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How to Clean Your Cannabis Accessories: Bowls, Downstems, and More

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

July 12, 2023 12:00 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
How to Clean Your Cannabis Accessories: Bowls, Downstems, and More

Cannabis has stepped out of the gray area of the legacy market and into the light of a legal green era. More people than ever before are embracing the cannabis lifestyle. This means more bowls, bongs, rigs, and electronic devices to be cleaned than ever before.

Soon, we’ll see cannabis accessory cleaning businesses; if we don’t, someone will miss out on a great opportunity. One-hour bong cleaning, vape device tune-ups, and professional joint rolling all have a place in the future of the legal cannabis space. For now, most of us will have to stick to doing these tasks on our own.

Cleaning your smoking accessories will increase longevity and provide a better consumption experience. Cleaner smoking devices offer better taste profiles, letting you really take in the terpenes and cannabinoids from your weed. There’s a right way, a wrong way, and a few different ways to clean your smoking accessories.

How Not to Clean Your Cannabis Accessories

There is most certainly a wrong way to clean your weed gear. When it comes to getting the resin out of your bowls, bongs, and dab rigs, you want to be careful how you go about doing this. Boiling water is not a great idea to use when cleaning out smoking accessories. You can boil down old metal pipes, but you end up with a sticky mess and a smelly one too.

Never use gasoline, kerosene, or other harsh solvents on your smoking accessories. Even if they are cleaned thoroughly and sanitized afterward, the potential residuals are just not a great idea. Not to mention you don’t want to blow up while you’re trying to clean your gear. Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to clean your gear wearing the proper clothing.

The Correct Ways to Clean Your Cannabis Accessories

There are several ways to clean your gear. Quite possibly, the most popular is to use 70% isopropyl alcohol or better (90% isopropyl alcohol works wonders). Salt can be added to the equation to help scrub away tough resin when cleaning metal or glass bowls and bongs.  There are also various products on the market other than isopropyl alcohol that boasts the ability to help clean sticky resin with ease. These products work on flower pipes as well as dab rigs, downstems, bowls, ash catchers, and more!

Here are some common items used to clean cannabis accessories:

  • Q-tips
  • Isopropyl (ISO) alcohol
  • Silicone mat
  • Alcohol wipes or old cloth
  • Salt
  • Dab tool

As mentioned, cleaning your weed gear properly will help improve its longevity and effectiveness. To clean your gear, you need to understand it. Is it glass, metal, or electronic? If it’s glass or metal, you’re in luck. Both are rather easy to clean.

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Cleaning Metal Bowls

For metal bowls, use a small knife or dab tool to remove resin buildup. After you’ve cleaned the excess resin, soak the bowl in ISO for at least 15 mins; 30-45 minutes works even better. Remove bowl and rinse with hot water and wipe dry or allow to dry thoroughly. Replace with a metal screen and enjoy!

Cleaning Glass Bowls and Downstems

Glass bowls and downstems can be cleaned by presoaking them in alcohol for 15-30 mins. Remove the pipe and add some salt to the inside. Add a little alcohol to the inside with the salt and shake while plugging the carb and bowl holes with your fingers. Hold the piece firmly and shake vigorously. DO NOT SHAKE IF YOU HAVE MOVING GLASS PIECES INSIDE OF YOUR BONG OR DAB RIG!

Pour out the mixture and rinse. Repeat until you reach the desired cleanliness. Some glass pieces used for cannabis concentrates can be mildly heated to allow reclaim to drop out onto a silicone mat to be collected and reused. Should you decide to reclaim this dab resin, be sure to do so carefully. Check out other ways to clean your glass here.

Cleaning Your Electronic Cannabis Accessories

If your device is electronic, it’s a little more complicated. To properly clean electronic devices, it is a good idea to look for a video on how to do so. For every electronic device out there, there’s a how-to video when it comes to the proper maintenance of the device. Watching one of these videos before digging into your electronic vaping device to clean it can end up saving you time and money.

Electronic devices are different. They have coils and chambers that must be disassembled and cleaned individually. Using an alcohol-soaked cloth and Q-tips will help get those sticky parts clean. Glass chambers can be removed and cleaned in the same manner as glass pipes. Once cleaned and thoroughly dried, simply put all the parts back together, and you should be good to go. Never try to take apart a battery on an electronic vaping or smoking device.

Tips to Keep Your Cannabis Accessories Cleaner Longer

Staying on top of keeping your gear clean can help you have a better experience smoking or vaping cannabis. If you dab, make sure that you clean your banger or ceramic chamber after each use. This will keep you from using a torch to accomplish this task and possibly running the risk of chasing your banger. You can easily clean after each use by using a Q-tip to soak up any residual concentrates.

When it comes to pipes, bowls, and bongs, try to rotate between a few of them. By doing this, you can avoid having a quick build-up of resin which can alter the taste of your sesh. Resin can also be removed using a dab tool or knife and saved or discarded. After removing resin, use a few alcohol-soaked Q-tips or a piece of alcohol-soaked cloth to give everything a good wipe-down on the outside as well!

It’s a good idea to soak bowls, pipes, downstems, and heavily resonated cannabis accessories in isopropyl alcohol for at least 15 minutes before starting the cleaning process for easier cleaning. After cleaning pipes with alcohol or other solvents, make sure to give them a thorough rinsing and dry them entirely before use. Keeping your accessories clean can help you have a better experience when smoking your green. Before you toss your resin, remember that it can be some potent medicine. Like reclaim, resin can be used to lace doobies, add to foods like brownies, cookies, and other sweet treats, or it can even be capsulated.

What is your favorite way to clean your cannabis accessories? Drop your favorite cleaning tools or methods in the comments below!

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