- Separate all removable parts from the water pipe.
- Fill a bucket with enough soapy water to submerge your pieces and allow for thorough cleaning of your glassware. If you’re not using a bucket big enough to fully submerge your piece, a sink or tub will work as well. Add any chemical cleaners to the water that you wish to use, then place pieces into the solution one by one and allow ample time for them to soak if they require it before beginning to scrub each piece thoroughly inside-and-out with something like an old toothbrush or dish brush (please note: most bongs for sale cleaners are safe on glass but check product ingredients before proceeding). Your goal with scrubbing motion is not only to remove the resin but to clear out any small pockets in the glass that may have collected debris while your water pipe was sitting unused.
Be sure to do this step away from things that can be damaged by water, like carpeting or wood! Scrub every surface you can reach inside and outside of your pipes until they look shiny clean. Carefully shake out excess fluid and set pieces somewhere to dry where they won’t be disturbed before putting them back together. Some glass cleaners will leave a residue which could cloud or damage the glass, so it is important to follow up with an alcohol bath if you need to use these types of chemicals– fill a large pot partway with high-proof grain alcohol (Everclear) and submerge each piece in turn, allowing them to sit and soak for a few minutes before removing and drying carefully.
- If you notice any areas of staining or stickiness on your glass after it has dried (which can indicate leftover resin), try using rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl) in the same way that you would use water to remove resin- these products will evaporate quickly and leave no residue behind, although they may take several applications if the stain is persistent.
- Finally, let everything dry out completely then clean all hard-to-reach spots with compressed air (for things like tiny tubes around joints). Be sure not to point any nozzle toward your eyes– compressed gas can cause serious injury! And please be careful, as the fluid inside these cans is very flammable and care should be taken around open flames.
- Now that your glassware is clean and dry it’s time to put everything back together! Remember: every piece of glass serves a specific function and you won’t want to miss out on any of the benefits your water pipe has to offer just because one part was left out during cleaning (this goes for accessories like screens as well). When reassembling, make sure all o-rings are in place and facing correctly, then screw each part tightly against its counterpart until all connections are airtight. Don’t forget about those pesky little rubber feet! Before placing your hand over the top chamber and lighting up for the first time after cleaning, give your water pipe a last look-over to ensure that everything is in its rightful place and no o-rings or seals have been bent or forgotten.
- Cleaning your bong: Before you use the bong, rinse the inside with warm water. This will minimize the resin build up on the inside of glass tube.
Do not smoke any substance before cleaning the glass tube as it may cause damage.
To clean it after every use, gently scrub using salt and alcohol or brush using lukewarm soapy water (dish soap). Be gentle while scrubs as too much force can break them into pieces. Once all resin has been removed from the tubes, use a dry paper or cloth to wipe down your bong.
Bongs will need more frequent cleaning if they are used regularly, and less frequent cleanings (or none at all) if they aren’t in use for a long period of time prior to cleaning.
It is recommended that bongs be cleaned after each use to ensure optimal smoking performance and minimize the negative health effects associated with inhaling resin and other byproducts of smoking. The frequency and type of cleaners used depends on how frequently it is being used, where it is being stored, its temperature while not in use, the climate, etc. [NOTE: this section should probably be simplified or removed – too many variables] In general, mild solvents such as water or standard glass cleaning solutions are typically sufficient for regular maintenance while harsher solvents are used more frequently for deep cleaning. Efflorescence can be reduced or prevented by keeping the bong in a cool, dry place with no direct sunlight exposure. Airing out glassware between uses also reduces water absorption and subsequent staining and clouding.