So you like to enjoy some high-quality tobacco in a more traditionalist fashion like a glass smoking pipe or in a water pipe. Not a fan of cigarettes, no problem. You can enjoy smoking your tobacco all you want in your glass pipe because here are the best and most effective methods for cleaning all your smoking paraphernalia.
How to clean your water pipe:
This is perhaps the easiest and most efficient cleaning method for all your glassware. Not only does boiling sterilize and kill anything left over residue or microorganisms that may be growing, but boiling water will reach even the smallest spots in your pipes that paper clips or swabs cannot reach. This method does not work well with wood, ceramic, acrylic, or any type of plastics and is only recommended for heat-resistant glass, stone or metal. Use caution when trying to clean a pipe that has been painted because the paint may wash away or loosen, which may be hazardous to you if the pipe was produced outside of the US (loose restrictions on types of paint used).
Alcohol and Sea Salt Bath
Soak your glass pipes in a rubbing alcohol and sea salt bath for at least a day or more. By soaking in the mixture, the resin build-up will loosen up allowing you to finish cleaning with cotton swabs. Pour rubbing alcohol and sea salt in a sealable bag and place pipe inside. Shake until well mixed and let soak for at least 24 hours.
Vinegar and Sea Salt Bath/Boil
This is another sworn-by method of cleaning various tobacco pipes. Just like the strategy mentioned above, except you substitute vinegar for rubbing alcohol. You can bring the solution to a boil with the pipe or let the pipe soak for 24. There is one word of caution when trying this method and that is sometimes certain pipes with etched, finished or painted surface may blemish.
Acetone and Sea Salt
Not to beat a dead horse, but the same two methods above can be replicated using acetone (nail polish remover) instead of rubbing alcohol or vinegar. Make sure that you clean using this method with gloves, goggles and perhaps a mask in a well-ventilated area because acetone is not the best to breathe, can irritate the skin and is extremely flammable. Once cleaned, make sure to rinse your pipe thoroughly.
Tablets that are used to clean dentures or retainers sometimes work very well, depending upon how dirty your pipe is to begin with. Take a small bowl and fill it with water, place your pipe in and add 3-4 tablets. The tablets will start to fizz and bubble; this is part of their cleaning process. The carbon in the tablets breaks down when put into water causing carbon dioxide (CO2) to form thus helping the breakdown of any build-up or residue left behind on your pipe.
With the increasing popularity of smoking using glass pipes, there has been an emergence of cleaning products specially formulated to be compatible for cleaning smoking glassware. Beware of products that are overly abrasive and pay attention to the ingredients used because oils can coat the pipes. Some of the top brands out there are Formula 420, Agent Orange, Bling, Grunge-Off, and Randy’s Black Label.
Each of the methods described above work effectively and the differences are based more on personal preference. Whatever method you choose to go with, keep an eye on your pipe each time for signs of excessive wear and tear or defects caused from cleaning. The best method is the method that will be used by you most often, cleaning your pipe more frequently will make any method more effective.
For the best selection of glass tobacco pipes, visit Smokey News in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They sell almost anything a smoking enthusiast could want like pipes, glassware, vaporizers, e-liquids, hookahs, tobacco and cigars. Bring all your questions to the experts at Smokey News and they will get your questions answered. To check out the brands of glassware they sell, visit their smoke shop in Miami.