A broken bong is a tragedy in action. The bong may have been your favorite piece of sculpted glass artwork. It may have been a gift from someone special, a joy to toke, or an essential part of your party plans. It was definitely your favorite way to lever deliciously cooled cannabis smoke into your lungs. So when the bong breaks, no doubt your brain goes into overdrive about ways you might fix it instead of accepting a cannabis-free night.
Fortunately, you've got more than a few options, some of which might be available in your house right now. At VESSEL, we know a few neat DIY tricks to fix a broken bong when it cracks at the worst possible moment.
How to Fix Cracks In Your Bong
Cracks are the most common type of bong damage. Glass typically does not last forever. Maybe you put your bong down too hard on the counter. Maybe it miraculously - mostly - survived being dropped. Or maybe you had a stoner moment and put it in the freezer with water in, then the water froze, expanded, and cracked your glass.
Bong cracks happen. Here's how to fix them at home, DIY.
Permanent: Food-Grade Silicone Sealant
If you have food-grade silicone sealant for previous repairs (or can get some ordered pretty quick), then you can reseal those cracks in your bong like they almost never happened. Food-grade silicone is a gel that you can apply to the crack. It will lay on clear and nearly invisible, then cure into a water-tight seal over the crack.
Temporary: Plumber's Putty
Don't have food grade silicone? A little plumber's putty is also water-tight and can help you continue toking through the night. But it's also impermanent and mildly toxic, so be careful where you use plumber's putty for repairs, and expect to replace your bong in the end.
Very Temporary: Duct Tape
Let's say you're on a camping trip or a house with zero watertight sealants. In a pinch, duct-tape can hold your bong together and provide enough of a water seal to let you keep toking for no more than 24 hours. It can save the day - or the night - and let you keep toking with your friends until a new bong can be acquired.
The Bottom Broke Off Your Bong
Maybe you froze water in your bong, or dropped it in such a way that just the bottom broke off your bong. You still have the mouthpiece, the chamber, and the stem all intact, but it's got no base. Interestingly, you have some options.
Permanent: Super Glue
If the break is clean (not powdered or shattered) then you might be able to superglue the bottom of your bong right back on. This will be carefully painstaking, and you'll want to line up the glass break exactly. It may still need to be sealed with silicone to work well, but it could work.
Epoxy actually works better on glass than super glue, but it's trickier to use and most people don't have any in their home. So if you're super handy and have some epoxy you know how to use, try that instead.
Temporary: Gravity Bong Solution
In an emergency, with just the bottom busted out, you have one other cool option. You can set the bottom of your bong in a larger bowl of water and use the whole thing as a filter. In other words, you temporarily turn your broken bong-top into a gravity bong.
Bong Broke Into a Few Big Pieces
Let's say your bong shatters, but it's safety glass so it only breaks into a few large pieces. If you're good at puzzles and none of the edges ground or powdered, you might be able to fix it with super glue.
Permanent: Super Glue or Epoxy
Take your super glue or, if you have some, epoxy and start piecing your bong back together. Start with the base or pieces that will hold together easily. Have patience when holding pieces together until your adhesive sets. We suggest putting on non-distracting but interesting television or a podcast to keep your mind busy while you very slowly glue your bong back together.
On the upside, when you're done, it'll look like a franken-bong.
Bong Repair Tips and Preventions
If you love glass bongs, you know that they break from time to time. But you can avoid this problem and/or be better prepared in the future with a few clever tips.
Learn to Use Epoxy and Silicone Sealant
The one thing we learned from DIY repairing bongs, it's that food-grade silicone sealant and good epoxy adhesive are your best friends. If you want to save a beautiful piece of glasswork and/or keep toking without buying a new bong, these two items are ideal. Always keep a little of each in your glass repair kit and learn how to use them.
Give Your Bong a Silicone Base Cover
One of the best ways to avoid broken and cracked bongs is to give your bong a silicone koozie or base cover. This is a net or sleeve of springy silicone that will absorb hits and protect the glass if your bong is set down too hard on the countertop or dropped a short distance. It won't keep your bong perfectly safe, but it will be a lot safer than it was before.
Never Freeze Your Bong with Water In It
Never ever freeze your bong with water in the bottom. This is a mistake most stoners make once. You think 'I want my bong colder" and pop it in the freezer without thinking. But water expands when it freezes. Actually, first it stops moving, then it expands, which will push out the glass causing cracks or full-on breaks. It can snap your stem, break off yoru base, or just cause a big crack in the side. Don't do it.
If you freeze your bong, always dump out the water first.
Keep a Supply of Backup Stems & Bowls
Lastly, stock up on bong stems and bowls. These are the smallest, most handled, and most often broken parts of a bong. While you can DIY bowls from all sorts of things, a broken bong stem is a tragedy until you can get a replacement. So just keep three or four extras and you're all good.