How to Clean Your Glassware and Improve the Taste of Your Cannabis
Nothing can ruin a fresh hit of beautiful Northern California craft cannabis like the acrid taste of leftover burnt residue. Dirty bong water does nothing to improve it either. Knowing how to clean your glassware and regularly doing so is the number one thing you can do to ensure each bowl is flavorful, offering a true taste of your chosen strain.
We’re fortunate to live in a region that offers world-class cannabis which means strains rich in delicious terpenes, the compounds responsible for the delightful tastes and aromas of each strain. Don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to experience the nuances of your cannabis by being lazy about cleaning your gear. Ideally, clean your glassware between strains or whenever there’s a resin build-up.
Here are a few tips to clean even the most gunked-up glass in no time at all.
Putting together a quick glassware cleaning kit is very affordable. All you need is isopropyl alcohol, pipe cleaners or cotton swabs and a small glass bowl or sealable plastic bags. Add rock salt or a bag of rice if you’re cleaning a bong. If you feel like splurging, add a small set of flexible brushes for scrubbing hard to reach areas.
Pipes: Set It and Forget It
You can’t get much easier than this cleaning method. Set it up before you shower, or some other activity and it’ll be done by the time you return.
For a glass pipe, just place it in a container and fill it with alcohol. Small pipes can be mostly submerged in a baggie or small cup or bowl. You want the alcohol to remain in contact with the most resinous parts of the pipe, the bowl and mouthpiece. Depending on where the carb is, you may need to prop it on its side at a slight angle. Go do something. When the alcohol has had some time to work, simply remove the pipe from its bath and rinse thoroughly in warm water. Run a pipe cleaner or cotton swab through the openings to clean out any loose residue. Rinse again. Dry. Done.
Tip: For larger pipes, fill the pipe with as much alcohol as will fit without spilling out. Plugging the carb can help keep it in the bowl while it has time to work.
Bongs: Shake It Clean
Bongs require a little more work. Disassemble it and clean the smaller parts using the techniques above. For the main body, empty out the dirty water and then rinse with warm to remove any loose particle. Add a good amount of the salt or rice. These are your scrubbers, so add enough for it to be effective based on the size of your bong reservoir. Add your alcohol, ideally enough to cover past your waterline and let it sit for ten minutes or so.
Upon returning, cover the opening of the bong with hand on top and finger plugging the down stem. Now shake! Shake, shake, shake! Swirl and shake, jiggle and shake, create your own technique to make sure the mixture reaches all parts of the bong. When you’re satisfied with the results, rinse thoroughly with warm water. Use a pipe cleaner to scrape out any remaining residue in the down stem and small parts, VERY CAREFULLY. Be sure to replace any cracked or chipped pieces. Rinse again and dry. Fill with clean, filtered water and enjoy a fresh packed bowl.
Tip: Use fresh water in your bong at every session. Emptying out stale water and storing dry when not in use will reduce unpleasant odors.
Don’t want to use isopropyl alcohol? Substitute vinegar or purchase a commercial bong cleaner like Formula 420 (requires no abrasives).
That’s everything you need to know about how to clean your glassware.