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How to Clean Your Pipe or Bong


So you have your favorite pipe that you bring with you everywhere. You use it at least once a day and you know just how to hit it so you get the perfect hit every time. However, over time you have noticed that it gets clogged very easily and sometimes it is barely hit-able. It might be time to clean your pipe out…but how?

Scraping is an option, but it is tedious and never really gets all the resin out. There are many products on the market that you can purchase to clean the resin out of your pipes, bubblers, and bongs however, prices can run $20 a bottle or more, so it can get expensive quick.

I love the taste of smoking a fresh bowl of dank weed out of a clean pipe so I clean my pieces regularly. I have used most of the cleaners on the market and I have found the best, most cost-effective cleaner out there you can get for five bucks or less.

How to Clean Your Pipe or Bong

You will need two items. You can find them anywhere.

clean your pipe

A canister of salt

clean your pipe and bong

A bottle of Rubbing Alcohol


Pour some rubbing alcohol in the chamber and add generous amounts of salt. Then, swirl the solution around until all the resin has been loosened or dissolved and rinse it out with warm water.

Pipes and Bubblers

Just get a zip lock baggy and pour some rubbing alcohol and salt in it. Then, put your pipe in the bag and shake vigorously. If the resin in your pipe is super thick, let it sit overnight in the bag to let the solution soak in.

After the resin is broken up, just rinse the pipe with warm water. If there is still some resin remaining, just repeat the process until it is gone. Just let it dry and it will taste and hit like a brand new piece.


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  2. How do u clean the pipe appropriately without ruining the resin to smoke it afterwards.

  3. Edit…..try to pour with a small funnel cascade down into the bubblers or glass pieces.

  4. Use just plain ole Cascade dishwasher powde, get a plastic container run the hottest tap water throw bubblers or glass pieces submersed.

    Let sit overnight in the morning get a clean container and throw pipes in and rinse well under hot hot water. If resin still remains repeat again steps above. Brand new pieces everytime! Been using this method for years.

  5. So it seems the colour of my pipe went away with vigorous shaking in the bag filled with the alcohol and salt..but maybe it was just the resin making the colours look darker from within? Did I take the paint off or was it merely resin?

  6. Add some lemon salt after it will taste a lot better and you’ll be able to taste the buds ?

  7. Rachel Olivia Renee McManimie on

    Cleaned pipe with alcohol and salt ….taste very nasty after make me sick run for the bathroom sick duck that never again

  8. Nicolette Kline on

    Can I use regular alcohol instead of isopropyl? It’s flavored vodka if that helps. Thanks

  9. if you are boiling a pipe or bowl to clean it, place it in the water with the bowl facing down. the resin with liquefy when it boils and will all come out of the opening of the bowl

  10. I always do a dry hit before I smoke out it to see how it taste. I’ve been cleaning my bongs/bubblers like this for years and never got sick. Just make sure you rinse it out couple times.

  11. Yes. You can smoke it and it will get you high. The taste is kind of bad so be warned, it might give you a headache. It won’t upset your stomach though or make you sick.

  12. If she was using heat in the cleaning process, it should smell considerably worse than if she had been smoking. Expecially if she used the boiling water method. I only ever made the mistake of doing that indoors once. Lol

  13. HoneyBadgeress on

    WTF, not only could it kill you, if it doesn’t you could become blind. Any idea where the blind alcoholic bum trope came from? Well, it came from bums drinking isopropyl during prohibition. And now you know!

  14. HoneyBadgeress on

    I would use an ethyl alcohol solution, vodka and salt anyone? Any clear drinking alcohol would be fine. Ethyl alchol may take I tad longer but it will not harm sterling. You may want to try it w/o salt first. The major function of the salt is a gentle abrasive. You don’t want your pipe all scratched. FYI, ethyl alcohol is also great for cleaning jewelry except opal and pearl. Much more gentle than isopropyl.

  15. Does cleaning any weed paraphernalia make it smell like you are smoking pot? Nothing against smokers but I live in a strictly no smoking house, but the new roommate in the basement hotboxed the entire house. She said she was cleaning her stuff up and that she was going to quit but that she wasn’t smoking. Pretty sure cleaning them shouldn’t make it smell like she was smoking for hours on end.

  16. I use isopropyl alcohol, 90% works quickly. I don’t soak long and use a non-abrasive chenille stem [pipe cleaner from craft store]. Rinse well and air dry. Enjoy!

  17. What about acetone chemical byproducts?
    Is it healthier than Isopropyl alcohol?

    I’m sure some chemical molecules are left off if not rinsed with enough water that are more dangerous than Isopropyl.

  18. Actually you can use 99% isopropyl alcohol mixed with salt and a Q tip, just put one end of the Q tip in the alcohol and proceed to clean it with that end, the alcohol will evaporate almost instantly and it’ll clean the resin fast, and you wont have to flush the heating/coils. Then do a quick rinse with a lightly wet end of a new Qtip and gently clean off the parts you put alcohol on and then dry it with a new, dry end of a Qtip. Hopefully this helps.

  19. I have a dry herb vape pen, Grenco Science’s G Pen Pro. I have a significant amount of buildup on the chamber walls, and I’d like to know the best way to clean it. Obviously I can’t just pour a solution into the chamber, as it will destroy the heating element. Any ideas?

  20. Acetone works quicker/easier/better then anything I have ever used. its a chemical that is specifically made to break down resins/epoxy. All you need to do is put it in your glass, slosh it around & watch the resin disappear. Its designed to be fast drying but make sure you wash it out really well before taking the next hit.

  21. and kills you too. Try RezinOFF..the cleanest cleaner on the market. No VOCs..the stuff that kills you. Acetone, Alcohol, Mineral spirits – all are not healthy to clean your pipe. Would you wash you dishes with acetone? I get my RezinOFF at thickassglass.com

  22. I have a sterling silver pipe, does anyone have any clue of what I can clean it with that’s safe? Please!

  23. You can’t without boiling it unforunately, you could try scraping it out that sometimes works

  24. Isopropyl is the breakdown agent using vodka or a liquor won’t work as well, if at all because there’s no isopropyl in it. You might even end up getting more shit in your pipe so dont do it

  25. Ya it works so good that it will strip the paint of blinds From your house windows. LOL

  26. Water will dissolve salt where rubbing alcohol doesn’t, similar to water and oil. And no alcohol won’t work. Maybe ever clear, something with a high alc %

  27. Nah, the point of the rubbing alcohol is to form a light acid with the salt, water wont be as effective

  28. To 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.


  29. I have a routine I do a few times a WK I like a fresh tasting piece , I bought 1 of those screen type ( metal) sink catchers ,I use rough bristled pipe cleaner to get the resin &particles out while running hot water in the piece & everything falls into the drain catcher , than I take Denture cleaning tablets 2-3 put them in a tall plastic container (coffee creamer container work great) Put your piece in there fill with hot tap water until its covered let it start fizzing twirl the container gently a few times let it sit & soak (about an hr) remove the sink catcher pour the water out slowly rinse with hot tap water you may have to use a pipe cleaner to get anything lingering, Dry fresh piece, Now for the strainer nothing but my pieces get rinsed over that I let it dry & save it &recycle all that resin &particles in a can & use that when things are low ,Also empty done pieces in the same can ,buy a mesh sifter &sift out the ash you’ll be amazed at the good stuff there to indulge we call it Trash Can ,recycle where you can ,don’t know about bubblers but shouldn’t be hard to figure it out if you choose my method.

  30. Just drop your pipe in a glass of leftover beer for a few hours, It will clean the resin out ( beer will also remove resin from your hands ) and you won’t feel half bad for not finishing that beer last night : )

  31. Jow do you clean your glass pipe and save the resin…other then boiling it(live with my dad).

  32. Oxy clean works wonders and is relatively inexpensive for as small of an amount as u have to use. So your piece in a container full of water with a little oxy clean for a few hours then rinse with hot water. It comes out headshop clean.

  33. I don’t bother with salt, just the rubbing alcohol in a old plastic bowl, soak it overnight if really or just a few hours and rinse well. Might need a qtip for some areas. I have several smoking pieces so I’m never without :-)

  34. 91 percent rubbing alcohol swish it around the pipe until clean then pour onto a siramic plate(the liquid should be thick and black if you have enough resin)then light it on fire to dry out the alcohol. While its burning, carefully swish the liquid around the plate to prevent it from getting too hot in one spot of the plate (do not let anythimg fall off the plate) blow the flame out 3/4 of the way through after about 2 minutes light it again and let it burn itself out .grab a razor blade and scrape the resin off the plate and pack it. (Anything under %91 won’t work because all the alcohol won’t burn on its own ) *this method works great but the room will smell like rubbing alcohol and resin foran hour or so

  35. Kurt Romines on

    acetone or finger nail polish remover. removes the thickest of gunk in less than a minute every time. rinse well and good to go. also works very well with a q-tip on vape pens. better than ANY product made specific for this job.

  36. Ronnie nd jessie on

    Use white vinegar with salt nd rubbing alcohol in spray bottle then let it dry bye using a hair dryer

  37. different chemicals Have different effects on different plastics,, astrid,,did U even test ?? I’m not saying it will eat through a ziploc will melt through

  38. Bonesaw – amputate fingers. BE CAREFUL though! Only remove the affected fingers, or you’ll be really sorry the next time you want to smoke.
    Or you can use the same thing suggested here, rubbing alcohol. Or any type of hand cleaner mechanics use – Fast Orange, Lava soap, Gunk, etc.

  39. Take everything out and wet a paper towel and dab on the foam and grab some perfume and put it on paper towel let it dry but not all the way and dab the foam with the paper towel with the perfume should work always does for me

  40. Does anyone know how to clean and deodorize the case your pipe has been in? Gonna go on an airplane soon and soap and hot water isn’t cutting it. I have a “shellz” case that has foam built into it that is not removable. Thanks!!

  41. Use the tablets they sell to clean dentures . place pipe in small bowl and 3 tablets . add warm water . for a bong place bong in shallow pan and add 6 tablets. add just enough warm water to cover bong. works on glass metal brass etc.

  42. I wouldn’t suggest using a wood pipe due to the extra carsenogens your inhaling when the flame burns the wood product.

  43. Another tip for cleaning pipes with the ziploc method: I throw in a couple Q-tips in the bag with the pipe and alcohol/salt. That way when cleaning it out, you can use the Qtips to clean out the resin, makes it a lot easier.

  44. what if its really dirty like its all black and taste like shit to smoke do u boil it longer or what

  45. If you have access to an air compressor, Heat your pipe up in the oven no hotter than 150 degrees F. and blow all the built up resin and black out. Works very good

  46. If you have access to an air compressor, Heat your pipe up in the oven no hotter than 150 degrees F. and blow all the built up resin and black out. Works very good

  47. Darlene Mathis McDaniel on

    I just put my pipe in water, bring to a boil for about five minutes. Take out let cool and dry. Good as new.

  48. I use Rubbing alcohol buy itself. At least 91% (Dollar General) for around a buck. After an overnight soak I let the utensil soak in Dawn for a little while then rinse with tap water. I can not taste the alcohol and there is no residue at all the shine of the glass and or metal is like a new tool! Been doing this for over thirty years. I have had pipes I cleaned like this and was found by cops that were returned to me because they could find no resin. DLH

  49. I was about to ask the same question as Charles Edson Rogers Jr.: I have a small wood pipe I always keep in my pocket to take a hit whenever I want in the day (in the toilets or anywhere else I can hide), it begins to be seriously dirty and clogged, though I clean it often and scrap the resin, but it’s clogged again very soon, how can I clean my wood pipe ?

  50. I have a glass bong i clean it with vinegar
    and Bi Carb Soda then soak it
    overnight in Vanish (Nappy San)

  51. Ravarshi Kashaku on

    this gives me a question and an idea. When people make Rick Simpson Oil using alcohol what if they used a flavored alcohol? like the aboveformentioned peppermint Shnapps? say you coat your weed in that, shake it up to pull off the THC, double boil the alcohol off, then vaporize it on like a Dabber Bong, would it flavor the dab?

  52. Ravarshi Kashaku on

    why would you ever throw it away, just retire it until you learn of a new means to clean it like this. only reason you should ever throw a piece away is if it’s large enough to be hazardous, and then only if it’s hazardous.

  53. Charles Edson Rogers Jr. on

    Doesn’t anyone have a Coppabola bowl like I use? Its heavy duty wood from South America and how do you clean wood?

  54. Cindy Harris Lamprecht on

    used to use “smokers pollident” in a sink, cause the foam will come out of the top of your pipe..tried the rice and rubbing alcohol, but makes more sense to use the coarse salt with the highest proof alcohol they make, right at your local dollar store.*not* the type you drink..good grief. Anyhow; thanks for the tip; been an..ongoing issue for over 30 years; I am a long time cancer fighter who knows why I have made it “a long time”. *salute*

  55. if your cleaning pipes just use rubbing alcohol and if you want to use the reson again which you can and it will get you high as fuck you can put a tray out and fill your pipes up then let them sit you pour the reson out and let it dry on aluminum foil the alcohol will disapate after a while and you can smoke if out of your pipe on the foil just fold it up poke holes in it put it in light up

  56. Well to funny but good. i read all the post. i do understand what ya all saying. but really. im 40 been smokeing i was 12… just sit down at the table grab your scrapping tools an go to hell. cry alittle if your fingers get a bit dirty. i love my bud dont get me wrong. when the time is right. ill scrape my bong boul. smoke that bad boy rezin. an enjoy my nice body high.

  57. I’ve used hot water and lemon juice and let it soak for a few hours. Tastes a whole lot better than the rubbing alcohol and gets the job done.

  58. Gwydion Myrrdin on

    I’ve been playing with bowls, stems, water pipes (both hookah and those designed for 1 “drag”) as well as hand rolled cigarettes for about 45 years…151 — Bargain Brand — and some coarse salt works beautifully…any alcohol aftertaste is pleasant…I then store it in a jar until needed again…I dont happen to enjoy the taste of Rubbing Alcohol hence my reason for 151…

  59. Grad school here, just finished my masters and I’m in a PhD program. I have a great job in social services, and I have both my education and my smoking habit to thank for that. Can’t wait for it to be legal so everyone like us can “come out” and change the public’s idea of what a pot smoker is

  60. Michael Leonard on

    Alcohol leaves a residue and is poisonous and will scratch you glass, Quit being a cheep ass and buy some liquid pipe cleaner. The term Bong refers to a drug pipe and in most states it is illegal to sell drug pipes so call them water pipes!

  61. I don’t think going to a smoke shop and spending more money on a “solution” (that is probably some version of rubbing alcohol anyway) is easier than going to the grocery store and picking up a 97 cent bottle of alcohol and a box of kosher salt (which will last you many many cleanings).

  62. what I do in terms of smoking rezin…so called…. I take a big chunk and spredit over a small piece of foil then under burn the bitch

  63. I would think it safer to use grain alcohol or high proof booze, because I would never think of wasting a resin buzzzzzzzzzzzz !

  64. Shirley L Roy-Poche on

    You are perusing this blog why? Well, this is the leaf that made the paper break; you are a lefty-living stalker, a liberophile – You can’t stand us but can’t stay away from our sites and our blogs with never anything good to say about your side except how much they hate hate hate and Won’t allow this and that in the USA – we lefties and our standards and practices are like a drug to the tea-pee’ers and Christian right and I hope very soon you will finally overdose and be done and gone; That’s what I have heard your ilk say about “druggies”, “let them go there, they deserve everything that happens to them because of their behavior”, and you supporting lies and greed and a criminal industry, and hate and prejudice, and corporate personhood and defunding of public education. You do your drugs and we will see to it that all can smoke weed and use weed as a product and end this Disposable Goods World that was created for Stock market only. Time to end the market as we know it, toss it and start again, once these hate mongers have all OD’d and the populations can progress.

  65. yer a rookie..been at this over 40 years.. you need sea salt.. its coarser,. and works better.. also iso suks when burned.. be sure to rinse thoroughly

  66. I use DMSO now to clean my pipes. MIx it half and half with HOT water and it will clean it as good as new in less than a minute.

  67. circleofwitches on

    sorry Cut but that is not a very good reply. I am 56 and have smoked pot for forty years. I write music, play piano and guitar and do a little drumming. I have a song on an album and its about a friend dying from coke overdose. I am against drugs. Pot does not fall under the category of drugs….considering people can smoke it when they are pregnant and delivering babies…it is not a bad thing at all…and remember no one in history has died from pot use yet prescription drugs , alcohol, and cigarettes alone have killed millions.. what do you think about all day long?

  68. trichome_chromedome on

    yeah, actually it’s not. The higher concentration of alcohol breaks down the resin faster. The 30% in the alcohol is just saline, which won’t do much except make your alcohol weaker.

    Ideally, 99%, available at graphic arts stores works the best. I do however like John’s idea using the peppermint schnapps.

  69. Dude…no. 1) The difference in concentration for the isopropanol if you used 70% versus 91-94% is extremely minimal. The difference is a few extra shakes and 91-94% IS too much for many applications it’s commonly used in.

    2) Isopropanol COMES IN PLASTIC BOTTLES and definitely will not dissolve a Ziploc bag. Did you even test this? Or…take chemistry? If you did, did you…pay attention in chemistry?

  70. Is someone out of weed? Or maybe out of weed because you are a lazy fuck with no job you idiot!!

  71. Warm it up and boom..! clean and smells so much better, the first hit from it is amazing!!. So minty fresh…

  72. Whata Toolsack on

    You really need to note two things.
    1) 70% Isopropyl alcohol is a complete waste of time. Get the 91-94%
    2) IF you DO decide to leave your pipe in a ziploc bag AS DESCRIBED above, Put it in a bowl or something. Isopropyl Alcohol will EAT the plastic and you can leak nasty smelling shit everywhere. This is Chemistry 101.

  73. I’m guessing he or she was speaking in a slightly jocular tone, but it nonetheless shows the ignorance of society. I in fact graduated summa cum laude at the University of Maine, and smoked rather often. I would argue that to a point smoking weed has no correlation with lower grades. But of course, any activity, done in excess, can be so consuming that it has negative effects on your academic or professional life. However, you don’t see people shunning those who drink wine with dinner as if they are incoherent alcoholics. Such is the downfall of ignorance: to scorn one deed but to hold no disdain for an equal action.

  74. this is a pot-pocrisy on

    would you be able to use Ethyl rubbing alcohol rather than Isopropyl rubbing alcohol or does it have to be Isopropyl?

  75. Salt and rubbing alcohol WILL NOT WEAKEN GLASS. THIS IS 100% SAFE FOR YOU AND YOUR GLASS. Nothing will, that’s easily accessible, other than rapid heating and cooling. That is why lab equipment (beakers, flasks, graduated cylinders, etc) is boro glass.

    This is the right way to clean your pieces, be it soft glass or boro. Though you may want to rinse with alcohol before the water to remove the salt, it keeps the salt stains down. Otherwise this is spot on. Corks are really useful here, $3 at your local hardware store, no more stained hands.

    Glassblower and lamp worker.
    Majored in chemistry

    But it will weaken wood over time by drying it out. But you can rub in a mineral oil (think cutting board rub) and bring it back.

  76. Acetone is the best to clean anything that is glass, but just for reference there is no such thing as 100% rubbing alcohol, for the same reason that drinking alcohol doesn’t go higher than 95%.

  77. Salt and rubbing alcohol will slowly weaken your glass. Use a biodegradable all purpose cleaner (like simple green). use a 1/4-1/2 bottle for my 2.5 foot. let it soak (use warm water + simple green) shake and empty. safer for your glass.

  78. I usually put a wine bottle stopper in my downstem hole and fill the bong up with 2 scoops of oxyclean and the rest hot water, swish it around, let it sit for about an hour, and itll make the grimiest glass look brand new.

  79. It’s called a High Functioning Smoker. We live our lives to the extent that we can. We proceed to do the daily things everyone else does. We go to work or to class, we have strong relationships in our lives and continue to smoke because it is part of who we are. We do not flock to your posts to immediately denote anything you have to do or say, but instead we sit back and listen. Focus on ourselves and the people in our lives. We do not openly attempt to verbally punch anyone we disagree with. Because sometimes those people strike back (Judgemental Much, chenzo, The Truth, Grown in Fresno). We don’t have the vaguest idea about who we all are, but because we have something like this we are instantly more connected to each other than you (Cut Ur Hair) is to anyone else.

  80. microwave the alcohol for 10-20 seconds before you dump it in your bong, it takes that resin right out, normally you don’t need salt

  81. I’ve smoked weed for 40 years.Haven’t killed anyone,raped or robbed anyone.I’m a singer/songwriter of some note,and have found it brings out my most creative moods!
    Keep your liquor,bring on that bud…bud!

  82. Thanks very much for the tips on cleaning my fav pip[e my fiancee bought me a very inexpensive pipe but is is beautiful and i couldnt smoke out of it anymore due to built up resin and was about to throw it away so thank you so so so much!!!!!

  83. Fortunato GP on

    I personally smoke everyday. I finished high school last week 7th in my class of 200+ and I’m now getting a full scholarship to a private school. Not all people who smoke are lazy good-for-nothings.

  84. Exactly. I have smoked for years to ease my migranes so that I CAN be out in the work force instead of sitting at home collecting disablity. Obviously Cut, you don’t realize that our first president was a hemp farmer, our first car ran on hemp oil . Why don’t you do a little bit of real research before you go judging those you don’t know. The majority of “stoners” do work and hold jobs and have taken the time to educate themselves on a variety of issues in the cannabis community and it seems that you should do the same. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  85. a friendly face on

    To save the resin you rinse your piece with just the alcohol and pour it out into a pan. Once you get all the resin into the pan you put the pan over a boiling pot of water. This will safely burn off all the alcohol and leave only resin on the bottom of the pan. scrape this off and have fun smoking!

  86. Judgemental Much? on

    Wow, how about you educate yourself before making yourself look like an ignorant asshole? I smoke the shit out of some weed and I’ve held down 18 hours at work AND maintained a 3.25 GPA. All of my friends who smoke are in college and have higher than a 3.0 GPA. Yeah, WE’RE part of the fucked up part of society…

  87. i use acetone, it brings the glass back to new and the acetone evaporates, leaving no chemical residue or smell 100% alcohol does the trick too

  88. Grown in Fresno on

    Cut UR Hair…..
    Be nice, be supportive or go home. We have parents (or did) that can tell us what to do.
    By the way, if your mother had cancer and was in pain and not eating…would you be so disrespectful if she got the help she needed from a pure weed?
    I don’t think so.

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