Bongs are water pipes that are used to smoke marijuana. The Chinese Ming Dynasty invented the original bong centuries ago in Thailand. It was a simple filtration device made of a bamboo tube. Nowadays, bongs are known by different street and slang names, including binger, billy, and bubbler.
Baung, the native name for the bong, was not as complicated as today’s bong. Its simplicity has been woven with a touch of class, just as the weed has become for the classy and high-end consumers.
The modern experience of smoking weed is very different from the ancient one; however, the original process of weed filtration is still similar to the modern one. Passing smoke through water and inhaling the vapor through a tube.
How do bongs work?
Bongs come in different shapes and sizes. Some are basic, while others are complicated. The basic ones are made up of a bowl and chamber. Complicated ones are a composition of beauty, color, and art.
The basic work of a bong is to filter and cool marijuana smoke and get it into your lungs. Marijuana is placed on the bowl and lighted. It burns, and the smoke passes through the water that forms bubbles at the bottom whenever you inhale. Smoke then rises to your mouth and into the lungs through the chamber.
The overall experience of smoking marijuana from a bong is pleasant as you feel the smoke go down into the lungs. The purpose of the water in the bong eliminates dry heat from the joint. The effect is smoother and cooler vapor than smoking directly from a paper roll, which is harsher.
Bongs are believed to be a safer way of smoking weed because they filter out impurities and carcinogenic substances that cause cancer.
Can your bong be breeding zone disease-causing organisms?
Your bong can indeed make you sick. You probably have spent a fortune on getting yourself a classy bong. Keeping your bong clean is not only hygienic but also pleasant. Dirty bongs smell bad, which is disgusting.
In addition, if resin builds up on the small bowl, no room will be left to fit in the weed. The tube can easily get clogged, and it will be difficult to get enough smoke into your mouth and lungs.
Leaving your bong dirty without rinsing and replacing the water brings about the breeding of bacteria, which thrives well in dirty stagnant water. The bacterium grows inside your bong and finds its way into your mouth through the pipe. That is a health risk.
Studies have shown that bongs hold more bacteria than public toilets. The reason is that many smokers can share a bong. Each user has a different hygiene standard. Whether true or false, about the bong being dirtier than a public toilet, you should observe hygiene if you want to enjoy that puff without getting ill.
You could consider sterilizing your bong before every use to kill bacteria or avoid sharing the mouthpiece. That will reduce contamination.
How does mold grow in the bong?
Apart from bacteria, molds can grow in your bong. Three components in your bong facilitate the growth of molds. These are moisture, nutrients (plant matter and a surface. Molds (or Fusarium) grow in your bong within 24 to 48 hours from the time the three components that facilitate its growth are all present.
When weed is burnt on the bowl, it releases vapor inside there. That is the beneficial vapor that passes through the water, into the tube and up to your mouth, and into your lungs. Heated molecules wrap themselves on any surface that they find.
The most probable place they will find in the bong is the inside surface. These build up and make the bong dirty because of the moisture content inside. The more frequently you use your bong, the more the buildup.
The residues stick up and begin rotting. That is when the mold begins to grow. Molds grow on organic plant matter, which they feed on. Inside there is the weed organic matter, air, and moisture. Now you know where the mold comes from to grow in your bong.
Any kind of mold is dangerous. Fusarium, for example, can make you suffer from allergic mold-induced complications as a result of breathing in spores into your lungs. Such complications include asthma, bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
All these and many more allergic reactions from Fusarium are fatal as they affect your respiratory system. Other types of molds that can thrive in your bong and cause severe illnesses are black mildew and yeast.
To better understand how mold appears in your bong, there are three stages involved in its growth. Let’s explore the three stages:
The moldy bong is the initial stage of mold in bongs. If you notice a pink layer inside your bong, that is a fungus. You have probably left your bubbler for too long without cleaning. Fungus and bacteria have begun forming from cannabis residue. The only way to stop this growth is through regular cleaning. It is a health risk that can compromise your immune system.
White mold in your bong is a progressed version of the moldy bong. If you don’t clean the pink layer of your bubbler (moldy bong), white mold develops. White mold is more resistant and impossible to eradicate. Even with the toughest bleach, you cannot peel off the white mold. White mold grows in little dark unreachable corners and keeps on recurring.
Bio-film is a combination of one or many micro-organisms’ growth in different surfaces. The micro-organisms include protest, fungi, and bacteria. These are disease-causing organisms that can make you ill. They grow in the presence of nutrients, surface, and moisture.
Microbes, in turn, start releasing tiny molecules that enable them to attach onto surfaces like the marijuana residue in the water and on the walls of your bong. A bio-film protects substances from being released by microbes. Infections and diseases from the bio-film are more dangerous and difficult to treat.
How to clean your bong the right way
Knowing how to clean your bong is vital for maintenance and making sure its performance in terms of smoke purity and longevity is optimized. The first thing on the list before you clean up your bubbler is to have the right kit. You will need to gather several ingredients and cleaning materials. These include:
- Coarse sea salt
- Standard bong plugs or rubber stoppers
- Rubbing alcohol, preferably 99% Isopropyl alcohol
- Two large plastic zipper storage bags
With these items at hand, you are ready for the cleaning exercise.
Below is a step-to-step guide on how to go about it.
Hold the bong on top of a table and carefully detach the bowl and the down stem. Place them in separate zipper storage bags. Bong parts are fragile; therefore, the plastic zipper storage bags will prevent breakages and damages. These also help you to clean both the bowl and the down stem thoroughly.
Pour the rubbing alcohol (99% Isopropyl alcohol) into each zipper storage bag until each part of the bong is completely submerged in the alcohol. Add in two tablespoons of course salt. Let the alcohol sit for a while to absorb any stubborn stain.
Empty the old water from your bong into the drain. Bongwater should always be emptied daily to prevent the building up of resin. That will ensure your cannabis flavor is superb and the smoke is clean.
Pour the coarse sea salt into your bong. Make sure the salt is enough to coat the entire base of the bong. Pour in a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol into your bong and allow it to settle.
Use the standard bong plugs to plug the bong openings (in the down stem and mouthpiece areas. It is advisable to know the size of your own stem and the mouthpiece to avoid wrong purchasing. These are available from your local cannabis products shop, or you can order direct from Amazon.
Shake your bong vigorously to remove heavy residue buildup at the base and the walls until the residues peel off. Be careful not to drop your bong when shaking as it could break. Repeat the same procedure on the down stem and the bowl in the zipper storage bags. Once you are sure the entire residue has peeled off on the three parts of your bong, pour out the mixture.
Rinse the three items thoroughly with warm water and shake lightly to wash away any residue that may have remained inside. If there are spots that are not clean, refill the bags with alcohol and salt and allow a few minutes for the residues to peel off. Use a generous amount of water to flush any traces of alcohol.
You can use cotton swabs or pipe cleaners to clean any extra filters or parts of your bong that are hard to reach. Bongs are long-lasting, but they require that you handle them with care and conduct proper regular maintenance to give you the desired service.
Alternative cleaning method
An alternative method of cleaning your bong is the use of a special gel known as Resolution Gel (Res Gel). The gel is safe and acts very fast on buildup resin. It is a clay-based natural solution that is specially formulated to give your bong through molds clean. The gel is readily available from your local cannabis products shop.
It is free from alcohol and coarse salt that may scratch off and damage the glossy glassy texture of your bubbler. The method is easy to follow, and it involves only two steps:
Shake the Res Gel for 5 to 10 seconds to activate the content. Pour the content into your bong and gently swish in a circular motion for 30 seconds. Apply the gel on the down stem and the mouth holes. Using a pipe cleaner, reach out to the spots with tough resin. The Res Gel will kill all the bacteria and fungi that may be present in the bong, mouth hole, and the down stem hole.
Once your bong is clean, pour out Res Gel back into its container to use the next time. Res Gel is reusable, and it will save you cash by using it several times. Rinse your bong with warm water and check out for any remaining resin. Do not use hot water because it will melt the resin, causing it to stick back to the bong.
There are numerous methods of cleaning mold in your bong rightly. What matters most is observing and setting simple hygiene practices. The fact is that if you clean your bong regularly, it will not require deep cleaning. Sometimes, it will just require warm water mixed with fresh lemon juice to rinse your weed appliance, and you are sorted out.
Mold in your bong means myriad diseases striking you any time. Typhoid, pneumonia, hepatitis A, strep throat, cholera, emphysema, and the dreaded COVID-19 can strike you off the balance if you do not observe proper hygiene. It does not matter how classy your glass bubbler is, how quality your weed is or how expensive the overall kit is.
You must clean your bong the right way to avoid posing a risk to your health and that of your friends. With the many contagious diseases around the world, you can resolve not to share your favorite bong with your peers. All these measures are meant to prevent you from getting ill.
If you spot mold in your bong, you should not be neglected that because you are posing a health risk to yourself. The value for your health cannot be compared to smoking weed or the effort required to clean up your bong. You have to be healthy to enjoy a good lifestyle.
Cleaning and taking care of your bong can be involving, but if is it is done the right way and regularly, the growth of pathogens will be easily controlled. Make it a habit to empty your bong water after every use and rinse it well for the next use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can mold grow in water pipes?
What does mold in a bong look like?