Image via WikipediaIs your favorite smoking apparatus covered in nasty old resin? Want it to shine like new again? Follow these tips to make sure your pipe, bong or other preferred conveyance of herbal smoke is spotless, sanitized and ready for pure, healthy smoking!
After months, weeks or even days of use pipes and bongs can develop a thick coat of dried resin that looks disgusting and makes your smoke taste like ass and can be a total pain in the butt to get rid of if you don't know what you're doing. Eventually the resin will clog your pipe completely and you won't even be able to get a hit! Luckily, you have The Chronicle to show you how to get rid of all that gross black gunk without spending crazy amounts of money on over-the-counter cleaning products.
So without further ado, here's our step-by-step guide to cleaning your pieces:
STEP 1: Start by cleaning as much resin as you can out with pipe cleaners and other tools. Randy's Hard Bristle Pipe Cleaners work the best, but Ream n' Klean Pipe Cleaners will do in a pinch and are available at any Walgreen's store. Start by inserting the pipe cleaner in through the mouthpiece of the pipe and try to get it through the entire length of the stem. This usually pushes a large ball of resin out of the stem and into the bowl of the pipe. Insert the pipe cleaner through the carburetor hole until it's as far in as it will go. Most of the resin ball that you pushed in from the stem should come out after repeating this step a few times, but if there are any big chucks left you can try to remove them with a tooth pick, or preferably a paper clip. Use a knife to scrape the inside of the bowl, but be careful! Metal blades are very slippery on glass.
Image by Travis S. via Flickr
STEP 2: Fill a tall drinking glass with rubbing alcohol. Try to find the stronger 90 percent alcohol rather than the milder 60 percent. Fill the glass about three quarters full of alcohol and gently place your pipe in the glass to soak. Let the pipe soak for as long as possible, preferably for at least an hour before moving on to the next step.
STEP 3: After your pipe is done soaking, drain the alcohol and rinse your pipe in fresh water. Place your pipe in a medium size saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the pipe completely. Bring the water to a gentle boil. You should never put a glass pipe directly into boiling water because it will cause it to crack. Let your pipe boil for about 30 minutes. Carefully remove the pipe from the saucepan. I recommend using barbecue tongs or something similar. Let the pipe cool and dump the water out of your saucepan. If there's still any resin left in your pipe, repeat this step until it's gone.
STEP 4: After boiling in all that resiny water, your pipe may still be covered in a thin film of resin. Clean out the original glass that you used to soak your pipe and once again soak in rubbing alcohol for about 30 min. After that just rinse the pipe in fresh water, let it dry and you're good to go!
Note: Boiling pipes WILL make your entire house reek of marijuana. In a bad way.
STEP 1: Bongs are usually much easier to clean than pipes simply because it's easier to get to all the nooks and crannies. Start by filling the main water chamber of your bong with 90 percent rubbing alcohol and remove the bowl.
STEP 2: For an average size bong, add about half a cup of plain old table salt which will act as an abrasive to remove all the stuck on resin stains.
Image via Wikipedia
STEP 3: Cover the stem hole with the thumb of your left hand and the mouth opening with the
palm of your right hand and shake the whole thing vigorously. It's best to work over the sink while doing this, because it will make a mess. Change the position of the bong every now and then so that the salt get's into all the different parts. Pay special attention to any areas that have heavy resin stains and try to shake the salt toward those areas.
STEP 4: After you've salt scrubbed all the stains off the bong, rinse the whole thing thoroughly in fresh water to get rid of any left over salt particles.
STEP 5: Use the pipe cleaning method described above to clean the bowl and stem of your bong.
STEP 6: Sit back and enjoy a nice, clean-tasting smoke!
Note: This method is intended for use with glass pipes and bongs. Never use rubbing alcohol on plastic bongs, because it WILL make the crack.