Health & Wellness

No More Dirty Hits! How to Clean a Weed Pipe, Bong, or Rig

Are you keeping your weedware clean enough?
Are you keeping your weedware clean enough?

If you’re wondering how to clean a weed pipe, you’ve come to the right place. And there’s more than one way to go about it, depending on your preferences.

Some prefer the ease of weed wipes, others stick to the old school method with rubbing alcohol, and plenty of folks don’t clean their weed pipe at all (not good).

The same goes for bongs, vaping devices, dabs rigs and any other cannabis paraphernalia subject to resin build-up.

Keeping your weed pipe clean is essential to a healthy cannabis lifestyle. Here are some tips for keeping your pieces clean, fresh, and ready to go:

Why You Have to Clean Your Pipe, Bong, or Rig

Okay, so maybe you smoked a resin bowl or two with your friends in high school when you were broke and desperate for something to smoke – we’ve all been there. But as a rule, resin, a.k.a. the goopy brown residue that accumulates inside your pipe, bong, or rig after multiple uses, is not something that should ever be inhaled.

Although cannabis itself doesn’t appear to have any long-term negative effects on users, the act of smoking is harmful to your health. It puts strain on your respiratory system, and the added effect of inhaling leftover resin certainly doesn’t help the situation.

Resin is actually a vital component to the cannabis plant. The compound contains all of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes and protects the plant from pests and predators during the growth cycle. The resin glands are compressed under heat, which leads to them secrete during your smoke session and remain behind as a thick, tar-like residue mixed with ash.

This residue is reason enough to warrant regular cleaning of your glassware, but there are plenty of other things to take into consideration. If more than one person in your household uses the same glassware, or if you find yourself puff-puff-passing a lot, it’s a good idea to keep things as safe and sterile as possible. Keeping a clean pipe also improves the taste of your hits, allows for a smoother smoking experience, and just looks better. 

How to Clean a Weed Pipe, Bong, or Rig

Now that you know how important it is to keep your glassware tidy, here are a few methods for the cleaning process. Different tactics work for different people (and pipes), but these are some of the most favored ways that seem to work the most seamlessly – both DIY and products on the market to look out for:

Rubbing Alcohol

When cleaning your glass piece, the most basic, tried-and-true method is to use rubbing alcohol and rock salt for extra finicky spots. If you’re cleaning a handheld glass pipe, you can simply put it in a ziploc bag with some rubbing alcohol and rock salt, make sure it’s submerged and sealed tight, and shake the hell out of it.

If you’re cleaning a bong or dab rig, just pour the rubbing alcohol and rock salt directly into the piece, pick up the entire piece, and shake the hell out of it (as carefully as possible).

The shaking motion and roughness of the salt will help break up the resin and get all of the gunk out. The trick? Heat up the rubbing alcohol in the microwave beforehand – it works about 10 times better that way.

Lastly, make sure to triple-check that your piece is 100 percent dry and free of solvent before indulging, or you may inhale some dangerous fumes. 

Vinegar + Baking Soda

Another effective mixture that’s easy to create with stuff you already have around the house is vinegar and baking soda. Dump the combination into a large bowl with your smoking apparatus, making sure to submerge the pieces entirely. Then, just let it do its fizzly thing for about 10-15 minutes. Empty the bowl and rinse your pieces off with warm water. 

Nail Polish Remover + Epsom Salt

This combination is similar to the rubbing alcohol and rock salt, but the 100 percent acetone in the nail polish remover allows for a heavier-duty cleaning session. If your piece hasn’t seen any love in a while, this is the cleaning method for you. You can utilize the same process used for the rubbing alcohol/rock salt combo. Clean any remaining residue with cotton balls or a Q-tip, and don’t forget to wait until it is 100 percent dry and free of solvent before smoking.

Weed Wipes

While there are plenty of at-home solutions for cleaning your glass pieces, there are also a wide variety of products on the market designed specifically for cleaning weedware – like WeedWipes Natural Resin Remover. Branded as the “safest cleaner on the market,” WeedWipes are 100 percent natural and organic and safe for the environment. WeedWipes also claim to be very simple to use, instantly attracting and capturing resin with each swipe. 

Formula 420

Finally, one of the most popular weed piece cleaning products on the market is Formula 420. The brand carries a variety of products geared towards glass piece cleaning, from original to advanced to made with all-natural ingredients. The products are all biodegradable and simple to use, claiming to clean and deodorize within just seconds of application. 

For more on cleaning a dab rig specifically, check out that article here.

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