Clean Up Your Act: Pro Tips for Keeping Your Pieces Like New
What’s your preferred way to clean up your gear? I’m a real MacGyver myself; I’ll use any and everything at my disposal short of something that requires real, actual effort. One time in college I tried to clean a batty in the showers using super hot water and was almost immediately recognized and called out, even though you could only see my feet. There’s a plethora of products to help keep your instruments in working order or showcase ready, but you can also achieve a pretty spectacular result at home if you’ve got the necessary resources. I’ll cover one of each, as even though boiling can do a pretty thorough job, sometimes the only way to achieve perfection is with some help from the pros. A lot of this depends on the kind of piece you have and what powers it, though. You’re not going to toss your vape pen into a pot of boiling water to clean it, unless of course you’re in the market for a new vape pen.
The free method would be to boil it. In explaining this method to people I’ve heard some voice their concerns regarding losing the “color” or “character” of their glass. While, yes, some of the color will disappear when you clean it (as it comes from the tar or resin) it will return. This is a characteristic of the glass itself, not the contents inside. First, take a pot and fill it with warm water. You’ll want it to be big enough that your piece will be covered when in it. Also, put the piece in it before you get it boiling. This should go without saying, but they still put directions on boxes of toaster pastries so, you know. Once your grimy piece is in the pot get the water rolling and let it sit for a bit. After a while turn on your faucet to warm/hot water (not cold, the stark temperature change can make your glass crack or shatter) and take out your piece with a pair of tongs (don’t stick your hand in pots of boiling water) and hold it underneath the flow of water at such an angle that it flows through the piece, not just over it. This is to help flush out the tar inside. Repeat this process until you’ve achieved your desired result.
Now if you’re either impatient, afraid of hot surfaces, or don’t want to make your kitchen smell like dirty resin, the professional approach might be more your style. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Formula 420 line of products. They’re all natural, easy to use, and quick. In fact, they proudly advertise as the “only one minute pipe cleaner on the market.” Using a patented AbrasivAction technology, this beautiful product is as simple as shake the bottle (you want an even distribution of crystals and liquid), pour the contents into your piece (works for ceramic, glass, pyrex, and metal), shake for a minute, rinse under warm water, and voila! Your piece looks like brand new!
Whether you decide to go pro or keep it at home there’s few things better than indulging with a freshly clean instrument. You can find the full line of Formula 420 products on smokea.com, otherwise hopefully you can find running water and heat at home.
- Abbigail Montgomery