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How to Clean a Bubbler

 man wearing gray hoodie smoking a bubbler

A bubbler is an excellent way to enjoy your smoke sesh. Bubblers combine the convenience of a personal-sized hand pipe with the smooth hits you expect from water filtration. These pieces offer a cooler hit than dry pipes, no matter what they’re made of.

The only drawback to these beautiful smoking tools is they can be difficult to clean. Bubblers tend to hold onto grime and water, making them an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Fear not, smokers—this definitive guide will tell you how to clean a bubbler.

Use A Dedicated Cleaner

Formula 420 offers a variety of specially formulated cleaning solutions for your paraphernalia. These products are safe, effective, and affordable. This is our number one suggestion for how to clean a bubbler. But what happens when you need to clean your piece but have run out of cleaner? Hit “Add To Cart” of course, but check out the following methods for when you just can’t wait for delivery, no matter how fast our shipping is!

How to Clean a Bubbler with Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is also a safe option. Fortunately, it’s also very easy.

To get started:

  1. Gather your supplies: a 99% pure isopropyl alcohol, a coarse rock salt, pipe cleaners, a toothpick, and a sealable plastic bag.
  2. Disassemble your bubbler. Run the pipe under warm water to rinse big or loose chunks of debris out of it. (Be careful with glass pipes as they’ll be slippery when wet.)
  3. Fill the pipe with rubbing alcohol to about the waterline. Add a few spoonfuls of salt for a 2:1 alcohol to salt ratio.
  4. This method for how to clean a bubbler does involve shaking. Plug all the holes and vigorously shake your bubbler. Again, be careful not to drop it! For particularly dirty pipes, let the solution soak for at least half an hour.
  5. Use pipe cleaners (or a Q-tip) to reach spots inside the pipe to scrub as needed.
  6. Rinse and either dry your pipe with a microfiber cloth or let it air dry.
  7. Now rinse and wipe down the stem. If necessary, use the toothpick to scrape out the bowl to remove thick residue.
  8. Place the stem in the plastic bag and fill it with the same ratio of alcohol and salt solution.
  9. You’re almost done learning how to clean a bubbler! Gently slosh the plastic bag back and forth. Again, for stuck-on grime, soak for half an hour.
  10. Rinse and dry the stem completely before reassembling.
product picture of GRAV Conical Pocket Bubbler

How to Clean a Bubbler with Hydrogen Peroxide

While isopropyl alcohol is a popular solution, we also need to talk about hydrogen peroxide. This option is best for those of you who do regular cleanings. Hydrogen peroxide is better for light dirt or contaminants you can’t see with the naked eye.

To get started:

  1. Gather your supplies: 30% hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid, rubber gloves to protect your hands, and an empty sink.
  2. Wearing the gloves, carefully mix the hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid in a glass container in a 1:1 measure. (Ex: 1.5 fluid ounces of hydrogen peroxide and 1.5 ounces of sulfuric acid.)
  3. Drain any old water from your bubbler and disassemble it. This method for how to clean a bubbler does not need any shaking. Just let the bubbler soak in the solution for a few minutes.
  4. Carefully rinse the bubbler 3–4 times in warm water. If you see any water beading up, keep rinsing, as the solution hasn’t cleared.
  5. Once fully clean, let dry in warm air.

This method isn’t as common as alcohol, because the hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid mixture is dangerous to get on your skin and can get fairly hot. If you decide to use this method, be extremely careful, and only use small batches of the solution. This is not our preferred or recommended method to clean your bubbler. We understand chemicals might be a concern, but with Formula 420’s All-Natural cleaner, there really is a solution for everyone without using a DIY concoction.

You’re done! Congrats, you now know how to clean a bubbler with hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, or with a dedicated cleaning solution.

Take Care of Your Bubbler with SMOKEA®

Let us help you prolong the life of your bubbler. Check out our cleaners, tools, and ways to pack and protect your precious piece.

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