Tars and plant material build up in glass pipes

How to clean a glass pipe

My preferred method of consuming cannabis is by burning it in my trusty glass spoon pipe. It may not be the healthiest method to get high but it’s quick and effective.

Over time and normal usage the tars that are released through combustion start to build up on the glass. Once this sticky tar is in place pieces of burnt plant matter start to stick and it starts to remind you why vaporizing is a good idea.

Tars and plant material build up in glass pipes
Tars and plant material build up in glass pipes

Above you can see how the tars have built up and ash has started to get stuck inside the pipe. The question is how the heck can you get your pipe looking as new again?

Here’s how I do it.

Submerge the pipe in methanol
Submerge the pipe in methanol

First I submerge the pipe in methanol (sometimes called wood alcohol) for degreasing glass or crystal. You can buy this cheaply from any supermarket or hardware store. I put enough in a glass jar to ensure that the dirty parts of the pipe are submerged. I use a glass jar as I’m paranoid that a plastic container may leech chemicals into the alcohol, how scientifically proven this is I’ve no idea but it satisfies me.

I then leave it over night to soak, though an hour or so should be enough time to loosen up the oils and release the particles that have stuck to it.

After an hour or so the tars start to dissolve in the methanol
After an hour or so the tars start to dissolve in the methanol

You can see from the picture above that the methanol has taken the color of the tars and also the burnt plant matter has sunk to the bottom of the jar.

I then take a few pipe cleaners and bend and poke them inside the pipe to clean out the remaining gunk. I wore rubber gloves as I did this as the methanol dries out your skin something rotten.

Using a pipe cleaner to clean your glass pipe
Using a pipe cleaner to clean your glass pipe

Once you’ve managed to scrape out the remaining tars and burnt plant matter I then give it an extremely good rinse in plain water. Methanol is poisonous so you don’t want to be inhaling any when you burn your medicine.

Nice clean glass spoon pipe
Nice clean glass spoon pipe

Leave your pipe to dry and it’s back to it’s former glory. You’ll be rewarded with a clean tasting toke to rechristen your smoking device. If your pipe is a color changing pipe like mine then you’ll see it reset to the original color.

Happy toking!

If you are a new visitor to the site then you may not know I have a book out that documents everything that you need to know to be self sufficient in your cannabis supply. From seed selection, growing and even processing and consumption. I discuss various options for consuming your cannabis and their pros and cons.

The book is called Windowsill Weed: A home growers cannabis journey and is available on Amazon in print and Kindle formats.

Windowsill Weed book cover
Windowsill Weed book cover

What’s your preferred method of consumption? How do you keep it clean? Why not share in the comments below and keep the conversation flowing.

Share This: