A glass pipe looks so beautiful and pristine when you first get it. The swirls of color and smooth curves draw your attention like a piece of meticulously and passionately constructed art. But, it does not take too long for that same glass smoking pipe to turn black with resin, become a clogged glass pipe and for that resin to start creeping onto your fingers and lips like some symbiote alien from another planet.
For many of us, a resinated bowl is just too much to deal with. The act of cleaning a glass pipe just seems overwhelming and ends up being the reason why we go off and purchase another smoking pipe of some sort. In all reality, if you want to know how to clean a glass pipe, it isn’t very hard. I have cleaned I don’t know how many pipes. There are three main methods that I have used for cleaning a one hitter, cleaning a bong, cleaning a bubbler or cleaning a bowl.
Let’s focus on cleaning a regular glass pipe for now. The first method I will review is the paperclip method. For this method you will need the following.
- A paper clip
- A paper towel
- A lighter
- A dirty glass pipe
- Your hands
- A Netflix Show
For me, finding an awesome show or movie on Netflix, Hulu or cable (if you still have cable) is key. To get started, unfold a couple of inches from the paperclip and start with the little hole in the bowl. Turn the bowl upside down and hold the lighter’s flame to it for a while until the resin softens. When you start scraping with the paper clip, be careful, the glass can be a little thinner in this section of the glass pipe you are cleaning and can chip. After you have cleared the hole, scrape the edge of the bowl and you should have a black ball of resin forming that I will let you decide what to do with. The paper towel, or some very disposable cloth, should be used to wipe the paperclip clean.
Now move onto the mouthpiece. The glass around the hole of the mouthpiece can also be prone to chipping so be careful with the mighty piece of metal you are using to clean your glass pipe. It may also be worth it to use a lighter on the outside portions of the bowl you are scraping. The heat will help soften the resin to make the scraping easier. Be careful not to burn yourself. Scrape out the stem of your glass pipe and you will being pulling out large gobs of resin. Again, you can decide what to do with that. You can also consider using the carb hole on the side of the bowl to extract some of the resin. The carb hole gives you access to some of the inside crannies of the bowl that are otherwise tough to reach. You may need to tap the bowl gently against the paper towel to get some of the resin to fall out.
Cleaning a glass pipe with a paperclip is really just a short-term fix your dirty glass pipe. The next level of cleaning is using solvents like boiling water and rubbing alcohol. Of the two, using isopropyl rubbing alcohol to clean a glass pipe is the easiest and most thorough, but you have the added cost of buying rubbing alcohol for cleaning your glass pipe. Pour the rubbing alcohol into a clear container of some sort and immerse your bowl in it. Mix in some salt as well. The alcohol will do the rest of the work. Leave and come back in three hours. You may have to rinse the pipe with some clean fresh water after you pull the pipe out of the alcohol., but it should look as good as new afterwards.
You can also boil your bowl if that is better than buying alcohol. The boiling method is not quite as effective as alcohol and you may still need your trusty paperclip to get the soft boiled resin out of the pipe. Also, your glass pipe will rattle around in a pot of hard boiling water, which could cause it to break. You do not need a hard boil to get the pipe clean. And, remember the laws of thermodynamics. If you run cold water over your glass bowl right after you pulled it off the burner, you are not likely to have a bowl anymore but instead a pile of shattered glass.
Anyways, those are the methods I have use to clean a glass pipe. If you have any better ideas on how to clean a glass pipe, we would love to hear from you. In the meantime, get some lava soap and scrub your hands well. You may need some fingernail trimmers as well. That way the next day you won’t be worrying that other people in your office are noticing the resin under your nails and you can continue to enjoy life, every day.