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Ask a Stoner: What's the best way to clean a gnarly bong?

Dear Stoner: My bong is pretty gnarly after this past weekend. What's the easiest way to clean my glass, and how often should I do it?

Dirty Pete

Dear Pete: There are tons of products you can buy at head shops these days, but why spend $5 on a tiny bottle when a $.99 jug of rubbing alcohol and some table salt will work equally well at remedying a stinky binger or putrid pipe? It's as simple as filling your piece with a few tablespoons of salt, pouring in a half-cup of alcohol, and swishing everything around. A few pointers for a more pleasant cleaning experience:

- Get yourself a box of disposable latex gloves. Nobody likes the smell of old bong resin.

- Run hot water through your pipes for a minute or two first to loosen up the resin. If the piece is small, get some bacon tongs so you don't scald yourself.

- Plastic Q-tips work great for tight spots. Paper Q-tips tend to break off, so avoid them.

- If you're having trouble with pieces like bowls and slides, let them soak in alcohol in an old jar overnight. In the morning, give them another hot-water bath, then try the alcohol-salt shake.

- You can get rid of hard-water stains on the inside of your tube with lemon juice squeezed into the bong, then swished around with a little hot water. Give it one final, quick rinse with cold water, and your piece will sparkle.

- Clean your pipes regularly. It's much easier to spend five minutes getting rid of a thin layer of resin than it is to waste a half-hour or more cleaning out months' worth of tar and gook. Basically, step up your game and don't be a gross, dirty stoner that nobody wants to smoke with because you have grimy pipes.

Dear Stoner: A friend the other day said that marijuana is safer than water. What is he talking about?

Skip Tickle

Dear Skip: Your friend isn't just stoned and babbling. Well, he might be — but he's right about this one. Dilutional hyponatremia, or water poisoning, happens when someone drinks way too much water. Basically, when you drink much more than your body can excrete, you run the risk of swelling brain cells and causing a fluid rupture in the noggin. It's rare, but it does happen — unlike marijuana overdoses, which are about as common as a flying green unicorn that cries hash oil.


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