Care and cleaning of your glass pieces

Discussion in 'Marijuana Methods' started by stinkyattic, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Hello all,
    I just wanted to post up a thread discussing pipe maintenance. There used to be a resin cleaning guide, but I and others feel that smoking resin really isn't a legit medical method- Old resin inside your pipe is not really something desirable to smoke, even though, yes, it does serve in a pinch.
    I'm more interested in methods of getting resin buildup out of your pipe so that your smoking experience is as pleasant and healthy as possible.
    A clean bong is a happy bong!
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  2. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Storage and preventative maintenance

    You can keep your pieces cleaner by following a few simple pointers.

    -Even if you don't NEED a screen, it's often a good idea, since it keeps excessive ash and plant matter from sticking to the inside of a pipe which is already sticky with resin.

    -If your bong accepts an ash-catcher, I highly recommend one. The main body of the bong stays MUCH cleaner, and a small ash-catcher is relatively easy to soak compared to a large bong.

    -Removeable sliders (bowls) for your bong are great, instead of a carb'd bong (these seem to be becoming pretty rare anyway). I like to keep about 2-3 of them in rotation, and immediately after use, I soak them in a plastic tub of isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) to prevent resin buildup. Right before use, I take them out, stick a Q-tip up the downstem to get any remaining resin out, rinse well under hot water, dry, and use. This method also works for smaller hand-pipes.

    -Rinsing out your bong with very hot water after use will minimize crud buildup and give you more time between cleanings. I like to rinse mine out and then let it dry. Storing your glass water-pipes 'dry' IMHO is the best way. That dirty pondwater smell is just yucky, and I fear the bacteria that could be living in there...

    -To protect your investment, you can cut a length of PVC pipe of a diameter large enough to accept your prized glass piece. End-caps are sold to go with every size of PVC, and you can just wrap the bong in bubble wrap, slide it in, cap off the pipe, and not have to worry about accidental breakage.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  3. FakeBoobsRule

    FakeBoobsRule Smackdown Moderation

    Yeah, I want to first of all talk about the differences between resin and tar.

    The follwing is a copy and paste from another source but I don't think he will mind. I couldn't say this better if I tried so I'm going to use it and hope that he won't get upset!

    According to the dictionary, tar is a “dark, oily, viscous material, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons, produced by the destructive distillation of organic substances such as wood, coal, or peat.” Keep that dictionary out, some big words in there. Actually, I’ll save you the trouble by putting it into easier terms. Tar is a dark, oily, and sticky material. It’s mainly carbon and hydrogen, taken in the form as methane, gas, and benzene, liquid. Tar is made when a solid object, like cannabis, is heated. Heating starts the process of natural distillation, in that volatile vapors are released from the plant matter leaving the more fixed substances behind. Put it this way, the evaporation of water, its condensation into clouds and its precipitation as rain is a good example of natural distillation.

    Since I have the dictionary out already, we’ll move along to the back of the book and check out resin. Ah, here we are. Resin is a “clear to translucent yellow or brown, solid or semisolid, viscous substance of plant origin.” We’ll break this one down too. Resin can range from a clear or white color to a translucent yellow or brown. A prime example would be Bubble hash, which can come in varying grades from white, or clear, to a yellow or amber to brown. It can be solid, like when it is bricked up, or partially solid, like sand. Resin is very sticky, and it is produced naturally by the plant. Cannabis secretes resin, and if you have ever had bud so sticky that it holds to a wall, then you know what I mean.

    It’s a common misconception that the black goop that’s on every piece you own is “resin.” I hope you understand the differences between resin and tar now.

    You can call it pipe residue, residue, or anything else you want, but just be aware you are not actually smoking resin, or hash, or kif. Pipe residue consists of (1) ash, (2) plant particles, (3) tar, (4) aldehydes, (5) hydrocarbons, and (6) cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, which are at unknown levels.

    Me personally, I like to use hot water first of all as it usually works well. Next step is to use an alcohol and rock salt mixture to clean your piece. I also recommend using pieces that are made of pyrex if you can find them as they clean much easier and are resistant to breaking too.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
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  4. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    So your glass piece is dirty? Let's clean it.

    I'm going to go through two examples, one for a spoon or hand-bubbler, and one for a bong.
    If you like, I highly recommend picking up a pack of assorted fish tank cleaning brushes at the aquarium supply section of your favorite box store- it's like $3 and worth every penny.

    Let's start with your cleaning solution. There are several commercial cleaners on the market, but they can be pricey and I don't feel that they are good enough to warrant the high cost. These solutions have two basic components: A solvent, and an abrasive.

    Cannabis resins and the tars resulting from their combustion are soluble in a non-polar solvent, or one that ACTS non-polar. In your house, you probably have a few of these laying around- paint thinner, kerosene, rubbing alcohol, even that dusty bottle of Bacardi 151 you haven't touched since discovering pot, lol... :D However, not all of these solvents are appropriate for this task, as they leave nasty residues. True alcohols have the GREAT property of being 'miscible' with water, which is a polar substance. So even though the tar doesn't DISSOLVE in the water itself, it dissolves in the carrier solvent, which then mixes with water and can be completely washed away. This is actually the concept behind an isopropanol hash extraction but that's another story for another day.
    So the solvent you want to use is Isopropanol rubbing alcohol, at the highest concentration you can buy. I believe you can get 90% iso at pharmacies. The second choice would be high-proof booze but that's REALLY inefficient, expensive, and less effective.
    Other, higher molecular-weight hydrocarbons such as fuels and paint thinners are very dangerous and should NEVER be used.

    What do you want that will gently rub away caked-on tars and other residues, but not damage the glass?
    Salt is great. Table salt works passably, but if you can get something chunkier such as Kosher or Rock salt, that's even better.
    Why does salt work as an abrasive? It's because it is only significantly soluble in a polar solvent (=water), and in a nonpolar solvent, retains its solid form and sharp edges. But there's water in your rubbing alcohol? No problem, you are going to use EXCESS salt, so that the water is saturated, and no more can dissolve.

    Let's try your spoon bowl or a slider first, because these items are small.

    Take a 'snack' or 'sandwich' sized ziploc baggie that is large enough to hold your piece. Don't skimp on the quality- the heavy duty name-brand bags are less likely to fail and leak dirty resin-slop all over you as reward for your efforts! Now put in a couple hefty scoops of salt, trying to get a bunch of it INSIDE the pipe, and then pour in enough rubbing alcohol to submerge it. Seal the ziplock, and put the whole thing in a larger ziploc, and seal that.

    Now shake it. HARD. You'll soon see little black flecks in the liquid- that's your buildup. Keep shaking until you think the piece is clean. Add more salt and alcohol if you need to.

    Now take it out, swish it briefly in the alcohol, and rinse it out under really hot tap water. Inspect and repeat if necessary. If there's a stubborn spot, take one of your aquarium brushes and dampen it with alcohol, then dip it in more salt and scrub away! You can use the 'dirty' alcohol/salt mixture for the second cleaning if you see there's enough solid salt in there.

    Your bong is a little harder, but not quite. It helps to have a pair of corks for it- one to fit the opening to the downstem, and the other for the mouth opening. You can get corks at most crafts stores, or save them from other liquids. Champagne corks have a fat head that will, under pressure, block the opening to most bongs. The downstem opening may need you to cut a cork down to a smaller size.

    Take your alcohol and salt mixture and pour it into the bong. If the top cork is not tight on its own, you'll have to grip it in place. Make sure you have plenty of salt and shake that thing until it's clean! Again, you might have to go in with an aquarium brush to get bits of crud, especially in the angle between the downstem and body of the piece. Rinse under hot water and you're good to go!
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
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  5. FlyGuyOU

    FlyGuyOU Registered+

    Good advise both of you, but can i interject my two cents

    Don't use hot water! if its so hot you can't touch it i wouldn't use it. From my personal experiences using boiling or even really hot water makes the pipes brittle. Esp if you rinse with cold water right after **DONT DO IT if you want to keep your pipe for awhile. If you keep ontop of cleaning using rubbing alcohol and salt (I like to use Epsom salt as it has great big crystals) then just rinse with normal temperature agua.
    IDK all the technical jargon but it includes words like tempered, and valmorphanize

    ive broken several 100$'s worth of glass, sometimes with nothing more than a mere touch of my finger. i stopped using hot water and incidents of breakage have gone down too, but it could be b/c ive gotten away from Hanayama...
  6. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Scavenging 'resin' in a pinch

    I'm only including this because there is such a demand for the method. I personally would NEVER smoke the tarry residue from a dirty bong or bowl, but I understand that sometimes we find ourselves in an unexpected dry spell and needing some medication.

    This isn't something you should get in the habit of smoking, particularly if you have a compromised immune system or history of respiratory troubles.

    I've seen methods for this that are very similar to an isopropanol hash extraction, but I don't like these because you end up co-extracting a lot of 'unknowns' which end up in the end result.

    Instead, I'm going to give the method which is more like a liquid-liquid extraction that I use to 'wash' the undesirable co-extractates such as chlorophyll out of my cannabutter before using it in confectionery.

    This takes advantage of the fact that the tars and resins are NOT miscible with water- different from a cleaning procedure, where you want them to be. So we are not using a carrier solvent at all.

    Take a clean stainless steel or glass saucepan and put something in the bottom that will lift your pipe up off the bottom of the pan to prevent accidental overheating from contact with the hot surface. A tuna fish can with a couple nail holes punched in it is fine. You might want to run it through the dishwasher first, lol!

    Now put the can in the pan, and fill it most of the way with hot tap water. Place the pipe to be cleaned on the can, and set the stove on low. You can manipulate the pipe underwater with a pair of BBQ tongs. Heat up the water to a simmer and periodically swish around the piece. You'll see tarry globs start to rise to the surface, and the water will get nasty looking. All the ash and plant matter is going into the water, and the tars and resins are collecting on the surface.

    When your pipe appears clean(er), swish it one last time and remove it from the pan. DO NOT RINSE OFF!!! ALLOW TO FULLY COOL BEFORE CLEANING ANY MORE!!! THERMAL SHOCK WILL BREAK YOUR PIPE! Turn off the stove and let the water cool until it is safe to work with. Now take a glass baking pan such as a small loaf pan, and scoop off the obvious globs that are floating on the surface, and pour them into the pan. It's okay if you get a little water in there too; you're going to let it evaporate off. When you've got all the globs, discard the dirty water. There is NOTHING you want in that water (arguably, there's little you want in the tar either)!!! It's like super concentrated used bong water- GROSS. You're after that brownish-amber greasy substance in the pan.

    Leave the pan in a warm place to evaporate whatever water you accidentally got in there, and when it's dry, you can scrape it with a razor blade. But seriously... it's not really all that desirable.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  7. moneyshotpb

    moneyshotpb Registered+

    dishwasher detergent in hot water......soak in cup or glass for a while,,,,spray out resin... even restores color to original in glassware
  8. 415plus5

    415plus5 Registered+

    why not use Orange Chronic cleaner. it is the best cleaner i have used and it smells good too. its 10 bucks for a bottle of it and it really does work, you dont need to use rubbing alcohol or whatever. go to your local head shop and pick up a bottle. o and dont even spend your money on Formula 420 cleaner its not worth it. Orange Chronic is the way to go.
  9. nicktheawesome

    nicktheawesome Registered+

    Right. $10 a bottle. I just got a big bottle of rubbing alcohol, maybe a liter or so, for $2. Salt is cheap as well. These ingredients will last me at least 10, most likely 20-30 washings. Orange Chronic may be "cheap" compared to Formula 420, but it still isn't cheap when you know the actual price tag for what you are paying for.

    Also, getting cheap cleaning materials gives you much less excuse to let your piece get dirty. If it costs well under a buck to make your piece look brand new, why wouldn't you do it a few times a week? I don't want to drop $10 every few days or weeks to clean my pieces. Inefficient.
  10. marijuanavillebilly

    marijuanavillebilly Registered+

    MVB = bottom rack of the dishwasher!!!
    downtube and slide goes in the delicate rack in the forks and knives.

    i only load my bong when its ready to go so nothing can get accidently bumped in to it.

    if you have pyrex or myrex glass you can dishwash them unless you have scrubbed the inside of your bong...

    the scrubbing puts small pits and scratches in your piece which allow tar/resin to build more readily making it extremely hard for the dishwasher to clean it all out.

    the scrubbing will slightly weaken the bong and could cause a stress point in the glass to rupture during heating in the dishwasher.

    if you get a new one dont put it in the dishwasher if it isnt PYREX or MYREX.

    hope this helps.
    P.S. i wash my pieces once a week.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  11. valium10

    valium10 Registered+

    Cheapest glass cleaner!!

    Go to your local grocery store and buy a product called DIP-IT, it is used to clean coffee pots. 1st -Add the dip-it to a dry glass bong not the whole box, 2nd-Fill bowl with bowling water and wait a few min. and rince with more boiling water. If bong is really dirty repeat process. When your done clean with dish soap and cool water. Enjoy.. If you try this cheap method i guarantee you will thank me and be amazed by it. It will make an old glass bong like brand new again. I have used this method for 30 years and there is no better way :thumbsup:
  12. NeverEnough

    NeverEnough Registered+

    you lost me...Resin is not legit?

    Break a bowl cry inside and find about 6 grams of resin. Resin is pure thc although its bad for your lungs. High today dead tomarrow
  13. dustyclamper

    dustyclamper Registered

    Clean it!

    I like to use 420. It's a great cleaner and it's real easy as long as you don't slam your prize tool onto something while your cleaning it. I lost one difuser that way but oh well, got another one. :D
  14. JamesM777

    JamesM777 Registered

    I heard boiling ur bowl piece is a good way to get rid of all the resin or atleast some have never tried it though.
  15. Nancy007

    Nancy007 Registered+

    I used boiling water to clean my bong, and it cracked it in half right on the neck.:(

    I bought the 420 cleaner, and that stuff is great. Put a little in a zip lock bag with your pipe, swish it around for maybe 30 seconds, then rinse it with warm water. It removes everything.:)
  16. Ub3rB0ng

    Ub3rB0ng Registered+

    Like ive said a million times,never boil your pipes/pieces. no one ever believes till they break one for being dumb ;) 420 cleaner is a waste of money,just use rubbing alcohol.

    OXCAPANO Registered

    Thanks Fam...I just got me and my Cougar some glass pipes this weekend.....

    We smoked Good..She about coughed up a lung cause she's used to Grape Swisher cigarellos...

    She seen the resin forming on her purple, gold, & cream glass pipe...& wants me to clean it & make it back pretty again....

    I am trying the salt/achohol/ziplock bag method.....rite now!!!!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  18. NobleGDP

    NobleGDP Registered+

    I clean my bong once a week.

    I rinse it with hot water after each use, but it still builds a dark ring around the top of the chamber where the water goes.

    Every Friday I use 420 cleaner on it and it cleans it up great.

    I also use 420 cleaner for the bowl, which is a slider. I soak a pipe cleaner in 420 cleaner and clean out the middle and soak the rest in a ziploc bag for a few.
  19. morongoer

    morongoer Registered

    wait, whats wrong with boiling your glass pipes/pieces? ive been doing so for quite some time and has had no problem with it. the thing that one must understand when boiling their pieces is that first you must start of with a decent quality glass. cheap glass will break on you eventually no matter what so its really not worth the money/time.

    when boiling your pieces, you must put the piece in the water when it is COLD. dropping glass into boiling water will of course crack the glass. (if you want to test it out, try it with an egg. the concept applies to eggs and pieces equally.) do not let it boil for too long, perhaps get it to a rolling boil and then turn it down to a simmer boil for 5 mins. a lotta stuff will come out guaranteed. when finished boiling, fish the glass out with something and let it sit until it fully cools.

    for BEST results, soak your pieces in a rubbing alcohol/salt solution before you boil, and rinse the piece thoroughly before the boiling process. i've seen many people pay top dollar for solutions that are equivalent to salt/alchy and i just think its plain ridiculous. (use a high power rubbing alch. [the states sell 92% isopropyl alch]. table salt should be in every home. shouldnt cost more than $2.50 USD for multiple MONTHS of cleaning.)
  20. thakiid101

    thakiid101 Registered

    the whole pot smoking world is retarted

    why is everyone using bullshit to get their glass pieces clean all u freaking need is some auto brake cleaner for 2.50 a can to blast it all out and then you flush it all out with soap and hot water and it becomes completely flawless once again, thank you very much i should have gotten paid for this seriously, remember folks brake cleaner is toxic but it leaves no residue and evaporates immediately weakening the shit out of the resin/carbon and then blasting it away with the descent pressure coming out of the can. it completely rinses away and the result is the most easily done glass pipe cleaning ever. brake cleaner ruins paint and plastic so keep it to glass pipes and you should be okay. try it youll love it, i thought more mechanics smoke pot hmm guess not go to the parts store and get a can, or case! car quest auto parts

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