My Bowl Broke in My Downstem...What do I do?
Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of having one of our favorite bowls seal too tight in the downstem and break off. Luckily there are ways to deal with this issue. Below are some of the methods we've found have the best chance of success for retriveing the broken piece out of your downstem and keeping your bong intact.
Note: These methods can also be used for retrieving a broken downstem trapped in your bong as well.
1. Use a Potato: This is one of the safest methods f retrieving broken glass (this is also a great tip for dealing with broken lightbulbs). If there is enough of the glass showing out of the downstem then grab a potato and press it onto the broken glass until it stick and simply twist out. If the piece will not twist see Step 2.
2. Oil and Water: Soak the broken piece in oil or hot water to help loosen the glass so it is able to twist out. If using oil let it soak in for atleast 5 minutes before trying to remove. With water make sure it is hot water and is run over the area for atleast 5 minutes.
3. Coat Hanger: If you still ar unable to retrieve the damaged glass then bend a coat hanger straight while leaving the hook on the end to help pull the piece out of the downstem. This works best when combined with water or oil treatment as well.
4. Screwdriver/ Break It!: As a final result you can try to gently break the whole piece out, including the downstem, and then simply wash out the excess broken glass. Use a screwdriver or heavy metal tool and gently tap on the inside of the broken glass until shatter. This requires light tapping as opposed to agressive breaking. Once broken ensure all glass is safely removed from your bong. This is a final result and should only be used when all other options are exhausted in order to still save the bong.
How to Prevent This?: Now while this may not be helpful if your bowl or downstem are already stuck, there are some simple tricks you can use to avoid this issue in the future.
1. Keep it Clean: You see cannabis oils & concentrates tend to be on the sticky sides so it doesn't take much for this residue to buildup between the joint and the glass downstem of your bong causing it to stick. We suggest using one of our bong cleaners regularly to avoid this issue. Clean glass is happy glass.
See our full guide on keeping your glassware clean here.
2. Keep it Dry: Many people are surprised that residual moisture can cause a tight seal when the cleaned downstem is wet. Keep your downstems and bowls nice and dry before inserting them back into the bong.
3. Use Lube: If you can't keep your pieces perfectl dry then using a dab of olive oil, beeswax lip balm or our favorite joint wax on the bowl or downstem where they connect. Apply liberally to the entire male joint surface prior to connecting, twist the joints while inserting to coat both surfaces evenly to prevent glass grinding and then adjust the joints into the final position and you’re done.
4. Be careful!: One common mistake when dealing with glass is not handling your glass with care. To best disconnect your joints and bowls, simply rotate one side while pulling the joint apart. DO NOT pull the joints apart without rotating as damage to the glass may occur.