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 by making the hits harsher, dulling the flavor, and exposing you to mold and bacteria. Not to mention, it looks unsightly and smells bad.
Fortunately, cleaning a 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 properly when it does.
How to Prevent Your Glass Bong from Getting Clogged or Dirty
The best way to prevent your glass bong from getting clogged or dirty is to maintain it regularly. Here are some tips to follow:
- Change the water in your bong after every smoke session. This will prevent the water from getting stale and full of tar and debris. Stale water can also harbor mold and bacteria, which can be harmful to your health. You can use tap water, but purified water is better for preventing mineral buildup.
- Rinse out the pieces in hot water. This will loosen up any of the bigger chunks of 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.
- Knock off any big pieces of resin with cotton swabs or pipe cleaners. If there are any large chunks of tar or resin that you can easily reach, simply knock them off with gentle scrubbing. If a chunk resists, that’s fine. You just want to get rid of the big, easily removed chunks now.
- Deep clean your bong roughly once a week. Depending on how often you smoke, you may need to deep clean your bong more or less frequently. A deep cleaning involves using alcohol and salt to dissolve and remove the stubborn resin that accumulates over time. We will explain how to do this in the next section.
How to Clean Your Glass Bong
When your glass bong gets too dirty or clogged for a simple rinse, you need to give it a thorough cleaning. All you need is:
- Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol – 90% works fine; 70% is okay too
- Coarse salt – such as kosher salt or sea salt
- Resealable plastic bags – large enough to fit the smaller parts of your bong
- Cotton swabs or pipe cleaners – for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas
- Paper towels or cloth – for drying
You can also buy specially made bong cleaners at a head shop or weed store, but they are often more expensive than isopropyl alcohol and have other chemicals in them that aren’t needed.
To clean your glass bong, follow these steps:
- Separate all the moving pieces from the bong. Proper cleaning usually involves shaking and some scrubbing, which can damage delicate glass parts if you’re not careful. Separate each of the parts — the bong, the slide, and the stem, and set them aside to be cleaned separately. You may want to wear latex gloves, as the smell of resin can be hard to remove from your hands.
- 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. Though you can do them at the same time, it is safest to put them each in separate bags.
- Fill your plastic bags with isopropyl alcohol and salt. Purchase 90% isopropyl instead of 70% 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. Alcohol reacts with the tar and resin, making it easier to remove, making it a cheap and effective home cleaner. Salt acts as an abrasive agent that helps scrub away the resin.
- Shake the bags gently for a few minutes. This will help the alcohol and salt mixture to dissolve and dislodge the resin from the smaller parts. You can also use your fingers to rub the salt against the glass. Be careful not to break the glass or puncture the bags.
- Let the bags sit for a few hours or overnight. This will allow the alcohol and salt to soak and loosen up any remaining resin. The longer you let them sit, the easier it will be to clean them.
- Pour out the alcohol/salt mixture and rinse the pieces with warm water. You should see a lot of brown liquid and chunks coming out of the bags. Rinse the pieces thoroughly with warm water to make sure no alcohol or salt are left. You can also use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner to scrub any hard-to-reach areas.
- Fill your bong with isopropyl alcohol and salt, shake it up, then let it soak. Use the same method as you did for the smaller parts, but this time for the bong itself. Plug the holes with paper towels or cloth to prevent spills. Shake it gently for a few minutes, then let it sit for a few hours or overnight.
- Pour out the alcohol/salt mixture and rinse the bong with warm water. Again, you should see a lot of brown liquid and chunks coming out of the bong. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water to make sure no alcohol or salt are left. You can also use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner to scrub any hard-to-reach areas.
- Dry all the pieces with paper towels or cloth. Make sure they are completely dry before reassembling them. You don’t want any moisture to remain in your bong, as it can cause mold and bacteria growth.
- Reassemble your bong and enjoy! You should notice a big difference in the appearance, smell, and taste of your bong. Your hits should be smoother, cleaner, and more flavorful. Enjoy your smoking session with your freshly cleaned bong!
If you follow these steps regularly, you will prevent your glass bong from getting clogged or dirty, and you will prolong its life and quality. Happy smoking!