Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 29, 2022

The two essential steps for an enjoyable cannabis smoking experience are high quality cannabis, and a clean bowl, glass pipe, bong, or dab rig – depending on what your preferred method of cannabis consumption is. Without a clean smoking utensil, the smoking experience won’t be as enjoyable no matter how good your cannabis product is (plus, a dirty glass pipe or bowl will result in a harsher hit). 

So, in order to help you clean the gunk, grime, and buildup on your mouthpiece and weed smoking gadgets with ease, we made an easy how-to guide that’ll help you keep your cannabis smoking gadgets in top condition. We’ll incorporate a wide list of options ranging from cleaning solutions, rubbing alcohol, q-tips, paper towels, salt, and even pipe cleaners, so keep on reading if you’d like more information on this subject.

The Best Method for Cleaning Glass Pipes and Bowls 

If you search online for ways to clean your cannabis smoking equipment, you’ll find a thousand and one different methods. Some recommend cleaning your cannabis smoking devices by placing them in boiling water, while others recommend using harsh chemicals. However, there’s an easier way to do this by using only natural ingredients.

The baking soda and vinegar method is not only used to clean dirty pipes or weed bowls, but also a lot of different corners around the house. A lot of methods involve using harsh chemicals, but this one is 100% safe and you probably have all the necessary products at home already. Let’s see how it’s done.

The Baking Soda and Vinegar Method

To clean your glass piece, you’ll just need a few household items such as:

  • Baking soda;
  • White vinegar;
  • Pipe cleaner or cotton swabs;
  • Ziploc bag.

And now, let’s get into the cleaning process!

The Process

The first step towards cleaning your dirty pipe or bowl is soaking it in baking soda and white vinegar. To do this, place the pipe in the Ziploc bag, cover it well with baking soda, fill the bag with white vinegar, and seal it tightly. Keep in mind that this process results in a bubbly reaction so make sure you’re doing this in an area that can get wet (such as the bathroom or the kitchen). 

Once you’ve filled the bag with baking soda and vinegar, leave the bowl to soak for at least 30 minutes (leave it longer if you have a lot of residue on your cannabis smoking equipment). Shake the solution every once in a while to make sure that the solution gets into all the corners of the weed bowl, such as the mouthpiece, carb hole, etc.

After the bowl has soaked enough, take a pipe cleaner, cotton swab, or a bong brush, and start scraping the residue resin from the bowl. If scrubbing gently doesn’t remove the resin, try using a paper clip or a safety pin to gently scrape the surface (make sure you don’t damage the bowl), and scrub once more using dish soap.

Finally, all that’s left is rinsing the bowl thoroughly with hot water. Make sure you have thick rubber gloves on so you can handle hotter water, and then leave your equipment to dry.

If this method wasn’t enough to help you clean your smoking device, you may want to try more abrasive cleaning methods, and this next one will definitely do the trick for you.

The Epsom Salt and Rubbing Alcohol Method

All you’ll need to have your dirty pipe or bong as clean as when it was new is:

  • Rubbing alcohol (91% or 99% isopropyl alcohol);
  • A salt mixture (you can go for Epsom sea salt, some other coarse salt, or even table salt);
  • A commercial pipe cleaner (omit this is you don’t want to use harmful chemicals);
  • A sink area.

The Method

Empty the residue weed or other materials from your smoking device and rinse it with warm water. If you’re using a bong, empty the dirty bong water before you proceed with cleaning the device. It’s a good idea to use higher water pressure to wash away larger chunks of resin.

Next, you can add the salt and alcohol solution, and immerse the glass piece in the solution in a ratio of 2:1 (alcohol to salt). If you’re cleaning a smaller piece, you can place it inside a Ziploc bag and add the solution to the Ziploc bag to cover the piece, while for larger pieces, add the solution inside the main chamber and close the downstem opening to prevent leakage.

Shake the Ziploc bag vigorously to ensure that the salt starts scraping the resin and the alcohol starts breaking down the resin. Continue shaking until you have a clean glass. For some extra care, soak a q-tip with alcohol and start scraping away any resin you see still sticking on the piece and wipe down the whole piece with an alcohol-soaked paper towel to remove any dust and dirt that stuck to the outside of the glass.

Finally, rinse the piece thoroughly with water and scrub it once more with a cloth and dish soap. Leave it out to dry, and you’re ready for your next cannabis smoking experience.


Similar to how you’d use a clean glass for drinking your favorite red wine, smoking from a clean weed bowl, glass bong, vaporizer, or one hitter is essential for an unforgettable smoking experience. When you take good care of your cannabis smoking devices, you can always go back to that first experience when you’ve just purchased your new and clean pipe from the local head shop. And remember, the more frequently you do this, the easier it’ll be.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.