Toker Supply logo over paper clips for DIY smoking tips

A Smoker’s Improvisation Guide

As every hardcore smoker knows, people will misplace important smoking materials. Replacement glass pipes, grinders, and even lighters can be difficult to come by in a pinch. And desperate times mean desperate measures. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can overcome these unique needs by using common items throughout the household in place of your usual materials. And, as an online headshop, we consider ourselves the experts. 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 several 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 come in.

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

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Having a dirty piece can greatly affect your smoking experience. Lots of resin can create unclear pathways, which will dilute the smoke by the time it reaches your mouth. When you’ve run out of legitimate glass pipe cleaning supplies, Isopropyl alcohol is perfect for emergency cleaning. Soaking your piece in it is an easy way to start the cleaning process and eliminate resin.

To clean pipes with excessive resin, you can soak cotton swabs in rubbing alcohol. Then, use the cotton swabs to eliminate the residue. Glass pipes with excessive resin can be cleaned with cotton swabs. However, keep in mind that a dedicated glass cleaning product is still ideal. You can also be proactive in preventing resin accumulation with an ash catcher.

3. White Vinegar

Rubbing alcohol is great for dissolving resin, but will not remove all of the stains within a bong. White vinegar is the best common household material for cleaning water stains from heavy use, on both the inside and the outside of your bong. After all, it’s important to keep your pipe clean.

4. Scissors

Grinders are a necessity for smokers. Without a grinder, it can be difficult to reduce your herbs down to a smokeable form. You might be able to make some progress ripping them apart with your hands, but scissors are the best replacement for a grinder. The finer the blades, the more efficiently you can break it down.

And, while scissors are an effective replacement, they lack the full functionality of a grinder. There is no kief-catching compartment present to collect the more potent parts of the herb.

5. Tweezers

Sometimes, digging out your rolling papers to smoke a joint is what the smoking experiences call for. But what if you don’t have your roach clip? In emergency situations, tweezers can fill the void of the roach clip. They are the perfect size to grip the joint, preventing you from getting burned.

Herbs in Mason Jars

6. Mason Jars

No, mason jars aren’t just a hipster’s drink container of choice.

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

Looking to make your own stash today? Check out our toker kit.

7. Business Cards

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

Even with extreme caution, it’s still possible to spill some herb. Rather than using your fingers to pick each individual piece up, 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 are looking to smoke discreetly, a toilet paper roll may be your best option. To make this “sploof”, pack a few (3-4) 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 homemade contraption will prevent the smell and smoke of your herb from travelling throughout your home.


As a hardcore smoker, you should always be on the lookout for smoking hacks to expand your knowledge. Keep these tips in mind when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. 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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