Double percs are awesome because they work twice as hard in cooling and filtering smoke. It gives the smoothest hits, which is a huge advantage for those who cough whenever they use their bong. If you’re one of those who are scratching their heads thinking, “how am I going to get all that gunk out from a double perc?” read on. We’ve got some easy steps that will help you how to clean a double perc bong easily.
First off, the materials to get your bong sparkling clean. You’re going to need:
Bong cleaning solution
95% isopropyl alcohol with salt, or any bong cleaner. The alcohol is for melting off any hard residue, and the salt is your agitator or scrubber. Alcohol is really effective in melting down resin, and the salt is good enough scrub light to moderate residue. Use fine salt like kosher or table salt if you have light to moderate buildup as well as delicate parts or tubes. Sea salt is bigger, coarser, and can be used for moderate to heavy buildup, or if you don’t have small parts to consider. You can also microwave the alcohol for 20 seconds to warm it up. Place it inside a non-reactive microwave-safe bowl to prevent problems.
However, if you’re worried about scratching your bong as well as using chemicals, you could try Piece Water, Klear Kryptonite, BongFresh, or Grundge Off. These brands are known for efficient cleaning while being environment-friendly at the same time. Of the four, only Grundge Off has no scrubbing power. It’s more of a soaking solution, perfect for moderate to heavy buildup. If your percs, downstem, or bowl got clogged, you can use Grundge Off to loosen the debris.
You need either all, some, or just one of these cleaning tools depending on how dirty your bong is:
Pipe cleaners – for the slide or stem. Get a thick flexible one if you have a bong that has a fixed downstem that has thick and tough residue in it.
Cleaning magnets – highly advisable if you have a small sink or area to shake your bong for cleaning. You can get a small disc magnet and glue a thin piece of a soft sponge or scouring pad on one surface. Do note that the coarseness of the scrubber and the surface of the magnet can scratch your bong. Use it only when your bong is really dirty. Not recommended to plop inside the perc chamber if you have tree-arm percs or other delicate percs.
Toothpick or Q-tips – for getting resin out of the bowl.
Stoppers – this can be anything from cling wraps with rubber bands, or silicone bong caps such as Res Caps® or Glass Grips. Cleaners can be corrosive on the skin, which is natural since they have to be potent enough to cut through the thick resin. Putting on stoppers helps keep your thumb safe and lessens the mess and difficulty of shaking your bong. These caps come in various sizes to fit the stem and mouth of your bong for secure, leak-free cleaning.
Dish or bowl – to catch all that alcohol or cleaning solution for proper disposal. You can also use the same solution to soak your bong bowl or downstem.
Ziplock bag – for soaking your bong bowl and downstem.
Warm running water – to get all that cleaning solution out of the bong.
Bong showing Klear Kryptonite cleaning solution
How to clean a double perc bong
Double perc bongs, especially tree arm percs, are challenging to clean because the percs have negative pressure that keeps the water from falling completely down the water chamber below. Here’s what you can do to go around that issue and clean your bong effectively.
When your bong is cool enough, take out the bowl and downstem (if removable), and rinse it with warm water. This will help dislodge any ash left behind from the previous session. Rinse out every area of the bong and then dump out the water. Do the same with the bowl and downstem.
Place your bong on a flat, even surface. Make sure you don’t have anything around that you can knock over, and you have plenty of room to move around. Place the bowl and downstem inside a Ziploc bag.
It’s time to take out your cleaning solution. There’s no set up necessary when you decide to use alcohol and salt. If you’re using commercial cleaning solutions, be sure to prepare it according to package instructions for it to be effective.
Pour alcohol through the mouthpiece and continue until the alcohol falls inside the perc bellow as well as the water chamber. You can also add more through the stem if there’s not enough alcohol inside the water chamber. You don’t need to use too much alcohol for cleaning, though. Pour just enough so that it covers almost half of the percs, and a third of the stem of the water chamber. Add salt through the mouthpiece as and stem, and use just enough based on how dirty your bong is. Push the salt to the second chamber by blowing through the mouthpiece. You can cup your hands around it to prevent tasting nasty alcohol. Check to see if all of the chambers have alcohol and salt in them. Do the same if you’re using a cleaning solution minus the salt.
Place the bowl and the downstem inside a Ziplock bag. Pour enough cleaning solution so that the pieces are fully submerged. If you’re using alcohol, add a generous amount of salt to help scrub out the residue. Seal the bag and set aside and soak the pieces for 5-15 mins.
Shaking and scrubbing
Cap the openings of the perc bong, and shake the bong so that the solution swishes around the percs. For light to moderate buildup, soak the bong for 5-15 minutes.
Once you’re done soaking, it’s time to shake the bong once again. Shake and shake vigorously so that the solution reaches every single inch of the bong, about 2-5 minutes. Pay close attention to the dirtiest parts, which are commonly the slide and the percs. We know we’ve been saying this over and over, but we’ll say it again. Be careful with the arms of the tree perc. Some have had the unfortunate experience of breaking down an arm or two due to vigorous shaking.
Keep shaking for until you see the bong is clean. Thin or new residue (meaning you just used your bong and only for a short while) is easy to remove after several minutes of shaking.
Now that you’ve loosened up the residue, you can now easily scrub off stuck resin within the walls of your bong. Using a pipe cleaner, carefully and firmly scrub off the resin from the glass. Be careful not to poke on the percs as most of them are delicate. Keep the brush within the neck of the smoke chamber, slide, and water chamber of the bong. If your bong has an inline perc, use small and flexible pipe cleaners only if needed.
Once you’ve got your bowl clean, dump your cleaning solution from the base. Then cup your hands around the mouthpiece and blow through the bong. This will force the solution from the percs down to the water chamber. Do not invert and shake the bong to get the solution out of the percs. Some have broken a bong or two this way. Pour out the cleaning solution again from the stem.
Check to see if you still need some final brushings. Rinse the bong with warm water to get any remaining residue out, as well as the solution. Rinse thoroughly so that you won’t inhale any toxic chemicals that can ruin the taste of your hits as well as harm your lungs.
Take the Ziplock bag of the bowl and downstem. Grip the two pieces together firmly and shake it for 2-3 minutes to take out the resin. Take the pieces out from the bag and use a pipe cleaner to scrub out the thick resin. Rinse the bowl and downstem thoroughly as you did with the bong to take out any remaining cleaning solution.
Using magnets to clean your bong is convenient and easy. You need a pair so you have a magnet for scrubbing and another for manipulating the magnet. Disc magnets are perfect for this purpose. Insert one in cloth or scrubber, and bond the other one to a wooden or glass cylinder. Just be careful when you use this because there’s a possibility of your bong getting scratched.
Drop the scrubbing magnet carefully inside the stem of the double perc bong.
Using the other magnet “catch” the scrubber and sweep over the bong, until you clean off every resin from inside the water chamber and slide.
Once you’re done, carefully sweep the magnet until it reaches the lip of your bong slide. Keeping the bond between the two magnets, reach in and take out the scrubber.
If you got a micro disc magnet, you could use that to clean the inside of your bowl as well.
Cleaning off thick resin buildup
If your double perc bong is really dirty, soak it overnight. If you have Grundge off, forget the salt then cover the percs and chambers in the bong with the solution as suggested.
Cap the double perc bong and shake the solution throughout the pipe, then to soak.
For hard to remove stains, you can use cleaning magnets or pipe cleaners to clean inside the bong. Be gentle when you’re using pipes to prevent breaking the stem and the smoke chamber.
Dump out the alcohol or Grunge Off from the water chamber in a receptacle. If the alcohol does not look too dirty, you can still use it for another session. Place the bong on an even surface and cup your hands around the mouthpiece. Blow through it to force the cleaning solution from the percs down the water chamber.
Use pipe cleaners to or magnets to remove any stuck resin. Rinse the bong thoroughly.
General tips for cleaning a double perc bong
How do you know that you’ve rinsed off the alcohol or solution? You’ve washed your bong well if you don’t smell any trace of chemicals in your bong. If you still smell even a hint, wash off again. You can never be too careful since you’ll be dragging that chemical along with the smoke down your lungs.
Wait for the bong to cool down a bit to prevent thermal expansion, especially if you had a pretty long and enjoyable session with it. You don’t want to crack your bong in the process by shocking it down. In the same note, do not boil your bong as others do. Unless your double perc bong is really, really clogged with resin, boiling is not an option. The thermal shock will shorten the lifespan of your bong and can cause cracks and breakage. It’s better to spend time soaking and cleaning the bong repeatedly to get the clog out.
Clean the bong immediately after use, especially if you had quite a long session with it. Dirt and resin are easier to remove because they don’t have time to harden and stick to the bong. Not to mention keeping a dirty bong harbors bacteria that leads to lung complications. The dirtier the bong, the harder it is to clean. If you wait for a while before cleaning the bong, it’s going to be harder to maintain also.
Don’t do this near an open flame! Alcohol and other cleaning solutions are highly flammable. You can seriously burn yourself if the alcohol catches fire. Always use the microwave to warm the alcohol but only for several seconds. The more you wash your bong, the cleaner your bong will be. Some cleaning solutions are designed to keep your bong sparkling clean. You can also add a bit of lemon juice to the final rinsing water to create an acidic film inside the bong that will prevent the resin from sticking too hard.
Now you know the steps to do to keep your tree perc bong sparkling clean. You can choose between the traditional method of using alcohol and salt, commercial cleaning solutions, and other cleaning tools.