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Cannabis advice: How do I clean a bong?

November 11, 2020

Twice a month, American comedian, musician, writer, actor, activist, juggler, and publisher Ngaio Bealum—host of the Netflix show Cooking on High and trivia app Daily Bonfire—answers Leafly reader questions on cannabis, regarding personal use, family, community, state, and country. After a stressful election, it’s time to clean up, and that includes the old bong.


Question:

Dear, Ngaio,

What is your glass pipe and bong cleaning regimen? Some people’s glass is NASTY.

—Roz N. Tarr

Answer:

Roz,

You got that right. And no one wants to place their mouth on someone’s nasty glass. Gross.

I’m a simple man, Roz. All I need is some isopropyl alcohol (at least 70%; 90% is even better), a little table salt, and some elbow grease. Isopropyl alcohol should be easy enough to find, now that the hoarding has passed, or you can find some bong-specific cleaners online or at the local head shop.

Here’s how to clean a bong:

  1. Pour some salt and alcohol into your piece.
  2. Plug the holes.
  3. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. The iso and salt should dissolve and scrub away most of your guck and grime.
  4. Use a pipe cleaner if you have to get into some nooks and crannies.
  5. Rinse your piece with warm water, air dry, and you should be good to go.

We double-checked our method with a sanitation expert, too. “I think that is a relatively safe suggestion,” said Josh Wurzer, SC Labs president and co-founder. “In a pinch, ethanol would work as well. I use acetone, as it works far better than anything else, but it is a little gnarly for the amateur. If you don’t rinse properly it’s going to hurt your lungs.”

Clean your Mobius NUC matrix diffuser after every session. (David Downs/Leafly)
Clean your Mobius NUC matrix diffuser after every session. (David Downs/Leafly)

Lastly, if you aren’t in a hurry, you can just soak your piece in some alcohol overnight or for a few days, and then give it a rinse. Have fun! And remember to change your bong water every day, or even every few hours if you smoke all day.

Peace, Ngaio


Question:

Dear, Ngaio,

Weed salads: Are they good? My homie is devoutly anti-salad. He says that the terp combos can be overwhelming, but I love an expertly paired blend. This Sunday it was Papaya Punch + Squirt for bluntch. Thoughts?

—Mina JaVerde

A three-strain salad joint. (Courtesy of Ngaio Bealum)
A three-strain salad joint. (Courtesy of Ngaio Bealum)

Answer

Dear, Mina,
I personally love a good mix: whether it’s an old school thing, like, everyone throwing a nug into the pile to roll a fat “stoned soup” doobie; or meticulously picking the perfect strains and flavors to make a restaurant-quality, “medley of fall terps, wrapped with natural hemp” fancy-pants joint, er, pre-roll.

“The goal is to create a flavor greater than the sum of its parts.”

—Ngaio Bealum, on weed salads

Blending different cannabis strains is just like blending wines: The goal is to create a flavor greater than the sum of its parts. Blends are actually showing up in the commercial market these days, with companies like Perfect Blends creating pre-rolls geared to create specific effects like sleepiness or the giggles.

I would say that your homie is missing out on some good flavors and effects and should maybe be hella mindful when um, tossing a salad.

Try mixing a high-CBD strain with something containing a bunch of pinene for an “active, but not anxious” sort of feel.

I also like to roll one with the strains lined up instead of mixed, so I can try to tell when the flavors change. But hey, if your friend doesn’t want to mix his weeds together, there’s no shame. Just more for us.

Best, Ngaio

What’s your favorite pipe-cleaning regimen? Favorite strain blend? Comment below. email an advice question to AskNgaio@Leafly.com

Ngaio Bealum's Bio Image
Ngaio Bealum

Ngaio Bealum is an American comedian, musician, writer, actor, activist, juggler and publisher. He hosted the Netflix show Cooking on High, and hosts the trivia app Daily Bonfire. He writes columns in the Sacramento News & Review, and Cannabis Now, answering questions from readers about marijuana and the politics of legalization.

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