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Reader: Did We Forget How to Boil Pipes?

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Some things are in short supply during the coronavirus pandemic. Civility, in some quarters, and common sense. And in just about every grocery store: isophoric alcohol.

That shortage led one reader to ask our Stoner how to clean his pipe, and there was no shortage of suggestions from readers.

Well if you’re looking for a replacement for rubbing alcohol, use McCormick’s vodka. But I usually just heat, scrape and wash with warm water and Dawn dish soap.

Leave in small jar of Simple Green for a bit. Rinse with hot water. Reuse the jar of Simple Green over and over. No wiping required!

I have been running hottest water from tap, holding pipes with tongs, and cleaned them 100 percent with the sink faucet and spray wand full force into a folded paper towel jammed into sink. Drains slow but catches it all. No chemicals or nasty pot to boil. Going on 20 years with the method.

Back in my day, we used bobby pins and toothpicks. Or DIY gravity bongs.

Did we forget how to boil pipes or something?

Replies Jason: I

Always boiled my glass ones. like brand-new.

Soak the pipe in acetone for about 10 minutes and rise out with warm water. Bet nobody can find an easier more efficient and safe way to clean a pipe.

A propane lighter and smoke that resin.

And then there’s this from Zach:

For the record, here’s the advice from our Stoner:

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“Alcohol is far from the only way to get your glass clean, though, and you don’t need expensive bong cleaners sold at smoke shops,” he writes. “White vinegar and coarse salt create a safe pipe-cleaning mixture and should get the job done after a little more vigorous work than if you used alcohol. Baking soda and vinegar has also proved to be an effective combination for cleaning glass, as have denture-cleaning tablets and hot water, if you live with your grandparents. Even vodka or any potent grain alcohol will work (though I can think of better uses), as will very hot water and Epsom salts. My personal non-alcohol cleaning method is PBW (powdered brewery wash). It’s cheap, safe and removes anything a lazy stoner can throw at it. I buy mine at brewery supply stores, but it’s probably easier to find online right now.”

Have any other suggestions? Post a comment or email them to [email protected]

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With rubbing alcohol in short supply, consumers are looking for other options.

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