Water pipes: Tips on Using and Cleaning

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Glassblowing was invented by the Phoenicians around 50 BC somewhere near the Syro-Palestinian coast. Fragments from a glass workshop were found in a ritual bath in the Old City of Jerusalem, which are believed to be from 37 to 4 BC. Some of the glass tubes that were found resembled modern tubes used in glassblowing which is how researchers concluded that the Phoenicians were already experimenting with glassblowing.
Water pipes are common examples of products made from glassblowing. They are principally used for smoking tobacco. They act like filtration devices for the smoke. They are very similar to the traditional hookah, but are smaller and more portable. Smoking out of glass water pipes began to gain popularity during the late Ming Dynasty along with the use of tobacco. However, it was during the Qing Dynasty that it became very popular.
Fans of bubbler pipes and other water pipes claim that smoking is safer with the use of these types of pipes because they lessen the chance of burning the mouth, lungs and airways. Water inside the pipes has a cooling effect on the hot smoke entering the lungs.
Glass water pipes are filled with cold water. The water should be about 3 inches above the base of the slide or stem. The bowl is then packed with smoking material. When using a glass pipe, make sure to pay attention to what type of carb it has. A carb on a hand pipe is typically a hole in the side of the pipe that you cover with your hand while you inhale to fill the pipe with smoke. Uncovering the carb will then allow you to empty the pipe of smoke. On glass pipes with water, the carb is typically a slide that is attached to the bowl. This is removed when you are ready to empty the pipe of smoke. This type of functionality is one of many things to consider when you decide to buy a pipe.
When it is time to clean your water pipe, pour out the water and dissemble the pipe as much as possible. Using alcohol or dishwashing liquid, with uncooked rice, salt or birdseed inside the vessel, shake forcefully. Let it stand for 10 minutes then shake again. Rinse the pipe. If there are still residues, repeat the whole process. Make sure to use hot water when you are rinsing. Use regular dish soap to wash your pipe. It is easiest to reassemble glass water pipes when it is still wet.
One advantage of glass on glass pipes is that they are easier to clean than metal or wooden pipes. The biggest disadvantage of using glass pipes is that they are easily breakable and very difficult to transport.
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Michelle Walker has 14 articles online

Michelle Walker is an avid collector of hand made glass art. She is an expert on glass pipes of all types and particularly enjoys collecting glass on glass bubblers.

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Water pipes: Tips on Using and Cleaning

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This article was published on 2011/06/29