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 http://www.kashtray.com/ 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.


8O2 said...

I clean all my glass with isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt in tupperware. The tupperware should have a good seal and shouldn't be used for anything else like the dedicated pot in the boiling water method above.

Starting with just alcohol in the tupperware, I soak the glass for anywhere between 2mins and 24 hours, occasionally moving the glass around to loosen up the resin inside. Depending on how long it's been since the last cleaning, a glass piece may only need a few dips in the alcohol or it may need to soak for hours and hours.

Once most of the resin is gone I pour coarse salt into the piece and fill it up again with alcohol and shake it like a polaroid. BE CAREFUL: It's easy for the piece to slip out of your hands at this stage!

Rinse with hot water and repeat until the piece is sufficiently clean.

!!! Make sure to have a clean sink free of dishes before pouring the resin soaked alcohol down the drain and thoroughly rinse the sink and glass with water when finished !!!

For bongs the same method works without tupperware, just take saran wrap and a rubber band and cover the hole where the down-stem enters the bong. This will prevent the alcohol from spilling out of the bottom when you try to fill your bong with it.

Tim said...

I find your post interesting as i just cleaned the stem of my pipe in boiling water. After immersing some brown color came off the stem and when I pulled the stem out it has severely discolored half of the stem. It was now a light chocolate color instead of teak tone. And soft and tasted weird. Not sure what happened here? I rubbed some olive oil into it which darkened the color and hardened it again... but it's not perfect now and is still a bit discolored. What happened here?

admin said...

I've never heard of boiling water removing the coloring from a glass pipe. The coloring in glass is actually within the glass itself, and since glass is not water soluble, neither is the coloring.

WSWK said...

He clearly cleaned his wooden pipe via this method.

admin said...

Yeah, I wouldn't use boiling water or alcohol to clean a wooden pipe. Scraping is probably the only method that would be safe.

Anonymous said...

Coloring on certain pieces is due to the chameleon glass now the glass sometimes doesn't have enough coloring in itself to show it's color its the resin that gives it the shaded background which gives it it's true color distinction, FYI. -T$

magu said...

hey 802, thanks bro. you nailed. it works perfectly

Anonymous said...

My son used one of my good pots AND a silicone rubber strainer to clean his bowl. Are these now ruined? I've been soaking them in baking soda, but they still stink. Any advice?

CHBoulder said...

Yo i used hot water after cleaning my bubblers and both of them have changed from a clear glass to a murky grey i read somewhere that the resin might have melted into the glass is there anyway i could get rid of this and dont say wash i again because ive done that like a 100 times PLEASE HELP!!!!

admin said...

Glass melts at about 1500 degrees, but water boils at 212 degrees, so I think it is unlikely that the resin melted into the glass unless it's not really glass. I have used this method countless times and I have never run into this problem. You could try one of the other cleaning methods, such as soaking your pipe in isopropyl alcohol. A Ziplock bag works well for this. Try putting some salt or uncooked rice in there with it and swish it around a bit. Let me know if this helps.

Anonymous said...

check out Imaginaryfields.com

Anonymous said...

On the color part I have to say not boiling but cleaning some pipes seems to change the color I have had it happen before with bumptious bongs and pipes idk if the resin brings out the color or what but,,,,
yes..... After cleaning certain pipes and bongs the color can look less vibrant

Anonymous said...

Purple power is the easiest way.it's a cleaner in the car section.put your pipe in a zip lock baggy and some purple power enough to cover the bowl and let it sit.the mixture will turn brown.it is non toxic so just dump it down the drain and rinse the bowl.

Vaporizers said...

This cleaning method will lower the risk of getting bacteria in your smoking pipes. Cleaning must be done regularly.

Anonymous said...

most glass bowls (color changing etc) are hardened glass (pyrex). this means they fire them in a kiln so they break less easily and are less resistant to rapid temperature change (lighters etc). pyrex is chemistry sets and anchor hawking cook ware. this means as long as you use temperature discretion u wont harm a hardened bowl. too much change may not break it but can ruin the temper of the bowl. as for cleaning with others you need non-toxic and non-scented as these can leave toxic residue. alcohol is good. nail cleaner isnt. if it burns skin no! also be careful with scrubbing tools. no paperclips they scrape glass. wood pipe tools are okay. soft edge. pipe cleaners etc. take your time. heat means softer resin so right after smoking ever few times i use a wood pipe tool and most comes off bowl. inside you need a mixture like alchol and salt or hot water to soak in. than qtips or pipe cleaners. work it. :)

Anonymous said...

Use an SOS pad on the top to get all the resin off the pot you boil it in. It comes off quickly. Little warm water and the SOS pad you'll be good as new

Anonymous said...

How long does it take to clean a glass pipe if there is not much resin in it and it was nasty fake bud?

Anonymous said...

Smokin rez when youre dry ' haaaaannnn

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Hah who is sum snuff to buy fake weed??the stores sell space!if u feel like getten ripped off lmao

Anonymous said...

Oops obviously spell check meant to say who is dumb enough

Anonymous said...

Its a good idea but not a good idea to boil your pipe or bong. Glass is very sensitive to breaking when temperature changes. Even if it does not break while going from hot to cold or cold to hot, it can easily burn you when its hot causing you to drop it...long story short, its better NOT to boil your pipe.I learned the hard way.

Clean it with rubbing alcohol mixed with sea salt. Shake it up really hard

Sherman Garcia said...

I have used this method several times. Actually it works only if there are some small staff inside or grease. It is easy but not so efficient if you have bigger troubles with your pipes. Best regards!

Maureen - Pink Bong Pricess said...

Hi!! I 've never tried to clean my pipe 'your' way. I always used rubbing alcohol or a special detergent. I in the assumption that detergent was needed to clean your pipe properly. This sounds perfect!!! I will try it the next time! Seems much easier, faster and cheaper! Thanks for sharing! Greetings from the Netherlands

MikeyB said...

I had the best bong anyone I've ever met has used. It had a standard bowl shape at the bottom and the stem went up a few centermetres then angle back 90 degrees towards you. You never got bong water in your mouth because of the angle, the shotty was on the bend at the front so you used you index finger instead of your thumb so you didn't need to change your hand or body position for a better grip when ripping the ghosty down like some bongs kind of make you do (if you wonder what I mean, make a pipe with the shotty at the front and you'll get it).
The reason I started this was in reply to the colours thing where some bongs are changing colour after a hot wash. This pipe had these multicoloured thick swirls going around the base and up to the bend and would change colour after a hot wash. After a few days they went back to normal and it was time to wash it again. I've never seen anyone else's ever do it (change colour) and thought it was unique to mine. I guess it still kind of is since no one else's seemed to go back to normal on its own.
Anyways, I loved that pipe. I think about it everyday and even though I don't believe in recycling, I pray it's been taken to that big recycling centre in the sky and been made into an even better bong.
P.S Never loan your favourite of anything to anyone. Ever.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

for all the people that use the alcohol + salt method, as a glass blower i can tell you you are ruining the glass by causing microscopic striations (scratches) in the glass. boiling a glass pipe is the only proper way to clean it.

if you use alcohol + salt you're weakening the glass's molecular structure and it will be more likely to break from scraping.

gisselle gonzalez said...

Lol all bad

gisselle gonzalez said...

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Damon Burchfield said...

hell ya i boil it only to smoke the rez lol

Anonymous said...

Not that your grammar was correct anyway.

Anonymous said...

I read this on another site, and it worked wonders: Oxy Clean. I have a Gandalf style glass piece which has a neck that makes the pipe too long to boil. I have had the pipe for three years and literally never cleaned it. After 24 hours in the Oxy Clean, the bowl was spotless with some rinsing. Another couple days (it was NASTY), the neck was clean and the pipe is now spotless. Just adding options for people who can't boil their glass pieces!

Also, regarding the color coming out: my brother had a glass piece that was pink inside, the glass was literally painted inside so all of the coloring came out when he cleaned it. If your pipe loses color then the glass may not have been colorful, it may have just been painted that way.

Anonymous said...

> the glass was literally painted inside so all of the coloring came out when he cleaned it.

If this happens, black list that seller. You should not be smoking paint, that is extremely unhealthy.

Richard C. Lambert said...

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