How to clean a glass bong without alcohol

How to clean a glass bong without alcohol

lemons and essential oil leaves below text that reads How to Clean a Glass Bong without Alcohol

To enhance your smoking experience, it's important to keep your daily driver clean. But let's be real, sometimes you just don’t have rubbing alcohol, so you’ve got to get creative. This article is all about upcycling common products and cleaning your glass bong. So many people don’t know how to clean a glass bong with household products or balk at the idea of not using alcohol or another manufactured cleaner, but there are some great cleaning recipes out there to be taken advantage of. We took the time to compile them here for you. While this list was created with glass in mind, no matter your type of bong, we have a solution for you.

beaker water pipe bong with 14mm joint and splashguard mouthpiece

Step 1 Identify the size of the job 

Smaller pieces are easier to clean because you can toss them (gently) into a plastic bag for quick and easy cleaning. Make sure the bag is sealed and you can even double bag it if you feel like being super safe. More detail on this on Step #4. 

Larger pieces are typically a bit messier, so it’s best to accept that in the beginning. If you have a larger piece, you will likely use your hands to plug some of the holes unless you have cleaning plugs. If you’ve never heard of cleaning plugs, you can check some out here. You can also use silicone wine plugs like this if you’re trying to find something around the house. Some stores carry glass plugs, but we don’t recommend those as they inherently leak which… is the whole point! If you already have a glass cleaning plug and are trying to assuage the leaking issue, get some hemp wick, wrap it around the base, and plug your piece like that. 

Step 2 Choose your fighters 

Time to choose your fighters aka decide which household products you want to go with. 

Below is a list of popular items to try in lieu of alcohol. You can use solo or mix and match. It all depends on the level of resin buildup within your piece and the piece's size and shape. All of these methods work best if you allow for soaking time. 

Distilled white vinegar

    Smelly? Yes. Effective? Also yes. As smelly as dirty bong water? We’ll let you decide. This all-natural cleaner is popular for a reason. It gets the job done nicely and without the use of alcohol. 

    Tea tree oil

      Medicinal, woody and fresh scented.. You may be used to using tea tree oil in your skincare routine and you can use it here too. It’s a natural antiseptic that will kill that crud that’s built up in your bong so long as you mix enough of it with some boiling water. More on boiling water methods below on #5.

      Olive oil

        This isn’t just for cooking, fam. Olive oil is great for loosening up and slickening stuck-on resin. It clings to the tar making it easier for you to wash the resin away with extremely warm water. If you have super dirty pieces, you may need to combine olive oil with vinegar or lemon juice to add some acidity to the mixture. 

        Lemon juice 

          When life gives you lemons, clean your bong. Cut at least 3 lemons in half and microwave them briefly to warm them up, squeeze out the juice and use to make a cleaning solution for your piece. Some people like to add boiling water or vinegar to make it last. Others prefer to buy lemon juice pre-squeezed in bulk. Whatever’s easier! You know what works best for your home. 

          Boiled water (a great How-To Video on this here)

            This is a classic choice and can be added to any of the other liquids suggested previously. Water is an amazing solvent and when you boil it, you multiply those solvent properties. Just make sure you don’t hurt yourself or others. We know this is obvi but glass breaks, so be super careful. 

            Step 3 Choose your salt 

            Once you choose your cleaning liquid, it’s time to decide on a type of salt. You can go with your standard table salt but if you have a particularly heavy duty job, coarse salt or rock salt is the way to go. From classic table salt to fancy Himalayan pink salt, any salt will do. 

            No salt in the kitchen? Head to the bathroom and grab some Epsom salt if you have it. Epsom salt is the type of salt that you soak with to soothe aches and pains. Use only unscented for safety.

            Step 4 Get to shaking 

            Okay so we lied. Before you shake, you must combine your products. This step has 2 parts.

            If you are using a ziploc (see step 1), then you need to put the piece inside the ziploc first. Then pour in the rest of your ingredients without overfilling the ziploc. It’s also a good idea to double bag the ziploc if you can/have the supplies. If you can’t double bag it, then just make sure you are cleaning it either outside, over a sink, over a bathtub, over a large towel or in a room that’s easily cleaned like a bathroom or kitchen. 

            If you aren’t using a ziploc, then just make sure you are plugging up the holes with your hands and are cleaning it either outside, over a sink, over a bathtub, over a large towel or in a room that’s easily cleaned like a bathroom or kitchen. 

            Repeat these steps. It may take you several attempts and you may need to soak especially dirty pieces a second time. Pouring it all out and starting again etc. 

            Some jobs require a bottle brush like this or an old toothbrush to remove the older pieces of resin. Smaller brushes like this also work wonders for tiny details and tough-to-reach areas. 

            Step 5 Rinse, rinse, rinse

            Once your piece is clean, rinse and repeat. This step is a must and we highly recommend doing it at least twice. Even if you chose all edible products, you should still rinse generously. So rinse, rinse, and rinse again just to play it safe. 

            And voilà - you are ready with a clean piece to light up.

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