As the majority of states move to decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis, more Americans are discovering and enjoying the benefits that only cannabis provides. In 2020 alone, four states legalized cannabis including Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey. Meanwhile, medical cannabis was legalized via ballot measures during the same election in Mississippi and South Dakota.
One of the biggest and long standing problems enthusiasts face is keeping their equipment clean. Whether you’re smoking out of a bong, rig or pipe, regular cleaning maintenance of your 420 equipment is crucial. If your glass has accumulated gunk and stinks, then you know it’s time to clean it.
To enjoy a health conscious and elevated experience, clean your glass on average, after every 3-5 sessions or daily. The absolute obvious signs of when it is time to give your bong a cleaning is buildup of resin on the glass, the water in the bong isn’t clear anymore and it smells, debris collects inside the chamber and/or dark stains on the percolator if one is present. In other words, if your glass doesn’t resemble the clean state you bought it in, it is time for a cleaning.
Benefits of Clean Glass
The more often you clean your 420 glass, the more you get to enjoy all of the benefits clean glass has to offer. Primarily, amazing flower flavour and an experience that’s unhindered by harmful contaminants. Bacteria, mold and viruses can collect which can lead to more respiratory issues such as coughing and even cause lung issues. Dirty glass increases harmful bacteria contamination within the glass that can either ruin your experience or get you sick. Be aware that not all mold is green; some molds are black, white, gray, and even pink. When you use a dirty bong, you may be inhaling mold spores and that could land you in the hospital.
Additionally, you should always clean your bong after a session that’s shared with others. When you share your bong with other people, you run the risk of getting sick if they’re sick. Additionally, if you’re using a bong, the water filters significantly better when it’s clean than when it isn’t. Similar to using a dirty filter on an air conditioner, water purifier, etc. you need to clean or replace it for proper usage. Ultimately, you want to avoid any potential health risks from dirty pieces to bring your health conscious cannabis experience to the highest level.
Aside from the health benefits of regular maintenance, it’s much faster and easier to clean your equipment when you do it often. If you wait weeks or months to clean your 420 glass, it’s going to be a lot more difficult, messy and time consuming. The more often you clean your 420 glass, the more you get to enjoy all of the benefits clean glass has to offer.
How to clean your glass
When it comes to maintaining and keeping your glass clean, you don’t need any fancy solutions. Most enthusiasts continue to use the classic rubbing alcohol and salt mixture method because it’s typically the absolute cheapest. However, you may want to use 91% isopropyl alcohol, not rubbing alcohol, since it isn’t quite as potent as isopropyl. Since the rise of COVID-19 in the US and the limited availability of isopropyl alcohol, other methods should be considered if you have easier access to them. Add iso alcohol and coarse salt or a product like Formula 420 into your glass piece and shake it vigorously without breaking anything. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
Have some household items handy when you’re ready to clean. This includes Q-Tips, toothpicks, sandwich baggies for small glass pieces, cleaning brushes, pipe cleaners and don’t forget a towel (for drying).
One type of accessory that you should have when you clean your bong is a set of the correct size plugs for the holes in your bong. You should have one to plug the mouthpiece and one to plug the hole for the downstem. This is so you can fill the bong with cleaner like Formula 420 and let it sit for a few hours or even overnight.
For pieces that have been neglected for weeks or months, I recommend using a scoop of any basic oxygen-based cleaning powder (like oxy-clean) mixed with very hot water instead of iso alcohol. Add the oxi-cleaner solution inside and use bong caps on the intake and downstems to hold it in and follow the same steps. Rinse and repeat as necessary for a very dirty bong.
A modern solution used by professional 420 glass cleaners
Whether cleaning your glass is an annoying, time-consuming chore or using the traditional salt and shaker method doesn’t clean well enough, there are newly-developed and highly-effective options to explore that are used by professional glass cleaners. Claude teamed up with the experts behind Myster and Octave and launched The WaveWasher, an ultrasonic, sustainable cleaning machine for bongs and other 420 glass and accessories. This product provides a simple solution to the long-standing problem of keeping 420 glass consistently clean. Similar to a dishwasher, WaveWasher cleans your bong with just a push of a button. Very warm water loosens the dirty resin and bacteria and then the ultrasonic sound waves blast the bacteria and dirty resin off of your 420 glass and accessories. It also uses 50-100% less iso alcohol and no salt or shaking is required.Bio: Claude Galipeau is the creator and product designer of WaveWasher, a global brand with the mission to reframe outdated stereotypes about being an enthusiast and provide an innovative yet simple solution to cleaning 420 glass. Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, and graduate of Algonquin College, Claude Galipeau’s focus was to find the optimal solution to the longstanding problem of dirty cannabis hardware equipment. His product, the WaveWasher, is the culmination of his efforts to make a professional cleaning device.