Here's how to clean your bowl, without actually doing anything. It basically cleans itself.
When was the last time you cleaned your glass bowl, pipe, bong, bubbler, or chillum? If you can’t remember then… your smoking piece is overdue for a good scrub.
Smoking devices (see previous list) get dirty, if loved + used regularly. And if you let too much resin (official name, although gunk works too) build-up, your weed-consuming experience may suffer. Fortunately (!!) there are plenty of methods to get your glass piece squeaky clean + looking like new.
[The processes mentioned below are for smoking devices made out of glass + may not be safe to use with pieces composed of wood, plastic, rubber, metal, or other materials. Check with your device’s creator or manufacturer to find the best method for damage-free cleaning.]
Why clean your bowl?
The most visible benefit? It’ll look better (duh). Especially if it’s made of transparent or clear glass. (Some pieces are literal works of art. So while you might be “appreciating” them, all the built-up gunk will take away from your eyeballs appreciating them, too.)
And there are a lot of other reasons why a clean bowl is a better bowl:
- Better taste: Smoking flower from a clean bowl tastes better. When you use a grimy piece, you’ll taste the flavor of the accumulated gunk. Think: You probably wouldn’t use a plate with old food still on it – we apply the same to smoking.
- Smoother hits: It’ll take more effort to get smoke through your piece. When you can smoothly inhale from a pipe, you’ll have a more enjoyable smoking experience. You’ll appreciate the flower instead of struggling to get smoke through the chamber. (Plus, why ruin high-quality flower + waste your money with a dirty bowl? Especially when it’s very easy to clean.)
- Friendlier to your lungs: A filthy bowl = an ideal environment for germs. Cleaning will save your lungs from inhaling bacteria, microbes, + other nasty stuff. Ew.
- Recyclable resin: There are ways to clean your bowl + harvest the resin to use for future intense highs. See below.
Ways to clean your bowl
There are many ways to get your pipe sparkling. Some seasoned weed smokers have a favorite method + may even have their own modifications. Depending on the size + shape of your piece, you may need to make some modifications. (Such as a different container to fit larger pieces like a bong.) We encourage y’all to branch out beyond our suggestions to find what works best for you. (DM us on Instagram @GetLanternNow if you discover dope tips + tricks!)
To make the process even less of a hassle, try removing resin + debris from your bowl in advance. This speeds up whatever process you choose. Less gunk means the solution will have less to eat through.
A scraping tool makes it muuuuch easier to clean the inside without missing hard-to-reach spots. There are specific devices made for cleaning, in addition to pipe cleaners (crazy name, huh?) that bend to get in every nook + cranny.
Some people prefer to make scraping tools out of paper clips, microfiber cloths, cotton swabs, narrow skewers, sewing needles, etc. Whatever you use, make sure any sharp edges are dulled (or avoid them altogether) so you don’t scrape or crack your pipe. NOTE: Use gentle pressure for glass pieces. It’s possible that the pipe can break if you press too hard. Sad face.
1. Quick + easy = vinegar + baking soda
If your piece has minimal buildup, or if you want to use items you have at home, then this method is for you.
- Vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar works best)
- Baking soda
- Ziploc bags, lidded containers, or other closed containers
- Tool for scraping
- Place your piece in the container. Pour in white vinegar + baking soda. NOTE: The amount of each product depends on the size of your bowl + amount of resin to remove. For a standard-size pipe, use about 3 tablespoons of baking soda + enough vinegar to completely submerge it.
- If you start to see a fizzing reaction, you’re good (!!) That helps cut through the grease + gunk. Close the container + let this effect continue.
- Allow the pipe to sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the amount of buildup. Occasionally shake the container to agitate + help loosen grime.
- Dump out the mixture, rinse your bowl in warm / hot water, + slowly let the glass heat up. While the pipe is lukewarm, use your scraping tool to remove any remaining resin.
- Allow the bowl to cool off, dry completely, + you’re ready to smoke away.
2. Polish your piece with alcohol + salt
Best if you have several layers of buildup to remove. Use isopropyl alcoho, if you have it on hand, or ask a budtender about cleaning products for smoking devices.
- Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, or cleaning products specifically made for bowls such as Formula 420, Ozium, Mile High Cleaner, or any other brands
- Ziploc bags, lidded containers, or other closed, sealable containers
- Tool for scraping
- Place the piece in the container. Fill with equal parts alcohol or cleaning product + warm water until the pipe is completely submerged.
- Add in salt. Amount depends on the size of your piece + the level of dirtiness. Generally, three tablespoons should work.
- Tightly close the container + shake. Get some of those pieces of salt into the bowl (!!)
- Let the pipe sit completely submerged, shaking periodically. Mild buildup = sit for ~two hours. Severe buildup = ~3-4 hours or more.
- Remove the pipe + rinse it in warm / hot water to wash off the mixture completely. While the pipe is lukewarm, use your scraping tool to get remove any remaining resin.
3. Repurpose resin with boiled water
Did you know: The resin inside your pipe can be reused for an additional high (!!) Along with scraping, this method (below) collects resin that you can use to top off your next smoke sesh. It maaaaay taste a bit harsh, especially if it’s from older buildup, but risk / reward right? (It’s bud for your buck.) Whether you want to recycle / reuse resin, or you just want a more intense high, this method will give you that sticky blob of resin.
- Pot for boiling water
- Pair of tongs
- Scraper tool or paper clip
- Mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Bring four cups of water to boil in a small pot.
- Use tongs to slowly lower your glass bowl into the water. Warning: You risk cracking or breaking your piece if you drop it too quickly. Let it adjust to the temperature change.
- Use tongs to gently shake your pipe, making sure to avoid knocking it against the pot.
- If your water starts getting dark, that means clumps of resin are loosening from the bowl. Yay. Move the bowl with tongs until the pipe is free of buildup (~5 minutes).
- Remove your bowl from the pot + let the water cool off.
- Use a tool to scrape any remaining resin from the bowl. Wipe resin onto a paper towel or sheet of paper to let it dry.
- Let the water cool + pour it through the mesh strainer or cheesecloth to catch the resin. Allow this to cool + dry on a paper towel (along with any other resin you’ve gathered).
- Let the resin fully dry. Then it’s all set to be packed into your bowl + smoked (again) or stored + saved for later.
Need a new piece to get dirty?