It is a simple thing to clean a pipe, assuming you care and put the work in to do it. First, let us start by talking about resin and clogged pipes. As you smoke, there are byproducts, including ash, carbon, tar, and more. Those byproducts still enter the pipe, just like the smoke that you want. The difference is that the resin builds on the inside walls of the pipe over time.
Usually, the resin builds up a coating inside the pipe and can easily be cleaned with a cleaning solution. If you let the resin continue to build over a year, you will have a thick layer that needs to be scraped out of your pipe. And if it gets that thick, it will interrupt the quality function and even lead to it clogging.
How will you clean a pipe routinely, so it doesn't clog and ruin your piece? There is a common way and some other ways too. As I mentioned above, you can scrape it, but that only allows you to reach certain areas on the inside chamber. And if it was a water pipe that needed cleaning, you more than likely will have lots of trouble scraping that. One other way that is a bit odd is to put your piece in a pot of water and turn the heat on to boil the piece. I wouldn't say I like doing it this way, but if you want your resin back to use, do it this way and put cheesecloth on top of the water to catch the resin and dry it out.
But the primary way to clean a pipe or water pipe is to use a liquid cleaning solution. The do-it-yourself solution has stood the test of time and always seems to work. It is isopropyl alcohol 70% or greater, and table salt. Use four tablespoons of salt per cup of iso. Adjust as needed.
If you're doing this for a water pipe, dump the solution directly into the chamber where the water sits. Clog the holes and shake for 5 minutes or until you've had enough. If it is for a pipe, then get a plastic baggy or even Tupperware to put the solution in. Put the pipe in the solution. Seal the bag/lid so you can shake the bag so that it seems like the solution is going in and out of the pipe. Do this for 5 minutes or until you have had enough and can see clean results. Rinse pipe out after and dry. You can also put pieces in the dishwasher or repeat this process with dish soap and water for a cleaner smell.
Folks, it is that quick and easy to clean a glass or ceramic pipe. So make sure you try to stay on top of it so you can enjoy your piece the way it was made to function. Also, don't forget to change the water in your water pipe every couple of days to keep it fresh and free from becoming just plain gross or even stagnant from sitting with no use over time.