How to Clean a Weed Pipe (3 of the Best Methods in 2021)

How To Clean a Weed Pipe

Smoking with a weed pipe can be a fun and enjoyable way to consume cannabis. Considering all of the complex and unique shapes and sizes of weed pipes, the cleaning process might seem tedious or tricky. 

Most importantly, owning and using a pipe for cannabis requires cleaning and maintenance. Without regular cleaning of weed pipes, resin and residue can build up and cause clogging and negative effects on the flavor of your weed. To prevent this, you’ll need to clean your glass or ceramic pipe regularly.

Materials You’ll Need

  • A sealable plastic bag or container 
  • Paper clip 
  • 99% Isopropyl alcohol (or related type of rubbing alcohol) 
  • Salt (preferably Epsom or table salt)
  • Gentle dish soap
Photo: Unsplash

How to Clean a Pipe Step By Step 

  1. Place the weed pipe in the plastic bag 

First, shake and remove any leftover debris or bits of flower from the pipe’s bowl. Carefully place the pipe in your sealable plastic bag or container. Next, submerge the pipe by filling the bag halfway with alcohol.

  1. Add a teaspoon of salt in the bag 

Next, add a teaspoon of salt into the bag. The salt mixes with the rubbing alcohol to act as a strong scrubbing solution. After mixing, the solution will help deep clean the areas of the weed pipe that can’t be reached by a brush or sponge. Most importantly, coarse salt works best for areas with hardened resin.

  1. Let the weed pipe soak

Then, carefully leave the weed pipe soaking in the bag or container for around 12 hours. This allows for the alcohol and salt solution to dissolve most of the dirty resin. 

  1. Shake the bag

After the 12 hour mark, shake the bag firmly to loosen any additional residue. If you have your pipe soaking in a container, skip this step to avoid breaking the piece!

  1. Remove the pipe and wash 

Next, after some vigorous soaking and shaking, remove your weed pipe from the bag. Rinse it with hot water and dish soap. As a result, this will help to wash out any lingering alcohol or salt in those spots that are harder to reach in the weed pipe. If you notice any additional resin or residue on the pipe after removing it from the bag, use a paper clip or pipe cleaner to remove it. To reduce the risk of scratching your piece, use cotton swabs. After that, scrape any leftover residue and rinse the pipe with hot water.

  1. Let the weed pipe dry

Lastly, check that your weed pipe is completely dried out before using it. If you aren’t satisfied with the cleanliness of your weed pipe, you can certainly repeat the process with fresh salt.


Tips for Cleaning Your Silicone Pipe

Before you get started, there are a few things you need to know about cleaning your silicone pipe. These tips will make your cleaning experience much easier and more effective.

  • If you’re having trouble getting all the resin out of the pipe, especially if it’s been caked in for a while, try investing in a more effective marijuana pipe cleaner. You can find these at your favourite weed store.
  • If your silicone pipe comes with a glass bowl, try researching the best way to clean the glass. Sometimes these cleaning methods are not interchangeable.
  • Always ensure that you rinse your pipe thoroughly after cleaning if you’ve used weed pipe cleansers, alcohol, vinegar, etc. You don’t want the smell of these chemicals ruining your toking session.

How Often Should You Replace the Water in Bong?

Replacing the water in your bong will reduce the need to clean it regularly. If you smoke out of a bong at least once a day, you should also replace the water in your bong at least once a day. (Okay, okay…once a day is definitely sufficient.)

You’ll notice a change in flavor faster than the weed will hit your brain. Clean water, free of bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms floating around in bong water will bring out the flavors of your strain. If you don’t mind spreading germs around, at least think about the quality of your weed!

Pipe Cleaning Brushes and tools

Whether glass, metal, ceramic or wood, you’ll want to keep the airways clear of resin. A decent pipe cleaning tool will save you a lot of time, effort, and sanity over using something that isn’t designed to clean the inside. How is a metal coat hanger going to get around the bowl? You’ll start chipping the glass and stuff.

DiCUNO 20 Pieces Cleaning Brush Set 8 Inch Nylon Tube Brushes Set with Protective Design [Updated Edition, 1 Set of Super Hard & 1 Set of Medium Hard] Price: $16.99 1 used & new available from $16.99

  • 2 sets of cleaning brushes, medium and hard style bristles.
  • Stainless steel handle.
  • Easy to rinse, non-rusting.
  • Comes with a key ring to keep them together/store easily.
  • Can be used for way more things than just cleaning pipes.

How To Clean Your Pipe With Boiling Water

Let’s keep things simple. If you just want to use water and heat to clean your pipe or a bong, you’ll be solid.

Grab a saucepan or a pot and fill it up with enough water to cover your pipe or the individual pieces of your bong. (If your pipe is exposed while in boiling water, it might crack.) Once the water’s boiling, pop in your piece and reduce the water to a simmer.

Leave it in for half an hour or so, checking on it every now and again to make sure the water is still covering the glass. Remove the pieces (carefully!) and poke out any excess ash with a pipe cleaner.

Step by Step How to Clean a Pipe with Acetone and Salt

  1. Wear Gloves: Again, nobody wants smelly fingers as a result of this process. Do yourself a favor and wear either dishwashing gloves or latex gloves throughout the process.
  2. Tape Shut one End: Using electrical tape, seal off one end of the pipe. Ensure there is a watertight seal in preparation for the next step.
  3. Add Kosher Salt: Sourcing kosher salt is essential. It is pure and, unlike table salt, doesn’t contain any unnecessary additives. You’ll only need to pour in roughly a teaspoon or so, depending on the size of your pipe.
  4. Add Acetone: Acetone is essentially nail polish remover. Many nail polish removers come scented or with color additives, so try to find 100 percent pure acetone. Fill the pipe with acetone, leaving a small bit of space before the top.
  5. Tape Shut and Shake: Seal the other end of the pipe with electrical tape. Again, ensure it is watertight because now it’s time to shake furiously. Depending on how built up the residue is in your pipe, you may need to shake for up to five to ten minutes.
  6. Rinse Clear: With the hottest water possible, remove the tape from both ends and rinse the entire glass pipe clear of whatever residue has shaken clear. Keep flushing until the salt and acetone are washed clean.
  7. Wipe Any Excess Grime Clean: Just like with the specialty cleaner, there may be some leftover grime, especially near the bowl. Don’t be afraid to pull out your pipe cleaner or rag to really dig into these leftover bits. They will wipe clean with a little bit of work.

Step by Step Pipe Cleaning With Orange Chronic

  1. Wear Gloves: Because of the rather stinky and sticky nature of the resin build-up, you may want to put on a pair of latex gloves. Even rubber dishwashing gloves will work. Gloves will save your hands from absorbing the very unappealing smell of old roaches and rotten weed.
  2. Run How Water Through the Glass Pipe: In an empty sink, run the hottest water possible through the pipe. You’ll notice that some resin rinses free immediately. The hot water helps to loosen the stuck on resin in before you add the cleaner.
  3. Squirt Orange Chronic into the Pipe: No need to go crazy, less than a tablespoon of Orange Chronic is all you’ll need to get started. Squirt it either through the mouthpiece or the bowl of the pipe, and run a little hot water in afterward.
  4. Shake Vigorously: This is the hardest part of the process, and really not hard at all. Cover both ends of the pipe and shake for roughly a minute. You’ll soon start to see how quickly the cleaner gets to work.
  5. Empty and Repeat: After shaking for a minute, dump out the contents of the pipe and start again. Nobody said the process was going to be appealing, the dark brown liquid flowing out of your pipe is going to be disgusting. Hence, why you should clean out your pipe more than once a year. It might still need a rinse or two, so just squirt in more Orange Chronic and start again.
  6. Use a Pipecleaner for the Corners: In all likelihood, you’ll need to use a bit of elbow grease to get the final bits of resin out of the corners of your pipe. That’s when a pipe cleaner comes in handy. Bend and insert to wipe the hard to reach corners clean.Rinse Thoroughly: One more rinse, and your pipe should be as clean as the first day you bought it.

Can You Clean a Pipe Without Alcohol?

So, you don’t have any rubbing alcohol handy? No problem! Alternatively, you can clean your weed pipe with boiling water. The process is similar to cleaning with rubbing alcohol. First, submerge your pipe completely in a pot of water and slowly heat up the water. Make sure the temperature increases slowly, as extreme temperature differences can cause the glass pipe to break or crack. After 30 minutes, let the pipe cool down and scrape off any of the remaining resin with a paper clip or cotton swab. 

Photo: Unsplash

Things You’ll Need

  • 1 Pipe
  • 1 Pack of Pipe Cleaners
  • 1 Pipe Knocker
  • 1 bottle cleaning solvent
  • 1 bottle metal polish
  • 1 bottle briar pipe wipe
  • 2 cloths
  • 1 pipe tool

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Pipe Styles

In addition to having different pipe materials, you’ll also find a vast selection of styles to choose from. Below are some to consider using.


Chillums are a long pipe that is very simple to use. This makes it a good style for beginners to start out with. To use it, simply put the grounds in the bottom and light it up. Make sure to hold it at a 45-degree angle though to ensure you’re able to reach enough smoke.


This traditional style of pipe features a large bowl at the bottom which is connected to a long, curving mouthpiece. It’s often ideal to use if you want to blow smoke rings.


Another style to check out is the steamroller. Featuring a unique circular design, steamrollers are usually made of glass and have holes on both ends. You can choose which end to close when you’re smoking. There is also a slight indentation at the top of them which is where you place the grounds.



To clean a wooden pipe you will need the following tools:

  • Q-Tips
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Pipe Cleaners & Scrapers
  • Pipe Tool
  • Olive oil or cooking oil

Step # 1

Take the stem off. Dip a pipe cleaner in the rubbing alcohol and run it through the shank into the bowl. It should pick up all the gunk.

Step # 2

Step # 2

Get another pipe cleaner. Dip it in the rubbing alcohol and this time run it through the stem.

Step # 4

Step # 4

Use the pipe tool or a pipe knife to clean the inside of the bowl. If the inside of your pipe bowl developed a heavy buildup of resins, then you will need to scrape them off with the pipe knife. Once you have finished scraping, wipe the inside with a Q-tip or pipe cleaner soaked in alcohol.

Step # 5

Step # 5

Lastly, put a little bit of olive oil or cooking oil on your paper towel and rub it on the outside of the bowl of your wooden pipe. It will give the pipe a nice shine.

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How to Clean a Pipe or Bong FAQ’s:

What is the fastest way to clean a glass pipe?

If you don’t have the time for a deep clean but need a quick fix to some gunk build-up, the process is simple. First, overturn the bowl and knock out any remaining ashes. Then, use a scraping tool or pick to clean the piece more thoroughly, removing any excess resin. Then, use a pipe cleaner to clear the pipe’s airways. Most importantly, don’t get your pipe wet unless you plan on committing to the full deep clean. Otherwise, the smell can be wretched.

How do I get resin out of my glass pipe to smoke?

There are a couple methods to clean resin out of a glass pipe. You can rinse your pipe with isopropyl alcohol. Then, filter the resin-laden alcohol with a straining cloth and let the remaining liquid evaporate. Just like that – a gold mine of resin for the taking!

If you’re wondering how to clean resin out of a glass pipe without alcohol, the method is simple: gently scrape the resin off with a pick or dab tool.

Is it safe to clean a pipe with rubbing alcohol?

Yes. Isopropyl alcohol, commonly referred to as rubbing alcohol, is by far the most commonly used cleaning substance for pipes and bongs. However, there have been some concerns raised regarding the substance’s effect on the environment if rinsed into sewer streams. As long as users properly dispose of the isopropyl alcohol after cleaning and thoroughly rinse pieces to prevent ingestion, there shouldn’t be any issues. 

Where can I buy 99% isopropyl alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol is available for purchase at a plethora of retailers, including Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target, etc. However, if you’re hoping to avoid the crowd, you can find the bowl and bong cleaner on Amazon.

Is 70% alcohol a better disinfectant than 91%, 95%, or 99% alcohol?

There have been arguments made that the presence of water in 70% isopropyl alcohol is a major factor in destroying microorganisms. Water allows the alcohol solution to better permeate pathogenic cell membranes and kill the potentially harmful organisms. Whereas isopropyl alcohol concentrations higher than 91% cause cell membrane proteins to coagulate instantly, providing a protective layer for the organisms. That doesn’t mean they don’t kill bacteria – it just means they may take longer to do so. In either case, you’ll likely be soaking your pieces in the substance for some time, and the extended exposure will get the job done. 

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Get a Decent Grinder

To get the most out of your bud, make sure it’s ground up. If you don’t, seeds and other weed chunks can easily clog up the smaller parts of your pipe. You can do this by hand with scissors or other tools, but a quality metal grinder will last for years and generally just make your life easier. Buying these things locally will run you like $20 for something that isn’t very good. This one from Amazon is killer.