Spring cleaning tips and tricks for marijuana products and accessories

Published May 22, 2019 11:43 a.m. ET
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

It’s that time of year again. The birds are singing, the blossoms are appearing, and the temperatures are becoming milder. Now is the time many Canadians are opening windows to let in some fresh air and going through out old belongings that have been sitting around all winter. We switch out shoes that were outgrown, clothing according to the season, and throw out mass amounts of waste that we just didn’t have the motivation to get rid of in below freezing temperatures.

While all those things are great ideas for improving the air quality, and enjoyment of your home, a lot of people don’t realize that this is also the perfect time to go through any marijuana products and or accessories on hand. Since very few cannabis consumers regularly clean out these appliances and tools, it’s a good idea to have a date set for at least once or twice a year to go through everything you have on hand. This guide will help by providing a list of different cleaning ideas and solutions for every single kind of marijuana product you might have stashed away, as well as some organizational tips to keep all your cannabis accessories neatly packed away.

Marijuana edibles

Cannabis infused edibles can come in many different forms. You can make anything from ice cream and chocolate which can last for up to one full year after being made, to brownies or other baked goods that will decompose much faster depending on how it’s stored. If you make or buy a significant number of edibles, it can be challenging to keep track of how long something has been sitting in your fridge, cupboard, or freezer. Go through all your stash spots and try to remember when each edible was purchased.

If it seems like it’s been longer than what the product should last than it’s better to toss it now, than it is to get sick. The general rule should be baked goods, and other fast consumables should be kept no longer than 7 days, and candy, chocolate, and other longer-lasting goods should be tossed after one year. The main reason is possible contaminants, and the second is that these kinds of marijuana products lose potency after so long in storage and will likely be ineffective past that point anyway.

Cannabis flowers

Buds that are freshly cured can last quite a long time, but the process of light exposure and temperature shifts will slowly degrade both the cannabinoids and terpenes inside of the flowers. The general rule for cannabis colas is that even when stored in the most ideal temperatures, their effectiveness begins to fade as the elements start to decompose which starts happening almost immediately once the curing process is complete. Any bud that is older than 6 months should be considered for the compost bin, and any of these kinds of marijuana products that are over a year since harvest should probably be disposed of.

Marijuana concentrates

These are one of the few cannabis-derived products that no don’t have a set shelf life. The lengths of time it can take for BHO, budder, wax, shatter, or any other concentrate to break down will depend on the way it was processed, and the number of impurities in the mixture. The cannabinoids and terpenes are immediately damaged during many of the conventional methods used to make marijuana concentrates, but the end product will stay pretty much the same for anywhere from 1-2 years.

Now if it’s exposed to light, kept improperly, or contains a significant number of impurities, then the elements inside can break down faster, but that doesn’t mean the product is no longer useable. It merely means that some of the potency will leave over time. If you haven’t spilled anything into your concentrates, they should be fine though a quick wipe down of the container it’s in at this point is recommended.

Cannabis tinctures

These marijuana products are commonly used by medical patients and are easy to make in large batches to save for later. Unfortunately, most bottled tinctures do not age well in storage. It’s great to have a variety of different strengths on hand to treat the symptoms of that day, once a bottle of tincture has been opened, it should not be kept any longer than a year. Doing so will result in a less effective dose and possible contaminants like mold. If you have any THC or CBD drops that have been sitting around for a while, it might be time to clear them out and start fresh.

Vaporizers

A weed vape is a finicky tool that requires a certain level of maintenance to continue functioning reliably. These cannabis consuming tools do not gather nearly as much resin as their concentrate focused counterparts but do still need regular cleaning and now is the perfect time to do it.

Materials needed

  • 1 cleaning brush
  • ¼ teaspoon of alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • paper towels
  • cotton swabs
  • 1 small container

How to clean a vaporizer

  1. Every design of vaporizer is slightly different than the next, but they all have enough in common to be grouped. The mouthpiece and heating chambers are typically the most challenging places to clean since they hold the critical components that are necessary to keep working. To start, you will want to mix the alcohol and water in a small container.
  2. Dip a cotton swab just enough to dampen the end, and gently roll it in your fingers as you gently rub away any residue from around the coils and inside of the holding chamber.
  3. Take a dry cotton swab and wipe down everything one more time to remove as much of the alcohol as possible.
  4. Now remove the mouthpiece from the device and drop it into the container filled with cleaning solution. Leave it to sit for 5 full minutes before draining and placing the tip on a paper towel.
  5. Use another dry cotton swab, or the included cleaning brush to scrub out the mouthpiece and dry it as much as possible once you have finished.

*You may want to heat the chamber at least two or three times, to be sure that all of the alcohol has been removed from the weed vape before you try to use it. *

Pipes

Cannabis pipes are one of the least cared for smoking devices out there and could benefit greatly from a deep cleaning once a year. The best part about them is that they can be soaked to make removing resins and other plant materials easy.

Materials needed

  • ¼ cup of isopropyl alcohol
  • 3 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 Ziplock baggie
  • 1 pipe cleaning brush
  • cotton swabs
  • paper towels

How to clean a weed pipe

  1. Pour the alcohol and the salt into a Ziplock baggie.
  2. Drop the pipe into the solution and seal the bag.
  3. Shake the bag to stir up the salt, and let it soak for anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on the amount of buildup inside.
  4. Remove the pipe and place it on a paper towel.
  5. Use a cleaning brush to scrub out all the chambers as well as you can.
  6. Rinse the pipe under cold water to wash away the alcohol.
  7. Use cotton swabs, and paper towels to dry the pipe entirely before storing or using it.

Bongs

Bongs are one of the smelliest marijuana smoking devices on the market thanks to the constant exposure to liquid which takes on and helps to spread the pungent scent. Even if you rinse a bong out in between uses, and always add new water, the smell will linger, but there is a way to clean it and get rid of it completely.

Materials needed

  • 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol (or more)
  • 6 tablespoons of salt (or more)
  • 1 Ziplock baggie
  • 1 pipe cleaning brush
  • cotton swabs
  • paper towels
  • 1 container (that comfortably holds the bong well enough to be fully submerged)

How to clean bongs

  1. Combine the isopropyl alcohol with the salt inside of the container.
  2. Add a small amount of the cleaning solution to a Ziplock baggie and drop the bowl inside of it. Be sure to seal the bag up well before setting this piece aside to soak.
  3. Now slowly submerge the bong into the cleaning solution. If it isn’t completely covered, then you will either need more cleaning mix, or you will have to flip the device, so the other half gets evenly soaked as well.
  4. Allow the pieces to sit in the cleaning solution for anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on the level of buildup.
  5. Remove the bowl from the cleaning mixture and set it on a paper towel.
  6. Use a wire cleaning brush to clean out the stem and bowl.
  7. Rinse the bowl off and set it aside to dry on a new clean paper towel.
  8. Remove the bong from the cleaning liquid and place it onto a paper towel.
  9. Scrub all the chambers using the wire brush and rinse it thoroughly under cold water.
  10. Allow both pieces sufficient time to air dry or use cotton swabs and paper towels to finish a little quicker.

Grinder

Most people don’t really think to clean out their marijuana grinder. It works with dry herbs and must be used for years to really form a layer of resin. The trouble is that most weed grinders come equipped with a kief collecting screen that gets clogged after very little use. The inside will also begin to feel sticky, making it more difficult to grind up herb the way that it did when it was brand new. Once a year is really all that’s necessary, and spring cleaning only happens one time, so it’s the perfect time to tackle this job.

Materials needed

  • 1 Ziplock baggie
  • ¼ cup of isopropyl alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cleaning brush
  • paper towels

How to clean a weed grinder

  1. Take apart all the compartment of the weed grinder.
  2. Place them inside of a Ziplock baggie.
  3. Add the alcohol and salt to the Ziplock baggie, and seal it well.
  4. Allow the marijuana grinder to soak in the cleaning solution for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the pieces one by one, scrubbing each one with a cleaning brush, and then rinse them under cold water.
  6. Dry the sections using paper towels, and do not attempt to use the grinder until it has completely dried.

Organization ideas

  • Invest in an organized storage case for all your marijuana products.
  • Label all your bud with the date it was purchased, and an expiry date of one year later.
  • Label all your dry cannabis products separately, with the date of purchase, and an expiry date of approximately one year later.
  • Label all your marijuana edibles with an expiry date that suits the type of products on hand.

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