Welcome to 2020, where because of COVID-19, it's getting harder and harder to clean your bong. Thanks to the global pandemic, there has been a run on isopropyl-alcohol.
What are the alternatives to cleaning a bong with isopropyl-alcohol? Thankfully, there are many non-alcohol based methods (and many are equally as effective).
How to Clean Your Bong Without Isopropyl-Alcohol: 4 Methods
1. Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda is a science experiment turned bong cleaning method. Here is what you will need:
- Large pot, big enough to completely submerge your bong or bowls
- 4 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups baking soda
- Toothbrush or pipe cleaner
Gently set the bong inside the large pot and pour one cup of baking soda into the neck. Shake it around into the various crevices, especially the grimier bits. Next, pour two cups of vinegar down into the neck channel. Instantly, this mixture will fizz up to loosen the resin. You may wish to swish around to get into the hard to reach areas. Allow to subside and let the bong sit for five to ten minutes.
Add remaining vinegar into the pot, then fill the pot with enough water to cover the bong completely. Add the remaining baking soda. Slowly bring the water to a simmer over low heat. Over the next hour, continue to simmer, which will dislodge the remaining gunk. Keep topping up with water to ensure the bong is always covered.
Once the resin has loosened, remove it from heat. When it's cool enough to touch, use the toothbrush to finish cleaning the glassware.
As you learn how to clean a bong without isopropyl-alcohol, you'll notice many techniques require boiling. Because this is glassware, you'll want to take precautions against breaking it. For a bit of a bumper, you can line the pot with a silicone baking mat. Also, never bring the water to more than a low simmer, and never let it evaporate below the bong's top. Finally, allow it to cool off in the water. Never remove and run under cold water. The temperature shock can crack the glass.
2. The Power of Denture Tablets
Denture tablets like those you may have seen from 1990's television commercials are making a come back as bong cleaners. Just like they break apart built-up plaque on dentures, they can help break up resin and particles on your dirty bong. Plus, unlike isopropyl alcohol, they are readily available at all supermarkets and drug stores.
You'll need the following items to get started:
- 4 to 6 Denture tablets
- Large pot
- Hot water
Begin by placing a few tablets inside your dirty bong. Place the bong inside the large pot, and toss in a few more denture tablets while you are at it.
Fill the pot with hot but not boiling (remember you could crack glass with extreme temperature changes). Wait patiently as the denture tablets fizzle to break apart the sticky oils.
After ten minutes, remove the bong from the pot and rinse with hot water. While rinsing, use a toothbrush to clean the remaining dirty areas.
3. Nail Polish Remover
A little known substitute for alcohol is nail polish remover (or acetone). It's readily available at drug stores and makeup stores. Just be sure to buy unscented if available. While not as strong as isopropyl-alcohol, with a little elbow grease, it's pretty effective.
Here is how to use nail polish remover to clean your bong:
- Use small rags to plug all holes (except the mouthpiece) of your bong.
- Next, pour in ½ cup of nail polish remover (or more, depending on the size of the bong).
- Shake vigorously for 45 seconds.
- Pour out the acetone, and repeat two more times.
- Use a toothbrush or pipe cleaner to clean up the lingering resin.
- Rinse with hot, mildly soapy water.
4. Get Professional with Bong Cleaners
Beyond the do-it-yourself approach to bong cleaning, there are specialty bong-cleaning products. These are ideally suited to getting cannabis oil and resin off glassware, ceramic, and even silicone bongs.
- Orange Chronic
A perfectly formulated cleaner that mimics the soap mechanics use to remove grease and grime. Orange Chronic contains fine particles to break free, even baked-on resin.
Left your bong cleaning a little too long? Resinate is suitable for egregiously dirty bongs with weeks' build-up. Resinate is non-abrasive and ideal for glass, metal, and ceramics pieces.
- Formula 420
One of the cheapest options is Formula 420. It's been around for years and the preferred affordable option by many stoners. It works in five minutes or less!
Clean Your Bong Without Alcohol
Just because you can't find any alcohol to clean your bongs and glassware the conventional way, it's no excuse for a dirty bong. Check out the many alternatives to how to clean a bong without isopropyl alcohol. There are dozens of bong cleaners out there, or you can use ingredients you have at home, like baking soda and vinegar. Bong cleaning is easy! You just have to get off your couch to do it.