A lot of cannabis users prefer smoking the strain straight from the bong or pipe. A new bong is always interesting, because you can appreciate the transparency and design, but as you use the bong, it will eventually get stained in tar. Today, bongs and pipes are made of numerous materials, such as wood, silicone, and glass, and while with glass bongs you can easily identify staining, the same doesn’t hold true for other materials. In this quick guide, we are sharing all that cannabis users must know about cleaning bongs and pipes.
Do I really need to clean the bong?
There is nothing more pleasing to a cannabis user than a clean bong. You can appreciate the design better, but beyond the aesthetics, a clean bong enhances the smoking experiences and you can experience the incredible taste, aroma and flavor of your favorite strain. Tar in the bong can irritate your throat and does impact the overall love for smoking. Depending on how frequently you use your bong or pipe, you should decide on a cleaning schedule. The buildup of tar is easily visible in glass bongs, but for others, weekly cleaning is recommended, especially if you smoke twice or more in a week.
Cleaning different types of bongs and pipes
As we mentioned earlier, there are different kinds of pipes and bongs, and you have to be specific with the cleaning process accordingly. Here is a look at the various common materials.
Glass. Glass bongs and pipes are extremely pretty and are often considered classics by many. The good news is you can clean glass using both alcohol and other kinds of cleaners. Boiling your glass bong is not recommended. In case of metal bongs, boiling is okay, but make sure to follow the instructions.
Silicone. In recent years, silicone bongs have emerged as a popular choice, primarily because the material is resistant to heat and cold. Most cleaning methods, including alcohol, can be considered for silicone bongs.
Wood. Wooden bongs need more care in comparison. You cannot use any of the harsh chemicals, and it is best to avoid alcohol as it can impact the color. Hot water can be used, but most regular cleaners are likely to leave deposits behind.
Things required for cleaning bongs
We recommend that you have these things handy when buying or using a bong: cleaning brushes, knife, cotton pads or swabs, and a tub.
Cleaning bongs and pipes and without alcohol
When you want to get rid of tar and ash, you can go for alcohol-free cleaning techniques, some of which are mentioned below.
Using baking soda and vinegar
Both baking soda and vinegar are considered to be light agents for cleaning bongs. To start the cleaning process, remove all the residue using a cotton swab. You can also consider using a basic scraper to take out some of the sticky tar. Next, clean your bong with hot water. Now take a regular Ziplock bag and fill it up with water, a touch of vinegar and some baking soda. Keep the bong in the bag and shake it a few times to clean the bong. After that, take some baking soda and put it inside the bong through the mouthpiece. You can choose to now use your regular cleaning tool to clean the bong from insider. Rinse the bong with vinegar if required for the last time. If you are using a pipe, follow the same process by placing it in a solution of baking soda and vinegar.
Using mild dish soap
This is one of the easier ways to clean your bong and pipe. Close the sink hole of the kitchen and fill it up with water. Add your mild dish soap and make a nice mix. Place your bong, pipe, or bowl in the solution and let it rest for about 30 minutes. For the bong, you can now use a cleaning brush to clean the inner surfaces, while for pipes, just clean it time and again under warm/lukewarm water.
Using hot water
If you are using silicone or wooden bongs, you can use boiling water for cleaning these products. Glass bongs must NOT be exposed to hot water. Start by cleaning the bong with cotton, and use a scraper, if required, to remove excess sticky tar. Now, place your bong in the kitchen sink (close the sink hole) and fill it up with boiling water. Let the bong/pipe rest in the hot water for around 30 minutes. Once the water has cooled to some extent, use your regular cleaning tool to remove tar from the insides.
Using Isopropyl alcohol
Note that Isopropyl alcohol should not be used for wooden pipes, and you need to be using a good pair of gloves for the process. To clean your bong, first use cotton and then use a scraper, as in case of other methods. Next, rinse your bong and add some salt and Isopropyl alcohol. Cover both ends of the bong using a tape if required and shake the bong for at least five to seven minutes. Once that’s done, clean your bong entirely with hot to lukewarm water for another 10 minutes.
Other tips to know
Make sure that you are cleaning your bong entirely, because some areas, especially the down-steps are often hard to clean. Secondly, clean your bong a second time if you are not happy with the results, and always use the recommended cleaning methods for each material. If your piece can be disassembled, make sure that you do that. When you clean your bong or pipe frequently, you don’t need to clean extensively once in a while. Avoid the buildup of tar, so that you don’t have to the scraping and scrubbing again. Bongs are not hard to maintain, and even with glass bongs, cleaning can be done easily.
Check the various cleaning methods in detail and always take the necessary precautions for personal safety and safety of your bongs and pipes!