Whether your favorite smoking implement is an elaborate masterpiece of heady glass or a simple, one-hitter chillum, the way you care for it will not only impact the smoking experience but how long your glass lasts.
Now let’s specifically talk about the care of glass water pipes – especially ornate heady glass specimens that are pieces of art.
Oftentimes these have fine, fragile parts. Special care and attention are in order to protect them.
Here’s what you need to know, from your smoke shop in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Keeping It Clean
If you want to fully enjoy the smoking experience as thoroughly as possible, and you want your heady glass to look its best, and not like a stained mess, keeping it clean is imperative.
While cleaning a water pipe is a little more involved than cleaning a spoon pipe or a chillum, it’s not as intimidating as it needs to be.
The first thing you need to do is carefully remove the bowl and downstem from the water pipe and set them aside, along with any other fragile glass parts that can potentially get damaged.
Then, dump out the old, dirty water. If you want to keep your heady glass in tip-top shape, do this after every smoke.
Once you’ve dumped out the old, go in with the new. Warm up some tap water, and rinse out the water pipe. Give it a few good rinses to dissolve some of the oils and tar that can be easily rinsed away.
Then, it’s time to use a cleaning solution. There are specially designed cleaning solutions that you can use for water pipes, and some of them are very effective, but we’re not going to tell you that you need to use these. You can just as easily make your own at home.
There are two popular options for improvised cleaning solutions. One is a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and rock salt, and the other is a mixture of vinegar with a little bit of baking soda.
Both isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar are fairly effective at dissolving tar and oil deposits, but isopropyl is probably the more effective of the two.
As for the rock salt and baking soda, respectively, these are each very abrasive and can help to scrub off the deposits inside the water pipe.
Whichever solution you use, pour it into the water chamber and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, you need to cover up the opening to the water pipe. You can use your hands, rags, or paper towels, but there are also special silicone covers you can buy for the purpose.
Then, you need to shake things up – literally. Vigorously shake the water pipe to work the salt/alcohol or vinegar/baking soda solution inside. This will bring the abrasive mixtures into contact with the walls and chimney, helping to scrub off the tar.
If your water pipe was exceptionally dirty, after a few shakes, pour out the old solution, rinse with water, and then add a fresh cleaning solution. Repeat the process until the glass of your water pipe is clear inside and out.
Sometimes there are rings or deposits that won’t come out by shaking and need particular attention. To dislodge these, you’ll need the help of a pipe brush that can reach down through the chimney or through the bowl.
Once you’ve removed all stains and marks, pour out the cleaning solution, rinse the water pipe out with fresh water, and place it somewhere safe to dry!
The final step is to clean the bowl and downstem. You can use the same alcohol/salt or vinegar/baking soda solutions to clean these. Soak them for a few minutes in a container of your solution and then use a pipe brush or a toothbrush to clean them off. When clean, rinse with warm, clean water and place with the water pipe to dry.
Preventing Mold and Water Stains
Water stains and mold stains arise for different reasons, but they are unsightly and can adversely affect the aesthetic enjoyment of a heady glass pipe.
The best way to deal with water stains and mold stains is not to remove them, but to prevent them. Water stains arise from mineral deposits; to prevent these, use only filtered water in your glass pipe and while cleaning.
As for mold stains, these occur when you leave water in the bowl for too long and allow mold to bloom. They’re very hard to clean and extremely unsightly.
There are ways you can remove them – but don’t get hung up on that. Prevent them in the first place so you never have a problem. A good rule of thumb is to change your water pipe’s water every day and give it a thorough cleaning every week, whether you think you need to or not.
In addition to mold and water stains, there is another unique risk facing specimens of fragile, heady glass, and it is breakage.
We know you love your finest pieces, but don’t leave them out on low tables where they’re at risk of being knocked over and shattered.
Keep them somewhere safe and elevated. That will help prevent them from inadvertent bumps that could break them and will put them on a pedestal where all can enjoy the scenery.
Looking for a Smoke Shop in Fort Lauderdale, FL? We Have You Covered!
Broward County residents, and fans of downtown Fort Lauderdale shopping – we’re open for business and we love seeing our valued customers.
Whether you’re planning a visit for spring break or just live in the area, come on down to our smoke shop in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and see what we have to offer.
We carry a huge range of smoking accessories ranging from heady glass and basic hand pipes to vaporizers and rolling papers – come in and check them out for yourself.
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