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How to Clean your Pipe (or Bong)

I’ve done it, you’ve done it. We’ve all done it. We’ve been too busy, felt too lazy or maybe we just didn’t know that our trusty glassware should be cleaned once a month. Let me just say it again: your glassware should be cleaned once a month. The build-up of resin and toxins (which can contain spores of mold and bacteria) will make getting a good hit harder and increase the chances of more junk in your lungs. There’s one tried and true method to get your glass clean and ready for green and that is with isopropyl alcohol, sea salt and a plastic bag or Tupperware container (if you’re cleaning a bong). Here’s what you’ll need:


Isopropyl alcohol, sea salt (fine, coarse, or whatever floats your boat), Ziploc bag and a dirty pipe.


Wow! This is one dirty pipe. It looks like there might even be black mold growing. Gross!

As you can see, this pipe has not been cleaned since it was purchased in 2012. Instead of a pity party, it’s time for a pipe cleaning party!

You will want to measure 3:1 for the alcohol and salt ratios which means 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol to 1/3 cup of salt. Or you can eye it and fill a bag or container full of isopropyl alcohol and pour enough salt to get into the grooves of your glass.

Once you have combined your salt and alcohol in their respective baggies or bins, drop your pipe (very carefully) into the mixture and begin shaking it around. This can be a great toning exercise on your arms if that’s your thing. We shook this bag for a solid 5 minutes and then let it sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes and 5 more minutes of swishing, there was still SO MUCH RESIN left in our pipe.


First 5 minutes of soaking.


After 30 minutes of soaking.

If you have an extremely dirty pipe like the one here, then you will need to repeat, repeat and repeat. Three was the magic number. Once most of the resin has been soaked off, dump your dirty alcohol in the toilet and flush away.

If you have a toothpick, bobby pin, pipe cleaner, or any thin sharp tools USE THEM to get the remaining resin out of your pipe. This can be the most time consuming depending on how much resin has built up in your glass.

Are you still too busy or too lazy? Don’t worry! Dockside Ballard is throwing a pipe cleaning party on September 19th from 3-6pm! Bring your dirty glassware and we’ll supply the rest to help you get it all cleaned up!

Now for the final reveal! Wow, I thought this pipe was made of brown, green and black glass! Well, that just goes to show you what a good cleaning can accomplish!


This pipe has blue spots. Who knew!