Unlike cleaning your room or doing the dishes, cleaning your glass pipe or bong on a regular basis is non-negotiable. Not only is smoking from a dirty pipe just plain old gross, but you may also be inhaling some of the leftover tar or impacting the overall flavor of your buds. So if you want to actually taste your cannabis and all of its terpenes every time you spark up instead of stale bong water, we’re here to give you a refresher course on how to clean your pipe or bong.
Spoiler alert — you don’t need any of the high-priced, “420-friendly” cleaning materials that cannabis brands sell to get the job done right.
Why do you need to clean your glass pieces?
After using glass pipes for a while, tar starts to build up on the interior of your piece, which can make your hits much harsher. You may find yourself coughing more often if you’ve been using a piece in need of some TLC.
A not-so-clean pipe can also affect the taste of your buds. You’ll notice a massive difference in flavor when your piece is squeaky clean because the terpenes can really shine through — rather than being masked by old bong water and tar.
How often should you clean your pipe or bong?
How frequently you should clean your smoking devices really depends on how much you consume. Once a week will probably work just fine if you consider yourself a moderate consumer. If you have more than one pipe, you can likely space out your cleanings even further — something like once a month or every other week. Some cannabis consumers will clean their smoking devices every day if they use them a lot or if the piece is expensive.
For bongs, bubblers, and other water pipes, it’s best to change the water before smoking at least once a day, or every time you use it. Keeping stagnant water in a bong for too long will eventually become full of tar and debris.
How to Clean Your Pipe or Bong
As we briefly mentioned, cleaning a glass bong, pipe, or bubbler is incredibly simple. All you need to get your piece squeaky clean is:
- Isopropyl alcohol – 70% works fine but 90% is even better
- Coarse salt, optional
While salt is not entirely necessary, it will help dislodge stubborn tar and chunks of leftover resin. You can also buy specially made (and often pricey) bong cleaners at a head shop, but they often have other chemicals in them that aren’t needed and may even be harmful to the environment.
Now, let’s do this step-by-step:
- If you have a water pipe, pour out the water.
- Pour alcohol and, if using, coarse salt into the piece.
- Plug the holes and shake the pipe around until it starts to look clean. Usually about a minute or two.
- Pour out the alcohol and salt mixture. Rinse with warm water to get rid of any remnants.
- Let the piece air dry until it doesn’t smell like alcohol anymore.
- Repeat the process if necessary until sparkling clean.
And that’s pretty much it! If there’s still some tough tar lingering, let the pipe soak in alcohol for a few hours or overnight. You can also look to buy a pipe cleaner and scrub away at any tough spots after pouring out the alcohol.
Pro-tip: Be careful not to break a glass piece when cleaning it. Cleaning involves vigorously shaking a glass piece so try not to go too hard. Other than that, cleaning your piece is easy as pie.
Now that your pipe is squeaky clean, you need some fresh flower to fill it with. Stop by any of our JARS locations to get the buds that you need.