Pipes, Bongs, Vaporizers, and Hookahs all require regular maintenance and cleaning. Over the years, we've learned a lot of tricks and methods for keeping your device in tip-top shape. Take the time to look after your pipe, and it will look after you! It's important to note, that different materials require different methods of cleaning. Some cleaners work well for some materials and have disastrous effects on others. When in doubt read the label and follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Please be careful when cleaning, as it is one most common ways people break or damage their pipe.
Before smoking from a new wooden pipe, it's necessary to properly season the bowl. Wet the tip of your finger and use it to wet the inside of the bowl. Turn the pipe upside down and char the bowl black with your lighter. Only pack your bowl 1/2 full, and repeat this step for the first three of four sessions. This creates a protective coating, of carbon residue inside the bowl. When cleaning a wooden pipe, never scrape the bowl to bare wood. Always leave a layer of char in place to keep the bowl protected from burning away over time. The easiest way to clean a wooden pipe bowl, is to use a Pipe Tool. Use the reamer (spade shaped tip) to remove as much of the caked on material from inside the bowl. Once you have manually removed as much as possible, bend a pipe cleaner into a V shape and dip it in in Resin Remover. Use the wet pipe cleaner to soften and remove more of the resin. Repeat with as many pipe cleaners as needed, until the very little resin is being removed. Follow up with a dry pipe cleaner to remove any left over Resin Remover. Never soak a wooden pipe. To clean the shank or stem of a wooden pipe, dip a straight pipe cleaner in Resin Remover and run it through the shank. Do this a few times, changing the pipe cleaner each time, until there is nothing left to remove. Finish, by passing a dry pipe cleaner through the shank to remove any leftover moisture.
Use a small air tight container big enough to hold your pipe. Place the pipe into the container and fill with Resin Remover until the pipe is covered. Let it soak for a couple of hours. Remove the pipe, brush with pipe-cleaners and re-soak if necessary. Rinse the pipe with fresh water and air dry. Tip: the Resin Remover can be used over and over again, until it stops having solvency. Consider this container your pipe's bathtub. When you finish smoking for the day, drop your pipe into the bath. Next time you want to use it, pull it out, give it a good rinse and you're ready to go. Preventive maintenance, saves lots of time cleaning.
Empty all water from the bong. Add one or two shot-glasses full of Resin Remover and one teaspoon of salt. (if you bong has a percolator you might want to skip the salt). Shake the bong vigorously covering the holes and turning the pipe to reach all surfaces. Drain, rinse, and repeat if necessary until all resin is removed. For extra stubborn build-up, fill the bong above the grunge line with Resin Remover. Plastic wrap the top of the bong and the stem hole to prevent evaporation. Let the bong soak over night or at least a few hours. Then give the bong a good shake, and pour the used Resin Remover into a sealable container and save for re-use. For a sparkling finish, 1/2 fill the pipe with fresh water, add 2 teaspoons of dish soap, cover and shake. Rinse well! Repeat the above regularly to keep your pipe tasting great!
Acrylic is a porous material that has a tendency to absorb resin. To help keep the pipe clean, make a habit of emptying out the used water when you are finished smoking. Give the bong a bath in some warm soapy water and scrub the inside of the pipe with an old toothbrush. Never store bong water in an acrylic bong, as the resin will have a much easier time penetrating the plastic. Only use mild cleaning solutions on acrylics. Never use rubbing alcohol or any other alcohol based cleaner as it will severely damage the pipe.
Most hookahs have glass bases that can be kept clean following the Glass Bong instructions above. Hookah hoses should never be soaked in cleaning solutions. A very fine piece of cloth wrapped on the end of a straight piece of coat hanger wire, can be pushed through the hose to help remove unwanted blockage or resin. Hookah bowls are usually ceramic or glass and can be cleaned in the same manner described above in the Glass and Ceramic cleaning section.
The beauty of vaporizing is the reduced amount of cleaning! Although resin can build up over time, it is no where near on the same level as a pipe or bong. Follow the instructions above to clean the the various parts of your vaporizer based on the types of material that need cleaning. For vaporizers that have rubber hoses or tubes, never let the hose come into contact with the Resin Remover, as this will deteriorate the tubing very quickly. Tubing is best replaced, when it reaches the point that it is affecting the flavour of your vapour.
All pipe screens, metal or glass, can be soaked in Resin Remover to dissolve the resin. Scraping the screen with the tip of a pin will help re-open clogged holes.