Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Pipe or Bong

Posted by Dr. Dan Kush on

In life, actions have consequences. If you push your friend off Mount Kilimanjaro, it might be a little funny, but they will probably die. If you smoke weed, you will get high, but— your piece will get dirty. 

Then, your hole is going to get stuffed. Both because resin is caked up in the air path of your pipe, and because you will be in prison for manslaughter.

It’s very easy to avoid this. All you have to do is be an adult. This means resisting your impulses, taking responsibility for your actions, and cleaning your pieces.


So, you've bought one of 2020's top glass bongs. You're sucking that thing 'till the cows come home. Next thing you know, this 10 out of 10 from Hinge is messaging you totally uninterested-- UNTIL you mention you can hook 'em up. Next thing you know, YOU'RE hooking up. 

Nobody's going to fuck you if your bong looks like a desk lamp from Lemony Snicket's: A Series of Unfortunate Events. 

For borosilicate glass and acrylic pieces, the tried and true cleaning agent that’s been passed down for generations is 92% isopropyl alcohol.


It's hard to find isopropyl alcohol in the days of COVID-19 since everybody is rushing to Walmart to beat their children with it in the parking lot, but this cleaning kit includes everything you'd need for this method (alcohol, salt, and pipe cleaners).

Because the isopropyl alcohol method is so popular, there is a lot of variation in how it can be performed. But, here’s how we do it.

All you need is:

  • 1 Ziplock Bag
  • 92% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Q-Tip(s)


Step 1: Place your piece in a Ziplock bag.

Step 2: Fill the bag with 92% isopropyl alcohol until the piece is fully submerged and add salt.

Step 3: Soak. The longer it soaks, the more the resin breaks down. We recommend at least 1-3 hours. Some people wait 24 hours. Some people don’t wait at all.

Step 4: Shake. The less time you wait, the more you have to shake the bag. This is where the salt comes in. The salt acts as an abrasive.

Step 5: Rinse & buff. Pour out the solution and buff the surface with your Q-tip while rinsing with warm water.


Step 1: Place your bowl and downstem in a Ziplock bag.

Repeat Steps 2-5 with the bowl and downstem in place of the hand pipe.

Step 6: Fill your bong with 92% isopropyl rubbing alcohol and salt.

Step 7: Plug up the holes of your bong. Somehow. You can buy stoppers, you can use plastic wrap and rubber bands, or you can even just plug the holes up with your hands and pray! You just want to make sure the mouth hole and downstem hole is sealed while you do this next part.

Step 8: Shake the bong. Go HAM AF. Well, not too HAM AF. Just shake the isopropyl alcohol and salt solution around until it dissolves most of the resin inside and the piece sparkles to your satisfaction.

Have fun with it. Put on Conga but Gloria Estefan and bounce that donk ‘till your neighbors cry.

Step 9: Rinse everything involved.


There are other cleaning agents you can use besides isopropyl alcohol, including but not limited to:

  • Vinegar + Salt
  • Baking soda + Vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide + Salt
  • Denture cleaning tablets + Water

(Yes, dentures as in— the teeth that your Granny has. She's so wonderful!)


Look, I get it. Sometimes, you just don't want to do shit. If you're bong is dirty, and you don't want to clean it anymore, you have two options.

You could cry. Or. You could replace the regular water you use with special water that makes it so you don't have to clean it at all.


Cleaning silicone is very easy because of its innate durability. Silicone can take a real pounding. Just ask my girlfriend! 

Durability and ease of cleaning are just two massive benefits of a silicone piece. If you've been thinking about whether or not this might be the way to go, check out our guide to the Top 10 Best Silicone Bongs of 2020.

One thing we will say is, it's probably not the best idea in the whole world to use 92% isopropyl alcohol to clean a silicone piece consistently. Overtime, it will degrade the integrity of the material.

Luckily, your alternatives are even easier. All you have to do to clean a silicone piece is treat it like you would your Grandma’s favorite china. I don’t know why I keep bringing up your grandma. Sorry. Can’t stop thinking about her.

  • Put it in the dishwasher
  • Scrub with soap and water

Or, if you have some time on your hands and want to make the night a little interesting:


Step 1: Shower your dirty silicone bong in water.

Step 2: Put it, still wet, in the freezer.

Step 3: Shut the door and wait several hours. Cry in the bathroom. Call your lawyer.

Step 4: Take it out. Crinkle it. The top layer of resin water will break away, like magic!

This method is by far the coolest, but it also requires you have enough time for the layer of ice to freeze properly.

Cleaning your piece has never been fun, but as you can see, that hasn't stopped people from trying as many different ways as they can to mix it up.

You can browse our entire collection of cleaning products to find quicker, easier, and less abrasive alternatives.

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