Maintaining the hygiene of your glassware for cannabis will go a long way. Not only will it provide a smooth and tasteful smoke, but it will also extend the life of your glassware. Additionally, it will provide cleaner hits that will keep your lungs relatively healthier than using a tarred-up piece.
There are several different methods and products to use when it comes to cleaning your glassware. Products used can be common household items to products made specifically for cleaning glassware. Some people use paper towels and cotton swabs while some people like to use magnets to help clean their glassware.
The Importance of Keeping Your Glassware Clean
When a piece of glassware goes through many uses, it can become clogged with resin formed from burned cannabis. After a while, it will cause hits to taste bad and the smoke will be harsher. It is also believed that some of the desired properties in the smoke will get stuck to the resin, thus wasting product. It is recommended to at least do water changes every 24 hours. This will prevent foul odors and flavors. Old water can even cause harmful bacteria growth that can be damaging for the lungs.
The Different Solutions Used
Just like anything that has to do with cleaning, especially glassware, there are many different types of cleaning solutions that people swear by. Some are better than others, some clear shot winners, and some that just do not work at all. However, solutions made for cleaning your cannabis glassware will not be discussed in this article.
Cleaning solution options include the following:
- Denture tablets
- White vinegar and baking soda
- Hot water/boiling water bath
- Warm water and lemon juice
- Hydrogen peroxide
These next solutions typically use an agitant to help scrub the glassware. The agitant can be anything from Epsom salt, sand, or even just normal sodium salt. Solutions that require an agitant for effective results are:
- White Vinegar
- Water (and typically sand)
- Isopropyl Alcohol
Ethanol and acetone also have been used by some people, but are not recommended due to the health risk of using those products.
Five Methods To Clean Your Glassware
Unlike the different solutions, the variety of methods are a bit more complicated since some techniques will work better with certain solutions.
Cleaning Your Pipe
- Hot water
The first method we will look at will just be a simple rinse and scrub with hot water. It starts by running the faucet until the water is hot. By running the hot water through the pipe, some if not most of the pieces of the resin stuck inside should dislodge.
Since this method does not use an agitator, using pipe cleaners, cotton swabs, needles, and paper towels will help remove any stubborn residue that didn’t make it out on the rinse. This method is best for glassware that is already routinely cleaned at least once a week because most of the residue will come off on the rinse.
In general, having these tools will help create ease in your glassware upkeep.
- Alcohol and salt
The next method is soaking and shaking the pipe in a resealable bag in general. The solutions used are typically any of the liquids listed above and an agitator. However, the best results are from using Isopropyl Alcohol and Epsom Salt.
In this method, the soak should help get the resin off the piece easily once the salt starts scraping. Shake for a few minutes and rinse. This can be repeated until most if not all, the residue comes off. Use the extra tools like pipe cleaners to finish anything left over.
For pipes that do not fit in a ziplock bag or you don’t have ziplock bags big enough, you can always soak the product in a plastic bowl-like container. A lid would be a bonus so you can still agitate the solution. This may take more repeats and time in general. If you can get your hands on gallon-sized resealable bags. Finish the clean by rinsing it out with warm water.
- Boiling Water
This method runs a high risk of breaking your glassware. Rinse the piece in warm water to help it transition to boiling water. After the water is boiling on the stove, it should be brought down to a simmer. With 3-4 inches of water in the pot, the pipe should be fully submerged. This is why you run it under warm water. Putting untempered glass under such extreme conditions can cause stress on it. The lack of gradual rise in temperature raises the risk of breakage. The pipe should stay in the water for twenty to thirty minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool. You can clean any remaining residue with your cleaning tools or a warm water rinse from running water.
- Denture Cleaning Tablets
Using denture cleaning tablets is a more uncommon method for cleaning your marijuana glassware. However, it has been proven to work for a significant number of people.
This method requires using a plastic container that can fully submerge a pipe or any other glassware completely in water. Add 2-3 denture tablets and place your glassware in the container. Again, make sure it is fully submerged in the water solution. The fizz should do the job of removing the resin and any stains. After half an hour, rinse with warm water. And as always, you can always use your cleaning supplies for any extra resin removal needed.
- Freezing Method
This method is probably the least effective next to just running hot water into your piece. The idea is to put your pipe in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, right after you take it out of the freezer, you would use a needle or a thing and a sharp object to dislodge the frozen resin. The idea is to get solid pieces to break off before it gets too warm and turns into goo.
Tips For Bubblers, Water Pipes, Etc.
Other glassware used for cannabis consumption are bubblers, water pipes, and all forms of dab rigs. And to clean these out, the solutions are pretty much the same, but the methods differ.
If there are multiple pieces, then separate them. Empty the water out of the glassware. Choose any of the solutions of your choice and pour them into your device. Fill no more than half of the device up with the solution. After allowing it to soak for 30 minutes to an hour, seal both ends with your hands or wrap with plastic wrap and rubber bands. Then, carefully shake the container. You could start a back and forth motion or an oscillatory motion. Rinse and repeat as needed.
You could use your cotton swabs and other tools. Additionally, with these bigger glassware devices, you could use magnets on the inside wrapped with a paper towel and drag it around the inside using a magnet on the outside of the glass.
Another tip would be to use either alcohol or vinegar at least. This will ensure the killing of germs as well.
*The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease