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How to Keep Your Glass Pipe Clean: From Your Smoke Shop in South Florida

Glass spoon pipes and glass water pipes, especially heady glass, command a decent price. Given the fact that some of them are elaborately, ornately, or colorfully decorated, or even hand-blown, they can cost a pretty penny.

But these glass pipes are not just sold for their looks. Smokers use them as pocket pieces or as water pipes to enjoy a group smoke session, and these devices need special care and maintenance, specifically cleaning, in order to perform optimally.

Our customers rely on us as one of the best smoke shops in South Florida for our variety, but we figured we’d give you some quick insight into how to keep your pocket glass clean.

Why Do You Need to Keep Your Pocket Glass Clean?

We’ve all seen a dirty water pipe or pocket piece. While it’s unattractive, the lack of visual appeal only scratches the surface of the issue. If you don’t keep your pipe clean, it can actually negatively affect the quality of the smoke.

When you smoke herbs or tobacco or anything, it leaves behind a thin film of residue known as tar. These are solids and liquids, like oils, that don’t completely combust when you burn whatever you’re smoking. Some of them travel through the air as smoke and add flavor, others remain behind and coat the inside of your bowl and stem.

If you allow these to accumulate, over time, they will thicken on the inside of the bowl and stem. If you pack a dirty bowl and smoke out of it, the heat will vaporize some of the tar, which will then add a terrible flavor to it. Tar has a bitter, sour, acrid taste that most smokers hate. A clean pipe, by contrast, offers clean, pleasant flavors.

Luckily, one of the advantages of glass over other materials like stone, crystal, wood, and even some metals is that glass is minimally absorbent. Therefore, it is relatively easy to clean glass. Even a filthy glass pipe can be restored to a pristine, sparkling state fairly easily.

Here’s how to do it.

How to Clean Your Glass Smoking Pipe

Here’s how you can bring even the dirtiest glass smoking pipe back to a like-new appearance. There are two popular approaches to doing so and either of these can be equally effective. One is to use a bath of white vinegar and banking soda and the other is to create a bath of isopropyl alcohol and salt.

Option One: White Vinegar and Baking Soda

White vinegar is highly acidic and capable of dissolving a wide range of accretions that will form on the inside of a glass pipe. It also effervesces on contact with baking soda, which action can be used to help force some of the tar out from the inside of the pipe’s stem and bowl. As an added bonus, baking soda is a mild abrasive and can be used to scrub some stubborn residue out of the bowl, if necessary.

These two cleaning compounds are also cheap, readily available, and present in most homes. They’re also safe and easy to use, and vinegar offers the added bonus of being able to remove odors as well.

Option Two: Isopropyl Alcohol and Salt

Isopropyl alcohol, the active ingredient in rubbing alcohol solutions, is typically available in strengths of anywhere between 70% and 90%. For the purposes of cleaning a glass smoking pipe, stronger concentrations are more effective. Isopropyl alcohol is also remarkably effective at dissolving the oils in tar and removing them from the surface, bowl, and stem of a glass smoking pipe.

Some people add common table salt or kosher salt to the solution which can be used as an abrasive for removing deposits of tar, oil, and ash. You just need to be very certain that you wash out your pipe thoroughly after performing this cleaning method and allow it to dry completely before using it, since rubbing alcohol is toxic to inhale, and, moreover, highly flammable.

The Process: Cleaning Your Glass Smoking Pipe

Whichever method you choose, alcohol and salt or vinegar and baking soda, first get out a large Ziploc bag or a Tupperware container.

Place your pocket piece in the bag or container, and then pour either the baking soda or the salt over the top of it. Shake it gently to make sure that the salt or baking soda coats the pipe and gets inside the bowl and stem.

Once the pipe is thoroughly coated, pour the vinegar or alcohol over the top of the pipe, filling up the bag or container to the point that the pipe is completely submerged. Next, you can take a break; leave the pipe to soak for at least 30 minutes, or longer, if the buildup is particularly bad.

Come back anytime after 30 minutes have elapsed, and get a toothbrush or a Q-tip (or both). Retrieve the pipe from the solution and use the brushes and Q-tips to gently scrub out any areas where visible tar remains behind. These little tools come in handy for cleaning out the bottom of the bowl or reaching in towards the stem around the mouthpiece.

After you’ve cleaned off your pipe, rinse it very thoroughly with warm water to remove any lingering residue or cleaning solution. For particularly dirty pipes, you can repeat the process, as soaking it again in a cleaning bath of either vinegar or isopropyl alcohol can help to dislodge stubborn residue.

Just be sure to thoroughly rinse out your pipe after you’re finishing cleaning, then set it to dry out completely before you intend to use it again.

Come Visit One of Our Smoke Shops in South Florida!

Looking to clean a more intricate pipe or some heady glass that’s fragile and will need some more care and attention? Don’t be afraid to call up or visit one of our smoke shops in South Florida! We pride ourselves on our customer service, and if we can help you enjoy a better smoking experience, we intend to.

Contact us with questions at 954-530-9357 or come visit one of our head shops in Pompano Beach or Fort Lauderdale!