General Question

TitsMcGhee's avatar

What is the best way to clean a glass bowl/pipe?

Asked by TitsMcGhee (8207 points ) August 23rd, 2009

I’ve made good use of my three glass pipes, and I’m trying to clean them. I’ve always been told that the best way to go about this is a good soaking in white vinegar followed by a rinse in hot water (and obviously being left to dry afterward). I’ve done this, but one of my pipes just isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be. Does anyone else know any tricks for cleaning residue from tobacco and resin out of a bowl, both the part that actually has the resin and the interior smoke chambers?

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25 Answers

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I just put mine in the dishwasher lol. works pretty well, I do it every few weeks though and I don’t smoke much, so there’s never a ton of build up. I suggest rubbing alcohol though, not an expert just soak it in some for 5–10 minutes and then rinse it out and dry it.

wildpotato's avatar

For the whole pipe: Hold it with tongs if possible and stick it under hot water so the water runs through the pipe’s carb, bowl, and out the stem. Do it the other way around, too. Then use isopropyl alchohol and salt in a baggie. Shake. Rinse. Soaking may be necessary for crusted-on sections.

For just the bowl: hold it upside-down over a lighter for about 15 seconds (not too long, and not if the glass is thinner than about 3 mm, or cracking is a risk). Take a paper towel and twist a point in it, stick the point in the bottom of the bowl and feed more paper in till you have a little cone that fits perfectly. Twist. All the resin should come off in 1 or 2 tries.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

^ I knew I was forgetting something. the stoner’s shake n bake, lol how could I forget.

Darbio16's avatar

If you wanna save the resin, scrape it using a paper clip. or you could boil it and filter out the resin. be careful that you don’t use too much heat as glass bowls have a tendency to break.

wildpotato's avatar

Be warned – boiling works well, but stinks up your whole kitchen/apartment. And I find that they break mostly when they’re heated unevenly – if you get the whle thing hot at once, like with hot water all around it or through it, and then let it cool slowly (i.e., don’t put it in the fridge) you should be fine. That’s why I said to be careful with holding the lighter under the bowl, though.

deni's avatar

My pipe got stolen last week. I’m still a little upset about it and when I saw this question, a tear came to my eye.

Anyhow, I never cleaned mine. Because it smells and because mine was still changing colors and it looked so cool. I miss it!

jonsblond's avatar

very carefully

PerryDolia's avatar

The resins dissolve in alcohol, not water. soak in 90% Isopropyl if you can find it, otherwise 70% will do. You can scrub with pipe cleaners or rag strips soaked in alcohol.

Then wash with a mild abrasive, I prefer Bon Ami, but Comet will do in a pinch. Rinse and dry well.

cheebdragon's avatar

Torch.
Hugs on drugs!

dynamicduo's avatar

Acetone is your friend here. Also known as nail polish remover, it eats off resin from glass bongs (don’t use on plastics though) and other glass items. I buy it in bulk at Home Depot. It also removes the gummy part left by stickers on glasses.

wildpotato's avatar

@PerryDolia Good point for clarification. You’re, right, the resins don’t dissolve in water – but the point is that the hot water loosens and washes away a lot of the resin, so there’s not as much for the alcohol to do, and you can be really cheap and save more of your $1 bottle of isopropyl. Sometimes the hot water rinse does so much that there is no need at all for the alcohol.

PerryDolia's avatar

@wildpotato I get it about the hot water. But, when you are as anal as I am, you go for the right solvent every time, even if it does cost $1. Gotta get every little corner and crevice, you know?

tinyfaery's avatar

Alcohol. Get the strong stuff.

jfos's avatar

Most head shops sell the “4–20” cleaning product (liquid). It takes under a minute and results in clarity like a new window.

cheebdragon's avatar

The orange scented stuff is good.

Trance24's avatar

As jfos said I have been hearing a lot about the 420 cleaner, and heard good things about it.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

The hot water before alcohol is key, it cuts the cleaning time in half.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

As an update…. I tried and tried with vinegar and hot water, but still had a lot of residue, so I did go and purchase Formula 420, which worked pretty amazingly. There are one or two spots that it didn’t get to, but otherwise it got the glass amazingly clear. Thanks for all the suggestions!

wildpotato's avatar

@TitsMcGhee Ah dang, I shoulda re-posted before you went and spent a lot of money for no reason – what 420 and Agent Orange are is isopropyl alcohol and salt. It’s just that they’re scented and dyed blue and orange.

Also, a good trick for those few spots it didn’t reach – take a Q-tip and break it in half, then use the inner stick part to poke at the resin right after you’re done rinsing.

El_Cadejo's avatar

” cleaning residue from tobacco and resin out of a bowl” LOL okkkkk :P

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@uberbatman: lol, lurve you.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

I had a friend in high school that would use a pipe until it was completly clogged, then buy a new one. He felt the resin was like its insides, and didn’t feel right about gutting his friend.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@wildpotato holy fucking hell that worked amazingly well. Thanks for the tip. All my bowls look brand spankin new.

master_mind413's avatar

rubbing alcohol ive done it for years because it dissipates quickly and leaves no taste behind or oily residue and dissolves the resign quick just stick it in a cup of rubbing alcohol and watch

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