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August 26, 2021 3 min read

HOW TO GET YOUR DOWNSTEM OR BOWL UNSTUCK


Ok, so we know we have talked about best practices for cleaning yourmodular bong, but we all know not everyone is perfect at cleaning regularly...and now your downstem or14mm bowl is stuck. Sometimes you get yourself into a sticky situation. It's cool, we don’t judge here, at Prism Water Pipes. Let’s figure this out together. 


First of all, let's talk about HOW it got stuck in the first place so we can assess the situation. During regular use of yourbong, there is heat that transfers between your glass bowl or downstem and the glass joint. This can reactivate any resin buildup and create a very tight seal, preventing you from removing the downstem or bowl from thebong. Another reason it may be stuck is from not being fully dried after being cleaned before re-assembling yourmodular bong(hydro-locked), or just simply being jammed in there too hard. 


So what do we do? Here are a few options: 


HOT WATER

Let's try some hot water first. This one is easy and sometimes it's all you need! Just run your faucet water as hot as it can and place yourbong in the sink so the water hits directly over the stuck joint. Once about a minute or so has passed, cautiously (remember the glass will be hot!) try to pinch and twist the downstem or bowl free.  


COLD WATER OR FREEZE

Use the same instructions from the hot water and try again with cold! Different temperatures do different things to glass and resin. Heat can evaporate liquids and loosen gunk, white cold can cause the glass to contract making more room in the joint. It’s been said that sometimes just tossing yourbeaker base into the freezer for an hour then trying to gently pull out the bowl or downstem could be all you need to do.


TORCH IT

Torch it! Sometimes hot water just isn’t enough and we need to get the big guns out. Take your dab lighter or torch and put some moving heat over the area with the tip of the flame. Make sure not to hold the lighter in one place because you may damage the glass! If there is some resin in there, you’ll start to see it activate. Once this happens, be sure to grab a pot holder or something to guard your hands from the heat, and slowly twist the bowl or downstem to loosen it and pull it out.


CLEANING PRODUCTS

Call in the reinforcements! There are several glass cleaning products that may be helpful if fire and hot water don't work! Some of them includeFormula 420,Dark Crystal,Grand Master Smoke, andGrunge Off.  Fill yourbong with the cleaning solution up to the stuck joint and let it sit for 24-48 hours and hopefully that will do the trick! If it doesn’t come right out, you can also use some tweezers or a toothpick to wiggle it out and loosen some of the resin or spray a little bit of Goo Gone or Alcohol  (a little goes a long way!) into the joint seal.  


TAP THAT SHIT

Grab the wooden spoon! This ones an oldie, but a goodie. There are plenty of times that the methods listed above are totally necessary, but sometimes you need to just give it a bit of a tap. Remember that heckin’ pickle jar lid that you valiantly opened because of tapping it lightly against the counter a couple times? This is the same idea.  Some people wrap a cloth around the wooden spoon, but others just use it as-is. Take the spoon and tap the stuck joint all around and see if the vibrations shake it loose.


HEAVY ARTILLERY

Now for the heavy artillery. This may be your last resort. If you have a pair of pliers with rubber-coated soft grip handles, that's all you’ll need. For this method, we do not want to use the metal plier end of the tool, we want to only touch the rubber handle to the glass. Metal on glass contact usually never ends well. Using the rubber handles, place the ends around the stuck joint neck where the downstem or bowl is stuck and grip firmly, then cautiously tilt the head of the pliers downward to create a lever action and hopefully push the stuck downstem or bowl up and out. 



Please remember to use caution with all of these methods, because nobody wants burnt fingers or broken bongs (obviously). However, if you do manage to damage anything while trying to remove it, remember you can always come back towww.Prismwaterpipes.com to replace the piece instead of buying a whole new bong


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