A British Columbia entrepreneur's budding business has him cleaning out dirty bongs and pipes for cannabis smokers.
Kamloops resident Jordan Robinson launched The Bongdromat in mid-October after he got the idea while working at a local smoke shop. His business model is simple — customers bring in their stained and clogged devices and Robinson cleans them so users can easily smoke out of them again.
Robinson uses an earth-friendly cleaner specifically designed for cleaning smoking devices and charges around $20 per device. Currently operating out of his own apartment on Knox Street, his business is already creating a bit of a buzz online and around town.
"A lot of people just hate cleaning it because it stinks," said Robinson, adding many bong smokers are turned off by the smell of device-cleaning products and the feel of the cleaner on their hands. Most cleaners, including Orange Chronic, which Robinson uses, contain isopropyl alcohol.
"A lot of people seem to just buy new ones when they get too dirty."
According to Robinson, it is often going to be cheaper to have him clean devices than toss and replace old ones. And he says he'll make the old ones look like new anyway.
"The finished product is kind of satisfying," he said, noting he has meticulously high standards that stem from cleaning his own bong.
"Anything that you run with smoke will create a resin. Think of your chimney, you got to get it cleaned once in awhile otherwise the resin builds up and you can burn down your house," said Robinson, adding users who leave their bongs dirty for too long will render them unusable as the baked on resin will block air and smoke flow.
Bongs generally have a small bowl where the user puts dried cannabis. The user lights the bowl of weed and inhales as as water in the bottom filters the cannabis smoke before it is taken into the smoker's mouth and lungs.
"Keeping it clean is a very essential thing," said Robinson. "It's like cleaning the outside of your windows. No one wants to do that, but you can hire someone to do it."
Robinson hopes to set up shop in a brick-and mortar store in the future and is already fielding cleaning requests from out-of-town smokers who want his services.