how to clean your cannabis gear
how to clean your cannabis gear

The Complete Guide to Cleaning Your Cannabis Bongs, Pipes, Dab Rigs, and Vaporizers

How do you keep your green machines clean and resin free?

Posted by:
Nanci Chi-Town on Monday Sep 13, 2021

A Clean, Green, Fighting Machine: The Complete Guide to Cleaning Your Cannabis Gear

how to clean your cannabis gear bong rig vaporizer

There’s nothing worse than taking a smooth rip only to be greeted by the taste of resin and dust. Not only does unkempt herb gear soil even the highest grade of flower, but it also stinks up your home and clothing. Avoid harsh hits and foul odors by sticking to a habit of cleaning all your favorite pieces.

Keeping your smoking accessories clean is an essential step in any seasoned stoner’s routine. Some smokers opt for rinsing out the rig after every session, while others commit to a thorough cleaning session every so often. Whichever practice you choose, cleaning your accessories involves a few essential tools and steps. Consider this complete guide to cleaning your cannabis gear. 


How to clean a dab rig

Wax concentrates quickly build up in the intricate percolators of a dab rig. To loosen up the herbal gunk, you can use a few things. Start by bringing water to a boil and let it cool for a few minutes before adding it to the piece. Cover the nail space and mouthpiece with a paper towel or plastic wrap and shake roughly for a few minutes. Once the resin is dissolved, pour out the solution and wipe clean. 

If your rig requires a more heavy-duty method, swap out the hot water with room-temperature isopropyl alcohol. Add a bit of salt to exfoliate stubborn wax and shake until the rig is cleaned. By regularly cleaning your piece, you can keep hand-blown rigs like those from MJ Arsenal looking good as new. 


How to clean vape pens

Glass pieces are best paired with liquid solutions and salt, but you should take a different cleaning approach when dealing with a vape pen. Instead, arm yourself with a trusty brush and get to work on the parts where gunk builds up. Take the pen apart into as many pieces as you can and focus on dusting each thoroughly. For challenging areas, dip a cotton swab in acetone and gently brush over it.

If you fail to implement cleaning rituals in your rotation, built-up gunk will leave your vaporizer working harder (not smarter) during your daily smoke sessions. In a worst-case scenario, a neglected vape pen will heighten your risk of inhaling harmful bacteria, sabotaging your high. 


How to clean a pipe 

If you’re a cannabis circle frequenter, give your toking tool some much-needed TLC. To start, select your cleaning solution of choice or make a concoction of your own with rubbing alcohol, table salt, and dish soap. Once that step is complete, fill a reusable plastic bag with said solution, as this vessel will allow for total pipe submersion. If this pipe-friendly soaking bath pops your cleaning ritual bubble, try alternative methods.

Instead of a saline solution composed of Epsom salt and rubbing alcohol, get creative and opt for a salt and vinegar solution, a fizzing baking soda and vinegar combo, or the dynamic duo of sand and water. For best results, freeze your glass piece first, which will allow the resin to harden.

If a baking soda and vinegar bath proves to be a bust, stick with the old tried-and-true: boiling water. Once your water reaches its boiling point, let the piece soak for approximately 30 minutes before de-bathing. After a quick towel dry, your pipe will be ready for your next session.

But how often should you bathe your glass pipe? Surprisingly, experts recommend that heavy consumers cleanse their pipes once every one to two days. If regular salt and rubbing alcohol baths can’t squeeze into your tight schedule, cotton-swab touch-ups are a must. Otherwise, germs will cling to the stem, and a slimy biofilm can grow, spiking your risk of infection. 


How to clean a bong 

Much like cleaning a pipe, isopropyl alcohol is a must-have ingredient for bong cleaning sessions. To set harmful bacteria up in flames, create a mixture of alcohol diluted with hot water. Then, pour the solution into the well-loved bong of your choice. For spotless results, ensure you shake up the grime-eradicating mixture. To do so, ball up a crumpled paper towel to seal the bowl joint and mouthpiece. If your DIY fix is translating to a subpar and spill-prone clean, invest in rubber caps for your bong. That way, you can shake up your cannabis gear maintenance routine—without turning your bathroom or kitchen into a makeshift splash pad.

Note that, in a pinch, vinegar and coarse salt is a viable substitute for rubbing alcohol. Whatever pre-smoke-session solution you choose, be sure to clean your bong at least once a week. Though, bong-cleaning welcomes a more-the-merrier approach. If you can’t make it a day without a trusty bong rip, aim to clean your bong once daily.

Why? For one, you’ll feel flower’s effects faster, and the hit will be worlds smoother. Besides heightening your highs, your clog-free bong will help you conserve bud—music to a seasoned smoker’s ears. 


Use household items

Ditch the pricey cleaning solutions and use the goods lying around in your bathroom cabinet. Of course, isopropyl alcohol is a tried-and-true cleaning solution for glass. Pair the liquid with salt and leave it in your piece overnight for the best results. To combat hard-water stains both inside and outside for piece, white vinegar is a powerful adversary. In terms of tools, you’d be surprised at how efficient cotton swabs and the average toothbrush work to remove the built-up resin. Gently twist them down stems and percolators to clean hard-to-reach stains. 


Don’t forget the accessories

Make sure to spend some attention cleaning heavily used herbal accessories. Keep your trusty grinder in tip-top shape by disassembling and submerging each piece in boiling water. After a few minutes, remove them from heat and let sit for about thirty minutes. Once the grinder has dried, scrub with a toothbrush and leave to dry. Don’t forget about your smoking bag, which can quickly become cluttered with runaway herbal crumbs and dead lighters. Go through your kit every few months and reorganize the essentials. 

Green and clean

Make the most out of your smoke session by maintaining a well-kept cannabis kit. Luckily, cleaning your favorite pieces is simple with the right cleaning tools and solutions. 








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