How to Clean a Bowl or Chillum
Last Updated: April 11, 2019
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Bowls, used for smoking tobacco or other plant materials, need to be cleaned regularly for them to continue to function properly. The bowl is the portion of the pipe that holds the herb of choice. The mouthpiece is the piece that the smoker inhales through and the tube is the connection between the bowl and the mouthpiece. “Pipe” refers to the entire smoking implement.
Bowls, used for smoking tobacco or other plant materials, need to be cleaned regularly for them to continue to function properly. The bowl is the portion of the pipe that holds the herb of choice. The mouthpiece is the piece that the…
How to Clean A Chillum in Less than 5 Minutes
Chillums are excellent one-hitter pipes that are fun to use. However, the fun stops when they’re dirty. Here’s how to clean them!
What do I need to clean a chillum?
You can clean a chillum using all-around materials that you can easily find your home or pharmacy. You’ll be needing:
- 95% alcohol or a higher concentration; you can also use your favorite bong cleaner for this.
- Coarse sea salt or kosher salt with grains that can go through the chillum
- Mini pipe cleaners (either chenille or miniature brush tip ones are okay)
- Ziplock bag
Alcohol will serve as your solvent, while salt will be the aggregator or scrubber. In case you’ve got a stain that’s hard to remove or reach, you can use Q-tips and/or pipe cleaners to take them out.
Yes, you can restore this chillum to its former glory. Image source: Reddit
How to clean a Chillum Pipe
Cleaning a chillum pipe is easy and simple. The best time to clean a chillum is after each use.
- Soak the pipe cleaners in alcohol for 5 minutes.
- Take out the ash from the bowl of the chillum. When it’s cold enough, put the chillum under warm running water. Let the water take out as much debris as it can. Use the Q-tip to sweep out any dirt.
- Turn off the tap inspect the chillum. If there are still some stains left, use the pipe cleaners and push them through the chillum, scrubbing as you go. Alternate scrubbing and rinsing until it’s clean.
My chillum is really dirty and clogged, how will I clean it?
If regular scrubbing and cleaning won’t work, it’s time to soak the chillum.
- Get the Ziplock bag and place your chillum inside. Add a good amount of salt, and then cover the chillum with enough alcohol until it’s fully submerged.
- Seal the bag and hold the chillum firmly with one hand. Shake the chillum and let the alcohol-salt solution do its work.
- Leave the chillum to soak for 15 minutes.
- Take out the chillum run it under warm water. Use pre-soaked pipe cleaners to take out any dirt or debris.
- If there’s still some resin blocking the airways, use a really narrow wire to gently poke and scrape the blockage. Do it layer by layer to prevent breaking your chillum.
Use pipe cleaners to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Now you’ve got a clean chillum that you can use for your next session!
Should you boil a chillum?
The general advice here is: don’t. You’ll see some sites giving you tips on how to boil a chillum to get all those black, nasty bits out, and they seem to work well – if you know what you’re doing. However, we don’t advise such practice because boiling shortens the lifespan of your boro glass. This is because of the thermal stress you’re subjecting your chillum. No matter how tough the boro glass used for your chillum, it’s no match for thermal shock. Boiling a glass chillum pipe will increase its risk of cracking and breaking.
Can I use solvents?
That is another big, resounding no. Solvents like paint thinner, xylene, and MEK are highly toxic. They may be effective in cleaning certain materials, but they tend to stay longer on any surface. You’ll still smell the solvents weeks after using. Imagine hitting smoke that tastes like solvent. That’s pretty noxious and can end up with you landing in the hospital. Smoking a chillum is for recreation, not to have you hospitalized.
Regular cleaning of your glass chillum pipe ensures that you have a smoking tool that is safe to use. Resin can cause bacteria to grow inside your chillum and cause serious health problems. It may be tedious since chillums tend to get dirty easily – which is all the more reason to clean it. Regular maintenance ensures you have a beautiful chillum that will give you the pure, clean taste of your herbs.
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Got a dirty chillum in your hands that gives off nasty smoke flavor? We’ll teach you how to clean a chillum easily within minutes!