Most bongs have two, maybe three pieces. There’s the bong. The bowl. Maybe a removable downstem.
Not so with the Grav Deco Beaker. This glass water pipe comes with an assortment of rubbery silicone pieces to protect your piece from shocks and tips. When you unbox it, here’s what you’ll find:
-A borosilicate beaker
-A borosilicate downstem with removable silicone perc
-A 14mm cup bowl
-Silicone bumper around mouthpiece
-Silicone grommet for downstem connection
-Two silicone cleaning plugs for the mouthpiece and downstem openings
Clearly, this piece is a bit more complex than the average beaker. But it’s also easier to clean, with better access to the inner chamber and a pair of tight-seal cleaning caps to keep your solution inside.
Here’s how to clean your bong and keep it spic and span.
How to Clean Your Deco Beaker Bong’s Glass Parts
For starters, always dump your old bong water when you’re done smoking. Shit’s nasty. And a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. So pour it out and give the beaker a quick rinse after every session. Then dry off what you can reach with a clean towel and let the rest air dry.
When you are ready to get your bong sparkling clean, here’s what to do.
Prep the Piece
Remove the downstem and bowl from the beaker and set aside. Remove all of the silicone pieces, including the base, downstem grommet, and mouthpiece bumper, and set aside.
Optional: Leave it to Soak
If your piece is really mucky, you may want to soak it for a while. Fill a container large enough to cover the beaker with 91% or 99% isopropyl alcohol, and let the piece soak for anywhere between an hour and a day. When the soak is over, remove the piece and give it a good rinse before moving on to the next step.
Fill Up the Beaker
Inside the beaker, use a diluted solution of half warm water and half 91% or 99% isopropyl alcohol. Since full-strength solvents aren’t great for silicone, we want to water it down to prevent damaging the caps.
Close the downstem opening with the included silicone cap. Pour your solution and some coarse kosher salt into the beaker through the mouthpiece opening. Just use enough to fill up the base below the downstem cap.
Next, secure the mouthpiece opening with the other silicone cleaning cap. These included caps fit snugly over the openings to keep your cleaning solution safely inside.
Note: Some people say to avoid salt in your cleaning, because it’s abrasive and can scratch the glass. We say high-quality borosilicate is in no danger from salt, so no need to worry.
Shake Shake Shake
Give your piece a vigorous (but careful) shake for three to five minutes. Make sure you’re standing clear of any countertops or hard surfaces so you don’t bump into anything! The shaking along with the coarse salt should break up any grossness still inside the piece.
Rinse & Dry
Remove the mouthpiece cap and pour the dirty solution down the sink. Make sure to run the hot water when you pour out the dirty liquid to prevent mucking up your sink. It won’t do permanent damage, but we don’t want to add a sink scrub to your list of chores.
Remove the downstem cap and rinse the piece thoroughly with warm water.
If there is still any residue inside, you may need to repeat the procedure a second time.
Clean the Bowl and Downstem
Remove the silicone perc from the downstem. You’ll clean this lil’ guy in the next section. Place each glass piece in a separate plastic ziptop bag. Pour in enough ISO to cover the pieces, and leave to soak for an hour or so. Add some coarse kosher salt to each bag, re-seal, and give them a careful shake.
If there’s any stubborn residue, give them a gentle scrub with a pipe cleaner or small brush. When all the gunk is gone, rinse thoroughly with warm water.
Once the beaker, downstem, and bowl are clean, allow them to dry completely before use! If you try to pack flower into a wet bowl, you’re gonna have a bad time. And you want to make sure any residual isopropyl alcohol is completely evaporated before you light up again. That stuff is great for cleaning bongs but not great for your lungs.
How to Clean Your Deco Beaker’s Silicone Pieces
Solvents like isopropyl alcohol are great for cleaning your glass, but they’re not the best choice for silicone. So keep your glass cleaning and your silicone cleaning methods separate.
Instead, use one of these easy techniques to keep these protective pieces in top shape.
A simple hand wash with dishwashing liquid is often all you need to keep your silicone looking good. Scrub each piece carefully with a soapy sponge or brush. A toothbrush works great to get into all the nooks and crannies. You may also need a pipe cleaner to get into the holes in the silicone perc.
Rinse well, and let dry thoroughly before reattaching the pieces to your beaker.
GRAV® silicone is food grade, which means it can withstand some intense temperatures. So you can use boiling water to remove any particularly stubborn resin.
First, hand wash your pieces with soap and water. Bring a pot of water to a low boil, and gently add the silicone pieces. Let them boil for a few minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon.
Rinse the silicone well. You may need to give the pieces another scrub to remove the loosened gunk.
Yes, GRAV® silicone is dishwasher safe! If your pieces just need a light cleaning, you can run them on your dishwasher’s regular cycle.
The only concern here is that these pieces are small, and you don’t want them to go flying all over the dishwasher. So we only recommend cleaning your silicone in the dishwasher if you have a silverware compartment with a lid, to keep the pieces safely enclosed. And only wash bongs and/or silicone in the dishwasher by themselves. You don’t want those resins sticking to your forks and spoons.
Specialized Silicone Cleaner
Pre-made silicone cleaners are another option. They can work well to break down stubborn resins, but we recommend trying the other methods first before paying for another product.
To use, wash each piece first with dishwashing soap and warm water. Then soak the silicone pieces in a shallow dish with just enough cleaner to cover the silicone. After a couple of hours, scrub each piece with a small brush, and rinse well with warm water.
How Often Should You Clean Your Deco Beaker?
How often you give your beaker a full cleaning is up to you.
The most Martha Stewart among us may choose to clean it after every use. The more domestically-challenged may choose to clean it a bit less often. But we don’t recommend using any piece for more than a week without a thorough scrub-a-dub.