How To Clean A Bong

Keeping a clean bong is a must for avid cannabis smokers. You can clean your bong in different ways, and it doesn’t really matter which you prefer as long as you do it properly so you can avoid inhaling dangerous particles.

How To Clean A Bong: Key Takeaways

  • Use 91 percent or 99 percent isopropyl alcohol to keep bong glassware in great shape.
  • A dirty bong ruins the taste of cannabis.
  • Several signs such as a dirty water bowl or significant resin buildup indicate that your bong needs cleaning.
  • Several things you may have already have in your home can clean a bong well.
  • A dirty bong could cause bacteria to build up which could be very hazardous to your health.

Why You Should Clean Your Bong Regularly

If you smoke cannabis on a regular basis via a bong, then it is imperative that you keep your bong clean.

A clean bong is essential on many levels. For one, a dirty bong raises the risk of bacteria growing in it. This bacteria could cause major damage to your health. If you insist on using a dirty bong, you increase the risk of respiratory infection which will definitely ruin your future smoke sessions.

In addition, an unclean bong severely affects the quality of cannabis by throwing off its taste. Thus, this could affect how high you get as well as any other benefits you are looking for. (e.g., alleviating pain, relieving stress, etc.)

How To Tell If Your Bong Needs Cleaning

Dirty Bong

There are several tell-tale signs that your bong needs a cleaning ASAP. The following are a few signs:

  • If the pipe’s walls are dotted with black or white specks.
  • If you can see slimy film inside the bong.
  • If the bong water is discolored, brown, and smelly.
  • If there is visible gray or white mold fuzz on the resin.
  • If there is a significant build-up of resin within it.

If your pipes and bongs exhibit any of these characteristics, it needs to be cleaned immediately. You are putting your health in jeopardy every time you are using it.

How To Clean A Glass Bong

Green Glass Bong

Now that you are aware of the signs of a dirty dong, it is time to learn how to clean it.

One of the most important chemicals most bong users use is alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol helps maintain the integrity of the glass bong for the long haul. You can use 70 percent alcohol for lighter cleaning, but heavy users tend to rely on 91 or 99 percent isopropyl alcohol.

Outside of alcohol, you will need the following cleaning utensils:

  • sink or basin
  • coarse salt, rice, or baking soda
  • vinegar, or another cleaner
  • Pipe cleaners, twist-ties, etc., to clean stem and other tight spots
  • Small pieces of fabric, cotton, or cork with which to plug stem and cover bong
  • clean water
  • latex gloves
  • rubber band (you only need this if your bong is comprised of several pieces. They prevent the parts from shaking while you clean)

Now that you have the supplies, here is a step-by-step guide on how to thoroughly clean a glass bong:

  1. Remove all detachable parts with a particular focus on the stem and bowl. Make sure you rinse every piece with hot water to get rid of gunge inside.
  2. Add alcohol and abrasive (rice or salt).
  3. With the alcohol and abrasive in your bong, shake it vigorously for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Also, immerse pipe in alcohol and abrasives, and shake for at least five minutes.
  5. If it has been a few months or longer since you cleaned your pipe and bong, you may have to let them settle in the cleaning solution for a few hours.
  6. Pour the solution into the toilet bowl and flush once you are done with it.
  7. Once you are satisfied with how clean they are, rinse hot water over the pipe and bong.

Note: Some difficult-to-reach parts of your piece, such as the stem, might not get completely cleaned. To address those spots, you can soak pipe cleaners in alcohol until you reach all those stubborn places. 

How To Clean A Silicone Bong

Silicone Black Bong

Some smokers prefer silicone bong because it is much easier to clean than a glass bong.

While users of glass bongs have to be extremely careful every time they use and clean it, keeping a silicone bong clean is remarkably easy. All you really need is a quality dishwasher.

So instead of using alcohol or other types of cleaning chemicals, you simply need to throw a silicone bong in the dishwasher to thoroughly clean it.

At least do that on a weekly basis, assuming you smoke on a weekly or daily basis.

How To Clean A Bong Of Resin

Note: The resin is the stuff left after you’ve finished smoking your weed! You could clean out the resin, smoke it and get high…but it doesn’t taste particularly good.

Cleaning out resin is very important. If you don’t, the leftover resin will overpower the flavor of the terpenes in your weed.

It isn’t easy to clean resin out of a bong, especially if it is your first time. However, it can be done with the right cleaning solutions.

A great resin cleaning solution is combining 91 or 99 percent isopropyl alcohol with salt.

Because salt is coarse, when combined with the alcohol, it is abrasive to the resin and bong residue, helping to give you a clean bong even faster.

Here are some salts that work well with isopropyl alcohol to clean resin:

  • Epsom Salt
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Kosher Salt
  • Rock Salt

To begin cleaning out the resin, start by pouring a medium amount of your cleaning solution into the bong followed by a handful of salt.

It is recommended to fill the bong up with alcohol slightly less than how much you would fill it up with water to smoke. You can also use a spoon to pour the salt down the chamber of your bong.

How To Clean A Bong Without Alcohol

Some glass bong users want to clean it out without using rubbing alcohol. To be honest, isopropyl alcohol is a perfectly safe household solvent to use but everyone is entitled to their cleaning preference.

Cleaning without alcohol makes it longer to clean the bong but it is doable. Here is the 3-step process on how to clean a bong without alcohol:

  1. Boil enough water to cover the entire bong in a saucepan
  2. Once the water has been brought to the boil, reduce the heat to simmer and submerge your bong in water for 30 minutes (This is a delicate process. Too hot and the glass could crack if the water evaporates and leaves part of the piece exposed, but too cold and the water won’t release any bubbles.)
  3. Drain the water after half an hour and clean with pipe cleaners and paper towels

How To Clean A Bong With Lemon

Lemon and half a lemon

Another way to clean a glass bong without alcohol is by using a lemon along with boiling water.

Once again, boil water and add lemon juice to the bong.

Pour the boiling water to the bong, and shake vigorously for about a minute. Wait for 5 minutes to allow the acid from the lemon juice to remove the gunk from the bong.

Pour the solution out of the bong and rinse it with warm water.

How To Clean A Bong With Vinegar

Another way to clean a bong without rubbing alcohol is vinegar. While it isn’t as strong as alcohol, it is fairly effective when you submerge it in water for an extended period of time.

Simply place your bong parts in a salt and vinegar solution and leave it there overnight.

Another good vinegar to use is apple cider vinegar.  Or you can use a combination of vinegar and baking soda for a decent clean. Also, vinegar is not only great at cleaning out dirt but it removes annoying hard water stains from the bong as well.

Just pour the white vinegar in the bong and swish around for about a minute and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, clean it out with hot water and let it dry.

Keep Your Bong Clean

It is super important to keep your glass/silicone bong clean at least on a weekly basis. Not doing so will affect your lung health and overall smoking experience.

Rubbing alcohol, combined with salt and hot water, is the best way to thoroughly clean a bong. However, using the non-alcohol cleaning methods discussed will work as well.

Farma Health Desk Editor