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How to Clean a Pipe

Higher Mentality Staff

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How to clean a pipe

We all love a new glass pipe. From the smooth hits, to the glass pipe’s vibrant colors, it’s love at first sight. However, dirty pipes will put a damper your love affair with your paraphernalia. Luckily for you, there are many cleaning solutions for dirty pipes all around your house. From a Ziploc bag with some salt and alcohol, to boiling water, all the way to alternate cleaning solutions like denture tablets, we’re going to teach you how to clean a pipe.

Why Learn How to Clean a Pipe?

Learning how to clean a pipe isn’t just a nice bonding experience between you and your glass pipes. It’s also an excellent way to save money. There are a few reasons to learn how to clean a pipe. First, it’s economical.

Glass pipes are quite durable smoking mechanisms. Trust us; we’ve dropped a few in our time. As long as you keep up with maintenance, you can use the same glass pipe for years. That’s a lot more economical than trading in your bowl each time your dirty glass pipe gets too clogged.

Every time that you smoke, resin ends up in the basin of your glass pipe. Eventually, more and more of this sticky residue will pile on top. This gradual buildup will act as a barrier for all the smoke you’re trying to inhale. Therefore, dirty glass pipes actually weaken your smoke session.

If you learn how to clean a pipe, you won’t have to pack your bowl as often. Learning how to clean a pipe will not only save you money on buying new pipes, but it will save you some cash on bud, too.

Now, have some dirty glass? Here are some awesome cleaning solutions using simple items around your house, such as rubbing alcohol or kosher salt. Here are some of our favourite ways to wash the dirty glass. These methods will help you find the perfect means of cleaning your glass pipe, too.

Cleaning Your Glass Pipe with Boiling Water

Of the dirty glass cleaning solutions we’re going to offer, this is the cheapest way of cleaning your glass pipe. Grab a small pot and fill it with hot water. You want to use warm water instead of cold because we are going to be boiling the water. Dirty glass pipes can break from extreme changes in temperature. If you were to submerge the pipe in an environment that went from cold to boiling hot in a matter of seconds…shatter city. And not the smokeable kind.

Use a hot pot to clean the pot spots

Use a hot pot to clean the pot spots

Make sure there is enough warm water to cover the dirty glass. You want to submerge the pipe completely, with some headroom to spare. Once you have boiling water, reduce the hot water to a simmer. You are ready to submerge the pipe into the hot water.

Before you submerge the pipe in the hot water, knock around the dirty glass basin with the back of your hand. Get any loose resin out of the dirty glass pipe and then place it into the pot.

Allow the dirty glass to sit in the hot water for approximately thirty minutes. The hot water will evaporate, so keep an eye on it. If the glass pipe sits in a pot without hot water in it, the extreme temperature of the metal pot to glass can cause your bowl to break.

After thirty minutes, take out the pipe with a pair of tongs. Allow it to cool for a bit.  Then, use a cotton swab, toothpick, or pipe cleaner to get any excess residue out. From there, allow your piece to air dry or use a hair dryer to expedite the process.

The boiling water method is the simplest. However, you might need a bit more elbow grease when cleaning your glass pipe. We have the ultimate cleaning solutions for you coming up!

Cleaning Your Glass Pipe with Rubbing Alcohol and a Ziploc Bag

Anyone who has battled resin knows that this sticky residue can be a pain to get off your dirty glass. That’s why you need to turn to the rubbing alcohol and Ziploc bag method.

Before you begin, know that really dirty pipes need a little headstart. Use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner and work around the mouthpiece, basin, and carb hole of your dirty glass. Any gunk you get out of the way before you add it to the Ziploc bag will make it easier. There will be less work for the salt and alcohol to do so your dirty glass will look brand new by the time hit you the final rinse!

Once you’ve prepped your bowl for cleaning your glass pipe, it’s time to get your cleaning solutions together. Grab some isopropyl alcohol and pour the rubbing alcohol into the Ziploc bag. We like 91% isopropyl alcohol over the 71% rubbing alcohol because it is more abrasive. Isopropyl alcohol will provide the more thorough cleaning your glass pipe needs.

Clean that pipe, you salty dog!

Clean that pipe, you salty dog!

Place the dirty glass into the Ziploc bag. Make sure you submerge the pipe deep into the isopropyl alcohol. Now, add a tablespoon of kosher salt. Salt and alcohol work a lot like a beauty product. The alcohol is an astringent, sanitizing the dirty pipes. Meanwhile, kosher salt is abrasive, like an exfoliant. Together, salt and alcohol leave your pipe clean to smoke out of and aesthetically pleasing.

Seal up the Ziploc bag. Crumple up the Ziploc bag to ensure you submerge the pipe. Work the kosher salt into the dirty glass. After manipulating the Ziploc bag with your hands to work the salt and alcohol around the dirty glass, it’s time to start cleaning your glass pipe.

With your pipe in the bag, start shaking vigorously. Continue this for about two minutes. Look to see if the pipe in the bag looks as sparkling as you desire. If so, fill a bowl with warm water.

Remove the pipe from the bag and submerge the pipe into the warm water. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours. At this point, you might add some more kosher salt to the bowl, too.

After the pipe sits in the warm water, you must remove any excess salt and alcohol. To do this, wash the holes of the pipe out with hot water. Put your lips to the piece and inhale. If you taste any lingering vapors of rubbing alcohol, rinse with water again.

Once you have your final rinse, work out any extra residue with a cotton swab or pipe cleaner. For deeper cleanings, opt for Pipe Stix. They get in the hard to reach places that a cotton swab can’t. After the touch-up, allow to air dry or use a hairdryer.

Cleaning Your Glass Pipe with Piece Water

The boiling water method is excellent for cleaning your pipe, but it can also end up damaging your piece. Meanwhile, the salt and alcohol method sometimes feels like a science experiment gone wrong. Our preferred method of cleaning dirty pipes is with Piece Water.

Fine peace with Piece Water

Fine peace with Piece Water

Piece Water covers what we like about the salt and alcohol in a Ziploc bag method for cleaning your pipe. It is abrasive and polishing all in one. However, it’s also natural and has no lingering taste of rubbing alcohol.

Piece Water is made with a proprietary blend of botanicals that are 100% non-toxic. Just put some warm water into a Ziploc bag. Then submerge the pipe in the bag. Pour the Piece Water over the pipe in the bag and give it a good shake. After a few minutes, you are all set. Go to work with your cotton swab or pipe cleaner and allow to dry.

Cleaning a pipe with Piece Water is the easiest method. This process takes just one ingredient in the Ziploc bag, no clean-up, and doesn’t end with fifty takes at figuring out if this is truly your final rinse. If you are a pipe smoker, make Piece Water a part of your cleaning routine.

How to Clean a Pipe with Alternate Cleaning Solutions

There are a number of other DIY combinations sitting around your house for cleaning your glass pipe. Here are a few other great alternate cleaning methods.

For these alternate cleaning solutions, you will need the same base ingredients. Submerge the pipe in a bowl of hot water. Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes in the hot water as the gunk loosens up inside the dirty glass. From there, you can add in some of these alternate cleaning solutions:

  • Kosher Salt and White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda and White Vinegar
  • Sand and Water
  • Denture Tablets

You want something fizzy and abrasive like baking soda. However, you need something that’s going to add to this reaction, like vinegar. Together, baking soda, kosher salt, and vinegar make a reaction that’s much like the denture tablets in water. It causes bursts of carbon that will end up cleaning your glass pipe for you. These bubbles accomplish this thanks to the kosher salt and baking soda. When you are done, rinse with water and allow to dry before use.

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