You wouldn’t drink from a dirty glass, or eat from a dirty plate - so why would you take hits from a dirty bong?
If you’re the proud owner of some excellent smoking glassware, you’ve probably noticed that the first hit of a new bong is the best - and this is simply down to the fact that it is so clean. So to get that same first-hit feeling with every session, all you have to do is clean your bong regularly.
How to Clean a Bong?
We get it - cleaning your bong can be truly dirty work. But to maintain the taste and quality of your sessions, it is unfortunately a necessary task. That being said, how often you should clean your bong is down to personal choice - and, of course, how often you smoke.
A dirty bong doesn’t just compromise the quality of your smoke sessions, it can actually compromise your health as well. Apart from just being gross, there are a number of serious health issues that can be triggered by using a dirty bong - including pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema. This is because your bong is the optimal breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which thrive in moist, warm environments with a readily available food source - like plant debris, which is transmitted into your bong water every time you inhale.
How often should I clean a bong?
Some people clean their glassware weekly, and others daily - but if you’re a heavy smoker you should probably consider cleaning it every few days, or at the very least refreshing your water before every use.
Hygiene aside, a clean bong is the best way to consume your materials and if your equipment is full of resin it can overpower the taste of your dry herb. If you’re not cleaning your bong on a regular basis, your smoke may get mixed in with leftover residue which can really taint the taste of your herb.
So considering all the hard-earned cash you’ve spent on a top class bong for the smoothest hit possible, why sabotage the quality of your smoke sessions over something as simple as not cleaning it properly?
How to know if your bong needs cleaning
Here are some easy tell-tale signs that your bong is in serious need of a deep clean:
- Brown, pungent bong water.
- Slimy film growing on top of your bong water, and along the inside of the bong.
- Heavy resin build-up.
- White or gray fuzzy mold growing on resin build-up.
- White or black specks inside the bong.
While it may be daunting at first, learning how to clean your bong is actually quite simple, and won’t take up too much of your time. All you need is some elbow grease and a few common household cleaning products, which shouldn’t cost you too much.
What You’ll Need
To get your bong feeling brand-spanking new, you’ll need the following items:
- Salt (table, rock or sea salt will all work fine)
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) preferably 90% or above. You should find this pretty easily in any drugstore.
- Pipe cleaners (to clean stem and other hard to reach areas)
- Fabric or kitchen paper (to plug openings)
- Grease proof paper (to cover openings)
- Ziploc bag
- Elastic bands to secure
- Take apart your bong.
Completely disassemble your bong, paying particular attention to the bowl and stem. Rinse all pieces with moderately hot water (not boiling - you don’t want to shatter the glass) to help clear away any sticky, stubborn resin from the inside. Set aside your bowl and stem - we’ll get to these later.
Salt the inside
Add a few tablespoons of salt into your bong, we recommend using a free-running table salt with a spout for easy pouring. Salt is one of the most important factors in the cleaning process as the abrasive texture of the salt will help to dislodge any sticky resin, while also helping to kill any bacteria.
Pour in the alcohol
Pour in your alcohol, bring careful not to add too much so that it won’t dissolve all of the salt. If some of your salt dissolves, you can adjust the alcohol/salt ratio if necessary.
Pack it up
Pack all of your bong’s openings with fabric or kitchen paper, and then cover over all openings with the grease-proof paper or cling film. Secure with elastic bands to prevent your salt/alcohol mixture leaking out.
Soak your stem and bowl
Take your bowl and stem and place them into a ziploc bag, repeating the salt and alcohol steps as above. Seal the ziploc bag, and let these pieces to soak in the alcohol/salt mixture.
The shaking process will help to remove any nasty residue from the walls of your bong. If there are still a few tough resin stains clinging to the glass, leave your bong to sit for an hour with the alcohol/salt mixture still inside.
Don’t neglect the finer details
If you have any stubborn areas that the alcohol/salt mixture can’t fix alone, reach for your pipe cleaners. Scrub the area (lightly, you don’t want to scratch the glass) and if necessary, give your bong a second soak.
Carefully shake the ziploc bag containing all your removable glass parts, to help dislodge any resin. Soak for as long as it takes for the alcohol/salt mixture to penetrate through any gluey debris, and use your pipe cleaners to work off the tougher bits.
When you’ve scrubbed your bong clean and its ready to go, don’t forget to give all parts of your device one final rinse through with hot water to wash away the alcohol, and get rid of any lasting residue.
Leave your bowl, stem and the body of your bong out on a clean towel to fully dry before reassembling.
You should now be left with what looks like a brand spanking new bong. Load it up and enjoy!