Formula 420 Cleaner

Formula 420 is billed as a 1 minute non-toxic anti-bacterial cleaner for pyrex, glass, metal, ceramic, plastic and acrylic. The label promises “no scrubbing, no soaking, and no waiting”. decided to put Formula 420 to the test and here are our results:

We decided to clean these items: A glass water pipe, 2 glass slides, and 2 metal/fimo pipes. There is basically two kinds of gunk that forms on the wall of your pieces: the thick black resin found in pipes and stems near the bowl, and the thin layer of smoke-turned-resin that forms on the walls of water pipes after the smoke has passed through water. The latter is obviously easier to remove.

Water Pipe: If you want to remove that brownish film that forms on the inside of your tube, Formula 420 is a great product to use. I cleaned my piece is less than the 1 minute recommended and it came out looking like new.

Glass Slides: These are the glass bowls with stems that you find sticking out of your water pipe. According to the directions, you should place these pieces in a sealable plastic bag, add formula 420, and then shake for 1 minute. While the stem part of the slide came out squeaky clean (literally), the bowl needed some more work. We can’t blame Formula 420 for trying- bowls are usually thick with resin that gets baked on each time you put your lighter to it. You still won’t find a better product to clean your accessories with unless you decide to use some toxic industrial-strength flesh-eating acid.

Metal Pipes: I was hesitant to put my fimo into Formula 420, but those fears were unfounded because no damage was done to the material. In fact, the fimo designs look cleaner and brighter than ever. Again, there was a little leftover residue after cleaning. I don’t clean my metal pieces often, so they are usually thick with resin sludge. Formula 420 managed to cut through most of the crud the first time around. Wiping off the bowl with a paper towel laced with F420 finished the job.

We used about 1/3 of our 12 FL OZ bottle for the above review. While we used a fresh squirt of Formula 420 for each piece, you can save the used solution and reuse it in the future. Be wary of the used solution because it contains resin- if you spill some used solution on your counter, it will eventually evaporate and leave a mess that can only be cleaned with a splash of F420.

While there are many ways to clean your smoking accessories, keep in mind that Formula 420 is not only non-toxic- it disinfects*, deodorizes, and is biodegradable*. For the purists out there, this product doesn’t leave an after taste. If various people are always coming over and slobbering on your pipes, rest easy because F420 is anti-bacterial*. (* We did not test the validity of these claims)

While the success of Formula 420 is a result of a great product, one must not ignore the impressive marketing of SCS, Inc. From the product name down to the attractive rave-like promotional flyers, SCS knows how to get attention. In an age where customer satisfaction seems to be non-existent, it’s great to see a company that knows how to please the public. As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one name in pipe cleaning- Formula 420.