How to Clean a One Hitter Pipe: With Alcohol, Water, & More

How to Clean a One Hitter Pipe: With Alcohol, Water, & More

A one hitter is a discreet smoking device designed for convenient smoking on the go. If you’re unsurehow to clean your one hitter, don’t worry — one hitters are as easy to clean as they are to smoke.

Depending on what your one hitter is made of, there are different ways to clean it. Follow along our step-by-step guides below to learn how to clean a one hitter in every possible way.

How to clean a one hitter step-by-step

Cleaning a one hitter is easy and requires very few supplies. Generally, cleaning a one hitter or chillum, such as Vessel’s Helix requires these few steps:

Step 1: Place pipe in Ziploc bag. Make sure the ziploc bag is large enough to comfortably fit your one hitter as well as the cleaning solution. This will make shaking easier.

Vessel One hitter Helix

Step 2: Fill bag with cleaning solution until pipe is covered. Choose your preferred cleaning solution (see options below). Fully submerge the pipe to dissolve all the resin and buildup.

Step 3: Shake to remove dirt and resin. Make sure the bag is sealed securely before shaking to prevent any spills. Shake it gently to agitate the solution inside, which effectively loosens the grime stuck on your pipe.

Step 4: Rinse pipe and admire its cleanliness. After shaking, remove your one hitter from the bag and rinse it thoroughly under warm water. This will wash away any remaining solution and residue for squeaky-clean pipe.

Depending on the type of solution, however, these steps can differ. Read on to learn how to clean a one hitter pipe with a variety of solutions and tools.

How to clean a one hitter with alcohol

The most popular way to clean glass, metal, and wooden one hitters is by using isopropyl alcohol. Mixed with salt and hot water, isopropyl alcohol removes resin and dirt from one hitters, bringing them back to life. Follow these simple steps to clean your pipe with alcohol.

Step 1: Get a Ziplock bag. Dismantle your one hitter and place the pieces into a plastic Ziplock bag.

Step 2: Add alcohol. Pour enough isopropyl alcohol into the bag to fully submerge your one hitter. Isopropyl alcohol can effectively break down the sticky resin and buildup in your pipe.

Step 3: Add hot water. Introduce about 2 oz. of hot water to the bag. The heat from the water helps to soften the resin, making it easier for the alcohol to do its job.

Step 4: Add salt. Sprinkle a tablespoon of coarse sea salt into the mixture. The coarse salt grains act as a gentle abrasive to scrub away the stubborn gunk and resin from the pipe.

Step 5: Shake and rinse. Securely seal the bag and shake it vigorously. This agitates the salt scrub the inside of the pipe while the alcohol dissolves the resin. Let the pipe soak in this solution for 1-3 hours or even overnight for deep cleaning. Once you’re happy with the result, remove your one hitter, rinse it well under running water, and enjoy your pipe again.

How to clean a one hitter without alcohol

If you’d prefer to not use alcohol, or simply just can’t find any, there are a multitude of ways to clean your one hitter without it. One popular way is by using salt and vinegar. 

Follow the same steps as above, but replace the alcohol with white vinegar. Omit the water for a stronger solution, add salt, shake, and rinse. Your pipe should sparkle. 

Alternatively, for a different natural solution, mix vinegar and baking soda in the Ziplock bag. Though the baking soda is not quite as effective as coarse salt—due to the difference in coarseness—this solution will still get your pipe crystal clean.

How to clean a one hitter with boiling water

Vessel One Hitter Air

Step 1: Pre-clean with a toothpick. Use a toothpick to gently scrape away any loose residue stuck to the walls of the pipe’s bowl.

Step 2: Heat water to a warm temperature. Heat water at medium heat until warm but not boiling. Pre-warming your pipe with this water prepares it for the temperature shock of boiling water, reducing the risk of cracking.

Step 3: Boil water and let cool slightly. Once the water reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Step 4: Soak the pipe in hot water. Place your pipe in a bowl and carefully pour the heated water over it, completely submerging the pipe. Let it soak for about one hour to loosen and dissolve the residue.

Step 5: Remove and rinse the pipe. Using an oven mitt or tongs, remove the pipe from the hot water and rinse it under warm water. A gradual temperature change helps avoid thermal shock to the glass.

Step 6: Clean off remaining residue. Take a clean cotton swab to gently remove any lingering stains or dirt. Follow up with another warm water rinse to wash away any dislodged particles.

Step 7: Dry the pipe. Use a paper towel or a soft cloth to thoroughly dry the outside of the pipe. Air-dry the pipe for an additional 20 to 30 minutes to dry up the remaining moisture.

Using store-bought cleaner to clean your one hitter

Step 1: Select the right cleaner. Choose a cleaner that's specifically designed for cleaning smoking accessories. These formulas are crafted to break down resin without damaging your one hitter, whether it's made of glass, metal, or wood.

Step 2: Disassemble your one hitter (if applicable). By doing this, you allow the cleaner to effectively clean every surface of your one hitter for a thorough clean.

Step 3: Apply the cleaner. Follow the instructions on the cleaner's packaging for application. Some cleaners may require you to soak the one hitter directly in the solution, while others need to be poured through the pipe.

Step 4: Rinse thoroughly. After soaking or applying the cleaner, rinse your one hitter under warm water. Don’t use extremely hot or cold water so as to not damage your one hitter.

Step 6: Dry completely. Use a soft cloth or paper towel to dry the outside of your one hitter. Allow it to air-dry for at least 30 minutes completely before reassembling to prevent any trapped moisture inside.

How to clean a one hitter with hydrogen peroxide

Another alternative to using isopropyl alcohol is replacing it with hydrogen peroxide. Follow the same steps as you would when using alcohol, but use hydrogen peroxide in its place. Epsom salt can also be used as an alternative for a coarse salt.

How to clean a one hitter dugout

The one hitter dugout is typically a container to store your herb and a small pipe that looks like a cigarette. The small slender pipe serves as the one hitter, while the dugout serves as a case to carry the pipe and smoking material. 

A one hitter dugout can be cleaned with the same steps as above: 

  1. Place dugout and pipe in Ziploc bag
  2. Fill bag with cleaning solution (isopropyl alcohol + hot water + salt is the most popular) until accessories are submerged 
  3. Shake to remove dirt and resin
  4. For particularly grimy dugouts, soak overnight. 
  5. Rinse and enjoy

To sum it up

Cleaning one hitters, chillums, and other glass pieces doesn't have to be a pain. Simply combine salt with vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, hot water, or isopropyl alcohol, and get your pipe looking good as new.


How do you clear a clogged one hitter? 

A clogged one hitter can be cleared using a paper clip or pipe cleaner. To clean fully, submerge the pipe in a Ziplock bag with a mixture of isopropyl alcohol, hot water, and salt, shake, and rinse. 

How do you get ash out of a one hitter? 

A one hitter can be cleared by lightly tapping or blowing out the ash. Bigger debris/residue can be removed with a pin or paper clip. 

Can you boil a one hitter? 

Do not place a glass pipe directly in boiling water! Instead, wait for the water to cool and follow the steps above to learn how to use boiling water to clean your one hitter. 

How often to clean a one hitter? 

Most suggest at least once a week, unless visibly dirty. 

How to clean a metal one hitter? 

Metal one hitters can be cleaned using any method listed above. 

How to clean a wooden one hitter? 

Wooden one hitters can be cleaned using any method listed above.

Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.