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How To Care For Your Pipe

No matter how you prefer to consume your cannabis flower there are steps you can take to ensure you’re getting the best experience and flavour possible. 

Ask an expert: how to care for your pipe

If you’re a fan of old-school glass or ceramic pipes, we always recommend smoking out of a clean unit to best enjoy your flower. Dirty pipes clogged with built-up resin can negatively impact the flavour of your favourite cannabis and let’s be frank, they’re not so much fun to smoke out of when they aren’t working properly.

We asked our friends at Zaga’s Hemp Shop in Prince George for some tips on how to keep glass and ceramic pipes clean and ready to use. While cleaning your pipe really is a bit of a chore, the good news is that it can be done easily using simple household ingredients like 99% Isopropyl alcohol, table salt, and a little elbow grease.

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How Often Should You Clean A Pipe?

There are purists out there who will insist on cleaning their pipe after each use and while there’s nothing wrong with being so fastidious, we think a thorough cleaning after every two or three sessions is a good target to aim for if regular pipe maintenance is new for you. Something to consider is that the cleaner a pipe is to begin with, the less time it takes to get back to sparkling, so regular upkeep will actually make cleaning your pipe much easier.

Here’s What You Need to Clean Your Pipe

First things first, gather your supplies. You’ll need the following items:

1) A zipper seal sandwich bag

2) 99% isopropyl alcohol

3) Table salt (epsom salts will do too but maybe avoid scented ones)

4) Dish soap

Shake or tap out any loose bits of flower or ash in the bowl of your pipe.

Place the pipe into a sandwich bag and pour the isopropyl alcohol over the pipe until it is fully submerged.

Add a teaspoon or two of table salt to the bag. Work the salt into the bowl and mouthpiece of the pipe. The salt will act like a scrubber, working to remove the built up grime and resin that you can’t easily reach with a scrub brush.

Tip: If you’re cleaning a particularly dirty pipe use coarse sea salt for a little extra scrubbing power, otherwise table or epsom salt should be good enough.

Let it sit. Leave the pipe in the bag with the isopropyl and salt overnight so the alcohol has an opportunity to break down the resin.

After the bag has sat for about twelve hours, pick it up and give it a shake. Slosh the alcohol and salt around to try to break up any residual resin. This is where a bag is preferable to a lidded container, which could damage your pipe if it gets shaken too vigorously.

Rinse your pipe with hot water then wash it with dish soap. If there are stubborn spots, gently wipe with a cotton swab to remove. If spots remain, repeat the process using fresh salt.

Allow your pipe to air dry completely before using it.

Cleaning Without Alcohol

If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol on hand you can try using boiling water. Submerge the pipe in cool water and slowly heat to boiling. Extreme temperature changes could cause your glass to crack which is the last thing anyone wants. Boil the water for about thirty minutes than allow to cool so you can gently scrape off the resin deposits with a cotton swab.

Alternatively, you can mix equal parts vinegar and water in a container deep enough to cover the pipe. Allow to sit overnight then scrape off resin.

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