Here at Wikileaf, we’re proponents of keeping your glass accessories clean and sparkly. Not only do they look better after a good cleaning, but the aroma, taste, and flavor will be improved, too, contributing to a better overall consumption experience. ISO (isopropyl alcohol) has long been the go-to product for cleaning glass because of its ease of use and affordability, but some consumer’s worry about ISO’s environmental impact. ISO can interact negatively with humans, too. So is there an all-natural, pipe cleaner solution? Let’s dig in.
Environmental and Human Impact of ISO
ISO is listed on the Special Health Hazard Substance List, composed of hazardous substances with known carcinogenicity (cancer causing), mutagenicity (causes genetic mutations), teratogenicity (may produce physical or functional defects in embryos and fetuses), flammability, explosiveness, corrosivity, and reactivity.
All-Natural Glass and Pipe Cleaners
You could buy a specialized product, but why do that when you can make an eco-friendly pipe cleaner from ingredients you probably already have laying around the house? While you may be using ingredients other than ISO, the cleaning steps and principles remain the same; soak, shake, rinse.
- White vinegar and coarse sea salt
- Baking soda and white vinegar
- Very hot water and epsom salts
- Denture cleaner (who knew?!)
- Vodka or potent grain alcohol
- Simmer it in boiling water
But if you’re willing to spend a few bucks, you could check out Powdered Brewery Wash, Ooze Res Gel®, Dark Crystal Cleaner, or Purple Power, all of which are less toxic to the environment than ISO.
Say your all-natural alternative isn’t quite working as well as you’d like, what can be done? First, see if you can try another cleaning option on the list. Some options may work better on the specific type of buildup or gunk you’re facing. For example, hot water tends to work much better at cleaning concentrate resin than carbonous pipe resin (which is much thicker thanks to the additional plant matter being burned). Alternately, coarse sea salt helps a bit in cleaning a dab rig, but is best suited for bongs.
The exact mixtures and applications of your cleaning solution will vary depending on how serious of a cleaning your piece needs. If you’ve tried multiple methods, start by returning to whichever showed the most promise, even if it’s not quite there yet. Chances are, with just a little trial and error, you’ll get it dialed in. Wrap Up
Next time you need to clean your glass, give one of these all-natural alternatives a try. While they may take a little more elbow grease or need to soak a little longer, you can rest well knowing that in a river near you, a fish is making its way happily downstream, ISO free.