When it comes to choosing a piece to smoke out of, the options are honestly endless. A lot of cannabis smokers prefer to use glass bongs and bowls, but do we all know how to safely clean these glass pieces? Glass is best, as they don’t introduce unwanted flavors or chemicals that can be found when using metal or other materials. Glass is also non-porous, which means all that gross stuff wont be absorbed into the material to sit and fester. There is nothing better than taking that first fresh hit off a clean glass pipe or bong. All you can taste is the delicious managerie of flavors in the weed you are smoking and your hit is much cleaner and less harsh. After a bit of use, you will notice tar (resin) build up, making hits harsher, less tasty, and dulling the flavor. While you can always just scrape away the resin and even smoke it clean your pipes, sometimes a thorough cleaning is necessary to get in all the nooks and crannies. Luckily, cleaning your glass pieces is cheap, easy, and can be done quickly at with simple things already in your home.
How do you know when its time to clean your glass? Short answer is when you cant see through the glass anymore. If you use a bong, once the water gets dark and cloudy-its time to change. How often you smoke will definitely effect how often you need to clean your glass. Once a week is usually a good gauge for moderate smokers. Occasional smokers can usually go longer. If you cant remember the last time you cleaned your glass, its time. Bongs and bubblers should ideally have the water changed daily, or even before each use. Water that sits in the piece will be full of tar and debris, be smelly, and affect the taste of your bud.
Is it time to clean your glass? Just a few simply household ingredients will do the trick! You will need:
•Isopropyl Alcohol (70% works, but 90% is best)
•Coarse salt (while not 100% necessary, the salt will help dislodge any stuck on bits the alcohol cant remove.)
To clean your bongs or bubblers:
•Pour out the old water
•Pour alcohol and salt into piece
•Plug all holes and shake for a few minutes to aggitate any stuck on resin
•Pour out alcohol/salt mixture
•Rinse thoroughly mulitple times to be sure there is no alcohol or salt left
•Let dry completely until there is no longer the smell of alcohol
•Repeat if necessary
Another easy glass cleaning option is to use this method, but substitute the ispropyl alcohol for hydrogen peroxide, and then add salt. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent and disinfectant, so it works well for cleaning glass pieces.
If you find there are really stuck on bits that just wont shake loose, let the mixture sit for a few hours or even overnight, aggitatitng it every so often to get all that gunk out. Follow the rest of the rinsing and drying instructions after.
For smaller pieces, like pipes:
•Take an old bowl or pan and fill with ispropyll alcohol and salt
•Place the entire piece into the mixture and let soak. Agitate every so often to loosen stuck-on resin
•Use a pipe cleaner or small brush (if available) to push through all holes to free any stuck bits
Another option that is also super simple and easy is boiling your pieces. If you are weary of using alcohol or peroxide in your glass, you can always boil some water and submerge your pipe or fill your bong/bubbler. You can also add a little white vinegar to give it some extra cleaning power. Allow this to sit for a few minutes to soften and loosen stuck on residue. KEEP IN MIND-whatever you use to soak your piece in (bowl/pan/dish) will now be specified for this use. You will end up with residue on the pan/bowl and wont want to use it for food after. I usually suggest a thrift store or bargain store sauce pan to keep just for this purpose.
While you can certainly find store bought glass pipe cleaner, keep in mind they usually contain a lot of chemicals and can be pretty pricey for what they are. Our solutions are cheap and can be used with things you already have in your cabinets at home.
Now that you have this method, its time to get cleaning all your glass pieces!
Time to buy a new piece? Check out the selection at Hoosick Apothecary located at 14 John St. in Hoosick Falls. They have a great selection of all types of pieces and most are from local glass blowers. Hoosick Apothecary is also owned by Jenny and Mike Scarpulla of Juniper Jill!
Must be 21+. Please consume responsibly.