If you own a bong, you probably guard it with your life. You also know that one rule of thumb to enjoying high-quality hits is to clean each piece regularly. Of course, you were going to clean your bong. But somehow, you got high and ended up couch-locked.
Not once, not twice, so many times you missed to clean your bong- through no fault of your own. Until when you bring your best cannabis home and realize that the percolation is a mess and you can't use your bong anymore, that sends shivers down your spine, right? And you've got to do something quick about it.
But even worse, the downstem is stuck and won't come out! Holy smokes! How annoying! How did this happen, and how will you get the stuck downstem out of your bong? Chances are, a lot of mess has already occurred along the downstem, long before the debris cause problems with your percolation.
How Did My Downstem Get Stuck In My Bong?
One of the significant reasons why a downstem gets stuck is wear and tear. Failure to clean your downstem regularly is also a common cause. Even when it's easy to remove the downstem and clean it, many smokers tend to ignore it as long as it's still working.
It only takes enough sticky debris or resin to build up between the bong joint and the downstem for it to get stubbornly stuck. Another reason that causes a stuck downstem is heat. The heat transfer between the bowl, joint, and downstem promotes resin build up along the downstream. The heat activates this resin to cause a stubborn and very firm seal that prevents you from pulling out your downstem without causing a mess.
Surprisingly, cleaning your bong regularly, especially when you disassemble the piece for a thorough wash, can also result in a stuck downstem. This happens if you don't allow the stem and the glass joint on your bong enough time to dry completely. Trapped moisture between the two pieces can result in a stubborn seal that makes it hard to remove the downstem.
Removing a Stuck Downstem Out Of A Bong
Below are tips to help you loosen and remove your downstem without breaking anything.
Try Hot Water
Yes. Hot water might do the trick. Your goal is to loosen the residual as you would if it was stuck in the bong chamber. So essentially, you'll need something hot, and hot water might do the job. The water should be hot enough for your skin. Run it directly down the place where the downstem connects with your bong.
Briefly wave your hand over the downstem to see if you can stand the heat for a short time. If not, you can always use tweezers to pull out the stem slowly while twisting it lightly. If you're having any luck, the hot water will loosen the residual while providing lubrication so you can pull your downstem out to freedom!.
Try Rubbing Alcohol
Another possible alternative is alcohol. If water hot water didn't do the trick, maybe alcohol will. The plan is to destroy all the caked-up gunk to make an easy way out for your stem. Pour a reasonable amount of alcohol directly where the downstem Connects with the glass piece. Pinch the exposed parts of the downstem firmly and gently twist your way up and hopefully out.
If the efforts seem futile- don't panic; we're not done yet. Get some toothpicks, and let's get crafty. Anything to get your stem out safely, right? Since the gunk is already loosened, you can try to clear a way for your stem using a toothpick. This will loosen the gunk even more and make it easy to pull the stem out!
If so far not so good and your stem is still stuck in the bong, your life is not over yet. There are many other tricks that we can try, like stepping up the game to a dab torch. Let's burn things down- of course, not literally. But we'll need to loosen that hardened resin by passing some heat over the surface of the downstem with your dab torch.
Careful though! You don't want to expose the glass piece to the flame for so long as it can cause damage. Remember, the downstem is now hot, and it'll be a good idea if you used tweezers to twist gently and try to pull the downstem out while the clogged resin is still very hot.
Tap the ends.
All the above tricks are good if the reason for your stuck stem is dirt/resin, but doing some tap-tap on your stem is the sure solution to your headache if the downstem got stuck from trapped moisture between the glass pieces. Better still, you can combine this method with adding some ice cubes into the stem.
You'll need a huge spoon for this trick- no, we're not going all karate on your bong, so relax! The spoon should be wooden, and you can decide to cover it up with a towel or use it bare- your choice. Gently tap where the glass piece is stuck with the head of the spoon severally. The idea is that the vibration produced will loosen the stuck downstem so you can pull it out with ease.
Try Ice Cold Water
If all fails, ice-cold water might come through for you. Smokers who have used ice-cold water before say that just putting the water in the downstream works magic. When the ice-cold water gets in contact with the glass and its contents, it makes it easier to pull it out slowly and gently without breaking anything.
Use A Glass Cleaner
If the resin has hardened and the stem is jammed so badly that the above tricks didn't even make a dent, there's still a fat chance for it to come out, so hold on. We can apply some science trick!
All you'll need to do is get a very effective glass cleaning detergent from the market if you don't already have one within. Add water into the bong and squirt an adequate amount of your cleaning detergent. Ensure the solution fills the water chamber and reaches the downstem and joint.
Please leave it to soak overnight. The gunk is expected to absorb the solution and loosen it so it breaks down. You can easily twist the downstem out of the bong and resume your sessions a hero!
Please be gentle and cautious while trying to get the stuck downstem out, so you don't damage or break the glass pieces. In case the stem didn't come out, don't stress. All you'll have to do is clean your bong thoroughly after every sesh, and it should continue working well- hopeful for quite some time.