Keeping cannabis use accessories clean can be a chore – especially if you are a heavier user. While most cannabis users have multiple accessories available, cleaning all of those accessories at once could take an entire day. If you keep up on it, such as cleaning your accessories on a monthly basis – it may be an easier task. We’ll offer a few tips and tricks here to make the cleaning process go a little faster. We’ll also help you with tips to clean the outside of accessories as they can get just as sticky as the inside.
Cleaning Dab Nails
Dab nails get messy. The continuous burning of the nail leaves a sooty residue on the exterior of the nail. On top of the nail (and sometimes down the sides) all of the sticky leftovers of the concentrate can be pretty hard to get off.
An easy way to clean your dab nails is to put them in a pan of boiling water with white vinegar. The ratio should be 2 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. Feel free to add ½ cup rock salt to help scrub away tough spots. Allow the nail to boil for 10 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan with tongs and rinse it off. Then use thick paper towels to wipe it off.
If there is still residue on the nail, put it back in the boiling water for a minute or two and then wipe it off while holding it with the tongs.
The vinegar helps soften the concentrate residue to make it removable and the rock salt acts as the friction to help scrub stubborn hardened concentrate away.
Glass pipes can be tricky to clean. There’s almost always that one spot that you just can’t get clean no matter what you do. While there are products available specifically for glass pipes, it’s likely that you have items available already that will work just as well or better. You’ll start similarly to the method for cleaning dab nails, but there’s a little more to cleaning a glass pipe.
In the 2:1 water/vinegar ratio, add 1 cup of rock salt and ½ cup pure lemon juice (not imitation). You’ll also want to include the peel of at least 1 lemon as the oil will help peel the resin inside the glass bowl away.
Take a pinch of the rock salt and put it inside the pipe along with some lemon juice. Boil the pipe for 15 minutes. Take the pipe out with tongs and run hot water through it to help get some of the debris out. Then, take a couple of pipe cleaners and twist them together. Go in from the side and the mouthpiece, as well as the hole in the middle of the bowl portion. Remove as much as you can and put the pipe back into the boiling water for 5 minutes. When it comes out, let the water drain, then add a pinch of rock salt, a dash of white vinegar and a dash of lemon juice. Swish this all around and run hot water through it again.
Go back in with the pipe cleaners and get out as much of the sticky resin as you can.
You can also use wooden skewers to get those hard to reach places. If you have a Sherlock-type designed pipe, you may need the skewers to get those awkward curves cleaned well. Feel free to wrap a pipe cleaner around the skewer – this adds stability and helps get those hard-to-clean places a little better.
Tip: If I don’t have a skewer or pipe cleaner on hand, I just soak a chopstick in hot water and use a kitchen knife to cut strips off of it. The wood, when soaked, becomes pliable and is a little sturdier than a pipe cleaner. This is also a good idea for longer glass pipes.
Metal pipes can be a little easier to clean. They also have their challenges. Not all designs take the cleaning process into consideration. For metal pipes, you’ll use equal parts water and white vinegar and bring them to a boil in a pan. Let the pipe boil for a full 20 minutes before you start rinsing it and digging out the resin/flower debris.
Repeat until it is clean enough for use (or to your satisfaction).
Cleaning bubblers and water bongs is difficult as some can be very large. The process for cleaning these without chemical products is very different. You’ll need a funnel for this process.
Peel 1 lemon and shove it in toward the bottom of the bubbler/bong. Pour in boiling water and vinegar mixture (equal parts for this process). You can also use water from a Keurig and mix it with microwaved vinegar (everything should be hot).
Once you have enough water in the bubbler/bong to cover the soiled area, cover the holes of the piece with plastic wrap (I prefer Press-N-Seal) and just let it sit for about 30 minutes. Pour out the water and then add some new boiling water to swish around inside the piece. Use pipe cleaners or skewers to get the leftover residue.
A quality grinder will come with a scraper. It’s important to use this scraper to keep the ground flower portion of the grinder clean. If the screen between the flower keeper and kief keeper is blocked, you’ll end up with a bunch of kief that is stuck in limbo.
To clean the screen, run hot water over it and use a bottle brush to get any areas that may still be caked with kief or flower dust. Use the bottle brush to get edges, corners and holes in the top portion where the unground flower goes.
Make sure the grinder is completely dry before using it again.
Avoid using soap and chemical cleaners whenever possible. You may not get all of the soap or cleaner off and it may leave some residue behind.
Always rinse and wipe down your accessories after boiling them. The outside can get sticky just from being in the resinous water. A washcloth that you don’t care about is a good option.
Make sure the water is boiling heavily the entire time the accessory is in it. If it is not hot enough or there is not enough movement in the water, your cleaning process could take all day.
If your piece hasn’t been cleaned in several months, double the boiling time.
Having clean accessories is important. Not only do they look better, but they’ll hit better. Clean accessories don’t require you to stop in the middle of a session to clear away debris that may be blocking any holes the piece may have. When an accessory is clogged, it may cause you to waste flower as it will just burn away. Get on an accessory cleaning schedule to make sure you’re doing it at least once a month. Everyone has their favorite piece, keeping it clean keeps it in your collection longer.
Also, cleaning cannabis accessories is a smelly job. It doesn’t smell good at all, no matter what you use – resin water just isn’t appealing. Consider using a wax burner or light some candles to help make the air in the house smell a little better during this process.