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Ask a Bud: Cleaning and Maintaining Cannabis Accessories

Not sure how to keep your cannabis equipment clean? Whether you’re clearing out your grinder or sanitizing your vape or bong, we’ve got the answers to your FAQs about cleaning and maintaining cannabis accessories thanks to budtenders at Paramount Cannabis Co., Docks Cannabis Company, Little Leaf Cannabis Co. and Purple Meadow Cannabis.

Your bong can become a breeding ground for mould, fungi, viruses and bacteria — the best practice is to clean it after each use

Headshot of MIKE BROWN, a Budtender at Little Leaf Cannabis Co.

Mike Brown
Budtender at Little Leaf Cannabis Co.

Clean cannabis accessories can make all the difference when it comes to flavour and performance, according to the budtenders we asked at Paramount Cannabis Co., Docks Cannabis Company, Little Leaf Cannabis Co. and Purple Meadow Cannabis.

“A buildup of ash and reclaimed cannabis resin can clog up accessories and make them very difficult or impossible to use,” says Purple Meadow Cannabis budtender Jake Dory. Dory also points out that poorly maintained smoking accessories can lead to the growth of bacteria or mould, which could pose a safety risk to the cannabis consumer.

Headshot of JOE NAVRRO, a Budtender at Docks Cannabis Company

Joe Navrro
Budtender at Docks Cannabis Company

Take time to clean your banger or nail after each use, as flavour and melt performance will be impacted by dirty equipment

According to Jayme Mckechnie of Paramount Cannabis Co., “Ash and resin buildup also pose a fire hazard and can be difficult to remove once the resin has begun to harden. The flavour of dirty glass can overtake that of the flower, hurting the experience of enjoying the different flavour profiles of cannabis.”

And for dabbers, Joe Navrro from Docks Cannabis Company has some advice for you: “Make sure you take the time to clean your banger or nail after each use, as flavour and melt performance will be impacted by dirty equipment. Out of reverence for the plant and your health, respect the ritual and commune with a clean piece.”


So, how often should I clean my bong?

“Within twenty-four hours, those weed floaters and resin residue rings provide a breeding ground for mould, fungi, viruses and bacteria. Using dirty bongs and pipes can lead to respiratory problems down the road,” says Mike Brown from Little Leaf Cannabis Co. “Clean glass is the cornerstone to safe consumption, and the best practice is to clean your bong after each use.”

Mckechnie shares her personal best practices, “I dispose of my bong water immediately and do a quick rinse after every use. This ensures you the cleanest, most flavourful smoke.”

“On clear glass,” she adds, “even just the slightest shift to something more yellow or brown is a great cue that it’s time to clean. It’s a little more difficult with coloured or designed glass, as the staining isn’t as obvious, so I keep an eye out for residue that builds up at the water level!”


You can extend the shelf life of your bongs by using the proper cleaning tools and regular maintenance. Learn how to clean your bong here.


How do I keep my vape clean?

Mckechnie recommends that dried flower vaporizers — also referred to as dry herb vaporizers (DHVs) — are cleaned as often as possible, “After every use is best, as leftover plant matter and residue buildup poses a fire hazard and affects your vaporizer’s ability to properly cook your flower.” And another important reason is to prevent clogging. “Clogging can impact airflow and even burning, often described as a burnt popcorn smell or flavour,” says Brown. “The final advantage to cleaning DHVs after each use will reduce staining and preserve the longevity of the device.” After dried flower vaporizing, “the user is left with already vaped bud, which can still be used!” says Dory. “Since vaporizing the flower doesn’t fully combust the bud and heats it slower at a lower temperature, the bud’s cannabinoids are then activated and can be used in edible making. This process of activating the bud is also referred to as decarboxylation.”

Headshot of JAYME MCKECHNIE, a Budtender at Paramount Cannabis Co.

Jayme Mckechnie
Budtender at Paramount Cannabis Co.

The slightest shift to something more yellow or brown is a great cue that it’s time to clean. I keep an eye out for residue that builds up at the water level!

Any tips on how to clean my
510 batteries if they get sticky?

“Using a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol (IPA),” says Navrro, “can help to clean up the mess and oily residue left behind on the 510 thread and connection.” 

How frequently should I clean my grinder?

“A dirty grinder will compromise the strain type, flavours, aromas and its effects due to cross-contamination,” says Brown. “To prevent this, it is best to clean your grinder before a new strain is introduced. Regular maintenance will make the process easy and preserve the longevity of your grinder.”

“Maintaining a clean grinder means you’re able to collect more kief, as it can fall through to the catcher, so keeping the holes clear is a must,” says Mckechnie. “If I know the holes are plugged up, and if I’m looking for a more potent grind, I simply use my grinder upside down. To help combat the stickiness of resin buildup, I stick it in my freezer for a few hours! Once the resin is cold, it is no longer sticky, making it a lot easier to scrape off, and it eliminates any remaining odours.”

Navrro recommends “a plastic scraper tool and IPA. The scraper tool helps for trichome and kief collection prior to cleaning. Let each compartment and piece of the grinder sit in IPA briefly before wiping clean. If you have a metal grinder with a painted design or finish, it will degrade and peel off if left too long soaking in IPA. I only briefly dip the grinder into IPA and then use a cotton swab in any areas requiring a more thorough wipe.”

Headshot of JAKE DORY, a Budtender at Purple Meadow Cannabis

Jake Dory
Budtender at Purple Meadow Cannabis

When it comes to cleaning glass and ceramic, isopropyl alcohol and table salt is safe to use to get rid of any dirty gunk off your accessories

Do I need specific cleaning products for cleaning cannabis accessories?

According to Navrro, “there is nothing better than IPA when it comes to removing and cleaning away that caked-on resin and oil residue.” Due to its very low toxicity, IPA is a safe and effective cleaning agent and as an alcohol-based solvent, it can dissolve and evaporate away those hard-to-clean gunk spots. Use a small dish to soak your bowls and bangers in IPA and a large dish to soak and fully submerge your bongs and dab rigs fully when cleaning.”

When it comes to cleaning glass and ceramic, Dory advises, “Isopropyl alcohol and table salt is safe to use to get rid of any dirty gunk off your accessories. After either saturating or filling your piece with the cleaning solution, constant agitation should do. As the alcohol slowly loosens any buildup, the granular salt helps scrub away any leftover product, then simply rinse with water.”

Mckechnie adds that “ceramics can sometimes hold onto odours because they’re a bit more porous than glass, so baking soda is great for wicking away any lingering scents. Olive oil also helps to soften any particularly tough residue spots, and vinegar gives your glass a different kind of shine.”

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