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How to Clean Cannabis Accessories

Keeping your glass pieces or vaporizer clean is essential for its proper function and longevity. A quick sweep after every session, as well as a thorough detailing every few sessions, keeps your device working like new for sessions to come. Our guide details how to clean your devices, step by step. 

How often should you clean your pieces?

Cleaning and maintaining your cannabis accessories should be a regular practice. Make sure to remove any consumed cannabis or loose residue from the chamber or bowl after every session. Without doing so, it will become more difficult to thoroughly clean your devices – not to mention, this results in a more enjoyable session the next time you want to consume.

At minimum, you should thoroughly clean your device after every few sessions – after every third session is a good rule of thumb. Failing to clean your device frequently can lead to the buildup of sticky cannabis residue, which can impact the overall quality of your session, detract from the flavor of your cannabis, and clog the pathway and mouthpiece.  

What do you need to clean your device?

Luckily, cleaning and maintaining your cannabis accessories is a simple task. Depending on the type of device you need to clean, you will need most or all these items:

  • Rubbing alcohol, ideally 91% isopropyl
  • Cotton swabs
  • Water – boiling or normal temperature for rinsing
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Soft cloth and/or paper towels

Once you have these tools assembled, it’s time to start cleaning your device.

Considerations for material

Cleaning methods will vary depending on the item you’re cleaning. Not all the materials listed above will be appropriate for each device. For instance, isopropyl alcohol is extremely effective at cleaning glass pipes and metal vaporizer components, but it should never be used with silicone-based items. Similarly, accessories with electronic components like vaporizers cannot be submerged in water or alcohol. 

How to clean your devices

Every device has its own individual considerations, and you should always consult an owner’s manual whenever available – especially when it comes to electronic vaporizers. However, these general guidelines can help you understand what’s needed and the steps required to clean your cannabis accessories.

How to clean glass pieces like pipes

Pipes range in size and shape, from small handheld pieces to large bongs. Depending on the pipe you choose, maintenance and cleaning can either be relatively quick and easy, such as on tiny bowls, or a bit more involved, such as on ornate glass pieces.

Use the following general steps to clean most pipes:

  1. Empty the bowl and remove any obviously loose material. If you are cleaning a glass bong, take out the downstem.
  2. Glass pipes can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol or dipped in boiling water. If using boiling water, put the pipe in the pot of boiling water, reduce to a simmer, and let the pipe sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If using alcohol, fill a container like a mason jar with alcohol and place the pipe inside. Let the pipe soak in the alcohol for several hours, or even overnight.
  3. Rinse your pipe to remove and dislodge loosened residue.
  4. Use a pipe cleaner dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean any narrow pathways. Cotton swabs may be used for the bowl and crevices.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 if needed.
  6. Allow piece to dry fully before using.

Your pipe should look squeaky clean after following this process. 

How to clean vaporizers

Vaporizers require different care than conventional glass pieces due to their sensitive electronic components. That means they cannot be submerged in water or alcohol like their glass pipe counterparts. Instead, rubbing alcohol can only be applied to certain components of the vaporizer. 

Here are some general guidelines for cleaning your vaporizer:

  1. Separate out removable parts such as the whip or mouthpiece. Depending on your device’s instructions, you may wish to clean these parts separately according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Remove all loose flower or residue buildup from the device’s chamber. Note that you may need to heat the device to loosen any stubborn residue, especially if you use your vaporizer with concentrates. Avoid opening the chamber while the interior is hot.
  3. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove any residue in the chamber. 
  4. For portable vaporizers, dip a pipe cleaner in rubbing alcohol and run it through the vapor pathway.
  5. Allow piece to dry fully before reassembling and using your vaporizer.
  6. If you wish to clean the outside of your vaporizer, take a soft cloth and gently wipe off any grime.

While these general steps often apply to most electronic vaporizers, the owner’s manual should detail precise care procedures to ensure your device remains in working order for years to come. Consult this manual before cleaning.

How to clean devices made of silicone

Silicone pipes are often more resilient than glass pipes – they are much less likely to break if dropped, and sticky cannabis residue comes off easier. However, their cleaning protocol are different: Isopropyl alcohol can weaken and degrade the material, and its use should be avoided.

Use the boiling water method to clean any device made of silicone. If your pipe has removable metal or glass parts, such as bowl inserts, those can be removed and cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Allow your piece to dry thoroughly before using.

Device care is critical to a positive cannabis experience

A dirty or clogged device can ruin your session, impacting both the cannabis flavor and how your piece functions. The best way to combat this is to keep your devices maintained and clean after every use. Whether cleaning a large glass pipe or a small silicone piece, it takes just a few moments of care and attention after each session to remove loose debris and make deep cleanings easier. With the right maintenance regimen, you’ll enjoy many more sessions with your devices for years to come.  

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