Why Should You Clean Your Glass?

written by Sam from StemClenz

Sam is the creator and owner of StemClenz, one of the most innovative cleaning products for slides, stems, and other smaller glass accessories. The team at GlassPass truly couldn't imagine life without one.

Alright Folks! I know these times have been unprecedented, and we obviously have all been spending a lot more time at home, and with little else to do you’ve most likely been smoking. As you read this, you may be peering over your shoulder at what once was a bong, but now resembles more of an overgrown swamp with its own ecosystem. You may be thinking to yourself, “meh almost needs to be cleaned”. Well, hopefully, this blog sheds some light on why you might want to consider cleaning your glass more often.

Staying Healthy

The primary reason to clean your glass is your health. We have all seen a buddy or maybe even ourselves, take a rip through a piece that has probably never been cleaned since the day it was purchased. You think to yourself, “that doesn’t really look that healthy”, but the thought passes.

Well, it turns out that a bong left sitting for just 24 hours can begin to rapidly develop a dirty biofilm. Microbial biofilms are “communities of microorganisms attached to a living or inert surface in aqueous environment and surrounded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS)” (Sciencedirect.com). The EPS’s in a bong are the organic materials that are subsequently pulled into the water after being smoked through. This organic material is the nutrients that feeds the microorganisms harbored in the biofilm; Which acts as a protective barrier.

These biofilms can have some dangerous bacteria such as: Streptococcus, Escherichia Coli (E.Coli), and Stachybotrys chartarum (Black Mold), according to LiveScience.com. Now you might be saying to yourself, “Well, okay, sounds bad but it’s not like I am drinking the water, right?”. Well yes, I would hope not, but the problem arises when you inhale through the piece and create percolation. This percolation allows the bacteria to enter the smoke and then is carried up with the smoke into your lungs. Long story short, smoking out of dirty glass can seriously negatively impact your health. So, keep your glass clean!

Preventing Stains   

Now that your health is safe, onto something that haunts collectors’ dreams, stains. There are few things worse than a gorgeous piece of artwork that has a fat stain. I think stains are the most frustrating because there’s always that nagging feeling that you could have done something to prevent this! So here I will present a few tips that can help fend off those stubborn stains.

  • Clean your glass on a regular or daily basis. This is the best way to care for your glass and will prevent the resins from hardening onto the glass – the basis of most stains.
  • Only use distilled water in your tubes, as well as double rinsing with distilled after cleaning. This will help remove any of the residual tap water, which can quickly form hard water stains.
  • STOP USING IODIZED SALT! Iodized, and Epsom salt, when used for cleaning can leave a calcium film on the inside of your glass, which over time causes irremovable calcium from buildup. This will show up as a cloudiness in the glass, similar to bloom.  

The REAL Cost

You probably spend a lot on your medicine, right? Wouldn’t you like to get the most out of your hard-earned money? For most, $300 is a few days of work – hours and hours – but how long does it take to clean a tube? And really, does anyone actually enjoy a dirty rip? I don’t think so, and with that being said, it’s time to bust out the coarse sea salt and 91%+ isopropyl alcohol and do a little cleaning before kicking back for a smoke!

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25594287/

https://www.sciencedirect.com

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