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How to Clean A Bong?

May 18, 2020

You wouldn’t want to eat off a dirty plate, so why should you smoke marijuana using a filthy bong? If you don’t clean your bong frequently, it might result in the buildup of residue. It is not only unsightly, but the dirty equipment may affect the flavor of your weed. Besides, you don’t want to drive away your friends by serving them in dirty glassware.  Make sure your bong is clean at all times. Thankfully, this guide explains everything you would like to know about cleaning bongs and how often you should do it.

Why Clean Your Bong?

As it’s expected, glassware lasts longer with proper maintenance. A part of keeping your bong in great shape involves regular cleaning. So, the first advantage is that you will extend the lifetime of your weed equipment.

Another reason for cleaning your bong is health. Remember that mold and bacteria might grow inside the piece, which increases the possibility of getting respiratory infections.

Also, residues on the bong will impact the flavor of terpenes, which are compounds responsible for taste and are found in cannabis. After the bong gets dirty, the resin will overshadow any terpenes found in the weed. So, if you want to enjoy the taste of marijuana, it’s a good idea to use clean glassware.

The more you wait to clean your bong, the more difficult it will be for you to use it. If you wait for a long time to wash the equipment, the harder you will have to scrub it. Therefore, make sure you clear up the piece as often as you can.

How Often To Clean Your Bong

Casual smokers

Casual smokers ought to wash their bongs after use. While this seems contradictory, it has everything to do with preventing bacteria growth. Occasional smokers might go for days or even weeks without using their bongs. If you don’t subject the bacteria to heat and smoke, it has plenty of time and the right environment to reproduce. So, if you don’t use your piece every day, make sure you clean it after each use. That way, you will enjoy fresh aromas every time.

Heavy smokers

For heavy smokers, you should wash your bong every two days. The smoke and heat from frequent use will slow down the rate of bacterial growth, but not forever. Eventually, nothing will prevent the bacteria from getting to your respiratory system unless you remove them. So, if you smoke on Friday morning, clean the bong on Sunday morning after use (that is 48 hours later). You can also decide to clean the piece every second day before sleeping. That way, it will be ready for use in the morning.

Signs that you should wash the bong instantly

Brown, stinky water

The water is meant to filter the weed smoke. However, the impurities buildup with time, and the water becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. If the water is smelly and dirty, it’s time to clean the glassware.

Slimy film

The slimy coating on your bong provides an ideal environment for bacterial and fungal growth. Make sure you clean the piece if you notice it.

Black or white specks

Specks inside the bong are a sign of buildup. If you don’t remove it frequently, the ash forms chunks that might lodge in your lings. Scrub up the bong to avoid such calamities.

How To Clean A Bong

There are simple, effective cleaning methods to keep your bongs clean and enhance your smoking experience. Follow these simple steps to enjoy great-tasting MJ.

Alcohol and Salt Method

It is the most recommended method and is best for moderately used glassware.

You will need:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Warm water
  • Salt
  • Paper towels
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Tape
  • Food storage container for small equipment


  1. Empty the ash and discard the water that could be sitting in the reservoir.
  2. Heat the isopropyl alcohol for 20 minutes and then pour it into the bong’s chamber. Add a handful of course salt. For smaller glassware, put the mixture inside the food storage container.
  3. Use the tape to cover the openings of your bong or the food container. For bubblers, you can plug the opening using a paper towel instead of using tape. The aim is to prevent the alcohol and salt mix from leaking onto surfaces and your hands.
  4. Shake gently, and ensure that the solution gets to all parts of the glassware. The salt helps to remove any residue that could be stuck to the sides. If your bong has percolators, use fine salt so that it gets to the smaller orifices.
  5. If your glassware has lots of residues, give it some time to soak. You can even leave it overnight.
  6. Rinse using warm water and repeat the process if necessary.
  7. Use gloves and a pipe cleaner to reach the hard-to-access spots.

Note: while this method is highly effective, it has one downside: you might end up inhaling harmful chemicals if you smoke directly after cleaning. Mitigate this risk by rinsing out the piece thoroughly using warm water.

Boiling Water Method 

If you are not into using harsh chemicals, here is an alternative. Although it takes more time to clean your bong using hot water than it would for alcohol. Eventually, you get the job done.

When cleaning small pieces, allow water to boil and then pour it in a large bowl. Put the bong inside the container and make sure that it is completely submerged inside the water for 30 minutes.

For large bongs, pour boiling water through the neck and then cover all openings using heat-resistant plastic or duct tape. The glass might get too hot, so use oven mittens to hold the piece while shaking it.

After you are done shaking the bong, rinse with warm water because cold water might shock the glass. The method is excellent for people that clean their bongs frequently. It won’t work well if your bong has a lot of buildups.

Note: The boiling water method is quite delicate, and you should be cautious. If the water is too hot, it might evaporate and leave part of the bong exposed, which could lead to it cracking. If the water is too cold, there won’t be any bubbles.

Use Commercial Bong Cleaning Products

Several commercial products for cleaning bongs are available in the market. Therefore, you can skip the work and go for the easier route. The cleaning chemicals are formulated to get rid of grime and resin. When buying, make sure you check the label because there are different products for the different bong materials. Some are for glassware, while others are for acrylics and plastics. Read the instructions to understand how you should use the cleaning product.

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Always enjoy responsibly.