We’ve all been there before…you get a new cannabis concentrate to dab, or top-shelf flower to smoke, and your device isn’t cooperating. You inhale, and your pipe is clogged. Even more, or even worse…you take your hit but it lacks a fresh taste due to a dirty device. To avoid this dabbing disappointment, or waste of precious flower, it’s best to keep your glass pipes in clean and working condition. Seems like a sticky and dirty task, but cleaning a glass pipe can be made easy with a few simple steps. Let’s review the most common types of pipes, and how how to fully clean a glass pipe, too.

Why Glass?

First off, glass devices are ideal for cannabis smoking, due to their clean nature. Regardless of how dirty your pipe or rig may seem, after multiple uses. Consequently, smoking cannabis through glass, avoids fumes, or odors from other types of materials like wood, metal or plastic. Above all, glass helps avoid contamination of your top-shelf products, or changing the flavor and overall taste.

Here are the most popularly used types of glass pipes, available on the market today.

Bowl (or spoon) – A bowl, aptly named, is the bowl shaped glass piece that holds your cannabis flower in its’ own design, or to insert into a bong. Standard bowls have two exits or holes – one at the bottom to allow the smoke to travel through the mouthpiece for your smoking pleasure. And another, often called ‘the carb or choke’ on the side of the bowl to contain the smoke in the device. As a result, by placing your finger on the carb, consumers are able to control the airflow of their hit after sparking their flower.

Chillum – A chillum is the simplest type of hand pipe, found in a cylinder shape. Due to their size, chillums are usually the cheapest to purchase. Chillums pack small amounts of cannabis flower into their ‘bowl’ and are a straight shot to the mouthpiece. No carb required.

Steam Roller – A steam roller, is basically a bigger chillum. Their shape is tube-like, or cylinder with the carb found at one end. On the other end, you’ll find the mouthpiece where you’ll inhale. In between, you’ll find the bowl to pack your cannabis into and spark up with your finger covering the carb. Due to its’ shape, steam rollers allow the smoke to easily travel through the device.

One-Hitter – Another appropriately named pipe, is the one-hitter. Providing ‘one-hit’ to users, one-hitters are small in nature. The area or bowl to pack your cannabis flower into, is just big enough to hold an amount for one-hit.

Water Bong – Water bongs are devices that contain a piece holding water, and an entry area for a bowl to insert. As you light the flower packed into the bowl, the smoke bubbles and filters through the water allowing a clean inhale through the mouthpiece. Smaller or handheld sized water bongs are known as bubblers.

Dab Rig – The most complex of glass pipes or pieces, is the dab rig. Dab rigs can withstand the high heat necessary for wax, concentrate and oil consumption. The body of the rig contains water, for water-bong like and clean hits. Unlike a water bong, instead of using a bowl, a ‘nail’ or ‘banger’ is placed into the rig’s entry hole. Once you heat the nail or banger to the desired temperature, your concentrate is placed into it for vaporizing and inhaling through the mouthpiece.

How to Clean

After multiple uses, any glass pipe or rig will begin to collect resin throughout its nooks and crannies. The stale resin leads to stale hits, or less than desirable tastes. But, what’s the best way to fully clean a glass pipe? Here’s the easiest and fastest method to do so.

  • Gather your supplies. To fully clean a glass pipe, you’ll need a few materials. These include –
    • Acetone or Isopropyl Alcohol
    • Kosher Salt
    • Rubber Gloves
    • Electrical Tape
  • Prepare your pipe. Place electrical tape over the bowl, to close off the exits that will allow your acetone or alcohol to leak. If you’re cleaning a rig or bong, you can remove the nail/banger or bowl, and clean the devices separately with the same method.
  • Add salt. Through the mouthpiece, pour as much salt as possible without completely filling the pipe. You’ll need to allow room for the acetone or alcohol you’re about to add.
  • Add your liquid. Again, through the mouthpiece, pour your choice of liquid, either acetone or alcohol. Leave enough air for the mixture to freely move throughout the device.
  • Seal the mouthpiece. Seal the mouthpiece with electrical tape.
  • Let the magic begin. Shake your device vigorously allowing the mixture to full coat the inner workings of your pipe or rig. Usually, your pipe will be clean after 2-3 minutes of shaking. If your pipe is extra dirty, you can repeat the shaking process for 10+ minutes, or allow the device to soak as well.
  • Rinse finish. To finish the job, you’ll remove the tape and pour the murky liquid out of your pipe. Rinse the pipe thoroughly in hot water, and wipe down with a paper towel soaked in alcohol or acetone to remove any additional residue. If leftovers remain, you can re-rinse with acetone or alcohol, or repeat the steps until fully clean. Once all resin has been removed, do a final rinse of your pipe with hot water until clean water runs through and the taste of acetone or alcohol has been removed.

For smaller pieces, or bowls, instead of taping off your closures you can instill the use of a plastic sandwich bag too. Pour the salt into the pipe, and place into a plastic sandwich bag. From there, you can pour acetone or alcohol into the bag to cover the piece. Seal tightly, and shake until clean.

So fresh and so clean

Now that you’ve got your pipe or rig, properly cleaned…you’re officially back into business. With a clean glass pipe, cannabis consumers can fully appreciate the flavors and aromas they seek through concentrate or flower products. With simple materials, and a quick process, don’t hinder your cannabis habits with dirty glass pipes or rigs, any longer.

If you’re more a visual person check out  our Cannabis Therapy PotCast episode where we go more in depth below. Have specific questions? Reach out to one of our expert cannasultants to help you out today!