Dirty pieces are gross – you know it’s true. How many times have you gone to a friend’s house only to have him hand you a piece that used to be clear, but is now entirely black?

A clean piece means no gross taste or smell, and your piece gets to stay beautiful – after all, you bought it for how it looked then, not for how it would look with 3 months of residue build up.

So, without further ado, here is the simplest and most effective way to clean a piece. This method works best with smaller pieces such as Dry Pipes and Bubblers, but you can easily scale it up for larger pieces such as Water Pipes.


You will need:

  1. Epsom salt – available at at your local drug store

  2. Isopropyl Alcohol, the higher the percentage the better! – available at your local drug store, although the highest percentages you may have to find online.

  3. Plastic Bag – you can figure this one out

  4. That’s it!

Step 1:

First, wash the piece out with hot water. If the residue buildup isn’t too bad, you may find that very hot water and some rubbing is actually enough to get rid of most of the buildup.


Step 2:

Place the piece in the plastic bag and pour in the Epsom salt. There is no exact amount you need to pour. Remember, the purpose of the salt is to act as an abrasive. Put enough that the salt can entirely fill the piece – and then add a little extra because, hey, salt is cheap.


Step 3:

Pour in the Isopropyl. This time, there is a more specific amount needed. Make sure the piece can be completely submerged in the alcohol when allowed to sit.


Step 4:

Shake that baby up. I’ve found the best way to do this is to hold the bag horizontally, while grasping the actual piece with your other hand. Shake the bag in a horizontal pattern – allowing the salt and alcohol to continuously wash through the piece. Shake for a minimum of a couple minutes before moving to the next step.


Now you have two choices.

Step 5A:

KEEP SHAKING! Shake until your arms are screaming in pain, and then shake some more. Unless you haven’t cleaned your piece within the last 5 years, vigorous shaking should take care of the residue in 10-15 minutes of mind-numbing, arm-centered, shaking-induced pain.


Step 5B:

If you have some extra time on your hands, you can simply let the piece sit for a while. My personal favorite method is to use a pants hanger to grip the bag, and hang it somewhere – a closet is ironically convenient as it also allows you to hide the piece if you still live with your parents (a moment of silence for our unfortunate fellow stoners).


Step 6:

After either of the two above methods, make sure you always give it one final shake.


Step 7:

Give the piece a nice wash in warm water, and let it sit for a bit so any excess alcohol can evaporate.


Step 8:

Get your new piece dirty again – you know what I’m talking about.

By: Kyle Morley


  • January 01, 2015