Keeping a bong clean is a lot easier and cheaper than you might imagine. If you're willing to set aside 5-10 minutes, once a month, you can keep your bong sparkling and shiny. While regular cleaning makes you life much easier, even those with the nastiest pieces can get them clean again with simple supplies.
Prepping the Bong
1.Separate all the moving pieces from the bong. Proper cleaning usually involves shaking and some scrubbing, which can damage delicate glass parts if you're not careful. Separate each of the parts -- the bong, the slide, and the stem, and set them aside to be cleaned separately.
- You may want to wear latex gloves, as the smell of resin can be hard to remove from your hands.
2.Rinse out the pieces in hot water. This will loosen up any of the bigger chunks of resin that may be clogging up your bong. The hotter the water the better, so use tongs to grip the piece if you can't securely hold the piece.
- Do not use hot water on a cold piece, as this can cause it to shatter. If your piece is cold, for whatever reason, start with lukewarm water and slowly raise the temperature.
- For smaller, routine cleanings, you can just rinse out the bong quickly and move on to further cleaning.
3.Knock off any big pieces of resin with cotton swabs or pipe cleaners. If there are any large chunks of tar or resin that you can easily reach, simply knock them off with gentle scrubbing. If a chunk resists, that's fine. You just want to get rid of the big, easily removed chunks now.
- For smaller pieces with tough, thick stains, like your slide or bowl, it can help to freeze the piece for 30 minutes. This loosens up chunks of resin and makes them easier to knock off. Be sure to dry the bowl before freezing.
4.Place the smaller parts in resealable plastic bags. Make sure that they can seal effectively. You'll use the bag to contain your cleaning fluid while you soak the smaller pieces. Though you can do them at the same time, it is safest to put them each in separate bags.
- You can also use cups and bowls, as long as you can fill them with enough liquid to cover the pieces. However, cleaning may leave an unsavory smell to the cookware, making plastic bags the most convenient option more often than not.
Cleaning the Slide and Bowl
1.Fill your plastic bags with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Purchase 90% isopropyl instead of 71% whenever available, though both will work. They can be found in the first aid section of your supermarket or pharmacy. Make sure the pieces are fully submerged in the fluid. Alcohol reacts with the tar and resin, making it easier to remove, making it a cheap and effective home cleaner. If you don't have iso alcohol available, there are several alternatives:
- Professional cleaners like Simple Green and Solution 420.
- Hot water and denture tablets.
2.Add roughly 1-2 tablespoon of salt to the bags. The bigger the grains of salt the better. Salt won't dissolve in the alcohol, and is used as abrasive. As you shake the bag of salt and alcohol, the salt will get into to nooks and crannies your couldn't reach, scrubbing them off.
3.Shake the pieces in the bags, trying to get the salt inside the pieces when possible. Get the salt in the pipe and then use your fingers to close off the openings to the pipe. Then shake up the salt to get rid of as much resin as you can. Shake the bag for 1-2 minutes or until the piece is visibly clean.
4.Soak the pipe for several hours and repeat to remove persistent stains. If there are parts that are still stuck on firmly, just add a splash of fresh alcohol and let it sit for a few hours. When you return, shake it up again for a deeper clean.
- You can remove the piece and use a cotton swap to wipe away any stains, which should come off easily, before soaking the piece again.
- Some of the salt has likely dissolved since the other 9% of the isopropyl is water. Add more if you need.
5.Rinse out the pieces with hot water. Flush out the alcohol and salt with some hot water. You might want to discard the fluid down the toilet, as it can stink up your sink and pipes if left undisturbed.
6.Use water and lemon juice to remove any water stains. Wipe off any excess spots, dipping the end of your tool in some clean alcohol to get rid of any persistent stains. Then, to remove any water marks, soak the pipe for 10-15 minutes in a mixture of warm water and lemon juice. Dry the piece thoroughly when done for a shop-level shine.
Cleaning the Bong
1.Fill the bong with the roughly one cup of rubbing alcohol. This is for a roughly 1.5ft bong, so adjust accordingly if yours is bigger or smaller. Like with the smaller pieces, 91% isopropyl is the best option, but you can use professional cleaning products like Simple Green as well. If you have separate percolators or sections, add an extra 1/3 cup or so to each percolator.
- If you're eyeballing your measurements, simply add as much alcohol, and in all the same places, as you would add water if you were smoking.
2.Add 2-3 tablespoons of large-grain salt. You can use fine-grained table salt, but course salt will work better every time. Again add it to every section of the bong, percolators and all, where you added alcohol.
- Don't worry if you can't get the salt everywhere just yet -- it will be easier when you start shaking.
3.Seal up the openings to the bong with your hands. Use your palms and fingers to seal off the openings to the bong, holding it tightly as well. You can hold down old towels as well to prevent water from seeping out. However, you must have a firm grasp of the bong as well. You'll need to shake it vigorously to clean it, so you must be able to hold on without dropping it.
4.Shake the bong to "scrub" it with the salt. The alcohol will loosen the resin and make it easier to remove. The salt will act as a sponge, wiping away the rest of the resin where you can't reach it.
- For a deep clean, you may have to rotate and turn the bong in order to get the salt to hard to reach areas.
5.Soak the bong in the alcohol or cleaning products if you have difficult or hard to scrub stains. If you haven't cleaned your bong after months of use, you may need to let it soak. This is often where cleaning solutions like Solution 420 come in handy, as they are meant to mix with water and left for longer periods of time. Soak the bong overnight and, when done, re-clean it with salt and isopropyl alcohol.
6.Give the bong a nice shine with some water and lemon juice. Use a cotton swab or pipe cleaner to remove any last little stains. To get rid of any water marks, soak the piece for 10-15 minutes warm water and 1/2 a lemon's worth of juice, or 1/2 a cup of white vinegar. When done, make sure you dry the piece thoroughly.