You clean your car. You clean your home. You even wash your clothes by regularly doing laundry. One thing you should clean, but likely aren’t? Your cannabis glass.
Whether you use cannabis daily or just on occasion, if you use a glass device to smoke it, such as a bong, it’s essential that you take care of it, just as you would any of your other property. But, the vast majority of cannabis enthusiasts don’t clean their glass as often as they should—if they clean it at all.
Think about it. When your cannabis buds arrive from your online dispensary, you likely inspect them to ensure they are high quality and don’t have mould growing. It would help if you showed this same attention to detail when it comes to your cannabis glass.
So, are you cleaning your pipes regularly? If not, keep reading to learn why cleaning your glass is essential and three ways you can quickly (and painlessly) clean your glass.
Types of Glass That Needs Cleaning
First, remember that the instructions we provide below are specifically for cleaning glass cannabis accessories. This includes things such as:
- Dab rigs
If you use a vape pen or even have a tray you use to roll joints, those should be cleaned regularly. However, the method you decide to use to clean them will be different from the methods we discuss below.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Glass
There are many reasons you should keep your glass clean in addition to just keeping it looking nice (though that is an excellent benefit of regular cleaning). Not only is it a matter of appearance, but it’s also a matter of health and efficiency.
You should be sure to clean your glass regularly because:
- It helps keep them working well. Grime buildup can plug up certain types of glass, which makes it challenging to use and can severely impact your experience.
- Dirty glass can stink. This is especially true if you use a water-based glass like a bong. Stagnant water can start to stink, leaving you with a stinky bong and a smell that can eventually begin to spread throughout your home.
- Mould and bacteria can grow. Sitting water, even droplets from you inhaling or exhaling in a mouthpiece, can become breeding grounds for bacteria, mould, and even fungi. You’ll inevitably inhale these as you use your glass, which can irritate your lungs and is not healthy for you.
The reasons to keep your glass clean are endless. It’s a part of taking care of your belongings, in this case, your cannabis glass hardware.
3 Ways to Clean Your Glass
There are many ways to clean your glass. The method you choose will depend on different factors, including:
- How dirty your glass is
- What products you have on hand
- The type of products you are comfortable using
It is important to note that the first step for every method we discuss should be taking apart your glass. This allows each piece to get a good clean. When taken apart, be careful while cleaning, so the parts don’t clank together and chip or crack.
1. The Alcohol Method
Perhaps considered the simplest way to clean your glass, you will likely have everything you need to do this already on hand—no need to go out and buy additional supplies. For this cleaning method, you will need:
- Hot water
- Coarse salt (the larger the grain, the better)
- Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- A resealable plastic bag (like a Ziploc)
Once you have your equipment, it’s time to start cleaning your cannabis glass.
- Run your glass pieces under warm water to remove any loose particles or debris.
- Place your glass in your resealable bag.
- Pour your rubbing alcohol into the bag. There should be enough to submerge your glass.
- Add one tablespoon of coarse salt to the bag. The salt will act as an abrasive and scrub your glass to remove stuck-on particles, which is why coarse salt or salt that is large is recommended.
- Seal your bag.
- Carefully shake the bag and the contents within it. If you are doing more than one piece at a time, be sure they don’t bump together and crack or break.
- Continue to shake the bag for about one to two minutes, allowing enough time for the salt to work.
- Rinse your glass with hot water to remove all alcohol and salt.
- Either dry your glass using a cloth or let it sit and air dry. You’ll want to be sure your glass is fully dry before you use it again.
2. The Boiling Method
If you have gunk stuck on your glass, this is an excellent method to try. It can work well on its own, or you may want to try this method to loosen debris and buildup stuck on before trying either method one or three. You won’t need much to complete this method, but it does take some time and some baking equipment.
You will need:
- Hot water
- A pot large enough to submerge your glass
- Oven mitts
- A timer
- A cotton swab
Let’s get started.
- Gently tap your bong over a trash can to remove any loose buds or other debris. Then rinse it with warm water. (Do not use cold water as this can damage your glass when you move to the next step).
- Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. There should be enough water in your pot to fully submerge your glass and to have a few inches of water between it and the top.
- Carefully place your glass in the boiling water. Be sure you don’t just drop it, as that can crack or break it.
Tip: Consider using tongs to place your glass in the water.
- Allow the glass to soak in the water for about 30 minutes, but keep an eye on it. The water will evaporate as time passes; make sure your pipe stays submerged.
- Remove the pot from heat and carefully drain the water. (Be sure to pour the water out away from you).
- Use your oven mitt to remove the glass from the pot.
- Rinse the pieces with warm to hot water. (Using cold water could cause your glass to crack or break).
- Use a cotton swab to remove any remaining residue. A pipe cleaner would also work.
- Let your glass air dry, or use a towel to wipe the pieces down after cleaning.
3. The Denture Method
Denture tablets have a lot of uses, in addition to their intended applications. Not only can they keep dentures clean and free of bacteria, but you can also use them to clean your glass.
You will need:
- A container large enough to hold your glass
- Denture tablets
- A timer
Let’s get started:
- Place your glass in your container.
- Fill the container with hot water, and it should cover your glass entirely.
- Drop in two or three denture tablets. The water will start to fizz. The bubbles from the fizz will act similarly to salt in method one,
- Let your glass soak in the water with the denture tablets for about 30 minutes.
- Remove your glass and rinse all pieces with warm water.
- Allow your pieces to air dry, or dry them with a cloth.
How Often Should I Clean My Bong?
Now that you know three simple yet effective ways to clean your glass, you may be wondering how often you’ll need to do it, or rather, how often you should clean it.
In a perfect world, many people say you would clean your bong or pipe after each use, immediately after you finish using it. This would prevent debris from having the chance to get stuck to it and ensures no bacteria even has the opportunity to grow and develop.
But, daily cleaning may not be something everyone can commit to or has time to do. After smoking, cleaning can be the last thing on your mind and the last thing you want to focus on. In that case, experts recommend cleaning your bong or pipe at least once a week. Put aside time once a week to clean all your glass, just as you would set aside time to meal prep each week.
If you use a water-based glass product, like a bong, be sure to dump out the water every time you finish using it, even if you don’t clean the entire piece.
When it seems like cleaning is a big hassle, remember all the benefits regularly cleaning your glass has to offer; mainly, protecting yourself from inhaling harmful particulates, bacteria, and mould. That itself makes the extra work worth it.
Don’t Want to Clean Your Glass? Other Cannabis Products to Try
If cleaning your glass isn’t something you want to commit to regularly doing, you may want to consider using other cannabis products that don’t require this step instead.
There are thousands of cannabis products on the market today. Long gone are the days where cannabis users can only smoke or use a bong. There are seemingly endless ways to consume cannabis products, meeting the differing needs of all cannabis users.
If maintaining your glass isn’t something you are up for, consider these popular cannabis products instead:
- Cannabis edibles. These can include everything from chocolate and gummy candies infused with cannabis to baked goods like brownies and cookies. They are easy to make and require no clean-up after. Just be sure to allow them about 30 minutes to take effect after you eat them.
- THC or CBD capsules. Did you know you can take THC and CBD in capsule form? This cannabis consumption method allows users a quick and discreet way to consume cannabis on the go. It also allows users to easily manage their dose, as each pill contains a set amount of cannabis.
- Disposable vape pens. Also called one-hitters, these vape pens come pre-loaded, pre-charged, and ready for you to use. Once you’ve finished the product inside, dispose of them—no need to scrub or soak them to remove particles.
- Cannabis oil. This particular cannabis product can be taken sublingually (or applied under the tongue), but cooking with cannabis oil has become more popular lately. These oils come in different flavours or unflavoured varieties. The different choices allow people to choose which one best meets their needs and preferences.
- Cannabis drinks. Though some people choose to make their beverages that have been infused with cannabis products, you can also buy them. Popular cannabis drink options include coffee and even cannabis tea.
There are many other cannabis products out there that require little maintenance on your part. If you are having trouble choosing the right one for you, you can ask your retailer for advice. They will be happy to help you find the perfect cannabis product for you.
Whether you are using a bong, dab rig, or a pipe, keeping your glass clean is an essential but often neglected part of using them. Though keeping your glass clean has many benefits, most users don’t clean their glass enough if they take the time to clean it at all.
Regularly cleaning your class helps prevent mould, bacteria, and fungi from growing in your glass. If these do develop, you’ll end up inhaling them; something that is not good for your lungs or your health.
Regular cleaning also keeps your glass in good working order and prevents cross-contamination of different products. You spent a lot on your glass; keep it in good working order by keeping it clean.
There are many ways to clean your glass. Though we’ve discussed three here, there are others out there that utilize different products to keep your glass clean. Find the one that works best for you and make it a part of your smoking routine.