The residue in pipes and bongs

I have been pretty OCD recently, about cleaning the junk out of my smoking pieces. In a clear glass piece, it really takes just 2-3 hits for the glass to become dirty. If the water looks like urine, it has got to be changed.

Quite frankly, I have been pretty grossed out by the quantity, quality and visual appearance of the goopy shit that comes out. I know that some of this same crap is ending up in my lungs.

Anyways, I have always wondered about what exactly all that sticky stuff was made of.

Anybody that toked up while young (and had no money), has probably smoked “pipe resin” or maybe gone so far as working up some “bong reclaim”. It will get you high, but it is just as likely that you will get a headache too. There is THC, but who knows how much. It is the other junk that is of concern.

I also know that some extractor community folks have actually taken it as a challenge to extract “clean” dabs from great big gobs of the vile smelling shit.

OK, so my questions…has anyone actually done any identification of the compounds found in pipe resin or bong goop? What are the combustion products (tars, etc.)? In a bong, there are 3 separate areas…the downstem, the water and the glass above the water. Are the compounds deposited in one area, different from those in another? What stays in the water?

Never drink the bong water


I also hate the smell of the water after taking 1 hit. I rarely will smoke any other way than using a bong but hate that dirty grime and clean it daily using epsom salt and 90% alcohol. Following your topic as I’m also interested in any answers.

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My guess is it’s a lot more toxic organic compounds than we want to know about.


Mine is a pain in the ass to clean it has 3 percs in it. The goop is definitely gross; I bet the government is hiding what it is from us

Yet we still suck it into our lungs…eagerly


After a good few months of smoking concentrates in my rig I noticed the build up. Flower is one thing, a thinner goopy substance. The concentrates created such a thick resin that had me thinking thats my lungs. That is one of a few reasons I really only stick to flower although I love a good hit of concentrate that gives me the sweats ensuring the next few hours will be chill. I am considering using rso as my go to medicine so I save my lungs. Nothing beats a good dose of RSO. No smoke, no resin, happy lungs, pleasant body. A thread on here recently reported that lab tested reclaim from concentrate was still at high %50 THC.


I remember sneaking into my parents closet as a kid and scraping out my dad’s aluminum one hitter just because I didn’t know any better, pretty sure I’ve got some brain damage now


I imagine someone here can come up with a mini-dishwasher type device for pipes and bongs. Set it in the rack, route a hose through the mouth piece and one in the bowl/stem area, Shut the door and set it on auto wash. I dont think it is practical because the likely ISO/Salt solution would be really sticky and clog the machine. I hate dumping that liquid anywhere. Luckily my field of work has access to proper dirty oil disposal so I dont clog my drains or make my lawn sticky.


I actually had this idea over a year ago. It would work for sure.

Need a pump that will handle alcohol and salt, small resovior, rubber plug the lines in and out. Turn it on, watch it clean.

We have a parts washer at my shop that has a metal flexible hose with a small nozzle to position in place over a part that dispenses mineral spirits and there is also a brush that dispenses spirits to scrub the part. They do make mini part washers. They can handle some heavy oil sludge. Just change the mineral spirits to alcohol but containment without fumes leaching is the problem.


I’d swear that I get more sticky sludge from a burned gram, than I would get clean oil, if I had extracted that same gram. Might be my imagination.

That stuff is abundant. What does it actually contain?

More thin sludge yes, The oil will have less sludge but thicker. The thick coating is what scares me. I guess the burned gram would have more byproducts though.

I feel like the residue from dabbing is just fractions of cannabinoids getting re-condensed in the water/on the glass before it gets to your lungs.


I bought a reclaim catcher a month ago to find out. Once I have enough in it to test, I’m sending it in for as many as I can afford. I’ve smoked 95% crc through it so I was curious of what’s in the reclaim especially isomers and terps.

Hopefully I can test a few things over time, and report back. Mcrlabs tested some for potency I believe, a few years ago if anyone can find it.


I believe it’s tar and bacteria.

Well that’s why I 200 proof ethanol clean my bongs, pipes and rigs then do an activated charcoal filter. May as well remove as much of the shit as possible. I mean yeah it’s still gonna be gross I’ve done it quite a few times but at least it’s detoxed a little bit.

If you are consuming concentrates, the plant material has been eliminated, as have most other compounds that will be found in a bud.

The reclaim from concentrates is nothing like the residue in a pipe or bong.

Concentrates are vaporized, then redeposited on the glass, as a light tan film and they are little changed. I always gather that up, it is usually excellent.

My questions are about the black, smelly stuff.

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I used to work somewhere that had a sonicating parts washer as well as a spark plug cleaner that blasted glass powder through an air nozzle, all within a hood. Needless to say my pieces were always clean :smirk: I had to a thorough soap and hot water rinse afterward to be sure I wasn’t smoking carb cleaner but it worked great!


Please let us know asap when you get the test done. I’ve been curious for over a year. Only thing I can come up with is condensed cannabinoids if we are smoking extracts of such high purity

It’s not recommended, but you can blast butane through a small rig to clean it in a pinch.