How to Clean Your Bong/Pipe/Paraphernalia

How to Clean Your Bong/Glass Paraphernalia

Fair warning: Cleaning your piece with alcohol and salt MAY ruin the “painting” design on it. If the paint job wasn’t sealed within a layer of glass, it will erode over time due to the salt. Nothing radical, but spots of paint will chip off every time you clean it. Your best bet then is warm water, very gentle cleaning methods, and cleaning products(rather than alcohol/salt). But really, no piece will stay perfect forever.

If you’re cleaning a custom painted piece, or you’re worried about salt erosion, simply purchase a cleaning kit from your local or online head shops.

On to the tutorial:

My smoking utensil is filthy with resin/reclaim!

That’s what happens from frequent use. With this guide you’ll be able to clean all that gunk out. You can either save it for consuming later, or dispose of it completely.

yo I heard you can smoke resin, it’s black hash right?

No, not exactly. Resin is tar and THC, literally the residue of your smoking. There’s something special about this residue however. Since it was exposed to heat, some cannabinoids have been decarboxylated, making the inactive cannabinoids active(i.e. making it more potent). That’s why roaches from joints/blunts are so fire, they’re saturated with resin that contains these activated cannabinoids.

So then what’s reclaim? Is it different from resin?

Reclaim is the ‘resin’ of smoking hash. Since concentrated forms of cannabis like hash, BHO, etc, don’t contain plant matter – they leave behind little to no residue of tar. The yellow stains in a bong after a session of hash dabs is mostly THC. If you save this ‘reclaim’, you can smoke it again for a knockout high or bake it into brownies for an edible experience.

So how do I get that shit out to smoke it!

You can scrape it off, but that’s really time consuming and impossible for some crazier shaped bongs/pipes. There are two methods to collect resin. The first is the best way, using alcohol, however you have to wait for the alcohol to completely evaporate in order to safely use the ‘black hash’. The second method uses water, but isn’t as thorough as the alcohol method so it leaves the glass dirty.

  • Alcohol Method: Take your dirty piece and fill it with plenty of alcohol(no salt). Give it a good shake, then let it sit for a while. Give it a good shake again, and if you’re happy with how clean it looks, pour the alcohol out into a dish that’s preferably glass with a large surface area(for faster drying). If your piece is still dirty, let it soak longer and keep shaking. Once you have your brown alcohol in a large container, let it sit in a well ventilated room to evaporate all the alcohol. Point a fan at the dish to speed up the process. You may also double boil the alcohol(to ensure complete evaporation), but this is very dangerous as alcohol is very volatile. Once all the alcohol is gone, you should be left with a black/brown/golden goo. If it’s hash reclaim, you can eat it(or cook/bake it) as is, as well as smoke it. If it’s resin from flowers, just stick to smoking it. Make sure your final product is completely clear of alcohol before consuming it. Alcohol is dangerous to smoke, inhale, and eat.
  • Water Method: Bring enough water to boil that’ll fill up your piece. Pour the boiling water into the piece, give it a good shake, then transfer the dirty water into a heat safe container(preferably glass). Let the water fully evaporate, and then collect the black/brown/golden goo. If it’s hash reclaim, it may be eaten or smoked. If it’s resin from smoking flowers, stick to smoking it.

I just want that black shit out of there, what do I do?

Ah, now this is the easy one. Whenever you’re cleaning your pot paraphrenalia, you never forget your A.S.S.S.

What’s ASSS?: Alcohol, Salt, Sit, and Shake.

For this process you’ll need rubbing alcohol(not vodka!) and salt. The alcohol will help dissolve the resin, while the salt acts as an abrasive to get the tough stuff. A soft bristle pipe cleaner/wire brush is recommended for harder to reach resin.

If you’ve got a wooden piece!:

You can’t soak wood in alcohol without warping it. If you’ve got a wood piece, your only choice for cleaning is the manual method: a brush, alcohol, and elbow grease. Gather a soft bristle brush(like a pipe cleaner or toothbrush) and a small contianer of alcohol. Soak the brush in the alcohol, and then brush the dirty areas on the wood. Repeat until cleaned.

If you’ve got a big bong/bubbler/anything-big-and-closed!:

Grab your dirty piece and pour some alcohol inside, be liberal. Add some salt, about 1/8 of a cup for every cup of alcohol. Measurements are for pussies though, you’ll see soon. After you’ve poured in the goods, give it a good shake. Let the mixture soak in for 10-20mins.

See “Cleaning my ASS” for the rest.

If you’ve got a little pipe/bowl/anything-small!:

Prepare a container that your piece will fit into. Your pipe/bowl/etc will have to be submerged, so make sure the container has depth. You can use a ziplock bag if the glass fits inside, and multiple pieces may be placed in one bag if you’re careful. Place your pieces inside the container and add the alcohol and salt. About a 1/8 cup salt for every cup of alcohol, but measurements are for pussies. Give it a stir with your finger to spread the salt around. And then shake your pieces a bit – try to get the liquid all up in it.

See “Cleaning my ASS” for the rest.

Cleaning my ASS:

Wait for 10-20 mins, maybe roll a joint/blunt, letting the pieces soak. When you return you’ll notice the once clear liquid has turned brown. That’s good. Now’s the time to do some extra cleaning if you’re anal. Grab a soft-wire brush, wooden skewer, basically anything that’ll get inside your piece and scrape out the leftover resin. Or if you’d like, just give it another shake and let it soak.

For a crystal clear piece? Clean it out manually(with brush/skewer/etc), rinse it with warm water, and let it sit with the alcohol+salt mixture again. Repeat until you’re satisfied.

Once your satisfied with your cleaned paraphernalia, give it a liberal rinse under warm water. Make sure you get all the alcohol and salt out, you don’t want to smoke that shit – you’ll regret it.

Don’t throw away that dirty alcohol!

Even if you’re not interested in collecting the resin, save the dirty resin/alcohol/salt mixture in an old alcohol bottle. You can reuse it multiple times, and it’ll work almost as good as clean alcohol.

My piece looks and smokes like it’s brand new now!

Ah, the magic of A.S.S.S. Tell your friends <3

Sources: The Kind City by Dave Warden