There’s nothing like a shiny, brand new bubbler that hasn’t been used yet. The glass is so clean and pure. But after a few uses, you’ll start to notice a dark, sticky residue building up in the bowl and the internal chamber. If you let the resin accumulate for too long, your bubbler may not work as efficiently as it did when you bought it, and the flavor might start tasting bad. This can be annoying, but you can easily clean your bubbler until it’s as good as new. You can also ensure that your bubbler stays fresh weeks after you give it a deep clean by making sure the water inside is always fresh.
Cleaning Your Bubbler
Just because the thick layer of resin in your bubbler looks intimidating and difficult to clean, there are a lot of easy and effective methods of cleaning glass that you can do with a few things that you might already have lying around the house.
A popular method of cleaning bubblers and many other types of glass pipes is to use salt and isopropyl alcohol. Fill a sealable plastic bag with the salt and alcohol, place the dirty bubbler inside, and shake vigorously. Be careful not to drop it. Let the bubbler soak in this mixture for about five hours, shaking the bag now and then to loosen the residue from the glass. Once the resin has dissolved in the alcohol for several hours, take the bubbler out of the bag and check for any stubborn spots. You can use a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol to get any final pieces of resin from the inside of the pipe. Finally, rinse the bubbler thoroughly with warm water and let it air dry completely, then it’s ready to go.
Some people find the isopropyl alcohol method a little messy. If that’s the case for you, or if you simply don’t have isopropyl alcohol in your cabinets, try the vinegar and water method. For this, boil equal parts water and either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Once it’s boiling, bring it down to a simmer. Before you put your bubbler in the hot water and vinegar, run it under warm water for a few seconds. Sudden temperature changes can shatter glass, and you don’t want that to happen. Let the bubbler simmer in the mixture on the lowest setting for about an hour. The water will get dark as the resin dissolves. That’s how you’ll know it’s working. Once that’s done, rinse the bubbler under warm tap water and scrub it with a bottle brush until all the residue is washed out. Once again, let it air dry before you use it.
If you’re out of salt, isopropyl alcohol, and vinegar, there are several cleaning solutions on the market that are designed specifically for bubblers and other glass pipes. These are just as effective as the other methods, and they’re great if you’re looking for a specialized cleaning product for your glass.
Cleaning your bubbler can be a pain, but there are some things you can do between your regular cleanings to keep your glass spotless. Pipes that use water, like bubblers and bongs, require even more maintenance to keep them fresh. Stains from unfiltered water and mold can make your bubbler look quite unappealing. If you’ve already noticed stains on your bubbler, it’s probably time for a deep clean using one of the methods mentioned above. However, if your glass is still pretty clear, you can prevent water and mold stains by using filtered water every time you use it and replacing the old water daily. If left to sit over time, still water will attract mold and bacteria that you definitely don’t want to inhale. Daily care for your bubbler will ensure that your smoking experiences are healthy and enjoyable. You’ll also notice that you don’t have to thoroughly clean the glass as often when you’re doing these simple things to prevent mold and stains.
Protecting and Repairing
It’s just as important to take care of the outside of your bubbler as the inside. You won’t be able to see the clean glass inside if the outside is covered in scratches. It’s difficult to repair scratches once they’re on your bubbler, so the best thing to do is prevent them from happening in the first place. Keep your bubbler in a safe place where it can’t be dropped or moved around too much. When it’s not in use, you should put it in a protective case or box to avoid any accidents.
If you’ve noticed that your bubbler has gotten a few scratches over time, there are some things you can do to make them disappear, making it look exactly like it did the day you got it. These techniques can be complicated, and results are difficult to achieve. But if you’re determined, you can do it. If your toothpaste contains baking soda, it can be a great tool for removing scratches by leveling the glass around the scratch. Rub the toothpaste into the scratch with a clean cloth for about 30 seconds, then wipe off the excess toothpaste.
Clear nail polish is another great option for hiding scratches, as long as the scratch is not close to the mouthpiece or the bowl that will be heated. Paint over any scratches on your bubbler with the polish and let it dry. Then, dip a clean cloth into nail polish remover and wipe the outside of the bubbler, leveling the nail polish to be even with the glass.
If you want to go a step further than these simple solutions in your medicine cabinet, you can buy sandpaper and glass polish to get the job done. Gently sand down the outside of the bubbler, removing any sign of scratches. Then, use the glass polish to give your bubbler a beautiful shine.
Taking Care of the Glass
Let’s be honest, glass is fragile, and accidents are sometimes unavoidable. Bongs have multiple glass accessories, so if you break one of them, it’s relatively affordable to replace. Bubblers, on the other hand, are made from a single piece of glass. If it breaks, that’s it. There’s no way to effectively repair a broken bubbler, but the silver lining here is that you can treat yourself to a new one. There are so many wonderful glass bubblers on the market. Use the accident as a chance to upgrade. Some bubblers are even as artistic as they are functional, so you can even use them as decoration in your home.
Whether you’re cleaning out the chamber of your bubbler or polishing up the exterior of it, always treat your glass pipes with care and keep them in a safe place. If you properly maintain your bubbler, it can be enjoyed for years to come.