If you enjoy smoking herb or tobacco from a glass bong, you know how important it is to keep it clean and fresh. A dirty bong can ruin your smoking experience, making it harsh, unpleasant, and unhealthy. Not to mention, it can also damage your glass piece and make it look unsightly.
Fortunately, cleaning a glass bong is not a difficult task. You don’t need any fancy or expensive products to do it. All you need are some simple household items and a little bit of time. In this blog post, we will show you how to clean a glass bong properly and safely, using different methods and ingredients. Follow these steps and you will have a sparkling and smooth bong in no time.
Why You Need to Clean Your Glass Bong
Before we get into the how, let’s talk about the why. Why do you need to clean your glass bong regularly? Here are some of the benefits of keeping your bong clean:
- Better flavor. A clean bong will allow you to enjoy the true taste of your herb or tobacco, without any interference from tar, resin, or mold. You will be able to appreciate the nuances and aromas of your favorite strains.
- Smoother hits. A clean bong will also make your hits smoother and less harsh on your throat and lungs. You won’t have to cough or gag as much, and you will be able to take bigger and longer hits.
- Healthier smoking. A clean bong will also reduce the risk of inhaling harmful contaminants, such as bacteria, mold, fungi, or pesticides. These can cause infections, allergies, or respiratory problems. By cleaning your bong regularly, you will prevent the growth and accumulation of these microorganisms.
- Longer-lasting piece. A clean bong will also extend the lifespan of your glass piece. By removing the tar and resin that can clog up your bong, you will prevent it from cracking, breaking, or leaking. You will also preserve its appearance and shine.
How Often You Need to 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 follow these guidelines:
- Change the water after every smoke session. This will prevent the water from becoming stale and cloudy, which can affect the flavor and quality of your smoke. It will also prevent the growth of mold and bacteria in the water.
- Deep clean your bong roughly once a week. This will remove the tar and resin that build up on the walls and inside the tubes of your bong. These can make your hits harsher and less flavorful, as well as clog up your bong.
How to Clean Your Glass Bong
There are different methods to clean a glass bong, using various ingredients and tools. Some common ingredients are alcohol, salt, vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Some common tools are bottle brush, pipe cleaner, and saucepan. The basic steps are to fill the bong with the chosen ingredient, shake it, and let it soak for some time, then rinse it with warm water and dish soap. Some methods require boiling water, but this could bust the glass. Here are some of the most popular methods to clean a glass bong:
Method 1: Alcohol and Salt
This is one of the most effective and widely used methods to clean a glass bong. Alcohol reacts with the tar and resin, making it easier to remove. Salt acts as an abrasive agent that helps scrub off the stubborn stains. Here’s how to do it:
- Separate all the moving pieces from the bong. This includes the bowl, the slide, and the stem. You will clean them separately in resealable plastic bags.
- 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. Use tongs to grip the piece if it’s too hot to handle.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fill your plastic bags with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. 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.
- Add some coarse salt to the bags. Use kosher salt, sea salt, or Epsom salt. The coarser the better. The salt will act as an abrasive agent that will help scrub off the resin from the pieces.
- Seal the bags and shake them vigorously. This will help the alcohol and salt mixture to penetrate and dissolve the resin. Shake them for a minute or two, or until you see the liquid turning brown.
- Let the bags sit for some time. Depending on how dirty your pieces are, you may need to let them soak for a few hours or overnight. This will allow the alcohol and salt to work their magic and loosen up the resin.
- Fill your bong with alcohol and salt. Use the same proportions as for the bags. Make sure to cover all the openings of your bong with your hands or some plastic wrap. You don’t want to spill any of the liquid.
- Shake your bong vigorously. Just like with the bags, this will help the alcohol and salt mixture to reach and dissolve the resin inside your bong. Shake it for a minute or two, or until you see the liquid turning brown.
- Let your bong sit for some time. Again, depending on how dirty your bong is, you may need to let it soak for a few hours or overnight. This will allow the alcohol and salt to do their job and loosen up the resin.
- Pour out the alcohol/salt mixture from the bags and the bong. You should see a lot of brown gunk coming out of them. That’s all the tar and resin that was stuck to your pieces. Dispose of the liquid properly and safely. Do not pour it down the drain, as it can damage your pipes or harm the environment.
- Rinse your pieces with warm water and dish soap. This will remove any remaining alcohol, salt, or resin from your pieces. Use a bottle brush or a pipe cleaner to scrub any hard-to-reach spots. Rinse them thoroughly until they are clean and shiny.
- Let your pieces dry completely before reassembling and using your bong. You don’t want to smoke any alcohol or soap residue, as that can be harmful and unpleasant. Let your pieces air dry on a towel or a rack until they don’t smell like alcohol anymore. This may take an hour or so. Then, put them back together and enjoy your clean bong.
Method 2: Vinegar and Baking Soda
This is another common method to clean a glass bong without alcohol. Vinegar is a natural acid that can dissolve tar and resin, while baking soda is a mild base that can neutralize odors and act as a gentle abrasive agent. Here’s how to do it:
- Follow steps 1-4 from method 1. Separate, rinse, knock off, and bag your pieces as described above.
- Fill your plastic bags with white vinegar. You can use any type of vinegar, but white vinegar is usually cheaper and more available. Make sure the pieces are fully submerged in the fluid.
- Add some baking soda to the bags. Use about one tablespoon per cup of vinegar. Be careful, as this will cause a fizzy reaction that can overflow if you add too much at once. The baking soda will help remove any odors and stains from your pieces.
- Seal the bags and shake them gently. This will help the vinegar and baking soda mixture to reach and dissolve the resin. Shake them for a minute or two, or until you see bubbles forming in the liquid.
- Let the bags sit for