WHY CLEAN YOUR BONG?
Some people like to clean their bong after every single use. But why? Generally it is to remove the resin buildup that has resulted from usage. Resin, as described by Wikipedia, “in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants”. In other words when you smoke, the plant substance (tobacco, marijuana, etc.) leaves hardened resin on the inside of your piece that clogs it up and makes it tough to smoke. And also leaves a foul taste. Cleaning your bong frequently will prevent this build up.
I have friends that clean out their bongs strictly to get the resin content. Resin contains high concentrations of the plant’s chemicals. If you clean out your bong you can collect the resin it is definitely smokeable, however I will warn you that it is usually a pretty harsh hit.
Personally, I do not clean my glass bong very frequently because I enjoy the taste and the character that it builds up. I do clean the bong water frequently though. I also do not collect or smoke any resin. Moving along now…
WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR BONG?
- Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- 70% ethyl alcohol works just fine, 90% ethyl alcohol is best
- If you use a consumable alcohol you will want to use one with little sugar content
- Table/iodized salt will work fine
- The more coarse a salt is, the better it will scrape the resin off your bong
- Epsom salts don’t dissolve in alcohol very quickly but help break apart the resin while the alcohol dissolves it
- Warm or Hot water (I prefer not to use boiling water)
- Be careful with cheaper glass. Boiling water or changing the temperature of the water you clean the glass with rapidly may cause it to crack.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS?
Fill a container or ziploc bag with hot water and salt.
Take all removable parts out of your bong and place them in the hot water to soak.
Pour out any remaining bong water before continuing.
Repeatedly rinse the bong out with warm or hot water to loosen the resin.
With all of the water drained, pour in isopropyl alcohol and a few table spoons of salt. Try not to be too conservative with the rubbing alcohol, there is a limit on how much resin it can hold, however you do not need an obscene amount either.
Cover any openings with your hands (the carb and mouthpiece). You can use use saran wrap and elastic bands to seal the openings.
Shake the piece gently. You are trying to scrape the resin off of your bong however remember that this is a gentle piece of equipment so you do not want to shake it too hard.
Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Rinse out the bong very thoroughly. When you think it’s clean – rinse it one more time just in case.
Now you can finish cleaning your bowl or any other parts. I recommend using a Q-Tip, a Bamboo skewer, chopstick or toothpicks to scrape and clean out the rest of the resin from these pieces. Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe them dry.
- For really dirty pieces you may have to repeat this process multiple times
- Lemon juice or citrus based degreasers will also work to get sticky residue off
- Acetone (a chemical in nail polish remover) also works well especially in combination with rice
- If your glass bong or pipe is not made from borosilicate or Pyrex glass and is cleaned with boiling water it will stress-fracture, crack or potentially shatter
- Alcohol and salt, as well as acetone, will destroy your acrylic piece
Hopefully this helps! Please comment if you have any other tips.
A few resources I got some tips from!
Roll It Up.org