The Smoker’s Guide to Spring Cleaning

Hippie Butler Smoker's Guide to Cleaning Smoking Accessories Image

Perhaps it’s time to do a little spring cleaning, or maybe you find yourself in need of a fresh start. It’s amazing how simply giving your room and your gear a little tender love and care can refresh your entire spirit and make your next smoke session more enjoyable.

For those of us who lack the inspiration to put on the cleaning gloves, we suggest that you light up before you start. Smoking before you clean will make the entire experience more blissful. If you’re unsure of where to start, don’t fret! Your Hippie Butler has you covered with this comprehensive smoker’s guide to cleaning your smoking area and smoking accessories.

Clean Your Smoking Session Area

It would be a mistake to think that keeping a proverbial “clean house” as a smoker begins and ends with your gear. All that’s important, too, and we’ll get to it in a moment — but think about where you’re having your smoke sessions. Here’s a simple checklist to consider:

  • Check your couch for forgotten treasure. You’ll be surprised how often you turn up a lighter or that chillum you lost six months ago.
  • Vacuum the floors around your cozy spot to get all the sadly-unsmoked bits of product. Don’t forget to move your furniture around to get at all the crevices.
  • Wipe down your counters and tabletops. There’s likely to be some more little crumbs and bits of residue.
  • Take a good look at the ceiling above your common smoke spots. Could they use a good wipe-down/dusting?
  • Have midnight munchies contributed splatter to your microwave? Wipe it down.
  • Are your curtains holding onto the old stench of smoking residue? It might be time to give them a wash.
  • Do you have any empty jars, lighters, or other old smoking items cluttering up your drawers? Donate them to your friends so they can be well-loved. Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Have you aired out your room recently? Open up the windows to let in some fresh air, then give your space a liberal spritz of an odor remover to replace the stale smoke smell that can often linger.

How To Clean Your Glass Water Pipes

It’s not just your smoke sesh base camp that needs to be kept in good order. Your tools need it, too — and cleaning your intricate, often delicate smoking glassware is probably not the kind of thing your parents ever taught you how to do. So let’s go over the basics, shall we?

How Often Should I Clean My Glass Water Pipe?

It might not be immediately obvious how often you need to clean your glass pipe, but consider that a dirty pipe impacts not only the taste and harshness of your smoking experience but can be downright unsanitary. Still water can breed bacteria and other microorganisms that you probably don’t want to be inviting onto your lips and into your lungs.

For heavy users, cleaning your pipe every day or two just makes sense. You should be using freshwater with your pipe every day. Regardless of your usage level, allow your pipe to dry completely before storing it away. If you see a discolored, slime-like biofilm inside a glass piece, don’t smoke from it before thoroughly cleaning it.

What Is The Best Way To Clean My Glass Water Pipe?

Simple soap and water struggle to clean water pipes because there are hard-to-reach areas inside a pipe that you won’t be able to manually scrub. As a result, a whole field of commercially available glass pipe cleaners that will get the job done thoroughly has cropped up. These products are formulated to scrub and dissolve common build-ups of grime and residue, with only simple shaking or soaking of the pipe components.

How To Clean Your Pipe On a Budget

  1. Rinse and scrub accessible glass pipe components (mostly the bowl and exterior) with hot water. This helps loosen burnt plant matter and lift sticky resin.
  2. Use a pipe cleaner dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean a glass bowl’s narrow chamber. You probably grew up associating “pipe cleaners” more with children’s arts & crafts sessions than with actually cleaning pipes. But here’s your chance to actually put those fuzzy metal sticks to their intended purpose. Hippie Butler recommends the purpose-built Zen bristle pipe cleaners, which will work to reach tough resin stains and will easily bend to reach even the most serpentine pipe’s nooks and crannies. Scrubbing the narrow chamber with the brushes of a pipe cleaner can be quite effective, just make sure you don’t do it too aggressively or you can scratch the glassware with the metal core of the pipe cleaner.
  3. Create your own pipe cleaner solution. In a gallon Ziplock-style bag, combine your isopropyl with an equal quantity of coarse salt. This solution can be an effective scrubber, but for that reason, it will be quite harsh. Avoid prolonged exposure to your skin and wash your hands afterward.
  4. Apply the solution to your glassware, wait, then shake. It’s recommended you perform this step over a bathtub or sink, but be careful not to accidentally damage your pipe on any faucets if it’s a tight workspace. Plug the holes of your glassware with durable tape (or wadded-up paper towels if you don’t have any), so you don’t get leaks. Now fill your pipe with your cleaning solution. Allow it to soak for at least an hour. Once it’s soaked thoroughly, shake the pipe safely but vigorously in small circular motions — pretend you’re mixing paint. Count to sixty.
  5. Drain and rinse your glass pipe thoroughly with water. Over your drain, remove your makeshift plugs and allow the dirty cleaning solution to drain from your glass piece. Rinse with warm water from the tap for thirty seconds to a minute to flush out all of the residue.
  6. Give your water pipe one final scrub and rinse. For an extra clean, now’s a good time to give it one last careful scrub with a dry pipe cleaner. Any lingering residue should by now be primed to lift off, resulting in a like-new clean state.

Hippie Butler offers some additional great cleaning solutions if you want the best results and the convenience of pre-prepared products. If you’re looking for an organic solution that’s both eco-friendly and free of solvents, there’s the ResRemover Pipe Cleaner, which just requires you to add water. Its makers promise it won’t scratch or dull your glass, which is a definite plus as well!

Hippie Butler ResRemover Pipe Cleaner Smoking Accessory Image

For the high-end consumer, the Zen Ultrasonic Cleaner presents the most high-tech and convenient way to clean your gear. Using simple tap water and 42,000 kHz frequencies similar to the Waterpik technology recommended by dentists around the world for maximum oral health, the Ultrasonic Cleaner will get your compact glassware sparkling again.

Hippie Butler Zen Bristle Pipe Cleaners Cleaning Smoking Image
Hippie Butler Zen Ultrasonic Cleaner smoking accessory image

How To Clean Your Herbal Grinders

Admittedly, the need to clean your grinder doesn’t always seem as obvious as the need to clean your pipe. They don’t get the caked-on buildup of resin and residue of an herb bowl, nor the musty funk of a neglected water pipe. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to keep your grinder sanitary. After much use, they can become covered in a layer of fine, built-up plant matter that can even harbor mold. Thankfully, grinders are relatively easy to keep clean with just some occasional TLC.

  1. Separate your grinder components. The simplest grinders may only consist of two toothed halves, while more premium examples contain multiple chambers for storage and the like. Disassemble your grinder now.
  2. Clean with a dry toothbrush. Take an old toothbrush you’re no longer using for dental hygiene — or buy a spare one from the dollar store for this purpose — and begin to gently scrub the surfaces of the grinder to remove dry debris or pollen. If your grinder has a screen for collecting pollen, make sure you don’t warp or otherwise damage the screen while cleaning it.
  3. Brush with rubbing alcohol. Pour some isopropyl alcohol into a small bowl and repeat Step 2, this time wetting the brush with the alcohol to give every surface a disinfecting clean. Pay extra attention to the grinder’s teeth, making sure to really get at their edges and corners. You can also use cotton swabs dipped in the alcohol to broadly get at any hard-to-reach corners and polish the outside of your grinder.
  4. Clean with warm water. Once you’ve cleaned your grinder, you’ll want to thoroughly remove the alcohol. Place all of your grinder’s pieces on a rolling tray and rinse each piece in your sink for 1-2 minutes under warm water.
  5. Dry the grinder. Using a thin towel or rag, dry between the grinder’s teeth as best you can. As the whole point of this cleaning exercise is to eliminate the conditions that can foster mold or bacterial growth, drying is an essential step not to be skipped. Feel free to use cotton swabs or even a hairdryer to get the job done, and let the pieces dry out, separated from one another, in the open air. You may wish to let them dry out overnight, but it’s not necessary if you’ve got another smoke sesh on deck — just make sure everything’s dry before you use it because wet herbs will stop a party before it’s even begun.

How To Clean Your Rolling Trays

We’ve covered how to clean your glass and your grinder, which means the most complicated part is over. Still, the sticky residues and concentrates that can build up on your rolling tray can prove to be quite an irritation all on their own. Here’s how to fix it, depending on what your tray is made of.

How to Clean a Metal Rolling Tray:

  1. Remove dry matter. Wipe down the surface with a dry paper towel to remove any lingering debris, dust, or organic matter.
  2. Spray with vinegar, wipe down, and rinse. Using a spray bottle filled with vinegar or a similar gentle household cleaner, coat the surface of your tray and allow it to sit for 10-15 seconds. Then take a clean washcloth and wipe it down. If your tray is stainless steel, take care to wipe in the direction of the grain both for maximum efficacy and to prevent scratching. Then rinse the cleaning solution from the tray in the sink.
  3. Dry. Once you’re satisfied with the clean, give your metal rolling tray a good wipe-down with a dry cloth or paper towel. If it’s tin, make sure you wipe away all the beaded water, or else you might get rust.

How to Clean a Plastic or Wooden Rolling Tray:

  1. Fill your sink with soapy water and soak the tray. In a clean sink, submerge your tray in sudsy hot water for 15 minutes to loosen any rosin and residue.
  2. Scrub gently using a soft washcloth or dish scrubber.
  3. Pat down and air dry your tray.
Raw Metallic Rolling Tray Cleaning Smoking Accessory Image
Hippie Butler Rolling Tray Cleaning Smoking Accessory Image

Organize Your Smoking Kit

Now that you’ve done the hard work of spring cleaning your smoking setup, reward yourself by upping your smoking game for the coming year. Having an organized, well thought out setup will help you keep on top of your cleanliness. You’ll leave an impression on your friends or dates, and enhance your next session.

Hippie Butler Quick Qikk Case Image

One great place to start is with a convenient, travel-friendly zip-up bag to keep within easy reach of your hangout. Quik Wikk’s developed a case for storing all your hemp wick and smoking accessories, with a soft-touch interior that will keep your prized (and now clean!) pieces in a safe spot. It comes in different colors and patterns to suit your taste, and is discrete enough to take with you wherever you’re headed!

Final Thoughts

If you’ve made it through this list and completed all its tasks, then congratulations! You’re the proud resident of a refreshed and replenished home with a total vibe upgrade. You’ve conquered the grime and scoured the scourges that can bedevil even the best of us, and have shown the world you know how to have fun while keeping good care of your valuable smoking accessories.

While you’re being a busy little cleaning bee, why not keep riding that productive wave and also make sure your glass pipes are insured? With Hippie Butler’s Pipe Protect program, you can make sure that your precious glass pipe is protected.

Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a little reward, now that you’ve invested in your own well-being! There’s no feeling quite like packing a fresh bowl in a like-new piece and enjoying the pure, unsullied taste experience it can offer. You’ll be surprised you didn’t do it sooner.

We love hearing from you! In the comments below tell us your favorite ways to inspire yourself to clean or your DIY tips and tricks to cleaning your smoking area and gear.

How often do you clean your glass pipes?

Erinn Holman

A millennial writer who's passionate about alternative medicine, the smoking industry, and the Oxford comma.

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