9.7.2020 | The Humble Paperclip

On this Labor Day I’d like to tell you about one of the handiest pieces of paraphernalia I use. It’s cheap, it’s common and you can find them in any office – that’s the Labor Day tie-in… I’m talking about the jumbo paperclip – not the small ones and not the colorful plastic-covered ones, but the big, smooth steel paperclips. I go through boxes of these because I use at least 2-3 a week. They are the ultimate bowl scraper.

When I smoke with a pipe I put a screen in it to keep the ashes from traveling down the stem and into my mouth when I take that second or third hit. Marijuana hits with an ash finish is not what I’m looking for, so I use screens – always.

But after two or three bowls of some gooey, trichome-filled buds that screen is lost down there under all the accumulating resin and ash. The bowl starts getting gunky and the hits don’t have the draw I’m looking for… that’s when the paperclip shines! You’re in the middle of sesh, after all – quickly scrape that bowl – clean away the residue blocking your airflow, and get back in the game in seconds!

Once a little crud and resin has built up on the paperclip – toss it. A new one is less than pennies away.

Using The Paperclip

To use the paperclip as a bowl scraper simply un-bend one end of the clip like this:

Gently but firmly scrape the inside of your pipe, being somewhat careful not to poke a hole in the screen. I like to use steel screens because they are a little more durable than brass screens.

Tap out your bowl in the ashtray and give a little extra scrape to make sure you’re feeling the screen down there. If the screen has gotten so gunky you can’t feel the scrape of metal on metal, then it’s time to change that screen. Probably a good time to clean the pipe too… I recommend using some Randy’s Black Label Glass Cleaner because in five to ten minutes your pipe will be sparkling fresh and ready to go!

And – by the way – a paperclip is great for cleaning out the bowl on your bong too… if you use the “smoke-through” method just poke that remaining ash through the bowl with the opened paperclip. Otherwise, remove the bowl, scrape around several times and tap out the ash and residue. Again, you’re back in the game in seconds.

I’ve been using paperclips just like this for 38 years and will continue to buy them by the box because I couldn’t imagine heading into a sesh without my trusty paperclip!

Have you ever used a paperclip to clean your pipe or bong? If not, what do you use to scrape your bowl?

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Denise Alley
September 7, 2020 4:32 pm

I use them All the time? The best use of a paper clip. It truly works.