When it comes to your health, you really have to consider the ways in which your bong happens to be the perfect environment for yeast, fungi, bacteria and pathogens to thrive. Have you ever left a glass of plain water out for a few days and noticed the shiny film that develops on the top? It’s called a biofilm, and it’s made up of colonies of microbes that live on the surface of water. In your bong, that biofilm is mixed with all of the resin and plant matter that ends up in the water. This allows harmful pathogens like streptococcus, E. coli and black mildew to grow and flourish in your bong, which can cause respiratory issues like strep throat, pneumonia and emphysema. Biofilm can form in as little as 24 hours, which is why it’s so important to clean your bong daily.
Next Level Cleaning Tips!
The main thing to remember, is the more often you clean it- the easier it is to clean! Why spend hours soaking and shaking tough grime when you can do a quick daily rinse with hot water to maintain cleanliness and prevent bacteria.
Start with a cleaner solution that already has abrasive salts in it such as Orange Chronic, Randy’s Black Label, or Purple Power Instant are our top favourite cleaners. Alternatively, 99% isopropyl and coarse salt works. All are available at your nearest Next Level location or online at the shopping link above!
Steps To Cleaning Water Pieces
1) Dump Out The Dirty Bong Water
You’d think this would be a given and not worth mentioning, but we want to be thorough so here’s your reminder: dump out the bong water first!
2) Take Apart Your Bong
Separate the bowl and the stem from the bong. If your bowl and stem are two pieces, separate those as well. If your bong has any other movable or removable parts, guess what? You need to take those apart too. Your bong should now be completely disassembled.
3) Rinse Everything With Hot Water
Hot running water is a great way to start the cleansing process. It dislodges some of the surface resin that has built up with repeated use and starts to dissolve the bonds that bind the gunk in place.
Get the water as hot as you can tolerate and consider wearing dish-washing gloves (those ugly yellow things). The gloves allow you to make the water hotter which turbo-charges the process.
If you think about it while you’re rinsing, fill from the top and empty from the slide opening. This will minimize the chances of the loose residue getting caught anywhere else.
4) Put Each Loose Piece In Its Own Container
After you’ve got each loose piece in its own baggie or tupperware container, pour in at least ¼ cup of cleaning solution in each.
After you seal the baggies or plastic containers, shake them vigorously. This moves the alcohol and the salt through all the tiny curves and crevices and breaks up the resin that has gathered there.
When you think you’ve shaken enough, shake more. You may have to do this for at least five minutes to really dislodge the sticky mess.
If you’ve added enough alcohol to completely cover each piece, you can let them soak for 10 to 15 minutes, and then come back and shake some more. This is especially useful if you’ve built up yourself quite a layer of resin.
Once the small pieces are clean to your satisfaction, set them aside and turn your attention to the main event: the bong itself.
7) Pour Solution In The Bong
Pour at least ½ cup of cleaning solution into your bong. Again, depending on the size of the pipe itself, you may need to add more. Don’t worry about the ratio of salt to alcohol. It really doesn’t make any difference as long as there’s enough of both to get a good swishing going.
8) Plug The Holes
Resolution Silicone Caps are a very handy invention that stretches over both the mouthpiece and the downstem openings, making your hands more available for a better grip while shaking your glass piece. Better grip = less accidents.
Alternatively you can use two hand towels, or cling wrap and rubber bands. If the holes are small enough, you could also use cottons or, just place one hand over the mouth and one hand over the hole covering and shake at the same time.
Just like you did with the small pieces in their baggies, shake the bong vigorously so that the solution gets moved around on all surfaces. Continue to shake the whole thing for at least five minutes. Then shake longer.
While you’re shaking the bong, you can be satisfied that you got your exercise for the day. Who knew shaking would be such hard work?
10) Rinse Everything With Hot Water
Remove the small pieces from their baggies and dump the solution from the bong. Cleaning solutions can be re-used a few times depending on how dirty it’s gotten. Rinse everything with the hottest water you can get.
Rinsing helps to remove the residual resin, the salt, and the alcohol from the surfaces of your bong. If some stubborn pieces remain (particularly in the bowl or the stem), use a pipe cleaner (available in many lengths, textures and absorbencies) to pick away at the mass.
After you remove that last little piece, rinse again with hot water and let everything air dry before using again.