How To Clean A Glass Pipe: Step-by-step Guide

how to clean a glass pipe

Glass pipes need to be cleaned periodically to maintain their efficiency, avoid buildup, and stop the growth of bacteria. If you use your pipe frequently, experts advise cleaning it once a week, or as soon as you see any buildup symptoms.

What You’ll Need

Before you begin cleaning your glass pipe, gather the following materials:

  • A sealable plastic bag
  • Paper clip
  • 99% Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Table salt (sodium chloride) or Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)
  • Dish soap

How To Clean A Glass Pipe Step-by-step

12 hours and 10 minutes are required.

Now that you have everything you need to effectively clean a pipe, follow the instructions below and remember that practice makes perfect.

  1. Place the glass pipe in a sealable plastic bag with alcohol Sift through the pipe’s bowl to remove any last bits of the flower. After that, carefully put the pipe in a plastic bag that can be sealed, and carefully add enough rubbing alcohol to completely submerge the pipe. You can also use a little sealable container if you don’t have a baggie on hand. Just remember that since you can’t shake the pipe in the cleaning solution like you can with a bag, you’ll need to let it soak for a longer period of time in a sealed container.
  2. Add a teaspoon of salt Add a teaspoon of salt, coarse. Where a real sponge or brush can’t reach, the salt will act as a scrubber or sponge on the resin. Work the salt into the pipe as much as you can to make sure it is thoroughly deep-cleaning.
  3. Let the glass pipe soak For about 12 hours, let the pipe soak in the bag or container. As a result, the alcohol will have enough time to dissolve the majority of the resin.
  4. Shake the bag Shake the bag ferociously to remove any remaining resin after the pipe has had time to soak. Again, you should skip this step if you’re using a rigid container to prevent damage to your pipe.
  5. Remove the glass pipe from the bag and wash After shaking and soaking your pipe, take it out of the bag and wash it in hot water and dish soap. Use a paperclip or pipe cleaner to try and remove any remaining, tenacious resin from your pipe, being careful not to scratch the pipe in the process. To be extra cautious, you might also try using a cotton swab. Give the pipe one last rinse in warm or hot water after cleaning it.
  6. Let the glass pipe dry Allow your pipe enough time to dry before using it once more. Repeat the procedure, being sure to add fresh salt, if your pipe isn’t as clean as you’d like. Rubbing alcohol should have largely dissolved the salt from the initial cleaning.

Note: It is not advisable to pour the sticky, resinous water from bongs, bubblers, and glass pipe cleaning down the drain. You can put it in the garbage in a zip-top bag that you use for cleaning or in a sealed container (like an old water bottle).

how to clean a glass pipe

Alternative To Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Glass Pipe

The alcohol and salt method is generally the simplest, most affordable, and most efficient method, according to experts and regular smokers. Morrissey claims he has previously used water and dish soap to clean pipes, but he always returns to alcohol because it leaves very little residue behind and is highly effective against bacteria.

While isopropyl alcohol and table salt will undoubtedly do the trick, many cannabis users also use specialized cleaners, which frequently work more quickly and require less direct attention.

Many people suggest Grunge Off, a product that doesn’t require alcohol, salt, or shaking.

Just pour the solution into the pipe, let it stand for at least 30 minutes or overnight, and then rinse with warm water.


Without Alcohol, What Is The Best Way To Clean A Glass Pipe?

You can try boiling your pipe in water as an alternative to using rubbing alcohol if you don’t have any on hand or would prefer not to. Since extreme temperature differences may cause the glass to crack and break, you should completely submerge the pipe and gradually warm the water. When the pipe is cool enough to handle, after 30 minutes of boiling, use a pipe cleaner or cotton swab to carefully scrape off any resin that is still on it.

How Quickly Should A Glass Pipe Be Cleaned?

The faster and simpler the pipe can be cleaned, the better. The most efficient and accessible technique is an alcohol and salt solution, but the rate at which you shake and scrape your pipe can differ.

How Does Vinegar Work To Clean A Glass Pipe?

In a container big enough to submerge the glass pipe, combine one part vinegar and one part water. Scrape off any resin that is still attached after letting it soak for 12 hours.

Is It Bad To Use A Filthy Pipe To Smoke?

A dirty pipe is unpleasant to smoke because resin buildup gives the smoke you inhale a charred flavor. In terms of risks to one’s health, dirty pipes are somewhat comparable to dirty bongs, which can contain toxic materials in the bong water. However, because pipes lack water, they do not have the same capacity to support microbial regrowth that dirty bong water does.


Maintaining the effectiveness of your glass pipe and enhancing the flavor and aroma of your cannabis requires regular cleaning. Regular users are advised to clean their pipes once a week, or at the very least whenever they notice resin buildup, according to experts. The most common technique is to fill the pipe with coarse salt and isopropyl alcohol, plug the holes with your fingers and shake it vigorously to remove any resin or particles that may be stuck inside.