Why is Bong Cleaning important? How do I clean my bong?
What happens if I don’t clean my bong?
- Bacteria. Dirty bong water and clogged downstems (pictured below) create a perfect environment for the growth of sickness-causing bacteria. What’s worse is that when you inhale smoke from a dirty bong, you’re giving the bacteria a direct pathway to your lungs. This has been shown to increase the risk of contracting strep throat, bronchitis, and pneumonia. For more, read Agni Nhirmal Kumar’s article on Marijuana Pseudonomas.
- Carcinogens (cancer causing substances). If you’re smoking out a dirty bong, you’re kind of defeating the purpose. Bongs are used to substantially reduce the negative effects of smoking by filtering out carcinogens. That being said, if you smoke out a dirty bong, the filtration is almost non-existent.
- Bad Taste. There’s no use in buying and smoking Strawberry Cough when you’re also going to taste the residue from the Grandpa’s Breath you smoked the week prior.
- Rough Hits. Again, bongs are used for filtration. Clean water cools the smoke in the chamber and filters out impurities in the flower to give you a smooth hit while also reducing the harmful effects of smoking. If your bong is clogged, filtration is inhibited. This means you’re going to feel the impurities hit your lungs which will likely cause you to cough uncontrollably, ruining your experience.
- Wasting flower. One way to know your downstem is clogged is if smoke is rising from the bowl when you light your flower. If your downstem is clogged, less smoke will actually make it through the chamber and you’ll end up wasting bud.
- Appearance. Having a special friend over? You’d probably take the dirty laundry off of your bed and stuff it into a drawer before they arrive. Why wouldn’t you do the same for your bong by cleaning the grime from the downstem and changing the water?
Bong pictured above can be found here: http://bit.ly/eightarmbeaker
How do I clean my bong?
- Pour out the current bong water and rinse your glass with warm water. Try to remove as much debris as possible. You’d be surprised at how far just hot water can go cleaning your glass pieces.
- Fill the bong with isopropyl alcohol up to where you’d usually fill it with water. Then use a spoon to pour rock salt into the chamber of your bong.
- Cover any openings with bong caps.
- Now it’s time to shake it up! After all openings are covered, carefully but vigorously shake the bong up and down so that the solution of salt and alcohol clean the entire chamber. Anything that isn’t cleaned out by the solution can be removed with barbed pipe cleaners or a nylon brush.
- Empty the dirty solution and rinse your bong with clean water several times until there’s no trace of solution left (if there is a strong chemical scent, keep rinsing).
- Fill your bong with clean water and enjoy a clean hit!
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