How to Easily (and Quickly) Clean Your Pipe

Weed Resin
Old Dank Weed Resin

Do you like smoking out of a pipe that smells of old, dank used up weed? Of course not! You want a pipe that allows you to fully taste the flavor of the smoke and terpenes, not a danked out tarry musty tasting pipe you can barely draw through. Keeping your pipe clean and tasteless (glass doesn’t taste of anything) pipe is easier than you think. And the best part is it will take you less than 2 minutes to make your favorite pipe smelling and tasting as fresh as when you bought it.

Resin loaded pipe

When I was younger, I never cleaned my pipe. It wasn’t made from glass either. Now, most pipes are glass and are super easy to clean but they need to be cleaned. People are always asking about the best way to clean their glass pipe. It’s simple and easy. You can use any number of different solvents, but isopropyl alcohol is still the best. This is grain alcohol and is not mean for consumption by people. As of this writing, it’s also in short supply because of COVID-19. But it IS findable. If not, you can use Everclear, which is (supposedly) drinkable, but I wouldn’t drink it. Nope not me.

The Fixins

This is what you’ll need to clean your pipe the way I do.

  1. First, get some Ziploc containers. These are the ones I use. My pipes are generally small and fit inside the small size easily, but they do come in a variety of sizes.
  2. Next get some isopropyl alcohol. Lately, I’ve found the 70% strength available in groceries and drugstores these days, but I’ve been using the 90% when I an find it.
  3. Liquid dish soap like Dawn.
  4. A microwave oven
  5. Pipe cleaners or a teensy bottle brush that will fit through the business end of your pipe.

The Method

This is my method. If you can see a way to improve on it, please let me know.

  1. First, put your pipe in the Ziploc container.
  2. Pour on the rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol until it fills up the bowl of your pipe. The alcohol will come through the mouthpiece and the carb (hole) on the side of the pipe.
  3. Put the lid on the Ziploc container, but don’t close it all the way. Leave one corner unsealed, but make sure it’s still covering the container so the dank alcohol doesn’t boil over into your microwave!
  4. Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. 😉
  5. Take it out and wait a few minutes for the residue to loosen and dissolve. Alcohol boils at a far lower temperature than water, but it’s still about 170 degrees, so it’s hot.
  6. Then take the pipe out of the alcohol bath and wet the pipe cleaner with the alcohol and swab the inside of the pipe.
  7. When you’re done swabbing, put the pipe back in the alcohol and swish it around for a while.
  8. The last step for me is to pour some Dawn or other liquid dish detergent in the pipe and run it under very warm water to completely rinse it out.
  9. You’re done.

I know a woman who owns a head shop who swore she could tell if a pipe had been smoked in. So I set up a test with a brand new pipe and a pipe that I’d cleaned out. She picked the wrong pipe. And she was astonished.

Yes, there are pre-made liquids for cleaning your pipe. They are expensive, but no better than this method. You an also use vinegar and other solvents that will make the pipe feel cleaner, but they’re nowhere near as fast or as efficient as the method described above. Many of the other methods have you leave the pipe in a bath overnight. But usually we want to use our pipe immediately. This is a fast, cheap and highly effective way to get the dank out of your pipe.


Tags: cannabis 101, gear care

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