Ed. Note: Would you drink a new bottle of wine out of a dirty glass? No! Why then, do people keep letting their bowls get dank and not clean them? My technique is a bit different, but not by much. If you’re going to consume, you need to know this.
By NIck Lindsay-High Times
It’s crucial to know how to clean your bowl after a smoke sesh. If you want to puff like a pro, it’s not enough to know simply how to clean a bowl—you need to know the best way to clean a bowl.
When you’ve wrapped up a smoke sesh you need to know how to clean your bowl. Understanding how to clean a bowl will help you keep things as fresh as possible so you don’t set yourself up for a nasty future sesh. Fortunately, learning the best way to clean a bowl is relatively simple. Here’s everything you need to know.
How to Clean a Bowl: The Quick Clean
Most of the time, you only need to do a quick clean. Mostly it’s just about clearing out ash and trying to limit the build-up of resin so that your bowl is ready to pack and puff whenever you need it.
You should do this kind of quick, surface-level cleaning each and every time you cache your bowl before you pack it again. The primary goal of knowing how to clean a bowl is to clear out all the ash that’s in there from the sesh you just finished.
The easiest way to do this is directly into a trash can. Simply tip your bowl over the trash can and gently tap it against your hand or the side of the trash can until the ash falls out of your bowl. This is the simplest and best way to clean a bowl.
If a lot of ash is sticking to the resin in your bowl, give it a quick scrape. This is also a sign that you’re due for a deeper clean.
Finally, if ash has compacted into the bottom of your bowl and is clogging the hole, you need to clear it out. The best way to clean a bowl in this instance is to use your finger to block the carb.
With the bowl still upside down over the trash can, bend over and blow into the mouthpiece. Since the carb is blocked, the air will be forced into the bowl. As a result, the air should blast the ash out of the way.
As an alternative to this, you can also use a specialized ashtray designed for caching weed bowls. These products make it super easy to figure out how to clean your bowl quickly.
In the center of these trays, there’s a protrusion that sticks up and fits perfectly into your bowl. Simply tap your bowl onto it and it’ll break loose all the ash. Some cache trays also have a pick attached to the top for quickly poking out any ash that’s built up in the bottom of your bowl.
Now that you know how to clean your bowl when it needs a quick clean, it’s time to move on to how to clean your bowl when it needs something a bit more intensive.
How to Clean Your Bowl: The Deep Clean
For the huge majority of smoke sessions, you’ll only need to do a quick clean, as described above. But every once in a while, you need to give your bowl a deep clean.
This is especially true when you’ve got so much resin built up that your piece doesn’t draw very well. Here are two simple methods for giving your bowl a deep clean. These are perfect for knowing how to clean a bowl when it’s super gunked up.
Deep Clean Method 1: Rubbing Alcohol and Kosher Salt
To get started with this method, fill a Ziploc bag with rubbing alcohol and kosher salt. You’re using the salt to scrub out ash and resin, so you want the bigger flakes of kosher salt.
Now get your dirty bowl. Tap out any ash and set it in the Ziploc bag full of rubbing alcohol and salt. Seal the top and give the whole thing a good shake.
Do your best to get the alcohol salt mixture into all parts of your pipe. Keep shaking vigorously to ensure that the solution really scrubs the piece clean.
The idea here is to let the alcohol break down the sticky resin, and then let the abrasive salt scrape it all off. By shaking the bag, you let the solution wash throughout the pipe. It should also shake loose chunks of resin and ash.
Let the piece soak overnight. The next morning, empty the bag and fill it up with a new batch of rubbing alcohol and salt. Repeat the process.
When the pipe is clean, rinse it with hot water. Run the hot water through the entire pipe to be sure you rinse it thoroughly. Let it air dry, or dry it off with a clean towel.
Deep Clean Method 2: Boiling Water
This is another simple and quick method for how to clean to a bowl. First, fill a cooking pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once it’s at an active boil, carefully set your pipe into the water. Be sure you don’t just drop it in as it could break when it hits the bottom of the pot.
Let the pipe soak for 30 minutes. As it soaks, be sure the water doesn’t completely boil away. After 30 minutes, turn off the heat. Carefully remove the pipe. Now you can discard the dirty water.
If the pipe is still dirty, start over with some fresh water. Repeat the entire process.
The final step is to use a long and thin pipe cleaner. Run it back and forth throughout all parts of the pipe to remove any chunks of resin that may have broken loose during the boiling phase. You can also use a cotton swab.
When you’re satisfied, let the pipe air dry or use a clean towel to wipe it dry.
The Best Way to Clean a Bowl
These simple steps should keep your bowl clean, tidy, and ready for your next smoke sesh. If you follow these methods, you’ll extend the life of your piece, and ensure that it gives you a great experience every time you use it.
Knowing how to clean a bowl is a necessary skill for any weed smoker. The techniques outlined in this guide give you the best way to clean a bowl so you can puff like a pro.