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How to Clean a Bong

Posted by Adam Frost on

With more people smoking cannabis than ever, bongs are flying off the shelves! Bongs have undeniable advantages that make them popular among stoners looking to enjoy their favorite herb.

While there are many methods to smoking cannabis, the most significant advantage of a bong is that it cools and filters the smoke, resulting in smoother hits that do less damage to your throat and lungs.

But any regular smoker knows that if you’re constantly using your bong, you’ll find a buildup of resin, bacteria, and other gunk in the downstem, base, and other parts. It might be time to put your back into it to enjoy a clean bong in your next smoke session. Read on to learn how to clean a bong the right way!

Why A Clean Bong Is Important

Not only is a clean bong a more pleasurable way to enjoy your cannabis, but a dirty bong can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. These organisms can form in dirty bong water in as little as 24 hours. Smoking from a dirty bong can introduce these toxic substances into your lungs, potentially causing respiratory infections and other health problems.

A clean bong provides a better smoking experience by ensuring that the smoke is not tainted with grime and stale water, which means you get a cleaner, smoother hit.

Resin buildup can also cause your glass bong to become brittle and weak, leading to cracks and breaks. Yikes!

How Often Should You Clean Your Bong?

How often you should clean your bong will depend on how much you use it and how much residue is left after each use. As a general rule of thumb, you should ensure that your bong has clean water at the end of each smoke session and clean your bong at least once a week.

If you are a heavy smoker, cleaning it every few days may be necessary. Consider cleaning your bong more often if the smoke tastes different or if there is visible residue buildup on the inside, especially if new bong water becomes discolored immediately after replacing it.

woman holding a clean bong

Bong Cleaning Materials

There are two different ways to clean a bong: basic cleaning and advanced cleaning. You only need everyday materials for a basic cleaning process, while advanced cleaning might require special tools. Here’s the lowdown on what they are and when you should do them.

For Basic Cleaning

Basic cleaning is the simplest way to clean your bong, which only needs materials you can find at home. These are the “bare minimum” essential cleaning products for your bong.

  • Isopropyl alcohol kills bacteria and mold and is excellent at dissolving residue. The stronger, the better, so aim for 99% concentration.
  • Coarse salt or rock salt that works as an abrasive to remove stuck-on resin and buildup
  • Large, sturdy resealable Ziplock bags for soaking
  • Dish soap to break down residue inside your bong
  • Sponge to scrub the bong’s surface
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton swabs or Q-tips for hard-to-reach surfaces

For Advanced Cleaning

If you tried basic cleaning and found that your bong is still murky, you need these more advanced tools to give you a deeper clean.

  • Pipe cleaners will help you to scrape and clean surfaces better than sponges or cotton swabs
  • You can also use a bong cleaner like the 420 Cleaner or Bong Blaster, which are specialized cleaning formulas that you can use to clean your bong
  • A Cleaning plug to shut your pipe when you shake it, which works better than your thumb. Ensure it’s the right size for your bong so the plug fits snugly.
  • If you want an easy way out, get a cleaning kit with all the necessary bong cleaning solutions.

How to Clean a Glass Bong

If you happen to have a glass bong, here are the step-by-step instructions on how to clean it.

  1. Remove the bowl and downstem or disassemble your bong carefully, and dispose of any loose ash or dry debris.
  2. Rinse the bong with warm water to remove any loosened residue
  3. Fill the chamber with isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt to disinfect your bong. If you have it, you can also use a cleaning solution instead. If you have a cleaning plug, don’t forget to insert it to prevent leaking.
  4. Shake well after you plug the top of your bong; use your hand if you don’t have a cleaning plug.
  5. Let the bong soak for as long as you want! Twelve hours or more will get you the cleanest bong; we recommend leaving it overnight. If you’re using a cleaning solution, follow the instructions, as they usually require only a few minutes.
  6. Get your plastic bag and place the bowl, percolator, ash catcher, mouthpiece, and other loose parts inside it with salt and alcohol. Shake well, and let them sit for 12 hours or more. You should use separate bags for each piece, so they won’t collide and break when you shake them.
  7. After soaking, don’t dump the solution out just yet. Use a pipe cleaner to remove any visible stubborn grime and resin.
  8. Plug the bong again, give it one more good shake, and empty the alcohol and salt solution.
  9. Use soap, a sponge, and warm water (not hot water) to rinse the inside and outside of the bong.
  10. You can repeat steps 7 to 9 for the other separate pieces and air-dry them together.

How to Clean a Silicone Bong

Silicone bongs are indestructible and will stand the test of time, which means you can be pretty rough with it while cleaning it and still be okay.

On the other hand, silicone material can react with alcohol and salt. The alcohol and salt solution will degrade the integrity of the silicone and can ultimately warp it.

So to clean silicone bongs, don’t use alcohol and salt. Instead, use hot water and dish soap. The cleaning process is similar. Soak the silicone bong in soapy water overnight and scrape all the residue off with a bottle brush, swab, or q-tip.

There’s also a nifty little trick of freezing your silicone bong once you rinse it off. When the water layer is frozen, you can bend and twist your bong to remove all the grime and resin that should be stuck to the ice.

Bong Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Ready to do some cleaning yet? Here are a few more things to remember!

  • Don’t use boiling water on a glass bong, as it can cause the glass to break. Use warm water instead, as it works just as well. You can use hot water if you have a silicone bong with no glass parts.
  • You might get tempted to use bleach since it’s a popular cleaning solution, but never use bleach because it has harmful chemicals that can damage your bong or, even worse, your lungs.
  • Ordinary table salt is too fine-grained to be used in bong cleaning. Go with a coarser salt instead.
  • If you have a glass bong, don’t use it in a dishwasher! Leave this for silicone bongs.
  • When you soak your bong, use heavy-duty plastic bags like freezer bags to reduce the likelihood of leakage during shaking.
  • Always change your bong water after use so you won’t have to deep clean it as often. Besides, who likes the smell of dirty bong water anyway?

Cleaning your bong is vital to enjoying your cannabis. Regular cleaning can help prevent the buildup of resin, bacteria, and mold that can affect the taste and quality of your smoke, your bong’s shelf life, and your health.

While there are various methods for cleaning a bong, using simple household items such as salt and alcohol is effective and cost-efficient. But if the basic materials don’t work, you can get professional cleaning products for a deep clean.

And if all else fails, you can always get an entirely new bong from Smoke Cartel! From beaker bongs to straight tube bongs and mini bongs, we’ve got so many types of bongs you’re sure to find something you like. Happy cleaning!

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