The Culturalist

Dear Culturalist: My Pipe Is Really, Really Dirty!

By Onya Ganja

Dear Culturalist,
My pipe is really, really dirty. Can I use oven cleaner to make it new again? Or is there something better to use? ...


Eh? I have an intensely unsettling feeling surrounding the thought that you’ve already tried to clean your pipe with oven cleaner. You didn’t just ask this in passing after grinding up a quarter ounce with a friend over vegan sushi and orange Fanta. You thought about this question for who knows how long, and then went ahead and asked it. I hope you see where this is going.

To answer your question, no, you should not clean your pipe with oven cleaner. Nope, not ever. Not even if you intend to never use it again other than for smashing it on the ground. Mostly you don’t want to use it because you will inhale the fumes during the cleaning process. Oven cleaner—just like Pantene Pro-V, tampon companies and people who don’t like cats—simply can’t be trusted. (My grandmother would like for me to tell everyone that “you can’t trust old people or anything they say” either and added that “you should just bake cannabis in cookies instead” if you are worried about the health risks of smoking it. That second statement you can trust.)

If your pipe is dirty, soak it in vinegar or rubbing alcohol and clean it with pipe cleaners. Yes, those beloved craft supplies are actually intended for the use their name implies. Another strange mystery of life revealed. Pro tip: Corner stores with the best chocolate bar and soda pop selections will also sell pipe cleaners. Uncolored ones at that, perfect for vapes and glassware! Q-tips will also work in a pinch, and it is a nice way to use them up after accidentally shoving one into your brain while walking across the bathroom floor and swearing to never put them in your ears again.

I don’t think anyone should own oven cleaner let alone use it to clean a cannabis pipe. If people were not rotting in jail for cannabis convictions, I would find prohibition rather laughable since cannabis is actually the only substance I would trust people with who clean their pipes with oven cleaner, which is something that actually does need laws prohibiting. Oven cleaner, bleach and lye. That stuff could kill. I know we all think and do stupid things, and it is a lucky thing stupidity is highly amusing. You are forgiven for yours if you throw your oven cleaner away right now and invest in some vinegar and maybe some brain-stimulating sativa strains. I would dedicate my life to enacting laws that prevent people from owning oven cleaner, but I hope you are a minority, and prohibition certainly isn’t the solution to stupid.

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