Though cannabis-lovers tend to adore our paraphernalia – especially bongs, which their vase-like presence in a room – we don’t always take the best care of our pieces. But it is important to do so. To help, here’s how to clean a bong — but first, let’s cover why it’s important.
Why You Should Keep Your Bong Clean
Regularly cleaning your bong will remove ash, tar, and carbon; meaning that nasty stuff isn’t going into your lungs. There are so many aspects of cannabis, it’s a shame to toss in harmful elements. Clogs are also an annoying and time-consuming surprise. A routine quick-clean is preferable over a long, sticky, and very overdue cleaning you weren’t planning for.
Germs are also a factor, especially if your bong is a favorite of your circle. And tasting sweet herb is far more pleasant than tasting ash and resin. Of course, aesthetics are a big reason; frequent cleaning keeps your bong centerpiece-ready and looking fine.
How to Clean a Bong
There are several ways to tackle the matter of a dirty bong, which one is best depends on what your priorities are, and, perhaps – what supplies you have on hand.
Old-School Fave: Rubbing Alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol has been the go-to method of paraphernalia cleansing for generations. The risk of breathing hot alcohol residue into your lungs after cleaning is debated, so be very mindful not to skip the rinse.
- Gather your supplies: Isopropyl alcohol, coarse (big) salt, pipe cleaners, old fabric/cloth, and gloves.
- Take apart bong, making sure that each piece is disassembled and won’t go flying when we get to shaking in step 7.
- Empty out the old water, then give the bong a good rinse, ensuring any loose gunk is freed.
- Put smaller pieces (bowl, slide) in an appropriately-sized container and fill with rubbing alcohol.
- Add coarse salt to the bong, then fill it with isopropyl alcohol.
- Carefully plug the holes with the pieces of fabric.
- Get shaking – shake vigorously for 5-10 minutes or until resin starts separating
- Repeat as necessary, leaving to soak a few hours or overnight if it’s especially dirty.
- Give your bong a good rinse in hot water so you don’t breathe in the fumes.
- Empty alcohol from the container of smaller pieces, rinsing with hot water and removing remaining gunk with pipe cleaners.
If you’re concerned about the fumes from isopropyl alcohol being toxic, there are other methods that are considered safer, like replacing vinegar in the steps outlined above. Some also recommend dropping denture tablets into the bong, adding water, and letting the fizzy bubbles do their thing for about a half hour.
You can also use plain ol’ water, boiled on the stove:
- Fill a pan with enough water to completely cover the bong, bring to boil.
- Add lemon juice or baking soda to boost the cleaning power, if you like.
- Reduce heat to medium or lower so that it becomes a simmer, bubbling gently.
- Carefully submerge the bong and pieces, making sure there is no glass above water – if part of it remains cooler than the rest, the glass may crack.
- Leave for a half hour, then drain the water; repeating this process and treating the smaller pieces as outlined above.
New Age Cleaners
In this high-tech cannabis age, we’ve got all kinds of handy things; from gluten-free edibles to infused wine – and, finally, the revolution has reached the cleaning process. Search the internet for “cannabis paraphernalia cleanser,” adding whatever your priority may be: environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, cheap, fast-acting, etc. Acquire your choice cleanser and carefully follow their instructions.
Maintenance and Care
Once you’ve got your bong looking spic and span, you want to keep it up. Some recommend doing a quick clean after every session, but for daily users, that might not be realistic. Try aiming for every other day, and definitely be sure to replace water every day to prevent bacteria from growing.
Once your piece is looking good, the team at Have a Heart would be happy to help you pick out some extremely delicious flower to celebrate your newfound ability to taste its nuances.