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Wednesday May 15, 2019

By Paul Barach

420 Culture

As the days warm up and the sun begins to shine you may feel that burst of inspiration to do your annual spring cleaning. You’ve gathered your yellow rubber gloves, your paper towels, your buckets, and your cleaners together. You’ve made your list of chores, from flipping mattresses to clearing out the garage or the junk drawer. This year, you might want to add your glass pieces, your stash drawer, and the rest of your marijuana accessories to the list. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for how to de-clutter, tidy up, or KonMari your cannabis space this season.

Cleaning Your Paraphernalia: The Basics

When it comes to cannabis-related spring cleaning, odds are your dirtiest chore will be to clean your glass pipes, bongs and any other smoking devices you use to consume marijuana. Don’t worry though, even the most caked on resin can usually be removed with a little elbow grease and patience.

Start With Your Glassware

If you’ve been thinking about cleaning out your bubbler, your bong, your dab rig, or your pipe, there’s no time like the present. Whether your piece is a little harder to draw than it used to be or you’re having guests over, there’s no downside to clean glassware. You’ll taste more of the smoke/vapor, less of the resin, and, when smoking flower, your buds will burn more evenly. Plus, there’s always that sense of pride when your friends lay eyes on your freshly cleaned, presentation-ready bowl.

The nicest part about cleaning glassware is how easy it is. Whether you soak it in some rubbing alcohol, shake it in a bag with some alcohol and salt, or just pour some hot water into it, the resin usually breaks down pretty fast (especially with concentrates). If you want to clear out the last bits of resin with a Q-tip, paper clip or just give it another good shake in a Ziploc bag it’s completely up to you – just make sure to rinse your piece out thoroughly after cleaning if you’re using alcohol-based cleaners!

Move Onto Your Jars

Speaking of glass, while your nug jars may not do much heavy lifting, they still deserve a little TLC if their insides are getting a little hazy. Find your nugs a temporary home (and remember to label which strain is which), then shake out the kief from the bottom of the jar to save for later. Scrub the jars in hot, soapy water or throw them in the dishwasher to clear out all that remaining resin, let them air dry, and then return your nugs to where they belong. It never hurts to swap out your moisture packs if they’ve been in there a while, either.

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Grinder

Since we’re on the subject of doing the heavy lifting, if your grinders just don’t have that smooth, gliding twist that they used to, grab a paper plate, a toothpick, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and some cotton swabs. Many people ask if it’s necessary to clean your grinder and the answer is a hard yes! Neglecting the sanitation of your grinder can lead to mold issues that just aren’t worth the risk. So, collect any loose cannabis/kief from your grinder and save that for later. Use the toothpick to scrape out whatever else you can, then put the plate aside and grab your swabs.

Many people often neglect to clean their grinders.

Unless the resin’s really caked on, a cotton swab dipped in the alcohol should be enough to scrub those teeth clean. For well used or neglected grinders, you may need to soak them completely in the rubbing alcohol. Ditto for the screen. You can even put some isopropyl alcohol into the main chamber, close up your grinder and shake it as well. When you’re finished rinsing off all the alcohol, don’t forget to leave the pieces separated and wait until they’ve completely air dried before putting them back together. 

Moving On to the Rolling Tray

Joint rollers, this one is for you! Over time, rolling trays can get pretty coated in resin so it’s always a good idea to give them a good clean every now and then. If your rolling tray is metal, spray it down with some vinegar, then wipe in the direction of the grain to clean out those small grooves. If your tray is plastic or wood, give it a soak in some hot, soapy water for about 15 minutes to loosen up all the resin and residue, then give it a light scrub and lean it up to air dry.

Your Vape Pens

Much like your glassware, your vape pens work better and taste better the cleaner they are. If you’re using vape cartridges, grab your alcohol dipped swabs and give the battery and contact plate a quick wipe down. If you’re using a dry herb vape, use the same technique to get that screen clean and clear. Finally, wipe down the screw threads and soak the mouthpiece to clear it out. The same goes for load-your-own concentrate pens too. Most vape pens will also have specific cleaning instructions in the manual so be sure to read those before making any moves.

Tidying Up Your Cannabis Space

A fair amount of cannabis consumers have a dedicated space for their marijuana products, paraphernalia, and even where they consume. Due to the secretive and illegal nature of cannabis culture in some states and countries though, these spaces can often be neglected from a daily or weekly cleaning routine. It’s always a good idea to keep your cannabis space tidy. Who knows, you may even find a few lost nugs along the way!

KonMari It Up

Grab three boxes, label them “Keep” “Donate” and “Toss,” then turn to your stash spot. Whether you keep your supply in a drawer, a box, or spread across an entire table, it’s an easy thing to get cluttered – and most people don’t get more organized once they’ve indulged.

Take a good look around your space and ask yourself “How would Marie Kondo deal with this? Look at the three extra lighters that are all empty. Do they spark joy? Do the packs of rolling papers with only one leaf left each? How about the expired edibles that have melted or the bag of weed that’s two months old? If they do not spark joy, toss them into the “Toss Box.” Go through the rest of your paraphernalia. If you’ve got a nice collection of concentrate containers with one dab left, consolidate them into one and toss the rest.

Empty Concentrate Jars
Collecting empty concentrate jars can be a waste of space.

Now, with your glassware now cleaned and drying, take a good look at your pieces. When you hold that chipped bong you still have from college or that extra grinder that your friend left at your place a year ago, ask yourself: is there a reason to hold on to it? When was the last time you even used it? Did your grandfather leave it in his will? Does it contain a genie that grants marijuana-themed wishes? Do you use it often or is it a centerpiece? If yes, place it in the keep box along with your grinders and dab rig. However, if you haven’t used that pipe recently, it may be time to say goodbye. Put it in the donate box and find it a new home. Give it to your cousin or nephew who’s just entering college, or hand it off to a friend who’s not as tidy. Now it’s their problem.

Finally, Air-Out Your Spot

With your pieces drying, your possessions pared down, and the trash taken out, open the windows and get some breeze in. Vacuum up the smell of weed from your carpet and your couches, and wipe the crumbs off the tables. Take a deep breath and feel that sense of accomplishment. It’s spring. A time of renewal. Birds are singing, trees are blooming, and now your weed and pieces are cleaner and easier to find than ever. Now, smoke some of that cannabis out of your newly cleaned pipe. You earned it.

Do you have any tips for cannabis spring cleaning? Share them in the comments below!

Photo Credit: jarmoluk (license)


Paul Barach Paul Barach

Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author with experience creating well-researched, edited web articles covering cannabis news, culture, history and science. Paul is a regular contributor to PotGuide and has also contributed to publications such as, SlabMechanix, Litro, and The Trek. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors and stay up to date professionally through his LinkedIn page.

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