Let’s face it, there’s nothing fun or convenient about cleaning a dirty glass piece, but it’s a necessity to ensure the best smoking experience possible. The sticky black resin that fills the inside is an unforgiving material that stains clothes, carpets, and hands. Those that try to preserve the resin for smoking are faced with an entirely different set of issues. Getting the glass clean is the ultimate goal, but if that happens without dirtying everything else, well, that’s quite the achievement. If you always end up covered in the goop, though, don’t worry, these are struggles we’ve all had while attempting to clean a glass piece.
1. Softening the resin
The resin’s consistency can vary from piece to piece. Sometimes, the black substances will be tar-like, while other times it’s dry and hard. Getting the resin soft enough to remove can usually be done by heating the pipe, like the heat that comes from smoking a bowl. So, of course, partaking is the best way to prepare in for the cleaning process.
2. Getting the chunks out
Once the resin is soft, and the mind is right, the real cleaning process can begin. A bobby pin seems to be a common tool used to pull out the large chunks of resin that are easily accessible through the carb and mouthpiece. This might seem easy, until one of those little black balls lands on your hand and smears across everything, creating a thick, tacky stain that will need to be cleaned later.
3. Potion making
When the bobby pin has run its course, it’s time to kick the cleaning up a notch. Freezer bags, rubbing alcohol, kosher salt, and hot water can do the trick. If you don’t have kosher salt use table salt instead. Then, while you’re adding the hot water, you spill some and nearly burn yourself, almost emptying the entire contents of the bag onto the floor.
4. Shake it up
All that’s left to do is shake the bag up. What could go wrong? Nothing, until halfway through shaking when the bag springs a leak and dirty resin water begins dripping everywhere. Not only does it stain, but it stinks, too.
5. Still dirty
If the salt wasn’t kosher, it won’t get the scrubbing job done so well. Now, what should be a sparkling clean pipe, is left with spots of black that won’t wash clean. By this point, it might feel like time to give up and accept the current level of cleanliness, but the idea of sucking in one of those little black balls while taking a hit makes you gag. So, you go searching for an old school pipe cleaner.
6. Fruits of labor
Finally, after what seems like an eternity, the hard work has paid off. As you sit admiring the sparkling clean pipe, you promise yourself to never let it get that dirty again. No, you’ll clean it once a week to ensure a shorter process. You pack up and prepare for a deliciously clean high and know it’ll be months before you actually go through that again.