The Do’s & Don’ts of Cleaning Your Pipes, Bubblers, and Bongs
This article is sponsored by Mile HIGH Cleaner, dedicated to developing all-natural cleaning solutions for the cannabis industry.
The more frequently you consume cannabis, the more important it becomes to clean your pipes, bubblers and bongs. The big question: how to get your glass pieces clean? Not only can resin look and smell unpleasant, its tar compounds include carbon and carcinogens, and continuing to burn them can have an array of negative health effects.
That said, cleaning can be a chore. Furthermore, many are unsure of how best to do it. Through a pair of informal Facebook polls, we asked the Leafly community how and how often they cleaned their glass pipes, bubblers, and bongs. Here are a few of the responses we received.
How Do You Clean Your Glass?
“Ummm, you are supposed to clean it?” –Andrew Frost
“I don’t, just toss it and buy a new one.” –Robert Weaver
“Dawn power clean dish soap, hot water and pipe cleaners.” –Amanda Skelton
“Nail polish remover that contains 100% acetone…And for more home convenience, run it through the dishwasher.” –Aris Butler
“91% isopropyl alcohol and sea salt…any course salt will work…even sugar works in a pinch.” –Rich Schmitz
“The only thing to use is grain alcohol, it evaporates 100%.” –Gerald Schoolnick
“Fill a plastic bag with a tablespoon of sodium and enough isopropyl alcohol to submerge your piece completely. Place your piece in the substance and make sure the inside gets filled with liquid. Let it sit for 15+ min, shake the bag and move the mixture through the pipe. Remove, boil, and scrape the remainder with a paper clip. It’s important to remove resin as it will be toxic.” –Ben Craighton
“Iso & sea salt, final rinse with a bit of lemon juice for sparkle.” –Chaz French
“Rubbing alcohol & salt, but then polishing toothpaste.” –Courtney Kruk
“Thoroughly.” –Jeff Monastyrsky
Most of the glass cleaning methods above are a lot of work, and require soaking, shaking, or hazardous chemicals. Jim Berry, founder of Lakewood, Colo.’s Mile HIGH Cleaner, set about finding an easier solution for the resin that was building up on his own bong. “I recently started smoking again and realized there hadn’t been any real innovation in cleaning in decades. I started research into this and figured out a better way of cleaning,” says Berry. His compound of all-natural plant-based oils is odorless, tasteless and inert, and is designed to encapsulate the five types of resin left behind by smoking cannabis, allowing them to be washed away easily with a hot water rinse. (Since inventing Mile HIGH Cleaner in 2015, Berry has also discovered that it works on other items, including vapes, dab rigs and cannabis trimming tools.)
Based on his experience, Berry shared the following do’s and don’ts for cleaning your glass. Keep them in mind the next time you see resin on your pipe or bong!
Do clean your bong daily, and your pipes once per week. “It really makes a difference; you can taste the smoke, not the resin,” says Berry, who also warns that water-based paraphernalia can grow mold or attract pests in a matter of days.
Do be mindful of the environment. Berry says his plant-based cleaner is safe to eat, and will not harm you or the environment.
Do protect new glass. “By adding 10 drops to the bong, resin will not stick to the glass,” says Berry of his product. “The resin actually prefers to stick to the cleaner. The next day, rinse it clean in hot water. Refill with 10 drops, add water and smoke again.”
Do discover the real flavor of your smoke through a clean pipe or bong. “That clean hit is the best,” says Berry.
Don’t use isopropyl alcohol. “Isopropyl alcohol…is by far the most commonly used cleaning substance for bong and pipe cleaning,” says Berry. “It is also listed by eight different government agencies as being toxic,” including the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Don’t experiment with anything you wouldn’t consume directly. Acetone-based nail polish remover, for instance, is hazardous. “You chose natural medication in cannabis, so why clean with hazardous chemicals?” says Berry.
Don’t spend too much time or money. Berry says using a cleaner like his costs less than eight cents per day, and should take less than a minute to wash away after each use.
To learn more and purchase the product, visit www.milehighcleaner.com.