5 Easy ways to keep your marijuana pipe and bong screens clean

Published Jun 10, 2019 01:11 p.m. ET
Credit: skitzafrenic

Smoking cannabis out of a pipe or bong is generally one of the first devices that most consumers try out, and both are wildly popular items on the market today. If you take a walk through almost any head shop, you will always find a wide selection of glass to choose from. The problem with these smoking devices is that they don't usually come equipped with a filter to stop the ash, live resin, and marijuana concentrates from traveling down the stem, eventually clogging up the whole thing.

Since there is nothing worse than a bong or pipe that you can't draw from, one of the first things that you should do upon purchasing one is to install some type of screen. This few cents investments can save your plenty of discomfort other things that we will touch on a bit later, but for now, let's get to some of the best ways that you clean a screen.

5 Simple ways to clean marijuana pipe screens

Though there are several different ways that you can choose to clean your filters, you will always need to do one thing first. If it's brand new, you should burn it to remove any possible contaminants, and if it's used and full of live resin than you will need to remove it from the device to clean it properly. This can be done with a dab tool, toothpick, pin, or any other thin object that can be pushed between the screen and material to move it lose.

1. Burning
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and works perfectly in a pinch on metal screens, but is not the most recommended. Mainly because extended heating will eventually degrade the integrity of the metal, creating soft spots and holes much faster than other gentler methods. You should not ever use burning to remove gunk from glass screens. To burn a metal screen clean, you will need either a lighter or a torch. Simply heat the metal enough to burn away the live resins and marijuana concentrates which will turn to ash. Once the screen cools, you can either tap it on a surface, or

2. Boiling
Boiling is often all that's needed to loosen the cannabis resin, concentrates, and ash from both metal and glass screens. Place the screens inside of a small pot that contains a small amount of water and boils the screen for five full minutes. Carefully remove the filters from the water and use cotton swabs to scrub away any remaining grime or gunk.

3. Salt and alcohol mixture
Through your screens inside of a Ziplock baggie along with 4 tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol and 1 teaspoon of rock salt. Combine the ingredients after sealing the bag with a quick shake, and let it rest for 10 minutes. After that, give the screens a rinse, and they will look good as new.

4. Bong cleaner
You can also purchase store bought bong cleaners which will effectively clean out a screen, but you will need to soak it for 20 minutes and rinse it thoroughly to avoid any smells or tastes from lingering.

5. Vinegar and salt solution
Add four tablespoons of vinegar, one teaspoon of salt, and your marijuana pipe screens to a Ziplock baggie. Let them soak for approximately 40 minutes before removing and scrubbing clean with cotton swabs. Remember to rinse any salt away to avoid a bitter aftertaste.

Why you should keep your bong and pipe screens clean:

1. The taste
Marijuana concentrates and resins that cling to the holes on screens will affect the flavors of the cannabis you smoke through it.

2. Airflow
The holes in cannabis smoking device screens are tiny to filter out any possible contaminants, so it doesn't take much for resin, ash, and another build-up to block off airflow making for a tougher draw.

3. Safety
Clean screens can be thoroughly inspected for holes which can help you to avoid hot ash from making it to your mouth.

4. Longer life
The average marijuana pipe screen will last up to five times longer if it is cleaned instead of thrown away.

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