How to get a Stuck Downstem out of a Glass Bong
Using a Glass Bong is one of the best options out there for smokers who want to make their sessions more convenient and more satisfying overall. Using a Bong allows you to enjoy a stellar smoking session in minutes, and it’ll even make your hits cooler and smoother by purifying the smoke through water. However, it helps to know about Bong maintenance. For instance, how to get a stuck downstem out of a Glass Bong.
The downstem is the part of your Bong that connects your bowl to the base. This small glass tube is perfect for carrying the smoke to your water chamber. However, since it’s narrow and designed to fit pretty much perfectly into the device, it can easily get stuck. Many Bong users will have to deal with a stuck downstem at some point- especially if you fail to clean your Bong properly and end up with some resin build-up. Luckily, there are many effective ways to deal with it. Here’s a guide on how to get a stuck downstem out of a Glass Bong.
Tap The Edges Lightly
When you’re dealing with a stuck downstem in your Bong, it’s usually best to try the simplest approaches first. For instance, sometimes you can quickly get your downstem out simply with some quick twists and taps. This will help loosen up the downstem and, as long as it isn’t too stuck, it should get it out fairly easily.
Before you start tapping your Bong with anything, try moving it around a little with your fingers first. Moving it back and forth and twisting it lightly might get it unstuck in some cases. Of course, it’s important not to be too rough when you do this as you don’t want to accidentally cause any cracks or damage in the glass.
If you’re still having problems getting your downstem unstuck, then try using an object such as a wooden spoon to tap all around the outside of the downstem. Again, make sure you only do this lightly- you don’t want to hit your Bong hard enough to cause any damage. If your downstem still won’t come loose, you’ll need to try some other methods before you try to tap and twist it out.
Try Using Hot Or Cold Water
When your downstem is stuck, it’s often due to a build-up of residue inside the tube. If there’s too much build-up, then simply tapping or pulling your downstem won’t make much difference. Instead, you’ll need to find something that can get rid of some of the dirt and make it easier to loosen up your downstem.
Removing your bowl and pouring some water into the tube of the downstem can help here. First, try using ice-cold water. This can often help get rid of nasty gunk inside the tube and eventually help you get your downstem out. If that doesn’t work, you can also try the opposite and use hot water.
You shouldn’t try to apply boiling water to your Glass Bong or downstem. However, using some hot water from the tap can work wonders for washing away at least some resin inside the tube of your downstem. Be careful not to scorch your skin if you’re using hot water.
Apply Some Heat
While hot water can help in some cases, you might need to apply extra heat to get rid of stubborn resin inside the tube of your downstem. Some users get their downstems unstuck by applying fire to the downstem tube- usually by using a device such as a butane torch or dab torch.
This method is fairly simple, but you also need to be precise so you don’t accidentally damage your Bong. Light your torch and apply the tip of the flame to the perimeter of the area where your downstem is inserted. Keep the flame moving quickly so you don’t end up overheating and cracking the glass.
The heat from your torch can burn some resin away, freeing up some space and allowing you to get your downstem loose. However, you should be extra careful when you use this method- don’t apply the flame to your device too closely or for too long, and consider wearing some heat-resistant gloves to avoid burning your hands.
Use Rubbing Alcohol Or Glass Cleaners
Since cleaning the sticky residue inside the downstem insert will help you get it loose, you might also want to try using liquids that are primed for cleaning glass. Just as you can use rubbing alcohol to clean Glass Pipes and bowls, you can also use it to clean your downstem and get it free.
Get some 99% isopropyl alcohol and gently pour some down the tube of your downstem. As you do this, try to move the downstem around gently. This will help break some resin apart and, with enough luck, you can get your downstem free.
Alternatively, you might want to try using other Specialty Cleaners designed for cleaning glass devices. These will work the same way as rubbing alcohol. Once you get your downstem free, you should also clean it thoroughly with your rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner and dry it afterward. This will help maintain your Bong and prevent your downstem from getting stuck again.
Use Soft Jaw Pliers
If all else fails, you might just need a tighter grip on your downstem to finally twist and pull it out. Using tools such as metal pliers is a terrible idea- this can easily scratch your glass and cause dents and cracks. However, using Soft Jaw Pliers with rubber around the jaws can work well as long as you have a gentle touch.
Take your Soft Jaw Pliers and apply the jaws gently around the top of your downstem. You can then move it around, twist it, or use the rim of the insert for leverage to finally pull your downstem out of the tube.
This method is usually best saved for last, especially as the downstem is fragile, and using tools can cause damage if you’re not careful. However, if you’ve tried everything else and you’re still having a hard time removing your downstem, this might just be the trick.
There are many ways your downstem can get stuck inside its tubes, but these methods should help you get it out one way or another. With that said, you should take steps to avoid your downstem getting stuck in the first place- make sure you clean it regularly, along with the rest of your Bong.