For a long time, glass pipes were seen as the pinnacle of smoking cannabis. But now, there’s a new player in town—silicone pipes. As people look for new and exciting ways to enhance their smoking experience, it is no wonder they started using silicone pipes; after all, they’re affordable, durable, flexible, and available in a wide variety of shapes. They also look pretty good.
But as with any new thing, people aren’t quite sure how to handle and clean them. Pipe cleaning is essential to get the most out of your smoking sessions. So, how exactly do you clean a silicone pipe? Read on to find out.
What Is Resin?
Silicone, glass, and even wood pipes have one thing in common: resin buildup. This viscous liquid builds up inside your pipe every time you use it. And after some time, it clogs your pipe, thus taking the fun out of your smoking experience by making it harder to draw smoke. It can also have some pretty adverse effects on your health.
Resin typically consists of several ingredients, including oils, ashes, and cannabis plant material. All these ingredients come together to create a slimy substance similar to grease. That’s what you’ll remove when cleaning your pipe.
Methods to Avoid When Cleaning Your Silicone Pipe
A simple search on the internet on how to clean a silicone pipe will generate tons of suggestions. But some of these suggested methods are unsafe and should be avoided. Generally, try to avoid using any cleaning product that you wouldn’t feel safe about inhaling or consuming. So, if you see any of the following suggestions, DON’T try them!
- Using acetone
- Using hydrogen peroxide
- Using any other 420 homemade cleaner with shady ingredients
- Using any strong chemical-based cleaning solution: Let’s face it, the resin in your silicone pie can look pretty intimidating, especially when it doesn’t come off even when you use the best soaps and detergents. To kick their cleaning experience up a notch, some people opt for mass-produced chemical pipe cleaners intended for glass pipes and bongs. Although they manage to get the resin off, they have some adverse effects on the structural integrity of your silicone pipe and might negatively impact your health, too.
Unlike glass, silicone comes loaded with lots of tiny air pockets. So, anything you use to clean it lingers on the surface of your pipe. In time, these corrosive chemicals slowly degrade it, thus reducing its life expectancy significantly. This leads to premature cracks and tears in the pipe that eventually render it useless.
How to Clean a Silicone Pipe
There are several ways you can go about this. In this guide, we’ll cover four of the best cleaning methods that are safe, easy, and affordable.
The Dishwasher Method
In case you were wondering, yes, silicone is dishwasher safe. In fact, it’s probably the easiest way to clean your silicone pipe. All you have to do is take your pipe apart and let the hot water and mild soap work their magic.
Unfortunately, this method isn’t very effective in unclogging your silicone pipe. As such, you might still need another type of pot pile cleaner to get the resin out. That’s where alcohol comes in.
The Alcohol Method
Alcohol is one of the most common methods used to clean weed pipes of any type. This is mainly because it is very effective in cleaning both glass and silicone pipes. It’s also very easy.
To clean your weed pipe with alcohol, take it apart and submerge each piece in a container full of alcohol. For the best results, you should use isopropyl alcohol with a 70% concentration or higher. You can use either cold or warm alcohol, but warm alcohol will speed up the process.
Next, leave your pipe submerged in the alcohol for a few hours, or even overnight. Once it’s done soaking, take it out and rinse it with water to remove all traces of alcohol, then leave it to dry.
The Vinegar Method
Vinegar works just as well as alcohol when it comes to cleaning silicone pipes. The process is also basically the same, only this time you use vinegar instead of alcohol. To make your cleaning experience more effective, try adding some baking powder to the mix. The baking powder gives the mixture a coarse texture that helps scrub the sides of the pipe.
You could also use boiling water instead of vinegar for this method.
The biggest benefit of using a silicone pipe instead of a glass pipe lies in the effectiveness of the freezing method for cleaning. Unlike glass, silicone is very flexible, thus making the freezing method more effective.
Cleaning your silicone pipe with the freezing method is super easy. All you have to do is toss it in the freezer for a few hours. Once all the gunk is frozen on the sides, take your pipe out and bend it to force the gunk out.
On the downside, this method only goes as far as getting the resin out. You’ll still have to deal with the smell. Therefore, it might be a good idea to use this method and then the dishwasher method for an intensive, highly effective cleaning experience.
Tips for Cleaning Your Silicone Pipe
Before you get started, there are a few things you need to know about cleaning your silicone pipe. These tips will make your cleaning experience much easier and more effective.
- If you’re having trouble getting all the resin out of the pipe, especially if it’s been caked in for a while, try investing in a more effective marijuana pipe cleaner. You can find these at your favourite weed store.
- If your silicone pipe comes with a glass bowl, try researching the best way to clean the glass. Sometimes these cleaning methods are not interchangeable.
- Always ensure that you rinse your pipe thoroughly after cleaning if you’ve used weed pipe cleansers, alcohol, vinegar, etc. You don’t want the smell of these chemicals ruining your toking session.
The Bottom Line
Resin buildup in your silicone pipe can be a huge bummer. It makes it looks dirty and in some cases, makes it harder to draw smoke. But with the cleaning methods above, you’ll have your silicone pipe glistening again in no time.
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