Can You Use Nail Polish Remover To Clean A Pipe? Huh

Can You Use Nail Polish Remover To Clean A Pipe?

Nail polish remover is a strong solvent with broad applications, including use for glassware. 

Built-up residue in smoking pipes is unavoidable. There are different effective methods of cleaning pipes. Lately, nail polish remover has arisen as a new solution, but many people are still reluctant to adopt it. So, can you use nail polish remover to clean a pipe? Are there any risks you should be aware of?

Today, we will discuss this topic together. Let’s get to it.

Nail Polish Remover To Clean A Pipe


Nail polish remover usually contains acetone, a more powerful chemical solvent than alcohol. This substance often appears as the main ingredient in household and industrial cleaning products.

So, acetone does an excellent job of cleaning glass and is fine to use as an effective cleanser for your pipe.

On the other hand, there are some concerns going with either.

Due to its corrosive nature, acetone in nail polish can disintegrate plastic pipes quite quickly. Therefore, it is understandable why some people are concerned about the health risks involved in using acetone to clean up their pipes. You don’t want to risk inhaling hazardous chemicals into your lungs, after all.

However, acetone-based dissolvent causes no harm as long as you give your pipe a thorough clean afterward. So just stick in mind that the solvent should only be used for glass pipes only.

How To Clean A Pipe With Nail Polish Remover?


  • Nail polish remover
  • Gloves (optional but highly recommended)
  • Plastic tape (Alternative choices are cotton ball, rubber band, or towel)
  • Warm water

Step 1: Pre-Rinse The Pipe

First, empty and wash the glass pipe with warm water to remove as many residues inside as possible.

Step 2: Fill The Pipe With Nail Polish Remover

Fill the smoking device with nail polish dissolvent. There is no need to fill up the entire pipe, so stop when the nail remover fills up 20 percent of the body. This way, you can allow air inside the pipe for the solvent to move freely up and down.


We highly recommend using gloves to protect your hands. When acetone gets on one’s skin often, it can strip off the natural, protecting oil layer and dry out the skin, leading to cracking, peeling, and bleeding in the worst case.

Step 3: Seal The Pipe Tightly

Cover the openings to prevent spillage. You can seal them off by using a plastic tape. Alternatively, anything like a cotton ball, rubber band, or towel will do if you want to remove the seal quicker.

Next, let it rest for a bit.

Then, give the pipe a shake. Be careful not to drop it or hit it against other objects.

Step 4: Release pressure

Acetone will create pressure inside the pipe while you shake it. Therefore, after the first shake, it’s necessary to unplug one hole to release the built-up pressure.

Then, go on for a few other shakes until you notice the device is clear of residue.

Step 5: Rinse The Pipe Thoroughly

It is essential to rinse the pipe well after cleaning with a nail remover because the chemical is highly combustible, which is dangerous for smoking.

It’s best to use warm water and keep rinsing until you smell no trace of acetone and it is not recommended to smoke out of the device right afterward.

Nail removers, in general, do not only contain acetone solely, but also add chemicals in the formula, such as dye, fragrance which are unsafe for our health system. Therefore, a thorough cleaning will guarantee we’re smoking with a clean and safe pipe.

Step 6: Let It Dry

After rinsing, allow for the pipe to dry out completely. Keeping the device in wet conditions for a long time will damage it.

You can use Q tips and cotton balls to soak in residual moisture to prevent mold and bacteria from growing.

Should I Use Nail Polish Remover To Clean A Pipe?

Although nail polish remover can be used to clean your pipe, we do not highly recommend it.

Acetone is quite harmful if inhaled in large amounts. It might irritate your nose, throat, and eyes. Besides, acetone is a highly flammable liquid and can ignite at room temperature easily. Thus, there is a real risk to your health and safety if you do use this solvent with care.

If nail polish remover is your last resort, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • It’s best to clean your smoking tools in an area with good air circulation to minimize the amount of acetone you breathe in your lungs.
  • You should also avoid any fire source to prevent fire hazards, as acetone is ultra flammable.
  • Nail polish removers, as mentioned, are not pure acetone. You may want to buy 100% acetone in quart or larger cans in paint stores and the like. They are more affordable, and you are spared from the added chemicals that might be harmful to your health.

What Are Other Alternatives For Cleaning Your Pipe?

Alcohol And Salt

Rubbing the pipe with alcohol and salt is one of the most efficient glass cleaning methods. These two substances are common and economic while being incredibly abrasive against residue and residue.

When combined, salt and alcohol provide a good cleaning solution and disinfecting effects for light and average tasks, especially for the pipes. Your pipes won’t be chipped, scratched, or cracked by this combination, either.

You can purchase rubbing alcohol with a concentration of 70% or 91% isopropyl alcohol. The higher the concentration of the isopropyl alcohol, the better job it does at cleaning pipes.


  • Pre-rinse the smoking tool with warm water to eliminate the residue
  • Fill the 20% of the pipe with isopropyl alcohol
  • Add 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Like with acetone, cover up the openings and wait a couple of minutes for the mixture to soak
  • Shake the pipe vigorously for one minute.
  • Finally, rinse it thoroughly with warm water.

Baking Soda & Vinegar

Although white vinegar can be efficient enough to clean off the ash and residues in your pipe, adding baking soda can maximize the cleansing effects and get it sparkling clean in no time.

The two substances trigger a chemical reaction that creates carbon dioxide to easily handle limescale and residue. This duo is a fantastic solution to make your smoking tools spotless.


  • Put your pipe into a plastic ziplock bag and add baking soda. Give the bag a gentle shake to evenly distribute the agent.
  • Fill the bag with white vinegar and seal it tightly. Let the smoking device settle inside for at least 25-35 minutes.
  • Next, give it another shake then, use a soft brush or cotton tip to scrub the nooks and crannies thoroughly.
  • Clean the device with warm water afterward.
  • Let it dry on fresh paper towels.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide is also a potent cleaning agent that works wonders in removing the buildup of resin and dark stains in your smoking tool. You may want to add coarse or Epsom salt to ease the process.

Cleaning with Hydrogen Peroxide takes longer than other methods, but it’s still a viable option if you don’t have other solutions readily at hand.


  • Place your pipe in a plastic ziplock bag and pour in Hydrogen Peroxide. Make sure that there is enough agent to submerge your tool fully.
  • Put in a fair amount of coarse salt to help scrub the resin buildup off the tool.
  • Seal the bag tightly and leave it alone for around 12 hours. Then, shake it for a few minutes.
  • Empty the bag and rinse the tool with warm water. If there’s still a good amount of residual resin in the pipe, give it another cleaning round. A paper clip or cotton tip might be needed to take out the remaining resin.
  • Dry your tool thoroughly before using it.

Pipe Cleaning Solutions

If the home remedies don’t work for your case, or you are simply after something more heavy-duty, you can rely on store-bought options. Cleaning formulas from Grunge Off, 420 Solutions, and Piece Water are available products specially made for resin buildup in smoking tools.

Don’t forget to refer to the ingredient list of the solution, so you can rest assured that what you’re putting into your smoking tool is benign.

If you don’t know where to start, go ahead and consult your budtender.

How To Keep Your Glass Pipe Clean

Empty The Water After Each Use

You don’t want to keep the water in your tools between uses as it reeks and makes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to thrive. Instead, replace the water after each use, and you can enjoy a cleaner, more quality smoking session.

Clean Your Piece With Warm Water After One Or Two Sessions

A basic rinse with warm water after one or two uses can keep your pipe clean longer. In addition, there are fewer resins you have to deal with later in the full-cleaning.

Add Some Lemon Juice

Lemon juice keeps the resin from building as quickly as usual. Add a few drops while you are replacing the water. But keep in mind that too much will be overkill and overpower the smell and taste of your tobacco and other content.

Use Pipe Cleaners

Pipe cleaners are always handy. They can access all the nooks and crannies to remove the moisture and residue from your tool. So grab a pack of pipe cleaners, and run one by one along the tool to scrub off the buildup until the cleaner comes out clean.

How Often Should You Clean A Pipe?

There is no harsh rule about how often you should clean your smoking tool. However, we recommend cleaning it as frequently as possible.

If you rinse your smoking tools after one or two smoking sessions, there should not be many stubborn buildups for you to deal with later. A dirty, residue-laden pipe can also interfere with the taste of different terpenes of your herbs.


Cleaning your smoking tool frequently is highly recommended. By doing so, you’re faced with less resin build-up, making the cleaning job less of a pain. On top of that, you can truly appreciate the taste of your herbs without any unpleasant rotten resin.

You can use a bottle of it to clean glass pipes and as long as you get rid of all the acetone thoroughly in the final step.

Because there’s still a health concern associated with the chemical composition in the dissolvent, you may also consider other slightly less efficient but safer alternatives.

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