How to Clean a Bubbler or Pipe
The best ways to clean a bong or a pipe
There are many ways to clean a bong and methods to cleaning a handpipe. Humans are toolmakers, and if we keep our tools clean and in good working order, they serve us well for our entire lives. This is true regardless of your practice even for smoking weed. It's no different for the cannabis user who seeks to have the best possible session every time they sit down to load a bowl.
If keeping your pipes fresh is important to you, then here are the best ways to clean a bong or pipe. Depending on how deep of a clean you want and how often you smoke one of the following methods will be the best way to clean a bong for you.
Use cleaning tools to help clean a pipe
Cleaning brushes will help you get into all the hard to get to places in your pipe that a cotton swab can’t. Resolution Caps seal off the mouthpiece and downstems of your bongs so you can fill them with cleaner and shake them to speed up the cleaning process. Rez Block is our all-natural resin preventative, and it will save you time and money by keeping all the gunk from sticking to the walls of your pipe wherever water touches. For regular maintenance we always recommend 420 Wipes of both sizes.
Use a natural bong cleaner
Randy's knows what's up, they make a cleaner for almost any kind of smoker or degree of buildup in a pipe. Randy's Orange Label is an all natural heavy duty cleaner that releases the bonds that hold resins to the side of your glass. There's oils and enzymes in there that will break down the stickiness and gunk in your bong and let you gently wash it away with hot water.
Pros: It's reusable. Store the used Randy's and water mixture, and you can use it multiple times.
Cons: You need patience. We recommend soaking your pipe overnight and then rinsing it out in the morning.
The cheap way to clean a bong
This is a classic way of cleaning your pipe that doesn't cost much and works fantastically for pieces that are dirty from regular use. Take some room temperature or warm isopropyl alcohol (ISO) and mix it with sea salt. You can find that at the grocery store or drug store. Put that in a baggie or other container like a plastic Tupperware with your piece and shake and let soak. Once you pull your piece out, rinse with warm water and it’ll be freshened up. We have an Iso Cleaning Kit for this style cleaning here.
Pros: Inexpensive and easy.
Cons: Wasteful and not able to clean larger pieces without using a ton of alcohol. Can get expensive if you clean your piece often.
Cleaning pipes with solvents
There are a lot of products that are solvents that strip the grunge off your pipe by chemically dissolving the bonds that make it stick. Alcohol is a light solvent and that's why it works well, but we're talking about heavy duty stuff that is made to clean machine parts and scientific gear. Most are ethyl acetate, and the "strong stuff" is mostly just acetone along with extra ingredients that make it work faster, last longer, or smell better.
Solvent based cleaners are for using on occasion to get your piece back to brand new conditions with enough hard work. Pour it on or in your pipe and swirl it around. Then pour all the bad stuff out. A good example of a powerful cleaner like this is Randy's Black label.
Pros: It will do the job on just about any level of use, even a gunked up dab rig.
Cons: These chemicals don’t smell too great, dry out your skin and can damage other household surfaces or certain materials like polycarbonate. Anything containing acetone will ruin a good manicure. Use it outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Don't let it get on your skin. Most of them tell you to put your pipe in a bag and shake. So be careful with big pieces.
Clean your bong with boiling water
If you have a thick glass pipe that is five-millimeters or denser then it can probably withstand having hot water poured into it. This liquifies all the goo inside and runs out as the water passes through it. You can get out clogs of resin and buildup on the walls this way but it can take several applications. If your bong or pipe has signs of only moderate use then this may work.
Pros: Simple yet effective. Boiling works excellent on lightly used pipes, accessories, and especially recyclers.
Cons: You're dealing with near boiling hot water. Be super careful. It may take multiple washes to clear the pipe. Can crack or break some glass that hasn’t been properly annealed.
Clean your pipe with vodka and a microwave
Whenever you find yourself in a hotel, airport bathroom, or a house party and you’ve needed to clean up your piece, we suggest this party trick. Pour half vodka and half water in a coffee cup and heat in the microwave for about thirty seconds. Drop your spoon in and swish it around for a while and let it sit. Pull it out and rinse it off under warm water a few times. The heat from the water and the alcohol in the vodka will help dislodge any resins within the pipe. A few rinses under the sink and it will smoke much better than before.
Pros: Its pretty easy to find vodka and a microwave.
Cons: Takes more than one application to completely clean.
Use a pipe cleaning kit
If you want we've done all the work for you except the actual cleaning with these cleaning kits. Each bong cleaning kit comes with everything you need to clean a bong or a pipe multiple times. We hope this little guide helped you decide a method that might be good for you and for a full look at all our cleaning products just go to our Cleaning Collection.