Out of the various methods of smoking cannabis, marijuana pipe is considered to be the most basic. These small, handheld devices are popular among users due to their ease of use and wide availability.
Pipes can be bought in many dispensaries and smoke shops as well as online. Affordable and convenient, they also come in a variety of types and styles, even colors.
With frequent use, residue can build up in weed pipes, leading to clogging. Therefore, regular cleaning is needed for users to enjoy an optimal smoking experience each and every time.
If the inside of your pipe is not clean, molds can grow which can impair smoke flavor. Due to clogging, taking a proper hit will also become a chore for users. This is why is it important to know how to clean a weed pipe.
What is a Weed Pipe?
Marijuana pipes are typically made of glass, but they can also be metal, wood, ceramic or silicone.
There are two basic parts – the bowl and the carb. The bowl piece is where the cannabis is loaded. The small hole near it is called the carb.
When you take a hit, you should place your thumb over the hole so you can get all the smoke. Afterward, you should immediately let it go so the smoke can be cleared from the chamber. Some weed pipes have no carbs, only a hole where you place your mouth to inhale.
There are a variety of weed pipes available in the market. The most common type is the hand pipe or spoon. These are mostly made out of glass and sit snugly in the palm of your hand.
One-hitters or chillums are small pipes. They are shaped like a tube and about two to four inches long. Meanwhile, steamrollers are cylindrical and are a combination of a spoon and a chillum.
There are also pipes that are inspired by pop cultures, like the Sherlock and the Gandalf pipes. To learn more about different marijuana pipes, read more here.
How Do You Clean a Weed Pipe?
It pays to know how to clean a weed pipe because a dirty one can spoil your smoking experience. Nothing feels better than using a freshly-cleaned pipe.
There are different ways to clean one. A special cleaner is probably the best choice. Just soak your disassembled pipe in the cleanser overnight and wipe it down using a cloth afterward. If you do not have a special cleaner, you may use an alcohol bath or boil the pipe in water.
It is important that you know how to unclog a weed pipe. Once the excess resin softens and comes loose after soaking, you will be able to take it out.
Pay attention to the elbow joint, where the bowl connects with the pipe stem. Most of the clogging is usually there.
Cleaning time varies depending on how dirty your unit is. Also, the more intricate your pipe is, the harder and longer it is to clean.
Do not fret. You do not want to get sick due to unhygienic smoking, do you?
One of the most basic methods on how to clean out a weed pipe is by dropping them into a pot of boiling water. The heat melts the tar and loosens the resin inside. You can use a small brush and all the gunk can easily be removed.
It should be noted, however, that not all marijuana pipes can be submerged in boiling water. The thicker ones usually survive to boil, but the thinner ones tend to break.
Never pour boiling water into the pipe as it will likely burst.
Hot Water Bath
Just like in washing dirty dishes, the hot water makes cleaning pipes easier. It helps by loosening plant matter, as well as the resin. The gunk will be easier to wipe away when your pipe begins to warm up.
A hot water bath is one of the most effective ways of cleaning glass weed pipes. It helps avoid build-ups that result in clogged pipes. Usually, a frequent hot water bath is enough for a regular pipe cleaning.
Cleaners and Cotton Swabs
Cleaning out tar stuck in glass can be a pain. Pipe cleaners are designed specifically to remove weed resin, making your job easy.
Water and simple scrubbing do not usually work because the residue is oil and it is sticky. To clean your pipe, soak it into the cleaner first.
One tip on how to clean a metal weed pipe is to use cotton swabs. You can even reach those tiny nooks and other difficult areas with these handy things.
Just be careful of scrubbing too must to avoid scratches.
Isopropyl Alcohol and Salt
This is one of the oldest tricks on how to clean out a weed pipe. You can use any salt – table salt, sea salt or even bath salts. Pour it into the pipe, occupying about 25% of the space.
Next, pour in your ultra-concentrated alcohol (around 91%). Make sure that there are still salt crystals present. These will act as the abrasive and scrub off the tar.
Plug the open ends of the pipe then shake vigorously for about two minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Vodka and Microwave
Another efficient way on how to unclog a weed pipe is by using vodka. If you have no salt lying around the house, you can try this technique.
Mix equal parts of vodka and tap water, then put it in the microwave. Wait for 30 seconds to a minute, as long as it gets hot enough. Get your dirty pipe and swirl it around the mixture.
Never put your pipe in the microwave. Some weed pipes have metallic paints and colorings that may spark and explode.
Generally used to extract oil compounds from the cannabis plant, solvents like isopropyl alcohol and acetone are perfect for cleaning pipes and removing leftover resin. You can buy one in most groceries and hardware stores.
For pipe cleaning, those with a higher percentage of alcohol are better. In handling acetone, avoid too much skin contact for extended periods of time. Also, make sure to clean up any spills after use.