Bubblers are the perfect mix between bongs and hand pipes. They are convenient, easy to travel with, and very smooth to smoke.
However, because of their intricate designs and the way they work, bubblers can easily become clogged. This can be a pain in the butt, and can seem impossible to clean if you do not know how.
So what is the best way to clean a bubbler?
At HelpingPot, we have gone through a lot of great pieces over the years, and kept a lot of them in very nice condition thanks to these 7 Steps we are about to share with you. By the end of this guide, you will know the perfect bubbler cleaning process to make your piece as clean as new every time.
When Should I Clean My Bubbler?
In general, we recommend cleaning your bubbler every 3 to 6 months. If you smoke frequently, you may need to clean it more often.
Why Should I Clean My Bubbler?
Cleaning your bubbler is important for a few main reasons:
- Keeping bacteria out
- Getting rid of resin buildup
- Making your bubbler last longer
Overall, bacteria and mold builds up over time on any moist surface. Bubblers are probably the most unsanitary piece you can own because of their shape. They tend to have small holes for ventilation, making it hard to pour water completely out. Then, when the moisture inside of them gets hot, it usually just evaporates, only to condense on the top, and pour right down the sides just to pool up in the bottom again. As a result, it is a great breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria 😯.
Resin can be extremely hard to remove from the inside of a bubbler. In fact, it is probably the hardest to remove of any piece. Knowing the best way to clean your bubbler can help you easily remove this nasty gunk, restoring flavor and smoothness.
Over time, the intricate inner parts of a bubbler can become so clogged with resin that it can weaken them, or even cause them to break. Keeping your bubbler clean is the easiest way to make it last much longer.
What is the Best Way to Clean My Bubbler?
The best way to clean your bubbler is to use an Isopropyl alcohol and salt solution, let it soak for an hour or more, and then rinse it out with water. From there, you should use a pipe cleaner while rinsing out with warm water to get the resin out from some of the more intricate parts of your bubbler.
What Supplies Will I Need?
To get started cleaning your bubbler, you will need:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Plastic bags
- Rubber bands
- Pipe cleaners
- Running water
5 Steps to Cleaning Your Bubbler
Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to get started cleaning your bubbler with 5 easy steps:
- Get your cleaning solution ready – Take about 16 oz. of Isopropyl alcohol and put it into the container you will be using to soak your bubbler in. Mix in about ¼ cup of salt, and let it sit for a while. You can even stir it a bit to make some of the salt dissolve. Alternatively, you could fill your bubbler with the solution, then take plastic bags and use them to cover up the holes, then wrap rubber bands around them to make them secure.
- Soak your bubbler in it – Take your bubbler and gently place it in the container you are using to clean it, or let it soak with the liquid inside. Leave it to soak in the cleaning solution for about 30-60 minutes, or leave it overnight for the best results.
- Rinse it out and check it – Once you have let your bubbler soak for a while, it is time to take it out of the cleaning solution, rinse it, and assess the situation. If it still seems dirty after rinsing, you may need another soak. Be sure to use warm water for rinsing, not hot or cold. If it seems mostly clean, with the exception of some hard to reach spots.
- Clean out the hard to reach parts – This is where your pipe cleaners come into place. While rinsing it with warm water, or in your cleaning solution, scrub as needed with your pipe cleaner until the debris is gone. For some seriously dirty bubblers, a second soak may be the only solution.
- Rinse and let it dry – This is one of the most important parts of the process, but it often flies under the radar. Rinsing is important in order to get rid of any of the alcohol and salt solution from cleaning – which can be dangerous if smoked. Drying is important to keep herbs dry, reduce bacterial growth on a new clean bubbler, and make sure you are safe to smoke.
3 Tips for Cleaning Your Bubbler
In order to make the most of your cleaning process, you should follow these 3 tips:
- Be careful with the little parts – I have cleaned bubblers before which have internal percolators or spiral designs that look great, btu suck to clean. This can make a challenge when it comes to cleaning, and makes taking your time really important.
- Take your time – Rushing only leads to mistakes. If you are only going to clean your piece a few times a year, you might as well take the time and do it right.
- Use the right solution – Using the best cleaning solution is the number one most important thing in this process. Sure, you can use other remedies, but almost nothing is more effective.
How Can I Clean My Bubbler Without Alcohol?
If you don’t have any alcohol, or prefer not to use it, there are a few other solutions you can use in order to get the job done just as well.
1. Salt & Vinegar
Salt and vinegar is probably the second best way to clean a bubbler. You should mix it in about the same ratio, and soak for just as long as the alcohol solution, or a bit longer. The rest of the steps in the cleaning process stay the same.
2. Vinegar & Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda works just as effectively as salt and vinegar and should be soaked for about the same amount of time. Outside of this, the same steps should be followed.
3. Lemon Water
Lemon water is one of the most natural ways to clean your bubbler, and as a result, it takes the longest to work. When it comes to cleaning your bubbler in this solution, it will take much longer than vinegar. I recommend you soak your bubbler in this solution for about 2-3 hours or more for the best results. The problem with this solution is that water is most effective at cleaning when it is warm, however, if you get it too warm, you can break your bong.
Bubbler Cleaning FAQ
How do you clean silicone bubbler?
If you have the right type of silicone, you can wash it right in a dishwasher by simply taking it apart, and throwing it right in. Wash with regular washer fluid and let it dry afterward. Otherwise, if your silicone bong is not safe to use in dishwashers, do not use Isopropyl alcohol to clean it, as this can dissolve silicone and cause your bong to be useless. Instead, use salt and vinegar solution and follow the same steps above.
How do you clean a bubbler with vinegar?
This is extremely easy. Simply combine vinegar with either baking soda or salt. Then let it soak inside of your bubbler for about one hour, and rinse out with warm water. Make sure you let it dry. Depending on how dirty your bubbler is, you may need to soak and rinse it a second time.
Can I boil my bubbler to clean it?
Technically yes. But, we NEVER suggest doing this. Why? Well, sadly glass and quartz is very sensitive to temperature changes. Exposing your bubbler to very hot temperatures can cause your glass to weaken or even fracture, especially if it cools or heats too quickly. Overall, this is a very bad idea and almost a surefire way to break your bubbler while cleaning it.
Wrapping it Up – Cleaning a Bubbler is Easy
Thanks for reading our Comprehensive Bubbler Cleaning Guide! We hope that you now have a great understanding of how to clean your bubbler and keep it clean for a long time.
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Thank you for reading this guide. We hope that it will help you to keep your bubbler clean for years to come. If you have tried this cleaning technique, let us know how it went. Also, feel free to leave us a comment about notes, things we are missing, or any suggestions you have for cleaning bubblers. Thanks again for reading, and we hope to hear from you soon. Until then, stay up homie 😎.