Imagine the following scenario: you’ve ordered a nice filet mignon at a fancy restaurant and after 20 minutes it has arrived cooked exactly the way you like it. Napkin placed neatly across your lap, you sink your fork into the tender filet. As you reach for the knife, the waiter politely interrupts.
“Pardon me Sir, but it seems we’ve forgotten to include your condiments…”
Before you can interject, three heaping spoonfuls of campfire ash are dumped on your plate and the waiter proceeds to scrape the cooking grate directly onto your once-delicious steak.
Well for most cannabis enthusiasts that’s the culinary equivalent of smoking cannabis from a dirty glass bong, here’s why.
Your Ash is Glass
The better the herb, the more resin it is likely to leave behind. The more resin that is left behind from previous sessions, the more it will interfere with the enjoyment of the next bowl you pack.
Following that train of thought, the more frequently you clean your piece, the better your bud will taste. You’re probably thinking, “Duh, but cleaning this thing is worse than nails on a chalkboard…”
In fact, many a stoners have replaced entire glass pieces just to avoid having to clean them, but unless you have Snoop Dogg money, that’s just as absurd as the analogy above.
So please, for the sake of all your future rips and dabs, take a moment to learn these 3 easy steps to quickly clean your glass.
How To Clean A Glass Bong, Pipe, Or Dab Rig In 3 Easy Steps
Step 1: Pre-treat Before Cleaning
The longer you go between cleanings, the more important pre-treatment becomes.
Start by removing the bowl and downstem, and place them in a cup full of hot water. The hot water will begin to break down the resin and make the remainder of the process that much easier so don’t skip this important step.
Next, empty the old water from your pipe and rinse it out with hot water to remove any loose particles, ash, and debris.
Continue running the hot water over the outside of the piece to raise the temperature of the glass. Just like in Chemistry class, heat excites the molecules – which will help them break free more easily.
Step 2: Add a Solvent & Abrasive
Next, drain the hot water from both the pipe and the cup. We’ll replace this with a solvent, which will break down the resin even further.
Popular household glass-cleaning solvents include isopropyl alcohol (preferably 91%, instead of 70%) or 100% acetone/nail polish remover. Important to note: these are potentially hazardous chemicals, so please wear gloves and rinse thoroughly afterwards. There are also non-toxic alternatives, such as Mile High Cleaner.
In order to add a little scraping action to the solvent, pour in some coarse salt or rice directly into the glass bong or dab rig. These abrasive agents mechanically complement the solvent’s ability to dissolve the resin.
Cover the holes of the pipe with your thumb and palm, cellophane wrap, or a product like Res Caps, and shake that sucker good. Just ensure you remain mindful so as not to drop the rig or accidentally bang it against a hard surface or your rig will be on its way to joining the great smoke sesh in the sky.
Step 3: Rinsing & Detailing
After you’re confident that your bong or dab rig is as clean as it’s going to get, pour out the solvent/salt mix and rinse thoroughly, making sure no alcohol smell remains behind. At this point, if your glass piece still isn’t completely clean, re-apply solvent and let it soak for a solid 15 minutes before adding abrasive and give it another round of the shakes.
If there are any remaining spots, a combination of q-tips, alcohol wipes, pipe cleaners or bottle brushes should do the trick. If they are in tough to reach spots, you can employ stoner engineering using common items such as plastic straws, chop sticks, or wire hangers. Once again, proceed with utmost caution and a gentle touch to avoid damaging the unit.
Bonus Step: A Pound of Prevention
As mentioned earlier, how frequently you clean your bong, dab rig or glass pipe is ultimately going to be the key to maintaining a piece that you’ll enjoy smoking out of every single time.
With that in mind, you can nip resin buildup in the bud (get it?) by adding a few drops of lemon juice or Weed Wipes solution to your bong water, which will help break down the resin before it has a chance to fall in love with the inside of your glass.
Follow these simple steps and you may soon find your own love affair with your glass blossoming to heights you never could have imagined!
Recap: How To Clean A Glass Bong Or Dab Rig
What’s your favorite method for keeping your glass gleaming? Let us know in the comments below.