At Glassics we made the conscious decision to only carry borosilicate, scientific glass water pipes for several reasons including health, durability, aesthetics and ease of maintenance/cleaning. Other common construction materials such as wood, metal, acrylic, stone, etc. have their own pros and cons but none outweigh glass when considering all of these areas. When it comes to water pipes, borosilicate glass is superior in almost every way.
One of the most important aspects to consider when thinking about materials to build a water pipe is the user's health. With just about every other pipe material, you run the risk of causing chemical reactions or corrosion on the inside of your pipe's smoke chamber as well as the bowl piece due to the repeated exposure to flames, embers and hot smoke.
Borosilicate glass on the other hand is extremely resistant to any sort of chemical corrosion or thermal shock and is used in just about every medical, laboratory and culinary application because of this. Glass pipes are also constructed without the addition of harmful chemicals and can be shaped and pieced together purely by applying enough heat.
When most people think of glass, certain characteristics like "fragile" or "delicate" come to mind, but with water pipes that's not always the case. As long as you handle your glass piece with care and clean it regularly, it could end up lasting you a lifetime. Due to the nature of borosilicate glass (as mentioned above) our glass water pipes are extremely resistant to thermal shock and chemical corrosion, meaning that no matter how many times they are used, they can always be brought back to their original spotlessness with enough cleaning and patience.
For the clumsier smokers among us, we also carry a collection of 9mm Bongs which offer almost twice the thickness of our standard 5mm pieces. The extra-thick walls, although not indestructible, will ensure that your Tube can take a lot more abuse than our traditional glass pieces. The extra weight of these Tubes also keeps them more stable, making them less likely to be knocked over by an excited pet or a careless passerby.
Not only do glass water pipes tend to be healthier and last longer than other materials when taken care of, but they simply look cleaner too. This is more of a matter of subjectivity, but in our opinion clear, spotless glass has an aura of cleanliness that other materials simply cannot match. The way in which light hits brand new or freshly cleaned glass with maximum transparency and shine is something that other materials simply cannot replicate, either in a photo or in person. Of course, a few good smoking sessions can quickly change all that, which brings us to our next subject - ease of cleaning.
The last metric that we will be judging glass on as a water pipe material is the ease of maintenance and cleaning. As aforementioned, no matter how often a glass water pipe is used or how infrequently it is cleaned, it is always possible to bring it back to its day one appearance. But it's always a good idea to clean your glass pieces regularly to save yourself some time in the long run.
Since borosilicate glass can withstand dramatic thermal shock and has a melting point well above 800°F, hot water is always a good starting choice for cleaning out the bulk of buildup and debris inside your piece. Just be mindful of how you are handling your glass piece in a sink as water can cause you to lose your grip and drop your glass which is never a fun feeling. If water is not enough to clean the pipe entirely, the next option is to use a simple retail or homemade cleaner containing both a solvent and an abrasive.
Borosilicate glass' extreme resistance to chemical corrosion allows it to hold up to just about any common cleaning solvent without causing any issues. It is important though to make sure that you rinse out your water pipe entirely when using any solvents or cleaning solutions before using it again. For a more detailed guide on how to clean your piece, please visit our other Blog Post.
If you have any more questions about the use of glass in water pipes or would like to see something added, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.