How To Clean A Glass Pipe

Glass Pipes -

How To Clean A Glass Pipe

A glass pipe, a portable and handheld device, used to smoke cannabis, is a common item for smokers. After long-time using, you must find that your favorite glass pipe develops resin and other nasty residues. No one likes smoking with a dirty pipe. What's worse, a dirty glass piece doesn’t work as well as when it’s perfectly clean. For an optimal smoking experience, it’s important to clean your pipe regularly. 

The following article will introduce two cleaning methods, using boiling water and alcohol. Below is a step-by-step guide of these methods to clean and maintain a glass pipe for optimal performance, smoke purity, and longevity of use. 


Method 1: using boiling water

It’s generally safe to boil a glass pipe if you do it right. The boiling method allows resins to be removed from areas that cannot be accessed using a pipe cleaner or brush. It can, however, be tragic if done incorrectly. This method might be the fastest and easiest for you. Many go about this cleaning method without incident, so give it a try.


First, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Pot (that is not for cooking)
  • a cotton swab or pipe cleaner
  • Dish soap


Step 1 Remove any protracted ash or gunk

In the beginning, you need to do the basic cleaning for your pipe. Knock-out your pipe to make all the loose resin out with a cotton swab wiping and dislodging any larger gunk particles. Rinse the pipe out with warm water. Do not use cold water, as the transition from cold to boiling water may break your pipe.

Step 2 Boil some water in a pot

Ensure the water is enough to cover up the whole pipe. Note that the cleaning water in the pot will be nasty and stink up the pot. So it's better to use a pot that's not for cooking. This is because the resins from the glass pipe may be difficult to remove from your pot. And the smell from the boiling water will be unpleasant so you' better boil the water with the exhaust fan on.

Step 3 Cooldown the pipe in the pot for 15 mins

Turn off the power when the water is boiling. Instead of taking out your glass pipe, allow it to cool down with the water in the pot for 15 minutes. Then you just shake the pipe to wash out any resin that might have clumped. 

Spet 4 Use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner to remove any excess residue

Spill the dirty water and fill the container with warm water and then add some soap to the water and gently clean the remainder of the resins with a cotton swab or pipe cleaner.


Method 2: using alcohol and salt

Isopropyl alcohol is a harsh cleaning agent. Many say that the glass pipe is being toxic after soaking with isopropyl alcohol and avoid using alcohol to clean their favorite glass pieces. Actually, it is safe to use on cleaning glass pipes. You just make sure and rinse really well with warm water after the cleaning process to remove any leftover isopropyl. 


First, you still need to prepare the following materials:

  • A cotton swab or pipe cleaner
  • A ziplock bag or resealable plastic bag
  • Dish soap
  • 90% isopropyl alcohol
  • Large plastic container
  • Table Salt
  • Lemon Juice (optional)


Step 1 Remove any loose gunk from the pipe.  

Hold the pipe upside down and gently tap to remove any remaining particles. Then use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner to remove any large, easily dislodged bits of resin you can reach. 

Note: Don't risk breaking the pipe to get at tough spots, as you only need to get anything big and easy to reach off now. This will help the alcohol clean the rest of the pipe faster.

Step 2 Place your pipe into a Ziplock bag or a resealable plastic bag with isopropyl alcohol

Try and purchase 90% isopropyl, as it will clean the pipe faster. Place the pipe inside, making sure it is fully soaked in the fluid. 

Step 3 Add a Teaspoon of Table Salt

Alcohol dissolves resins while the salt offers some scrape that helps in scrubbing away the resin. Try and use the biggest grains of salt you can find -- kosher salt is usually your best bet. 

Step 4 Shake the pipe in the bag

Shake the bag for 1-2 minutes or until the pipe is visibly clean to get rid of as much resin as possible.

Step 5 Soak the pipe for several hours and repeat in the morning to clean very dirty pipes. 

The long-time soaking will help to thoroughly dissolve the resin. After a few hours soaking, shake it up again. 

Step 6 Rinse out the pipe with hot water. 

After cleaning the pipe, rinse it off first with clean alcohol and then use clean hot water to remove any remaining alcohol and salt. After just discard the rest down the toilet, as it can stink up your sink and pipes if left undisturbed.

Step 7 Clean out any remaining spots with a pipe cleaner or cotton swabs. 

Wipe off any little spots, dipping the end of your tool in some clean alcohol to get rid of any persistent stains. To remove any water spots or non-resin stains, soak the pipe for 10-15 minutes in a mixture of warm water and lemon juice. Then let the pipe dry.



Smoking with a clean pipe is not a desirable thing. The longer resin sits and builds up the harder it will be to remove. So what you now should do is to do the basic cleaning and maintaining daily or weekly. Prevention is the best medicine for a glass pipe. Cleaning your pipe frequently allows for much easier cleaning. You want to taste the smoke, not the resin.

Contact us if you need more advice on how to clean a glass pipe and keep your device perfectly clean!