Friday, October 22, 2010

How to Clean Your Pipe: Isopropyl Alcohol Method

The isopropyl alcohol method is another old favorite of mine. It's cheap, easy, and effective. There are several variations of this method, but all basically involve soaking your pipe in isopropyl alcohol and then using something to remove the resin.

My favorite way to clean my pipe using alcohol is putting my pipe in a ziplock bag, pouring some alcohol into the bag, and then waiting an hour or two before shaking the bag and/or using a variety of tools to get to those hard to reach places.  I only use 99% or higher concentration isopropyl alcohol on my pipes, and a bottle of it usually costs about a dollar.  I really don't think you need to spend a lot of money on expensive pipe cleaning solutions, as alcohol works fine.  You could also use Everclear grain alcohol if you have any left over from your Jungle Juice party.

After an hour or two (or even overnight), I take the bag and give it a few shakes to loosen up the resin.  You could also put some salt in the bag to act as a mild abrasive. 

Pour out the resin-infused alcohol, being careful not to get it on anything of value, as it will cause stains. If the pipe is still a little dirty, I like to use some wire pipe cleaners at this time, since the resin is still soft and easy to remove.

Once your pipe is completely clean, give it a good rinse in warm water, wipe it down with a paper towel, let it dry and enjoy.

This method also works great for cleaning bongs, bong stems, vaporizer handkits and other smoking accessories.

Check out our article on cleaning your pipe with boiling water.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to Clean Your Pipe: Boiling Water Method

Boiling water has probably been used to clean pipes since ancient times.  Certainly this girl had to use more than just a stick to clean parts of this baby.

Furthermore, water is free and easily accessible. The first time I ever really cleaned my pipe, I used this method.

First, get a pot big enough for your pipe or pipes (you might as well take this opportunity to clean all your pipes. Also, choose a pot that you won't miss using for cooking.  I have found that it is harder to clean the pot you use to boil the pipe in, than it is to clean the pipe itself. And you definitely don't want your mom asking you about the black tar-like stuff stuck to her brand new pot from Crate and Barrel.

Fill the pot about halfway with warm water.  Put the pot on the stove and put your pipe in it.  You don't want the water boiling first, because then you have to drop your pipe into the water, which could be dangerous for you and your pipe.

Turn the burner on medium, and allow the water to boil.  At this point you could use a pair of tongs to move your pipe around a little bit to loosen up all the resin inside.

After 5 or 10 minutes of boiling, take the pot to the sink and turn on the hot water.  You want the water hot to help you rinse out the pot of now resinous water. The water needs to be hot to keep the pipe hot and avoid cracking due to temperature change.

Repeat the last two steps a few times or until your pipe is sufficiently clean.  You might also use some form of pipe cleaner (or wire) at this time to get those hard to reach places.  Just make sure you have poured out all of the water from inside the pipe itself and use a towel or oven mitt to avoid burning yourself.

If you're cleaning a glass pipe you need to be particularly careful using this method.  The hot water is not necessarily dangerous for your pipe, but you could burn yourself and then drop the pipe.  You could also drop your pipe into the sink when changing the water.

When you've finished, give the pipe one final rinse, allow it to cool, and enjoy. Keep the pot (the pot you used for boiling the pipe) for next time. And check out for an interesting new product designed to keep you pipe clean and clog-free every time you use it.

Check out our article on cleaning your pipe with isopropyl alcohol.

How to Clean Your Pipe: Kashtray

This blog has been made to share ideas about how to clean your pipe, and how to keep it clean.  Because we all know: a clean pipe is a happy pipe.

Please feel free to share you ideas and methods for cleaning pipes of all kinds, as well as cleaning and maintanance ideas for vaporizers and other smoking accessories.  All form of media will be considered.

I hope this site will prove to be useful for all who view it, and thanks in advance for sharing your comments and ideas.