Smoking through glass pieces is a tried and true method. Whether it is a hand pipe or water pipe, smoking through these apparatuses has been proven to be cleaner than using the traditional wraps and cigarette papers. The harshness of the smoke is cooled and filtered through water or a clear pathway that allows the temperature in the smoke to drop; the result is a more enjoyable smoking experience. But what do you do when the gunk and grime from the dust and ash gets stuck on the inside walls of your piece? The taste isn’t what it used to be and hot water alone isn’t enough; most people leave it overnight but this isn’t abrasive enough to loosen up the residue left behind. Thankfully there have been some innovative thinkers who have invented a couple of products out on the market today that can really take the hassle out of the whole equation. Most of these fit into one of two categories either; cleaner or soaker. Finding the right product really comes down to preferences and how small your pieces are. Cleaners were made for a quick clean; some of the cleaners have formulated granules to aid in the process by rubbing on the walls of your piece. These are ideal for water pipes and bubblers as there is enough room for the granules to slip and fall without getting caught in the tight spaces. You just pour in your solution, seal your joint with a plug or rolled up tissue, and shake it up! Soakers were designed to get into the smaller nooks and crannies of a piece. As the name soaker implies they are made to be left overnight and rinsed out with warm water they’re ideal for percolators and hand pipes. Some of these soakers are reusable so make sure to read the label before you dump them out.
Formula 420 Cleaner
For years now Formula 420 has been a leader in the industry providing top of the line products most of their cleaners are the same there is a Formula 710 cleaner formulated for concentrates, an organic Formula 420 , and one designed for use with plastic or acrylic pieces even. Whichever one you plan on getting these are easily some of the best on the market hands down!
Randy’s Black Label Cleaner
A little less known cleaner goes by Randy’s Black Label. Now Randy’s has been in the game for 40 years but are a less specialized in the sense that they offer a wide array of products under their name from vaporizers to cigarette paper. Randy’s is a great cleaner that does the trick and is widely available at most retailers.
Orange Chronic Cleaner
A newcomer to the scene but surely a contender! Orange chronic is nice and very fragrant but cleans leaving no odor or after taste.
Resinate Glass Cleaner
Another respected newcomer that hasn’t been around often as the others but has received some high reviews is Resinate. It comes in unique clear packaging that actually allows you to see the contents of the bottle! This Cleaner is actually sold as a 2-1 for soaking or shaking.
The above mentioned brands also make soakers Formula 420 Soak-N-Rinse, Randy’s Green Label, and Agent Orange respectively.
Grudge Off is the mother of all soakers. This is the only cleaning product the eponymous company makes and they are proud of it. In a word this product is perfect.
In the end you may go with a combination of these products just to have a stock that can tackle any obstacle. Another inexpensive way to clean a piece well is using 97% isopropyl alcohol and sea salt; shaking it the same way you would use a cleaner, and running the mixture out with warm water. While the cleaning results are satisfying it leaves scratches behind due to the salt. These scratches make a piece look foggy and dirty over time. I wouldn’t recommend it but in a pinch it’s a great remedy. You can usually find these things lying around the house and when you don’t feel like running to the store its fine, but use this technique sparingly. Above anything else I will stress consistency. If you let your piece stay dirty for months it will take some elbow grease to get out all the grit. Regular cleanings will not only always leave a clean taste but make the next cleaning easier. With daily use I would recommend a weekly to bi-weekly cleaning. All these products are great so whichever you end up going with I’m sure it will leave you satisfied; just remember to keep your grip locked tightly unless you really dying for an excuse to get a new one.
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