaning Brushes and tools

Whether glass, metal, ceramic or wood, you’ll want to keep the airways clear of resin. A decent pipe cleaning tool will save you a lot of time, effort, and sanity over using something that isn’t designed to clean the inside. How is a metal coat hanger going to get around the bowl? You’ll start chipping the glass and stuff.

  • 2 sets of cleaning brushes, medium and hard style bristles.
  • Stainless steel handle.
  • Easy to rinse, non-rusting.
  • Comes with a key ring to keep them together/store easily.
  • Can be used for way more things than just cleaning pipes.

Guide: keeping your pipes clean

Cleaning 3-in-1 Tool

This tool makes it easier to physically remove resin chunks and blockages.

  • Made of metal, will last a long time unless you’re a monster.
  • Comes with a bowl shaped spoon for easy scraping.
  • Includes a packing tool to easily break up bud.
  • Can also be used with hookahs, pipe, water pipes & shisha.
  • Easy to clean.
  • No more bobby pins!

Using a Liquid Cleanser

Sometimes you’ll want something a bit stronger than isopropyl. There are specific products designed to clean pipes and get resin off easily, and they’re much faster than soaking them overnight in rubbing alcohol. They’ll work better than anything you can come up with at home to clean your pipes as they’re specifically designed to remove and clean resin. Alcohol works, but it can be really messy.

Using a Glass Screen

Guide: keeping your pipes clean screens

Prevention is key! If you smoke using a glass or metal pipe often, you should invest in glass screens. These little things look like something you’d see on a beach in Normandy, but they do a great job at preventing ash and other unwanted things from going through the pipe to your  precious mouth. They work by plugging the hole in the bowl almost all the way. Enough that it prevents (most) physical particles from getting though, while allowing the smoke no problem. They also come with the added benefit of not melting like brass or wire screens. When those screens get hot enough they release toxic vapors, which you do not want to breathe in.

Get a Decent Grinder

To get the most out of your bud, make sure it’s ground up. If you don’t, seeds and other weed chunks can easily clog up the smaller parts of your pipe. You can do this by hand with scissors or other tools, but a quality metal grinder will last for years and generally just make your life easier. Buying these things locally will run you like $20 for something that isn’t very good. This one from Amazon is killer.

Any Further Suggestions?

Was anything missed? Include it in the comments below!

Authored by: Crackmacs

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