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How to Clean a Bong: A Complete Guide

<strong>How to Clean a Bong: A Complete Guide</strong>

Regular bong users can attest to the importance of keeping their water pipes clean for the best possible smoking experience. Learning how to clean a bong is essential for maintaining its functionality and prolonging its lifespan. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of cleaning a bong correctly. Similarly, it examines various ways of going about this task, including how to clean a bong with alcohol and how to clean your bong using household items. 

That’s not all. You’ll also learn what to clean a bong with and how often you should clean it. In addition, there are several practical tips for cleaning the inside of the bong and determining when your apparatus requires deep cleaning. So, let’s dive right in. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Bong?

Experts suggest cleaning your bong at least once a week and replacing the bong water after every smoke session to avoid mold. Quite frankly, how often you clean your bong determines the quality of your smoke session. Therefore, regularly doing it helps prevent residue buildup and ensures a smooth, clean smoking experience. 

What to Use When Cleaning a Bong 

When choosing cleaner tools for bongs & pipes, you have two main options: using isopropyl alcohol or relying on household items. Both techniques are relatively efficient but have their advantages and disadvantages. 

How to Clean a Bong with Alcohol

Cleaning a bong using isopropyl alcohol is a popular method because it effectively breaks down the resin, leaving your bong looking and smelling fresh. Here are the steps to follow when cleaning glass bongs using isopropyl alcohol.

Step 1: Disassemble the Bong

The first step is to separate all detachable parts of your bong, such as the downstem and bowl. This makes it easier to get to the areas of your bong that are difficult to reach, which is especially useful when working with small bongs

Step 2: Rinse the Bong

After removing the bowl and stem, pour out the resinous bong water and run warm water through the bong to loosen any remaining residue.

Step 3: Add Isopropyl Alcohol

Once you have rinsed your bong, add the alcohol. Pour enough isopropyl alcohol (preferably 91% or higher) into the bong to cover the stained spots. 

Step 4: Add Salt

With an ideal amount of alcohol inside the bong, the next step is adding course salt (like kosher or sea salt) to act as an abrasive. Although the alcohol alone does a decent job cleaning the bong, salt removes the resin buildup from the sides. Ensure you use a healthy amount of salt to scrub off the resin. 

Step 5: Shake and Soak

Cover the openings of the bong and shake it to agitate the alcohol and salt mixture. If you have a big bong, shake it thoroughly to ensure the alcohol mixture reaches every part. Similarly, while washing a percolator bong, you may need to turn it upside down a few times to clean all crevices. After shaking your bong, let it soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 6: Shake and Rinse

After soaking your bong, give it another good shake and rinse it thoroughly with warm water.

Step 7: Clean the Downstem and Bowl

The final step is cleaning the downstem and bowl of your bong. Soak them in a ziplock bag filled with alcohol and salt for 20 to 30 minutes. After that, scrub them with a pipe cleaner or brush before rinsing.

Cleaning a Bong with Household Items

Don’t have access to isopropyl alcohol? You can still efficiently clean your bong with various items commonly found at home. Here’s how:

Step 1: Disassemble and Rinse

Disassemble the stem and bowl of the bong and rinse the bong with warm water.

Step 2: Add Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can help break down residue. Fill your bong with white vinegar, just like you would with isopropyl alcohol, ensuring you cover all stained areas.

Step 3: Add Baking Soda

Add a few tablespoons of baking soda into the bong to act as an abrasive.

Step 4: Shake and Soak

Next, cover the openings of your bong and shake the mixture thoroughly. After that, let it soak for 30 to 45 minutes.

Step 5: Shake and Rinse

Shake the mixture once more and rinse the bong with warm water.

Step 6: Clean the Downstem and Bowl

Soak the downstem and bowl of your bong in a solution of vinegar and baking soda for 30 to 45 minutes. Afterward, scrub and rinse them thoroughly with warm water.

Tips for Cleaning the Inside of the Bong

There’s no denying that cleaning the inside of a bong can be rather challenging, especially if it has intricate designs or tight spaces. Below are some actions that you can take to simplify your work.

  • Use a flexible brush or pipe cleaner to reach difficult areas.
  • For stubborn residue, use a mixture of hot water and lemon juice to loosen the buildup before using your preferred cleaning method.
  • Cotton swabs can help clean smaller areas around the bowl and downstem joints.
  • Rinse your bong thoroughly with warm water after cleaning to ensure you remove all cleaning agents and residue.

Maintaining Your Bong’s Cleanliness

Now that you know how to clean a bong, you should also learn how to maintain its cleanliness. Listed below are several effortless methods to consistently maintain your bong’s cleanliness and freshness.

  • Change the water regularly: Empty and refill your bong with fresh water after every session or daily, depending on your usage.
  • Use a bong cap or plug: This prevents debris and dust from entering your bong when it’s not in use.
  • Consider using a bong cleaner: Specialized cleaning solutions, like Formula 420, are designed for cleaning bongs and other glass pipes. These can be a quick and effective way to keep your bong clean between thorough cleanings.

The Bottom Line

Understanding how to clean a bong is essential for anyone who owns one. Maintaining your bong’s cleanliness will ensure a smooth smoking experience and prolong its lifespan. With the information provided in this guide, you should be well-equipped to keep your bong pristine.

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