The list of cannabis-related mishaps is a lengthy one. From common mistakes when baking edibles to overestimating your tolerance, things can sometimes go wrong. Somewhere within this long list is spilling a bong full of bong water on the carpet or furniture.
While many cannabis users enjoy smoking a bong for filtration purposes, spilling a water pipe full of cannabis residue can put you in a world of hurt, filling your home with an unmistakable, unpleasant smell for days.
If this has ever happened to you, don’t worry. While it may feel like your living room or favorite smoking spot will never be the same, the odor experts at Cannabolish have some tips for effectively cleaning and getting rid of bong smell after a spill.
How Does a Bong Work?
Believe it or not, bongs have a history that dates back beyond the colorful, glass apparatuses we know today. The word “bong” derives from the Thai word “baung” meaning cylindrical wooden tube cut from bamboo stem and started appearing in American after the Vietnam war.
One of the biggest advantages of using a bong is filtration. When the user lights the dried marijuana in the bowl and inhales at the top of the tube, the smoke passes through the water in the base where it is filtered and cooled before the user inhales it.
Compared to dry pipes or rolled cannabis, bongs create a much smoother, filtered experience that allows users to inhale a large amount of smoke without causing a burning sensation. It can be a very enjoyable experience, but it’s important to regularly clean your bong to ensure you can fully taste and smell your favorite strains during every session.
Best Way to Clean a Bong
Bongs have many moving parts, and one of the main reasons residue builds up over time is due to improper cleaning. That’s why learning to clean all of the different parts of your water pipe can help get rid of bong smell and prevent particularly nasty spills in the future.
1. The Bowl
The bowl sits at the end of the downstem and holds the dried, packed marijuana. Users hold a match or a lighter up to the packed bowl to ignite the marijuana and pull smoke through the base into the tube.
It’s important to clear the bowl of marijuana residue occasionally with a Q-Tip or a cotton pad soaked in vinegar to ensure each smoking session is fresh. Periodically wipe tar and resin out of the bowl to prevent build up and keep the water in the base of your bong clean longer.
2. The Carburetor
Often referred to as the “carb,” your bong’s carburetor is the small hole in the base that holds the downstem. While the carburetor may not come into contact with cannabis directly or become sullied by tar like the bowl, it’s still a good idea to clean the carb with a vinegar-soaked cotton pad occasionally to get rid of bong smell.
3. The Downstem
It’s very important to clean the downstem of your bong because it’s the part that sits in the water and holds the bowl. In order to effectively clean it, remove the downstem from the carb and spoon one teaspoon of baking soda into the bowl opening. Cover both openings with tape or your hands and shake to disperse the baking soda. With a small brush or pipe cleaner, gently scrub the inside of the downstem to remove resin and tar. Repeat this process with vinegar and lukewarm water and flush out any remaining residue.
4. The Base
The first place you’ll notice your bong is in need of cleaning is in the base. The base is the bulbous or flared container at the end of the neck that holds the water and filters the cannabis smoke. If your bong goes a few sessions without a good clean, the water will begin to turn brown and smell and you may even notice residue on the glass itself.
To clean the base and make a bong water deodorizer, disassemble your bong by removing the downstem and bowl and place your bong in the sink to clean. Pour rubbing alcohol and course salt through the open carburetor into the base and plug up both openings with your hands and shake. This mixture should remove residue caked to the sides of the glass while sanitizing the inside.
Pour out the alcohol and salt and rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat the process with vinegar and baking soda to create a bong water deodorizer in the base of your bong and remove any lingering odor. Empty out this solution and replace with fresh water.
5. The Tube
The tube is the long neck attached to the bong’s base with an opening for the user’s mouth. Like the base, the tube is extremely important to clean and sanitize because it harbors smoke and condensation which can create foul odor if it isn’t cleaned regularly.
To clean a bong’s tube, fill up the base with clean water and pour it into the sink through the tube. Take a teaspoon of baking soda and pour it into the tube. The baking soda will cling to any remaining water droplets, allowing you to scrub the inside of the tube with a soft, cylindrical brush to remove residue. After scrubbing, rinse again until the baking soda is removed.
The tube of a bong can be difficult to clean because it’s an inherently awkward shape: long with a narrow opening. The tube is also incredibly delicate which can make it hard to remove stains that may not go away with a simple rinse. This is where soaking can come in handy. Fill a sink with soap and lukewarm water. Take apart the bowl and the downstem, and place the base and neck of your bong in the sink to soak. You can also add a few drops of vinegar to create a bong water deodorizer solution and allow your bong to gently soak to fight any lingering odor while removing stains.
How to Clean Bong Water Out of Carpet
If you allow your bong to go a few sessions without cleaning, this may cause an unpleasant smell the next time you toke up. But the most unpleasant cause of foul odor when using a bong occurs around spills.
If you’ve ever spilled bong water on the carpet, you’ve experienced that horrible, sinking feeling that takes over as you watch the wet spot grow. At that moment, it can be hard to act quickly, but the best way to clean bong water out of carpet is to absorb as much of the spill as possible with clean rags before it has a chance to settle.
Quickly lay rags or paper towels on the spot and press with the heel of your hand or foot so the rag becomes damp when you release pressure. Once the spot feels drier and your rags are sufficiently damp, you can start combatting the stain and odor.
Start by vacuuming the spot with your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, first. The brush will loosen any residue that has seeped into the fibers from the spill and take out additional moisture. Removing moisture and residue is key to getting rid of bong smell.
Follow this step by adding baking soda to the spot and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Any volatile molecules that remain in your carpet or upholstery from the bong spill will adhere to the crystal-like surface of the baking soda and neutralize.
After you’ve allowed the baking soda to sit for half an hour, vacuum it out of the fibers and follow up with laundry detergent or carpet cleaner to clean the bong water out of the carpet. You can use 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent for every quart of water, or your preferred carpet cleaner, but it’s important to clean your carpet and upholstery after you neutralize the smell. This will allow scents from your carpet cleaner or odor-eliminator of choice to come through.
Like baking soda, Cannabolish sprays, gels, and clean-burning candles use natural means to fight unwanted odors from your favorite cannabis-related activities. If stubborn odor from a bong spill past remains in your preferred smoking spot, simply spray Cannabolish Odor Removing Spray onto the stain or in the air and let the plant-based blend go to work removing odors from the room. Many cannabis users also enjoy Cannabolish Odor Removing Candles to create ambiance and fight odors from smoking at the same time.
Spills and mishaps happen all the time, but Cannabolish’s line of natural odor-fighting products can help you discover the perfect way to enjoy your favorite strains while keeping your home smelling fresh. Sign up for the 421 Club Newsletter to stay on top of all the goings-on at Cannabolish and check out our helpful blog for use tips and more!