I remember my first bong was this two-foot tall thick-glassed titan, but she was pink and beautiful, so I called her Aphrodite. Anyways, ‘Dite didn’t get cleaned for the first year and half after I had her, because nobody ever taught me how to clean out my pieces other than pipe cleaners and hot water, which isn’t that effective on water pipes.
Eventually a friend of a friend came to watch my cat while I was out of down for a few days, and when I returned home I came to find ‘Dite sitting on my desk, clean as when I first got her. After hunting down his cleaning technique, I’ve been cleaning all of my pieces weekly for the past couple of years, and every piece looks fresh off the shelf when I use it, just like I like it. So how do you get your favored bong or pipe back to how it looked in the glory days? Check it out:
What You’ll Need
1. Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol) 70% or higher-
2. Cooking Salt or Epsom Salt
3. Paper Towels
4. Ziplock Baggies
5. Rubber Bands (Optional)
6. Pipe Cleaners/Wire Hangers (Optional)
Disassemble your bong; place your downstem, bowl, ash-catcher, etc. all into individual zip-lock baggies if you plan on cleaning them as well.
Run hot water through your bong and other glassware to get any loose resin or greens left in there, this will also loosen up the hard resin before being scrubbed away with the alcohol/salt combo.
Pour salt into the base of your bong, and into each of your ziplock baggies. For your bongs, you might want to measure out around one-fourth of a cup to one-half of a cup, depending on the size of your piece. As far as the downstem and attachments are concerned (and also for your bong), I always recommend to put in more salt than you initially think is reasonable, mainly because salt is what will be scrubbing away your resin, and it’s not going to actually hurt your glass regardless of how much you have in there, just make sure to not submerge your pieces in the stuff, in fact, if you have salt covering more than a fourth of the glass in question, you’ve gone too far.
Pour in the alcohol. (Remember, the higher percentage of Isopropyl Alcohol you have, the faster cleaning your glass will go!) For your bong, pour enough in to fill about half of your base, you want to have some air in the bong while you’re shaking it so you have the shaking alcohol/salt combo knocking against the resin all along the glass that you won’t get if it’s completely full of liquid. To seal the bong, I usually wrap up paper towels tightly to fit inside the mouthpiece and the downstem and shove them in there. This won’t totally stop the alcohol, especially if you turn the bong upside down, but as I’ll point out in a moment, you won’t need to. Other ways you can seal the openings wrapping plastic wrap, or a baggie, around the opening and securing it with a rubber band.
When pouring alcohol into the ziplock baggies, pour enough in to totally submerge your glass. Unlike bongs, you’re going to want to squeeze as much air as possible out of your ziplock baggies before shaking them to make them easier to hold.
Shake! Shake, shake, and then shake some more. Shake in a circular motion, in the opposite direction, shake up and down, shake to the side, shake with force, but just don’t shake it too violently, no matter how much time it takes. So long as you see the liquid slowly getting darker from the resin inside your piece, and the glass getting clearer, you’re making progress. Some people get impatient, and believe more violent shaking will get the job done faster. Don’t be that guy, this more often than not leads to someone smashing their bong onto the ground because they didn’t have a good grip on it. So take your time, shake it around and watch as the alcohol mixture gets darker and fills with resin.
If you get to the point that you feel like the alcohol/salt mixture hasn’t done anything for a few minutes, go ahead and throw more salt in there, or just make a fresh batch of the mixture and start again! Or, if it’s just a difficult spot that isn’t getting cleaned, you can wrap some paper towel, soaked with alcohol and salt, around a pipe cleaner or wire hanger and scrub away!
When everything is clean and sparkling again, take out the paper towel sealants, remove your glass from your ziplock baggies and run them all thoroughly in cold water to get all of the alcohol and salt out. After that, make sure to dry your glass well before putting it back together to avoid stuck glass!
Load a bowl of that good green and enjoy a hit as smooth as your glass’s first! Enjoy!
Image Source: Pinterest
How did it work? Is your collection like new again? Or, did we miss any steps or unforeseen problems that you experience while trying to clean your pieces? Let us know!