How to Clean a Bowl: Bongs, Pipes and Other Cannabis Vessels
Whether you take your cannabis in a bong or by weed pipe, keeping things ultra clean is important. Not only does cleanliness improve the taste when you smoke or vape, it also lowers the risk of picking up an infection via bacteria, especially if you are sharing with someone else.
Ideally, you should be cleaning your pipe or bong after every use but we know most of us don’t do that. Because we realize things can sometimes get a little lax in the world of cannabis smoking, we’re going to take a closer look at how to clean a bowl and hopefully give yourself a better taste and experience.
Of course, there are a lot of different ways to take cannabis nowadays. You can buy brilliant bongs and clever pipes. You can even make your own out of household utensils if you find yourself with some bud but no device.
Many of the hi-tech gadgets that you can get like desktop vaporizers are all well and good. But most people still prefer something like a traditional bong. These can be quite complex and difficult to clean but it’s important to make the effort, especially if you want to a nice clean taste.
5 Big Reasons You Should Learn How to Clean a Bowl
- Because your bowl is going to be extra clean, it’s like starting from new again and we all know how that feels. A clean bowl generally means there’s no used residue to get in the way and you’ll find the cannabis affecting you much more quickly.
- If you’ve spent all that time growing, drying and curing your cannabis, the last thing you want to do is spoil it with a dirty bong or pipe. Learning how to clean the bowl means that you’ll always get a smoother experience. You also won’t get any nasty hidden surprises that will send you into an instant coughing fit.
- Flavor is important. Of course it is. Having a clean bowl means you don’t have anything at all interfering with that taste. Why invest in a high-quality bong or pipe and then ruin everything by not cleaning it out at least once in a while? It just doesn’t make sense.
- You’ll also get more out of your cannabis. If you’re bong or pipe is clogged up with residue, it makes sense that you’re not going to get the best out of every smoke. Some of that CBD and THC is going to go to waste. That means you’ll get less high and you’ll certainly being using up more of your precious cannabis to get the same effect – finding out how to clean a bowl is the simplest way to conserve your stash and make it go further.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’re not opening yourself up to nasty bacteria. An unclean bong is the perfect place for these little critters to multiply. Cannabis users are a pretty social lot and sharing a bong or pipe is generally accepted as the decent thing to do. If you don’t want to pick up anything nasty or pass it on to someone else, a bit of hygiene is in order. It’s the least you can do.
How to Hygienically Clean Your Bowl, Pipe or Bong
Okay, so it’s not rocket science but if a jobs worth doing it’s worth doing well. The ingredients you need for this most important cleaning activity are:
- A bowl of hot water.
- Some washing up liquid.
- A plastic bag with a zip lock or some other suitable container you can seal tightly.
- Some Epsom salts.
- Rubbing alcohol.
- A set of cotton buds or Q-Tips.
The first thing you need to do is separate any parts that make up your pipe, bong or bowl, that’s if they have them. It makes things much easier to clean for a start. Begin by filling a clean sink with new, clear hot water and then adding washing up liquid. Put your device in there and leave it to soak for at least 15 minutes to loosen up all that gunk.
Next take your Ziploc bag and put your bong or pipe into it from the sink. Pour on the rubbing alcohol. If you don’t have any to hand, by the way, you can use an alcohol based mouthwash. Zip up the bag and shake it about gently but firmly.
Now, if you’re bong hasn’t seen a good clean in a month of Tuesdays, you’ll find the alcohol turning a dirty shade of mud pretty quickly. Empty it out and start again until you only get a clear liquid.
While most of the clogged up resin may have gone by now, there are going to still be a few bits left over that are hard to shift. That’s where the effervescent Epsom Salts come in.
Open the Ziploc and put in a couple of teaspoons then zip it up again. Shake more vigorously and leave for a about ten minutes. Next empty the bag and rinse your bong or pipe thoroughly.
In any device there’s usually a few hard to reach places, that’s where you’re Q-Tips are going to come in handy. Old fashioned pipe cleaners, if you can get them, can also do a pretty good job. Rinse your device once more once you’ve done this and then give it a dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
You are now ready to enjoy a fresh, clean new smoke with your bong, pipe or bowl.
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Our Top Tips on How to Clean a Bowl
Our big tip is to do your clean regularly. Why? As any common cannabis user will know it’s much easier to get a slight residue off rather than a long accumulated, gnarly bunch of junk that has gathered over weeks if not months. If you smoke often, whether using a bong, bowl or pipe, make the effort and you’ll find that it’s all really worthwhile.
We also advise using a pair of latex gloves because you’re handling things like alcohol and Epsom Salts. It’s always a good idea to protect your hands as much as possible even if your bong is a breeding ground for bacteria.
If you want more natural ingredients, there are things around the kitchen which you can easily choose from. Try lemon with baking powder and swap cider vinegar for alcohol. It might take a little longer to get the gunk off but it still works.
Some bongs and pipes are more complicated than others, that goes without saying. The good news is that complex bongs are usually made to be disassembled which should make cleaning easier.
How often should you clean your bong or pipe?
We recommend at least once a week if you are a regular smoker. Of course, if you want to maintain the taste and flavor of your cannabis, we say you should give your devices a rinse through with at least hot water and washing up liquid after every session.
If you really want to know what a difference it all makes, once you’ve cleaned out your bong properly, there’s the chance to sit down and have a fresh smoke. You’ll be really surprised how different it tastes, how much smoother and the better impact the cannabis has.
If you haven’t thought about how to clean a bowl until now, that probably means your pipe or bong is in a pretty parlous state right now. It might well be time to get down to the local store and pick up some important ingredients.
Some Bong Maintenance Tips
To finish off with, you can also try these simple tips for keeping your bong in tip-top condition.
If you want to avoid unsightly streaks in your bong, swap normal tap water for filtered water.
Make sure that you change the water every day in your bong if you want to avoid problems with mold. If you see green streaks appearing on the inside of the glass, you have a problem. Time to do a deep clean as per the instructions above.
If you want to avoid scratches on your glass bong then invest in a bong pad and if you’re taking it from place to place try using bubble wrap to keep it secure.
Some Extra Weed Pipe Maintenance Tips
Clean regularly, in fact after every time you use it. Pipe cleaners can stop gunk building up – there’s nothing worse than getting a blow back of old residue to spoil your morning smoke.
Glass pipes are a lot more popular nowadays but they are also fragile. Make sure that you store you pipe in a safe place and avoid exposing it to extremes of heat.
There’s no doubt that if you are a social cannabis user and want to impress your friends, you need to learn how to clean a bowl, bong or pipe. Get into good habits and it should become second nature. You’ll get a great, clean smoke and keep everyone healthy at the same time.