Saturday, October 8, 2011

How to Clean Your Pipe with Rubbing Alcohol

A glass or metal pipe is one of few things in this world that can be literally as good as new after a thorough cleaning. Using rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol is a great way to clean your pipe; it's cheap, easy, and effective. This method also works great for cleaning bongs, bong stems, vaporizer handkits and other smoking accessories, however, alcohol should not be used for softer materials, like wood or bone. 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 isopropyl alcohol with 91% or higher concentration 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 just 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 kosher salt or uncooked rice 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.

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