This mini DIY tutorial, we’ll be covering the basics on how to clean a bong allowing your piece to stay fresh and clean for years to come.
This It’s almost a stoner’s rite to own your own bong. Sure, pipes are nice, joints are awesome, blunts are fantastic…but owning a bong is a unique experience that solidifies your commitment to the sacred herb. For most people, their first bong usually isn’t their “prize bong”. It took me a few years to build up the courage to spend more than $200 on a bong, and let me tell you, “THE T.A.R.D.I.S” is one of my favorite smoking devices.
NOTE: Naming your bong is just as crucial as owning it!
Once you own (and name) your bong, you need to keep it clean. Some bongs are easier to clean than others, while more complex bongs require a bit more ingenuity. For instance, my bong has 36 percolators on it, and those get grubby over time.
The Simple Cleaning Method
To effectively clean a bong, you will need easy to buy items at your local grocery store. The entire ordeal will cost you less than $10. Now, there are companies that do sell “bong cleaning solutions” however, I find that using the method I’m going to be covering in this tutorial is much more effective.
What you need:
- Kosher Salt – You want salt that has large ‘grains’ so it can help scrape off resin inside your bong.
- Isopropyl Alcohol (90%) – Since alcohol helps to dilute resin, it’s the best to use this.
- Hot Nearly Scolding Water – This is an absolute must.
Before you do anything, you’ll want to run hot water through your bong several times over to loosen up the resin on the side of your bong. If your bong isn’t that dirty, this could very well be the only step you need. However, I’m sure that if you’re reading this tutorial, your bong is probably grimy as hell as is the case of many stoners who don’t do regular maintenance on their pieces.
Nonetheless, running hot water through the bong and getting it in every chamber you possibly can is critical prior to advancing to the next steps.
Once you have completed the rinsing phase, you’ll move onto dousing the bong with alcohol. Get it in there good, make sure the alcohol goes everywhere. This, along with the previous step, should already remove a ton of resin stuck on the bong.
While you’re adding in the alcohol, you will also be alternating between adding salt. Now I did mention the bigger the salt grains, the more effective the clean will be, however any salt will do so don’t worry if you don’t find the exact salt listed in this tutorial.
The trick here is to get the salt into as many chambers as possible as well. The salt will help remove the resin on the bong for a complete finish.
You’ll have to eyeball the amount of salt you are using and over time will have a good idea on how much salt to use for future cleanings. While adding salt, you’ll be adding more alcohol to completely cover the inside of the bong.
Once you feel you have enough salt and alcohol in your bong, plug all the holes with your fingers/hands. By “holes” I mean the stem where you breathe from, the stem where bowl sits. Why? Because in this step you have to shake what yo’ mama gave you and as you can imagine, by not plugging the holes, you’ll be spilling salt infused alcohol all over the place. It’s called common sense people!
Nonetheless, you’ll be shaking for a few minutes. Make sure that your alcohol concoction gets everywhere inside. You should start noticing how the bong is getting cleaner with every shake.
Now that you’ve done the shaking part, it’s time to move onto rinsing it out. Once again, use hot water to rinse out your bong. Be very thorough in this part because you don’t want alcohol residue in your bong because that tastes quite bad.
Rinse and then rinse some more. If your bong is clear, you have done a successful job. If there still is some resin stuck in the bong, then simply repeat the process with the alcohol and salt until you have a completely clean bong.
Allow the bong to cool down prior to putting in cold water because sudden heat changes will weaken the glass and can result in your favorite smoking piece just shattering, like your child hood dreams.
Now that the main piece is cleaned, it’s time to move onto the bowl and the stem. Odds are that these pieces are grubbier than the main piece. When cleaning the bowl you’ll need:
- Cotton Swabs
- Elbow Grease
What I usually do is soak the bowl in some alcohol for a few minutes. After a few minutes, you’ll be taking the cotton swab and clean out the bowl diligently. Since the bowl soaked in alcohol, it all should come off easily.
For the stem, you might need to rig up a poker. This can be done by using an old coat hanger, attaching the cotton to the end of the coat hanger and securing it with rubber bands. I probably should have mentioned those ingredients before, but now you know.
Simply fasten the cotton to the end of a coat hanger (making sure the hanger can fit into the stem). Soak the cotton in alcohol, and gently insert the contraption. You’ll notice that with a bit of pressure, you’ll remove all resin from inside the stem.
Finally, run hot water over the bowl and the stem and you’ll notice all the resin will be removed.
Sticky Bottom Line
And there you have it, a quick and simple way to clean a bong. There are other methods out there, however I find this to be the cheapest and most effective way. If you know about any other tricks and tips, let us know in the comment section.