If you enjoy smoking herb or tobacco from a glass bong, you know how important it is to keep it clean and unclogged. A dirty bong can ruin your smoking experience, making it harsh, unpleasant, and unhealthy. Not to mention, it looks gross and smells bad.
Fortunately, cleaning your glass bong is not hard or expensive. You just need some basic supplies and a few minutes of your time. In this blog post, we will show you how to prevent your glass bong from getting clogged or dirty, and how to clean it if it does.
Why You Should Clean Your Glass Bong Regularly
There are many reasons why you should clean your glass bong regularly, such as:
- It improves the taste and quality of your smoke. A clean bong allows you to enjoy the full flavor and aroma of your herb or tobacco, without any nasty tar or resin interfering. A dirty bong, on the other hand, can make your smoke taste bitter, stale, and burnt.
- It reduces the health risks of smoking. A dirty bong can harbor mold, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms that can cause infections, allergies, or respiratory problems. A clean bong reduces the chances of inhaling these contaminants, making your smoking safer and more hygienic.
- It extends the lifespan of your bong. A dirty bong can damage your glass piece over time, causing cracks, stains, or clogs that can affect its functionality and appearance. A clean bong preserves the integrity and beauty of your glass piece, making it last longer and look better.
How Often Should You Clean Your Glass Bong
The frequency of cleaning your glass bong depends on how often you use it and how dirty it gets. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should:
- Change the water in your bong after every smoke session. This will prevent the water from becoming stagnant and breeding mold and bacteria. It will also prevent the water from absorbing too much tar and resin, which can make your smoke harsher and less flavorful.
- Clean your bong thoroughly at least once a week. This will remove any buildup of tar and resin that can clog your bong or affect its performance. It will also keep your bong shiny and fresh-looking.
How to Clean Your Glass Bong with Alcohol and Salt
One of the most popular and effective methods of cleaning a glass bong is using isopropyl alcohol (also known as rubbing alcohol) and coarse salt. These ingredients act as solvents and abrasives that dissolve and scrub away the tar and resin from your glass piece. Here are the steps to follow:
- Separate all the moving parts from the bong. This includes the bowl, the stem, and any other accessories that can be detached. This will make it easier to clean each part individually and prevent any damage from shaking or scrubbing.
- Rinse out the pieces in hot water. This will loosen up any of the bigger chunks of tar or resin that may be clogging up your bong. The hotter the water the better, but be careful not to burn yourself or crack the glass. If your piece is cold, start with lukewarm water and slowly raise the temperature.
- Place the smaller parts in resealable plastic bags. Make sure that they can seal effectively. You’ll use the bag to contain your cleaning fluid while you soak the smaller pieces. You can also use cups or bowls, but they may leave an unpleasant smell or residue.
- Fill your plastic bags with isopropyl alcohol and salt. Purchase 90% isopropyl instead of 71% whenever available, though both will work. They can be found in the first aid section of your supermarket or pharmacy. Make sure the pieces are fully submerged in the fluid. The alcohol reacts with the tar and resin, making it easier to remove. The salt acts as a scrubbing agent that helps dislodge any stubborn bits.
- Pour alcohol and salt into the bong. Fill it enough to cover most of the inside surface. You don’t need to fill it all the way up unless it’s very dirty.
- Plug the holes and shake it up. Use your fingers, paper towels, or rubber stoppers to plug the openings of the bong and the bags. Then, shake them vigorously for a minute or two, making sure the alcohol and salt reach every corner and crevice. You should see the liquid turning brown as it dissolves the tar and resin.
- Pour out the alcohol/salt mixture. Carefully unplug the holes and pour out the dirty liquid into a sink or a trash can. You may need to repeat this step a few times until the liquid comes out clear.
- Rinse with warm water. To make sure no alcohol or salt are left, rinse your bong and its parts with warm water until they smell clean and look shiny. You can use a pipe cleaner or a cotton swab to reach any hard-to-clean spots.
- Let it dry. Place your bong and its parts on a towel or a rack and let them air dry until they don’t smell like alcohol. This may take an hour or so, depending on the size and shape of your piece.
How to Clean Your Glass Bong with Lemon and Boiling Water
Another standard method of cleaning a glass bong without alcohol is to use lemon along with boiling water. Lemon juice is acidic and can help break down the tar and resin in your bong. Boiling water can also help dissolve and flush out the dirt. Here are the steps to follow:
- Separate all the moving parts from the bong. As before, this will make it easier to clean each part individually and prevent any damage from shaking or scrubbing.
- Rinse out the pieces in hot water. As before, this will loosen up any of the bigger chunks of tar or resin that may be clogging up your bong. Be careful not to burn yourself or crack the glass.
- Boil some water and add lemon juice to it. You can use fresh or bottled lemon juice, but make sure it’s pure and not diluted with sugar or other additives. The amount of lemon juice you need depends on how dirty your bong is, but a good ratio is one lemon per liter of water.
- Pour the lemon water into the bong. Fill it enough to cover most of the inside surface. You don’t need to fill it all the way up unless it’s very dirty.
- Let it soak for 15-30 minutes. The longer you let it soak, the more effective it will be. The lemon water will work its way into the tar and resin, making them softer and easier to remove.
- Pour out the lemon water. Carefully pour out the dirty liquid into a sink or a trash can. You may need to repeat this step a few times until the liquid comes out clear.
- Rinse with warm water. As before, rinse your bong and its parts with warm water until they smell clean and look shiny. You can use a pipe cleaner or a cotton swab to reach any hard-to-clean spots.
- Let it dry. As before, place your bong and its parts on a towel or a rack and let them air dry until they don’t smell like lemon. This may take an hour or so, depending on the size and shape of your piece.
Tips for Preventing Your Glass Bong from Getting Clogged or Dirty
Besides cleaning your glass bong regularly, there are some other tips you can follow to prevent it from getting clogged or dirty in the first place, such as:
- Avoid smoking wet or sticky herb or tobacco. These can leave more residue in your bong than dry or finely ground ones. They can also make your smoke harsher and less enjoyable.
- Avoid using tap water in your bong. Tap water can contain minerals, chlorine, or other impurities that can affect the taste and quality of your smoke. They can also leave deposits in your bong that can be hard to remove. Instead, use filtered, distilled, or purified water for a smoother and cleaner smoke.
- Avoid overfilling your bong with water. Too much water can cause splashing, which can make your bong dirty faster. It can also dilute your smoke and make it less potent. The ideal amount of water is enough to cover the bottom of the stem by about an inch or two. You should hear a bubbling sound when you inhale, but not a