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4/20 Preparation: How to Clean Your Pipe or Bong

There’s nothing like a clean hit from a fresh pipe or bong. That new-piece feeling doesn’t last long, though. If you want the best experience smoking weed, make sure you clean your smoking devices regularly. The best flavors and experiences are going to come from clean pipes and bongs. If you don’t know how to clean your pipe or bong properly, we’ll walk you through it. 

4/20 Preparation: How to Clean Your Pipe or Bong

April 19, 2021

How often should I clean my smoking device?

You should regularly clean your pipe, bong, or other glass smoking device. We recommend doing a small clean at least every few sessions, which can simply mean scraping the residue out of the bowl for better flavor and smoke. Then you can do a deeper clean every month or so, depending on how often you use your pipe. 

You know best when it comes to your smoking gear. If you almost never pick up a pipe or bong, you definitely don’t need to deep clean it every month. If you use it multiple times every day, a regular cleaning is in order. 

You’ll know it’s time to clean your pipe or bong when the bowl is filled with resin and burnt-on residue. You can often scrape at this residue to remove it from the bowl, but eventually, the cleanup should go deeper than that. 

4/20 Preparation: How to Clean Your Pipe or Bong

It’s also a clear sign that it’s time to clean when your flower starts tasting different. High-quality cannabis is loaded with aromatic and flavorful terpenes which are overpowered by residue when smoked out of a dirty pipe or bong. 

The smoke that comes from a dirty bong is harsher than smoke from a clean bong or pipe, as well. When you notice harshness, it’s time to clean your pipe and return to a smooth smoke. 

Keep in mind that bong water left out can also grow some serious contaminants. Yeast, bacteria, fungi, and other microbes may end up in the bong water and you do not want to inhale that into your lungs. Make a habit of always replacing the bong water with each new session. 

How to clean a glass pipe or bong

4/20 Preparation: How to Clean Your Pipe or Bong

We’ll start with a super easy way to clean a bong or pipe. It uses household items and doesn’t require much work. 

How to clean a glass bong:

  1. Detach the bowl and safely scrape off the residue using a sharp object if the tar is thick and caked on. You may be able to scrape using a q-tip if the buildup is minimal. 
  2. Dump any water out of the bong and thoroughly rinse it out with warm water. 
  3. Fill a small bowl with warm water and add one tsp of baking soda and one tsp of vinegar. Detach the bowl from your bong and place it in the water mixture, ensuring it is fully submerged. 
  4. Add a tsp of baking soda through the mouthpiece of the bong. Cover both the mouthpiece and the downstem hole and shake. This should cause the baking soda to stick to the inside. 
  5. Use a thin cleaning brush, toothbrush, or whatever clean scrubby you can find to scrub the inside and spread the baking soda around. 
  6. Add a tbsp of vinegar and fill the rest of the chamber with warm water. 
  7. Carefully cover the holes and shake. 
  8. Pour out the contents and rinse thoroughly with water. Repeat a few times until all of the solution is gone. 
  9. Take the bowl out of the water mixture and dry with a paper towel. Use the paper towel to scrape off any leftover sticky parts. 
  10.  Reassemble the bong. 

How to clean a glass pipe:

  1. Use a pipe cleaner or thin, long scrubbing tool to run through your pipe and clear out any blockages.
  2. Safely scrape off the residue from the bowl using a sharp object if the tar is thick and caked on. You may be able to scrape using a q-tip if the buildup is minimal. 
  3. Fill a bowl with warm water and add one tbsp of baking soda and a tbsp of vinegar. 
  4. Add the pipe to the water mixture and let soak. 
  5. Remove after 10 minutes in the mixture. 
  6. Repeat steps 1 and 2. 

It’s that easy! Cleaning a pipe or bong does not have to take very long and does not require any special ingredients. Baking soda and vinegar are easy on the environment and easy on the human body, making the two products a great option for cleaning a pipe or bong. 

What not to do when cleaning a pipe or bong 

4/20 Preparation: How to Clean Your Pipe or Bong

It seems isopropyl alcohol is advertised to clean just about everything. And it certainly has important uses, especially when it comes to sanitizing items. But that doesn’t necessarily make it healthy for human consumption. When you clean a pipe or bong with isopropyl alcohol, you may leave residue behind which is unsafe to smoke. 

As Leafly reported, you should never clean your bong or pipe with isopropyl alcohol. Similarly, you should never use acetone-based products that may do a good job of cleaning, but are not meant to be inhaled. 

A good general rule is to never clean your pipe with something you wouldn’t consume directly. It’s why we advocate for baking soda and vinegar as the primary cleaning tools. 

Final notes 

There are multiple ways to clean your pipe or bong, but not all popular methods are considered safe. That’s why we have shown you a method that is easy to do and also easy on the earth and the body. 

If your bong or pipe is made of different materials, such as metal or wood, you will need to follow specific instructions for cleaning these less-popular smoking devices. Since glass is the most popular material, we focused solely on how to clean your glass pieces. 

There are also plenty of bong and pipe cleaning products available that are formulated for this exact purpose. If you’d rather clean your piece with a store-bought product, just be sure it is made of ingredients you would be okay consuming. 

For the sake of your health and a better overall experience of smoking, be sure to clean your pieces regularly. 

Need a new pipe, bong, or another smoking device? Or maybe you just need some green to fill yours with. Whatever the case, stop by Piece of Mind Cannabis today for all of your cannabis needs!

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