Safety & Compliance

How to Clean Cannabis Equipment

Written by Petar Petrov

Whether you’re extracting cannabis or simply consuming it, the equipment you use needs to be clean  for the end result to be optimally pure, fresh, and devoid of unwanted flavors and contaminants.

Cleaning your cannabis gear might be a bit of work, but it’s not rocket science.

Cleaning Bongs, Pipes, and Vape Pens

Here, rubbing alcohol, some warm water, and coarse salt are the go-to tools.

For bongs and pipes, first take your equipment apart and give it a good rinse with warm water. This gets rid of the lighter dirt on the apparatuses.

Then, use alcohol and salt to take care of the more stubborn residues. It’s usually best to submerge bongs and pipes into an airtight (e.g. Ziplock) bag with alcohol and salt, which is respectively immersed in a pot of warm water. This way, you use the heat as a catalyst without diluting the alcohol. Let them sit for a while, then scrub them gently with a pipe-cleaner or cotton-tipped brush before giving the bag a good shake – but only shake one item at a time to avoid breaking anything. Immerse for longer or repeat as needed.

Finally, give the equipment another good rinse with warm water.

For vape pens, skip the water and salt, and instead focus on brushing the parts where residue has built up gently with a cotton swab that has been dipped in rubbing alcohol or acetone. You may brush your screen while submerged in rubbing alcohol for better results.

Afterwards, dry the screen without rinsing in water, and return it to the chamber.

Cleaning Extraction Gear

The principle here is quite similar. The main thing to decide is if you’re going to use alcohol or a specialized cleaning solution instead.

Specialized solutions are generally preferred for their supreme effectiveness which naturally results in saved time and energy. However, finding a trustworthy, reasonably priced solution might turn out to be a time and energy-consuming process in itself, so it’s up to the individual to weigh the demands of each method and consider their value.

Generally speaking, if you’re going to use, and respectively clean, your cannabis gear often, it’s probably worth it to invest some time in finding the right cleaning solution.

You might want to consider acetone, which just might be the ultimate solution to most people’s cleaning issues. Not only is it highly effective and very cheap, but its low boiling point ensures that it evaporates readily at room temperature, leaving no residue behind.

Either way, the idea is the same: Soak your equipment in a bag of alcohol or cleaning solution, immersed in warm water, and brush gently to remove any built-up debris. You don’t need to soak the gear for more than 10-15 minutes.

The most important things to look out for are A) not to brush too harshly, and B) not to let any parts bang against each other during agitation. We don’t want to break our lovely gear!

In the end, you’ll know exactly when your cleaning is done simply by sight. Is it shiny and clear? Check! Is it murky and gross? Rinse and repeat!

Image Credits: Royal Queen Seeds

About the author

Petar Petrov

Petar is a freelance writer and copywriter, covering culture, art, society, and anything in-between that makes for a nice story. And as it so happens, cannabis is a great element to add to each of those conversations.