Part of knowing how to use and maintain your bong properly is how to clean it - so let’s make sure you know what to do next time you're ready to clean that nasty thing.
Watch how to do it now or keep reading below the video.
Bongs are some of the most common smoking pieces. They're easy to use, and give you cool, smooth hits. But like with any glass pipe, you’re going to get a build-up of resin over time. If you don’t smoke that often, your bong might be able to go a while without a cleaning. If you're lighting up all the time, it’s going to need to be cleaned more frequently.
Why You Need To Clean Your Bong
First of all, if you think about what stagnant water does in any other situation, you’ll remember that it's a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, fungi, yeast and other microorganisms. Even harmful pathogens like Strep and E.Coli can make themselves at home in your bong. These are definitely all things you do not want to be inhaling straight into your lungs.
Secondly, your bong isn't going to function properly if it's dirty and clogged. The build-up of resin narrows the path of airflow making it harder to get a good hit. Plus, one of the main benefits of using a bong is to filter out contaminants. Using dirty water to filter your smoke just doesn't make sense.
Third, the longer you wait between cleanings, the harder it's going to be to clean it each time. Like cleaning anything else, it’s ultimately easier to keep up with if you do it often. You don’t want to have to spend hours struggling to get months of resin build-up out of your piece.
Lastly, regular cleanings just make your piece nicer to look at. It can be embarrassing having friends over to smoke if you've got a grungy looking bong. No one really wants to have to use a piece that clearly has been neglected.
Now that we’ve tackled the why, let’s get into the how.
How To Properly Clean Your Bong
You have a couple different options when it comes to what products to use to properly clean your bong. You definitely want to stay away from conventional household cleaning products because they can leave residue and toxic chemicals behind. You can find bong-specific cleaners at your local head shop or online, but it’s not totally necessary.
So what can you use? Here’s a few options.
●Salt and water
●Salt and vinegar
●Baking soda and vinegar
Once you’ve decided on your solution of choice, it’s time to get started. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do and how to do it.
Disassemble Your Bong
Remove the bowl and downstem and place them each in their own container. Small tupperware or ziploc bags work great.
Dump The Old Bong Water
This is why it’s best to use fresh water before each use of your piece. It helps combat the build-up of resin, and it keeps those nasty microbes and bacteria from having a comfy place to live. Best practice is to dump from the side hole, that way the mouthpiece doesn't get contaminated. Once you've dumped the nastiness, give it a rinse with clean, hot water.
Fill It With Cleaning Solution
You’re going to want to take your cleaning solution of choice and put it in through the mouthpiece. You don’t need to fill it up all the way, just use about the same amount of water you use while smoking.
Plug The Holes
Using standard rubber stoppers, or ones specifically made for plugging the holes in your bong, plug up the hole where the downstem sits and the mouthpiece.
Shaking your bong causes friction from the solids in your cleaning solution to loosen the resin stuck to the inside walls of your bong. The longer you shake, the cleaner it will get. You’ll want to repeat this same step with the containers that you put your bowl and downstem in.
Dump and Rinse
Once you're happy with the amount of resin that's been removed, you can dump the cleaning solution and rinse your piece a few times with clean, hot water. It’s best to let it air dry, but if you can't wait, use a clean towel to wipe down the outside.
What Not To Do
The last thing you want to do is damage or break your bong. Accidents happen, but there’s a couple tricks to making sure your piece will survive it’s cleaning.
Using textured rubber gloves can help give you a better grip when filling, shaking, dumping and rinsing your bong. You can also just make sure to dry the outside of your bong if it’s gotten wet in the filling process. Wet hands make it super easy for it to slip away into the sink or onto the floor. You’ll have a whole other mess to clean up if that happens, not to mention your broken heart.
Another very important tip is to make sure you put the bowl and downstem in their own containers. If you clean them together, they are more than likely going to chip or break each other during the shaking process.
Also make sure to rinse thoroughly. You don’t want any cleaning solution left behind - unless you want salt and vinegar flavored bong rips. We’re not judging.
The Bottom Line
Part of being a healthy and responsible bong owner is regular cleanings and maintenance. Making sure you know how to do it correctly is important if you want the best result from each hit. It keeps you healthier, your bong will last longer and function properly, and you won't get any dirty looks when passing it around to your friends. Be sure to pick up new bongs at Atomic Blaze Online Smoke Shop .
This article was originally written by Tiffany Beyer. More of her work can be
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