Dirty bongs and pipes not only ruin the taste of a good smoke, but can dampen the whole experience as well. Therefore, for a cannabis enthusiast, a clean bit of glass is a must for smooth, consistent consumption.
Luckily, thanks to the tried and tested methods below, cleaning your bongs and pipes is not a very difficult task.
Below, we look at the top 4 easy ways to clean your glass bongs and pipes.
While using a glass bong may be the best way to smoke weed (it is certainly one of the strongest), to maximise both the flavour and benefits, you should ensure that your smoking equipment remains sparkling clean.
Use Isopropyl (Rubbing Alcohol) And Salt
One of the easiest and tried and tested methods of cleaning is with isopropyl alcohol and salt.
The idea is to use isopropyl alcohol as the solvent and salt as an abrasive material that will scrape tar from inside the glass.
To do this, pour salt crystals into your bong (or into a zip lock bag in which you place your pipe) and then add isopropyl alcohol.
Let this sit for 5-10 minutes before giving it a good shake for a couple of minutes to remove tar residue and staining from the inside of your glass.
This will work cold, but can be improved by running warm water through your bong or pipe to warm it up before pouring in isopropyl alcohol (99%) and salt crystals.
Because alcohol has the properties to break down the resin and tar, using isopropyl alcohol for cleaning is more effective and easier than many other cleaning methods.
If your bongs and pipes are extremely dirty, it’s advisable to soak them in the alcohol solution for a few hours, and staining may not disappear entirely if it has baked in over weeks/months.
After you have shaken the bong or bag of alcohol mixture, you’ll notice a dirty, brownish liquid remains. Remove it and finally rinse your bong with warm water. If any hard-to-reach spots are still not cleaned, you can try to reach them with a wire pipe-cleaner or cotton bud.
When you’re running short of isopropyl or other kitchen ingredients, you may clean your bong or pipe simply with boiling water. To clean your bong using this method, boil a kettle, fill a pot with enough water so that it submerges your bong.
Then bring the water to boil and reduce to simmer. Pour the water in your bong or put the water in a suitable bowl and place your pipe in the water.
Note from the editor: It is worth knowing that glass suffers from thermal shock so also make sure your pipe is at room temperature rather than chilled before using hot water. Otherwise, it could crack and break. If your glass is really expensive and you are worried about it, maybe try one of the other methods, but in my personal experience cleaning borosilicate pieces, I have never had an issue using boiling water.
Let the glass soak in the water for 30 minutes. Then remove your bongs and pipes carefully, being careful not to burn yourself, and bring it to room temperature before the final rinse.
Allow to cool naturally then rinse and pat dry with a clean towel.
Denture Cleaning Tablets
Here’s a perfect way to quickly clean your bong pipes using denture cleaning tablets. For cleaning, you’ll need a large bowl filled with hot water. You don’t need boiling water; hot water from the tap works fine with this method.
Start by dropping two to three denture cleaning tablets into the bowl of water. The tablets will begin to fizzle immediately when they come into contact with the water, forming a solution.
Once you have removed any loose residue from the bong, immerse it in the solution and let it soak for half an hour. You can, meanwhile, resort to rolling joints if necessary. Them remove your pipe and discard the solution. Use a pipe cleaner to remove any leftover residue and wipe it clean with a dry cloth. You’ve got yourself a clean bong.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
You can even clean your bong using kitchen ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.
For this, mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and use this mixture to clean your bong.
This is a natural cleaning method which also helps to disinfect and helps keep bacteria away.
A clean bong is not only essential to getting a good taste of the smoke and a great smoking experience, but it also ensures that you don’t inhale unnecessary, unhealthy residue.
As mentioned above, one of the easiest ways to clean a bong is by using isopropyl alcohol and salt. Because alcohol has the properties to remove the stuck resin and tar effectively, it can give you a fresh bong within a few minutes.
But if you don’t have iso around the house, you can use one of the other methods to keep your glass pieces clean, to keep your hits smooth and enjoyable.