When passing your pipes, dab rings, and bubblers, you want to keep them as clean as possible. By doing so, you impress your friends and create a more hygenic smoking experience for everyone. Heady rigs and similar glass pieces can easily become full of gunk, debris, and even mold.
Any type of buildup leads to nasty smells and tastes while smoking, and it can also bring bacteria into your lungs. This is why it’s essential to clean your gear regularly with the right tools. While you should always talk to the professionals at your smoke shop about the best cleaning methods for your rigs, this simple guide will provide some basic tips.
How can you clean your gear?
Glass rigs seem complicated to clean, since they’re often designed with intricate curves and edges. However, if you clean the rig frequently enough, you can get it thoroughly clean every time. The key is to not let too much gunk build up — this simplifies the cleaning process significantly.
To properly clean your glass pieces, start by pouring out the dirty water. Use warm water to carefully rinse out the inside. Once you’ve flushed out the rig, fill it with a cleaning solution. You can buy a special cleaner from a smoke shop or you can make your own. To create an effective cleaning solution at home, mix rubbing alcohol with salt. Fill the rig with this solution and cover the holes with your fingers. Shake the piece until you notice the residue start to come loose. For smaller rigs like pipes, you can place the piece in a plastic bag to thoroughly clean the inside and outside.
Once the rig looks clean, pour out the solution and rinse it with water. If there is still residue in the piece, clean it out with a cotton swab or pipe cleaner. Then you can fill the clean bubbler or pipe with fresh water for smoking.
How do you prevent mold growth?
With water sitting in your glass rigs, you might be worried about mold growth. While this might seem daunting, regular cleaning and prevention is the best way to keep mold growth in check. Clean your rig at least once per week to remove any traces of mold from the glass. You should also rinse out the water every time you use it. It’s also important to prevent surface scratches on your rig, as these grooves can be ideal for mold.
Can you prevent stains?
When smoking your rig, you might notice stains on the inside of the glass. Often, these marks are caused by hard water. The mineral content in tap water creates a residue on the inside of the bubbler, dab ring, or pipe. By using filtered water in your rig, you can prevent these stains. If your rig already has stains, you can still use vinegar or lemon juice to remove them. Follow the above cleaning method and carefully swish one of these liquids through the glass piece. This keeps your rig shining, and you’ll be proud to keep it on your coffee table or shelf.
Remember that a dirty glass rig isn’t just smelly and embarrassing — it can also be a health hazard. By rinsing the rig regularly and cleaning it thoroughly, you can keep the glass free of mold, bacteria, and residue. If you have any concerns about how to properly clean your rig and prevent it from staining, be sure to talk to someone at your smoke shop. They can give advice on how to clean specific rig designs and which methods to use.