How to Clean a Glass Pipe

A hand holds two clean glass pipes.

I just love smoking dried tobacco leaves with my intricately designed glass pipe. I’ve been meaning to clean it lately, but after I relax with a good heaping glass pipe full of green, white, and purple tobacco (with little red hairs), I always end up ransacking the fridge and grazing on cupboard fare – my good intentions lost as I chew and stare into space. Eventually I knew I had to have a clean pipe, as the sides were caked with resin and it excited my gag reflex. It made my habit feel dirty – like marijuana use.

I learned how to clean a glass pipe from a man with extremely long, unkempt hair, a faded tie-dye shirt, and ancient sandals. He is our town’s greatest tobacco enthusiast. He showed me how to clean a pipe quickly, using only common household ingredients – the very same ingredients that go into expensive commercial products that are used to clean glass pipes. There are many “how to clean pipe” pages on the Internet – but they are all written by degenerate hippies with clouded minds. I, on the other hand, am a responsible young Republican, and if you follow the directions below, you will have a clean pipe.

Steps to Cleaning a Pipe

  1. cleaning suppliesTo clean a glass pipe, you’ll first need to gather your supplies. You’ll need a bottle of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), sea salt, a plastic sandwich bag, pipe cleaners, rubber gloves (only because it’s gross), and cotton swabs. You could replace the plastic bag with any plastic, ceramic, or metal container if you like. You can get all this for around six dollars at any grocery store. Commercial glass pipe cleaners can cost anywhere from twenty to sixty dollars. In most cities, $60 can get you some top quality tobacco.
  2. rodin's the thinkerBefore you clean your glass pipe, decide if you want to harvest the black gold: resin. The resin from tobacco smoke, though somewhat disgusting, can be even more beautiful than smoking regular tobacco. But of course not – you’re a noble individual with pride and dignity. Harvesting the resin is below you (unless you’re out of tobacco). Let’s just continue with our discussion on how to clean a glass pipe.
  3. pouring sea salt into pipeGrab your glass pipe and force some sea salt into the crevices, then place the pipe in the plastic bag or container and submerge the pipe in rubbing alcohol.The rubbing alcohol will help dissolve the resin’s hold on your glass pipe, while the sea salt adds friction and helps scour the inside of the pipe. There are many ways to clean a glass pipe, but this one’s efficacy becomes apparent quickly.
  4. baggie of pipe and rubbing alcoholShake the bag violently while pretending to be electrocuted. I usually keep adding sea salt as it dissolves into the developing black murk. You may have to rinse with hot water and repeat this step a few times to clean your glass pipe thoroughly. To get more leverage, take the glass pipe out of the bag, cover all the holes, and shake it how you’re not supposed to shake a baby. If you don’t need your pipe immediately (papers, alternate glass pipe), you can save yourself some effort and just let it soak overnight.
  5. using pipe cleaner on pipeUse your cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to get any extra debris out of your piece. When I’m done shaking and rinsing this disturbingly phallic glass pipe, I usually have to use a cotton swab to clear the mouth piece (urethra?).
  6. clean glass pipeNow rinse the bowl under hot water one last time. You have now learned how to clean a glass pipe. If the sight of your clean pipe gets your mouth watering for tobacco right away, get rid of the moisture with a blow dryer. Use a lighter to harden and dry any resin that is left in the pipe. Slide your cursor over the picture (right) and behold. I have cleaned my glass pipe cheaply in less than 15 minutes.

The Future of Medical Marijuana and Marijuana Legalization

The past three presidents of the United States have all admitted to using marijuana recreationally in their formative years, and they probably lied about the extent of their use. Had they been pulled over while cruising to Taco John’s or wherever with their marijuana, their futures (and ours) could have been vastly different. But they didn’t get caught. They became presidents who were satisfied with the current draconian marijuana laws that rob ordinary people of their futures and besmirch their reputations.

What is permissible for Bush, Obama, and Clinton should be OK for common citizens. Currently, there are fifteen states that support medical marijuana and plenty others are pushing legislation through. This is a natural stepping stone to legalization, but getting these bills passed shouldn’t be looked at as a means to an end; it is an urgent cause in its own right. A friend of mine has Multiple Sclerosis – a disease that could be a much lighter burden if she could just get high now and then. Marijuana, for reasons still unknown, doesn’t just mask the pain, it actually treats the painful lesions associated with MS.

Whether you enjoy a clean glass pipe full of “tobacco” or not, now is the time to make noise. Write to your local and state representatives. Don’t allow our politicians to waste your tax dollars. Don’t allow them to keep marijuana away from cancer and AIDS patients. Politicians care about one thing only: getting elected. They are worried that if they support legalization in any form, they will lose the powerful backing of law enforcement and those that profit from incarceration. We need to show them that if they don’t do the right thing, they will lose the popular vote.

Alternative Ways to Clean Glass Pipes

box of efferdentEfferdent. It’s not just for your grandmother’s glass pipe (or dentures) anymore! You can clean your glass pipe by soaking it in Efferdent overnight. The sludge will slide off your glass pipe in much the same fashion it does false teeth. You can order Efferdent from Amazon if you’re…incapacitated.

pot on stovetopBoiling water.When I first learned how to clean a glass pipe, this was the method I used. Sure, it works, but it is messy, stinky (even with the oven vent on high) and it leaves a thin sticky residue on the pot and on your glass pipe that comes off only with labored rinsing and dark threats.

bottle of formula 420Commercial Cleaners.Generally, these glass pipe cleaners will work just as well and sometimes better than my aforementioned method; however, you don’t want this bottle just sitting around anywhere, lest your puritanical relations condemn you to hell forever.

old photo of guy smokingReasoned Argument. You’re wondering how to clean a pipe without supplies? Try using logic and advanced persuasion on the pipe. This is how Obama used to clean his glass pipe – resin sludge is no match for his nuanced arguments and devastating charisma.

About the Author

Jonathan Hatch Jonathan has been research writing, now, for a majority of his life. He started what is now Saint Paul Media in an web content development course in 2005 and never looked back. These days, you can find him designing websites for nonprofits in the Twin Cities, Minnesota while he learns how to be a new father.

Saint Paul Media