Toker Supply logo over paper clips for DIY smoking tips

A Smoker’s Improvisation Guide

Everyone knows the frustration of not being able to find something important. Even the most responsible smoker knows how easy it is to misplace important smoking tools. Obviously, this is doubly as frustrating. Impromptu glass pipes, grinders, and even lighters can be difficult to come by. And desperate times mean desperate measures.

Fortunately, there are several ways that you can overcome these unique problems. As we're spending a lot more time indoors these days, these can make surviving quarantine a lot easier. Basically, you can use common items sitting in your house as a substitute for your usual materials. In addition, as an online headshop, we consider ourselves the experts on all things smoky. These are some of our favorite household items to use for all your smoking needs.

Pile of Paper Clips

1. Paper Clips

After smoking your glass pipe or bong a few times, resin will accumulate. If you’re right in the middle of a smoking session, then pausing to clean it is out of the question. That’s where paper clips can be a real lifesaver.

Using the end of a paper clip, you can pick out the resin inside the glass pipe and carb, restoring the air flow to normal.

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Having a dirty pipe can greatly damage your smoking experience. Lots of resin can create unclear channels, which will inhibit and dilute the smoke by the time it reaches your mouth. There are a ton of reasons to keep your pipe clean, but this is among the most important. When you’ve run out of legitimate cleaning supplies, Isopropyl alcohol is ideal for emergency cleaning. Soaking your piece in it is an easy way to start the cleaning process and swiftly eliminate resin.

To clean pipes with excessive resin, you can soak cotton swabs in rubbing alcohol. Next, use the cotton swabs to clear the residue. Glass pipes with excessive resin can be cleaned with cotton swabs. You can also be proactive in preventing resin accumulation with an ash catcher.

3. White Vinegar

Rubbing alcohol is great for dissolving resin, but it won't exactly remove all of the stains that accumulate within a bong. White vinegar is the best common household material for cleaning water stains from heavy use. This applies to both the interior and the exterior of your bong.

4. Scissors

One of the smoker's Holy Grails are grinders. Without a grinder, it can be excruciating trying to reduce your herbs down to a compact, smokeable form. Obviously, you may be able to make moderate progress deconstructing them with your hands. However, scissors are the best replacement for a grinder. Also, the finer the blades, the more efficiently you can break it down.

And, while scissors are a respectable alternative, they still lack the complete functionality of a grinder. There is no subterranean kief-catching compartment to collect the more potent bits of the herb.

5. Tweezers

Sometimes, digging out your rolling papers to smoke a joint is what the smoking experience calls for. But - what if you don’t have your roach clip?

In emergency situations, tweezers are a great substitute for a roach clip. They're the perfect size to grip the joint, preventing you from burning your fingers.

Herbs in Mason Jars

6. Mason Jars

No, mason jars aren’t just a drink container for hipsters.

Mason jars are known for their ability to create a completely airtight seal, meaning that they're perfect for storing herbs with overwhelmingly potent aromas. In fact, you can even remove your herbs from the plastic bags altogether. However, be sure to keep the container away from natural sunlight.

7. Business Cards

Next time that pushy salesman tries to give you a business card, take one. Take two, even.

No matter how cautious you may be, you're still likely to spill some herb. Rather than using your fingers to pick up each individual piece, a business card will help you scrape it together to store away for the next smoking session.

If you’re smoking a joint, then a business card can also make for a perfect makeshift filter.

Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

8. Toilet Paper Rolls And Dryer Sheets

Feeling adventurous? You’ll want to buckle in for this one.

If you're looking to hide the smell of smoke, a toilet paper roll may be your saving grace. To make this “sploof," pack a few (three or four) dryer sheets into the toilet paper roll. Then, take another dryer sheet and drape it over the entire toilet paper roll, securing it with string, tape, or a rubber band.

This makeshift contraption will prevent the smell of smoke from permeating your home.


Passionate, hardcore smokers should always be looking for DIY hacks to expand your knowledge. Keep these tips in mind when you’re in an urgent tight spot. And remember, while these tips will work well in a pinch, they are no substitute for the tools they replace.

Have any creative smoking solutions of your own? Contact us to let us know!

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