One hitters are great because they are convenient to have on the go, they are affordable, and they usually last a long time – if you treat them right.
A large part of keeping your pipe nice is keeping it clean. Knowing how to clean your one hitter can help you take that resin-filled old pipe and turn it into something as good as new. This is a great way to save money, while still keeping the pipe you have come to love and have forged many memories with.
At HelpingPot, we have been through a pipe or two, and have used these techniques to keep a few one hitters around and kicking for years.
Let’s get to cleaning!
What is the Best Way to Clean a One Hitter?
The best way to clean a one hitter pipe is to soak it in Isopropyl alcohol mixed with salt in a plastic bag or container for 30-60 minutes (or overnight for the best results). Make sure if you use a plastic container, it is something that does not react to Isopropanol. This is safe for both metal and glass one hitters. After that, you should be sure to rinse it out for 5 minutes with room temperature water, then dried before using again.
What Supplies Will I Need to Clean My One Hitter Pipe?
In order to get the job done right, you will need:
- A plastic bag
- Isopropyl alcohol (91% or above for best results)
- Running water
- Paper towels
- Pipe cleaners
How to Clean a One Hitter in 5 Easy Steps
Each one of these steps is essential to making sure that you properly clean your one hitter and keep it safe in the process.
1. Create Your Isopropyl & Salt Cleaning Solution
Take your plastic bag or container and pour enough Isopropyl alcohol in it to completely submerge your pipe. Then, take about 4-5 tablespoons of salt and mix it in a little bit by either stirring your container or lightly shaking the bag. This cleaning solution works extremely well to remove resin, even from the hard to reach places. It is also a lot more environmentally friendly than a lot of commercial products.
2. Place Your One Hitter in the Bag & Shake Lightly
Seal your pipe in the bag, or hold it in the container, and lightly shake/stir it in order to get the solution to mix a bit more, and get into the pipe. Another great tip that really helps clean your one hitter is to pour some of the salt into both ends of pipe with your fingers. This gives some abrasion that can help remove some of that resin buildup, especially in the hard to reach places.
3. Let it Soak for at Least 30-60 Minutes
Once you have the first two steps completed, you will want to leave your one hitter to soak in the cleaning solution for at least 30-60 minutes. Sure, you can try to speed up the process and probably get by with 15 minutes if you are in the rush, but if you are taking the time to clean your one hitter pipe, you might as well do it right and get the most out of it. Leaving it to soak overnight is the perfect solution.
4. Rinse is Out, Use Q-Tips & Pipe Cleaners to Clean the Hard Spots
Once you have let it sit, take your pipe out of the solution, and check to see how clean it is. Sometimes, older or dirtier pipes may take a few rinses to get completely clean. Rinse your one hitter with room temperature water in order to remove any particles. If there is still some resin in hard to reach areas, use the q-tip and pipe cleaner to scrub those areas while soaking it in the solution again. Then rinse and repeat until you are satisfied, or lose to the resin (sometimes it happens to the best of us).
5. Rinse it Again & Let it Dry Before Using
Be sure to give your pipe one final rinse before letting it dry. This will help to remove any remaining alcohol, which is extremely dangerous to inhale. Give it at least 5 minutes to air dry, or use a hairdryer on a lite setting to dry your one hitter. Be careful, as rapid temperature change can damage or break glass one hitters.
3 Tips for Cleaning Your One Hitter
In order to get the most out of your cleaning efforts, follow these three helpful tips:
1. Don’t Rush the Process
Again, you can try to clean your one hitter pipe quickly, and probably get pretty good results. It all really depends on the results you are looking for. If you want your piece to be as clean as possible, you should really just wait the 30-60 minutes, or let it sit overnight. Trust us, it’s worth it every time. Smoking a brand new one hitter feels better when it’s one you didn’t have to pay for – because you cleaned your old one ;).
2. Use the Right Tools to Get the Hard to Reach Spots
It is very important that when cleaning out the cracks and crevices of your one hitter, you are sure to only use tools that are soft and bendable, so as to not break or chip your pipe. With glass especially, you should use only soft pipe cleaners, and try to stay away from using anything metal, besides maybe a paperclip if necessary.
3. Don’t Try to Smoke the Resin
Look, we get it, there are tons of ways to smoke, and you want to try them all. But before you do, just hear us out on this topic for a quick second. Resin is all the build-up of chemicals and carcinogens, in a syrup-like substance. The fumes are extremely dangerous to smoke, and can be harmful to you. On top of that, they taste terrible and tend to give users headaches. Smoking resin can also burn your lungs and mouth because it has to be heated at a such a high temperature.
How to Clean a One Hitter with Household Items
If you do not have Isopropyl alcohol, or do not like to use it for cleaning purposes, there are a few natural ways to clean your one hitter. Each one of them besides boiling water involves the same steps above.
Salt & Vinegar
This solution is very similar to the Isopropyl alcohol and salt solution. It works fast and you can expect some awesome results, with an almost perfect clean on the first try every time. The only downside to it is that it can smell really strong, especially after the cleaning process. If you choose to clean your one hitter with this method, just be sure to keep it in a contained area to keep the odor to a minimum. Also, be sure to not spill it, because it will stain!
Vinegar & Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda works almost as well as the salt and vinegar method, but is still noticeably worse. The only real difference is switching salt. You can notice a slight difference between using baking soda vs. salt because baking soda is not grainy, and therefore makes less of a difference in cleaning those hard to reach places. However, if you let it sit overnight, this usually doesn’t matter.
Lemon water is definitely not as effective as the other cleaning methods, but it can still work as long as you are willing to put that pipe cleaner to work, rinse more, and let your one hitter sit for a longer period of time in order to clean it.
Boiling Water (For Metal One Hitters Only)
For metal one hitters only, you can also simply boil them in hot water to clean them. This is pretty simple, all you need to do is:
- Place your one hitter in a pot full of water
- Set your stove to high
- When the water begins boiling, take the pot off the burner
- Let the pot and your one hitter cool
- Take out your one hitter and check it
- Rinse and use additional tools as needed to finish cleaning
- Let it dry before smoking it again
This is a much quicker way to clean your metal one hitter, as long as you do it right. Leaving your pipe in the water too long can actually damage it, and affect its ability to retain heat over time. With dirtier pipes, this method can result in a bit more scrubbing than the salt and alcohol method.
WARNING: Do Not Clean Your Glass One Hitter in Boiling Water!
There are tons of articles out there that actually recommend that you clean your one hitter with boiling water, even if it is glass. This is simply wrong and it will almost surely result in the destruction of your one hitter pipe. Because glass is so sensitive to rapid temperature changes boiling your pipe can cause it to shatter, fracture, or weaken over time – causing it to become very fragile.
Bonus: How Can I Clean My Dugout?
Cleaning a one hitter dugout is actually easier than it may seem. The one thing you have to realize though is that without extensive effort, you will not be able to save any of the kief residue that is caked up inside. This is because it will get wet or thrown out violently with most cleaning techniques.
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Running water
- Pipe cleaners
- Gun cleaning tool (if possible)
- Air compressor (if possible)
5 Steps to Cleaning Your Dugout:
- Use an air compressor (if you have one)- Take your air compressor and hook it up to a nozzle. Then blow it into your dugout. Be sure to use ear protection, as this is very loud. Typically, this will get most of the residue out, but sometimes some heavily caked in stuff will remain. To remove this stuff, you’re going to have to rely on our cleaning solutions from earlier.
- Use a gun cleaner (if your have one)- A gun cleaner is basically a giant, heavy-duty pipe cleaner made for cleaning the barrels of guns. This is a super helpful tool for cleaning your dugout that can make your life extremely easy.
- Use pipe cleaners- If you don’t have either of these tools, your best bet is to start off with pipe cleaners. Try to get some more hardy ones for this – you will need them – and you don’t have to worry about ruining the inside too much. Tie a few of them together to make them as wide as your one hitter. This will help to get grip and dig out some of that caked in residue.
- Rinse it out and clean again if needed- While these steps above should help to clean most dugouts, you may need to bring in the big guns. If so, use your Isopropyl alcohol and salt solution to get the rest of the job done. Simply put the solution in the chamber of your dugout, and seal it. Then let it sit for about 30 minutes. This will loosen up anything leftover in there. You may need to repeat steps 3 and 4 again in order to get the best results. Always rinse heavily with water for at least 5 minutes before drying.
- Let it dry before using it again- Especially when cleaning your dugout, you want to make sure that it is COMPLETELY DRY before you use it again. Smoking wet herbs can lead to respiratory problems, diseases, and even death. On top of that, any alcohol residue that lingers in the water may be absorbed, making the herbs even more dangerous to smoke. Play it safe, and use a hairdryer to dry your dugout, let it sit, and be sure to test if it’s dry before filling it again.
Bonus: How Can I Clean My Chillum?
Cleaning your chillum is very easy. To get the best results, you should use the same steps as above in the one hitter cleaning guide. You may need to use a pipe cleaner more in order to get some of the tougher spots clean, but if you do it while rinsing or soaking your chillum, it should get the rest of that stuff out.
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Running water
- Container or plastic bag
- Pipe cleaners
- Gloves (optional)
7 Steps to Cleaning Your Chillum
All you need to do to clean your chillum is:
- Create your cleaning solution
- Let your chillum soak for 30-60 minutes
- Rinse it off with room temperature water
- Use pipe cleaners and q-tips if needed
- Repeat steps 2-5 if needed
- Rinse out again and let dry
- Enjoy your freshly cleaned chillum!
For all of the steps above, the same notes apply as with cleaning a one hitter pipe. You can also use the same alternate methods, even boiling – as long as your one hitter is metal.
Looking for a New One Hitter? Browse Our #1 One Hitter & Dugout Combo!
Sometimes you just need a new one hitter and dugout. Whether it is just too old, or too dirty to fully clean, sometimes you have to part ways with a trusty piece. If you must part ways and replace your old pipe, we strongly recommend Our #1 Best One Hitter & Dugout Combo:
You May Also Be Interested In:
Cleaning your one hitter is not very difficult, but it may seem like a lot of work for a simple task. That’s why we recommend cleaning all of your pieces in one day, like you would power clean your house. Just smoke them first ;).
This will help you save a ton of time, and get the most out of the cleaning process. Here are all of our Ultimate Cleaning Guides, to help you get started:
- Bubbler Cleaning Guide
- Bong Cleaning Guide
- Dab Rig Cleaning Guide
- Dab Nail Cleaning Guide
- Quartz Banger Cleaning Guide
- Hand Pipe Cleaning Guide
- Nectar Collector Cleaning Guide
- Grinder Cleaning Guide
Wrapping it Up – Cleaning the Resin Out of Your One Hitter
We hope that this guide has helped you learn how to clean your one hitter quickly and easily, and answered any of your questions. If you have a question we did not answer, please ask us below in the comments. At HelpingPot, we take our Stoner Community seriously and want to make sure that we help you get the best information possible.
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