June 26, 2010

How to Clean a Marijuana Vaporizer Bag

June 26, 2010
Medical Marijuana

If you aren’t using a vaporizer these days, you are really missing out on one of the best ways to toke it up. It wasn’t that long ago that I finally joined the vaporizer community. I was always one of those people that bashed on Volcano prices, and was quick to point out the inefficiencies of ‘wooden box’ vaporizers. It just always seemed to me that I would get high faster, and more thoroughly, when I would hit my ‘Chong Bong’ or take a waterfall/liter.

That all changed when my wife bought me a vaporizer for my birthday. It is a ‘Vapir One 5.0’ and it cost $150. It is not as flashy as a Volcano, but considering I can buy three of them for the price of one Volcano and it hits just as hard, I’m not complaining. I play a lot of basketball, and once I went to an ‘all vapor diet,’ I could tell the difference in the first week. My lungs felt better than they had in the last ten years. Needless to say, I’ve been using my vaporizer everyday all day ever since.

I don’t know about other vaporizer users out there, but I prefer to use the bags rather than the mouthpiece. When you use the mouth piece, and that vapor is coming out fast and furious, it is almost impossible to inhale all of it. At the very least, when you go to pass the tube some comes out. At other times, when you take a super-monster breath of vapor, it takes a little while to recover. All the while that sweet vapor is pouring out into the air when it could be going in your lungs. That’s why I like to use the bags; I can capture all of the vapor that comes out, and attack the bag at my leisure.

However, there is a down side to chronic bag usage (pun intended). Just as with a pipe, bong, etc, marijuana resin will start to build up on the walls of the bags. It is not as thick of course, but it only takes a little bit of resin on the walls of the vaporizer bags to make them virtually inoperable. You will know when that happens because the inside walls of the bags stick to themselves, and instead of the bag filling with vapor and air, it is closed shut and you see the vapor pouring out of the device itself. No air or vapor enters the bag at all, and you have just wasted a cap of goodness.

There is one way to help prevent this from happening — DO NOT STORE YOUR BAGS WITH CAPS ON THEM. It is almost impossible to suck all of the vapor out of the bag; there will be very small pockets of vapor still in the bag no matter how iron lung you are. Over time, if you leave the cap off the bag, this vapor will escape out of the mouth opening. But if you leave the cap on it and there is still even the smallest amount of vapor inside, it will coat the inside of your bag and make it stickier than Snoop Dogg’s fingers after rolling a blunt. I have woken up many times to find my vaporizer bags with the caps still on, and the bag walls were completely stuck together, even though I thought I dominated all of the vapor that was inside of them.

I don’t know about TWB readers, but I use my vaporizer A LOT. It is not uncommon for me and my wife to consume 20 bags worth of vapor in a day. If Ninjasmoker is over at my pad hanging out, the numbers get even higher. So I needed a long term solution. While consuming a vaporizer bag and watching Ninjasmoker work on our server, the idea popped into my head to clean the bags just like I do with a pipe or bong. If you click the previous link, you will see how Ninjasmoker and I have been cleaning our bongs and pipes for years using rubbing alcohol and salt.

I poured rubbing alcohol into the vaporizer bag and swished it around as much as I could. You will instantly see the rubbing alcohol turn brownish, which is due to the fact that it is stripping the resin from the inside walls of the bags. When you can swish the liquid throughout the entire you bag you are done. If there are still spots of the walls sticking to each other, then keep swishing. Don’t just do it up and down, and left to right. Mix it up; make sure that the liquid has touched every inch of the inside of the bag. This part should only take a couple minutes.

Now the hard part begins. You will notice that the rubbing alcohol does not come out easily. There are still pockets of rubbing alcohol inside of the bag in the corners, and maybe even drops in the middle of the bag walls. Of course, you DO NOT want to inhale rubbing alcohol, and if for some reason you do, please go get some help from a trained mental health professional! I took some science classes in college (I got a B.S.), and I know that alcohol evaporates at a significantly faster pace than water. So pouring water down the bag to get out the rubbing alcohol was out of the question. It would just create a larger problem. However, if you use the ‘air only’ setting on your vaporizer (i.e. turn on the fan but not the flame), you can fill the bag up full of air. From there, put it mouth side up in front of a window. The solar radiation that comes from the sun through the window is more than enough to evaporate the rubbing alcohol inside of the vaporizer bag.

After about a day of letting it sit by the window, there should be no more liquid in your bag, or if there is, it’s just a couple beads of rubbing alcohol. However, the nasty rubbing alcohol fumes are still inside. To get the fumes out, use the ‘air only’ function on your vaporizer to fill the bag, and then deflate it. Repeat this about ten times, and all of the fumes should be out. You will know when it’s fume-free, because when you go to deflate it, you will not be able to smell the alcohol anymore. Keep doing it as many times as it takes. I am a hobby balloon artist, so I have an air compressor with a balloon nozzle on it. If you are part of .001% of society that has one, these work great! If not (and understandably so), the ‘air only’ function works very well for this step. It takes a bit of time, but when you realize that you essentially got a new vaporizer bag for free, and don’t have to go through the hassle of ordering and waiting for a new one, it is well worth it. I have cleaned the same bags multiple times now, and they are still rocking. As a matter of fact, I’m going to go use one right now!

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