Some of the solutions out there for cleaning bongs and pipes are full of chemicals that you don’t actually want to put your mouth on. Here’s how to clean your porcelain, glass, or ceramic accessories with 100% natural substances and still breathe clean.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to go (a little more) green, don’t forget to include your cannabis use. The reality is: some of the solutions out there for cleaning bongs and pipes are full of chemicals that you don’t actually want to put your mouth on. You can clean your porcelain, glass, or ceramic accessories with 100% natural substances and still breathe clean. Here are a few pantry ingredients that can be used as cleaners, and how to use them.
Lemon Juice and Coarse salt
Isopropyl alcohol is a commonly-used household solvent for cleaning glass bongs and pipes, but if you want to keep harsh chemicals far away from your stash, sub alcohol for lemon juice. Lemons are acidic, so they can break down resin and remove stains, and they’re also antibacterial and can neutralize odours. Combined with coarse salt, which, as an abrasive, knocks particles off glass, these two are an effective team.
- Lemon juice and course salt (use a few tablespoons of course salt per half cup of lemon juice)
- Distilled water, boiled (this can keep your glass streak-free)
- Pipe cleaners and a microfibre cloth
Take apart your bong, pour out any water, and give each piece a quick rinse with hot water to free up any loose resin. Set aside the slide and bowl. Pour salt in through the mouthpiece, and then add the lemon juice. Now, shake the piece vigorously for at least five minutes. Once you’re satisfied (the water inside will ideally start to look closer to collect up the gunk and get brownish), pour out the lemon juice mixture and rinse the piece out with the water.
To clean the mouthpiece and slide (or, to clean a pipe), put each piece into a separate freezer Ziploc baggy along with another half cup of lemon juice and a few tablespoons of course salt. Shake the bag for at least five minutes. When the water gets brown and murky, take out the pieces and rinse with distilled water. Clean off any residue with a cloth and pipe cleaners.
Boiling Distilled Water
A little elbow grease and a lot of heat can be a solution if you just want to do some general maintenance on your pieces. This process follows the same steps as the lemon juice / salt bath, just slight variations.
- Distilled water (enough to submerge your bong in)
- A large saucepan
- Pipe cleaners and microfiber cloth
Pour out any water, then take apart your bong, and give each piece a quick rinse with hot water. Boil your distilled water in the saucepan, and remove from heat completely before submerging your bong. Let it soak in the hot water for an hour or so, until the water starts to cool. Clean off residue with a cloth, then let dry.
To clean the bowl and the slide, pour some boiled water into a jar along with the pieces, and leave to soak until the water starts to cool. Then remove and wipe off remaining gunk with a cloth and pipe cleaners.
Oil cleansers may seem counter intuitive, but coating your piece in oil means the resin will absorb the oil, which softens it, making it easier to scrub away. Using oils can also diminish any scratches and imperfections – so try this if you don’t want to risk scratching your piece with course salt.
- A plant-based oil (sunflower or olive oil, enough to coat your piece)
- Microfibre cloth / pipe cleaners
- Castile soap
- Distilled water
Cover your piece in olive oil (warm the oil slightly if you want to make it coat the piece easier), and gently scrub the outside with micro-fibre cloth, and the inside with pipe cleaners. Once you’re satisfied, clean the piece thoroughly with a mixture of castile soap like Dr. Bronners and hot distilled water. You may want to leave it to soak in the soapy water for a while to degrease thoroughly.
What are your go-to cleaning methods? Tried the above with any success? Let us know what works for you.