How to Clean your Bong [The BEST Guide]

Gotta keep it sparkly fresh...
Nicole Richter Nicole Richter / Updated on July 19, 2018

How to Clean a Bong [Ultimate Guide]

Let’s set the scene. You’ve just purchased a lovely half ounce of Northern Lights, and you’re ready to get your smoke on. The room isn’t particularly well-lit, so you place some herb in the bong’s bowl and start smoking. Ewwwww! Something doesn’t taste right! Close inspection of your bong reveals that it is wayyy past time for a clean. You continue smoking regardless, but you know that you’re ruining what should be a fantastic experience…

How to Clean a Bong – Information for All Bong Owners

When it comes to cleaning a bong, the central question is: “How often should I do it?”

Well, this is down to personal preference but it also depends on how often you use the device. There are dedicated smokers who will clean their bong after every single session! This is probably a little too OCD, but if you’re a heavy smoker, cleaning it every second day is not a bad idea.

If nothing else, make sure you remove the dirty bong water daily, or risk bacteria growth which could cause damage to your health.

Why You Need a Clean Bong

As well as making the weed taste better, a clean bong actually preserves your health. If you insist on using a dirty piece, you invite the risk of respiratory infection which will ruin sessions for the foreseeable future. There is even a slight possibility of contracting a lung infection, which is terrible news for weed smokers!

cleaning a bong

You should clean your bong in the following scenarios:

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

How to Clean a Bong Without Alcohol

Given the popularity of using alcohol for bong cleaning, we decided that it would be a great idea to show you how to clean a bong without rubbing alcohol first. To be honest, isopropyl alcohol is a perfectly safe household solvent to use, but there are lots of users who prefer to learn how to clean a glass bong without alcohol instead.

It is a method that takes a little longer, but you’ll eventually get the job done. Firstly, boil enough water to cover the entire bong in a saucepan. Once the water has been brought to the boil, reduce the heat to simmer and submerge your bong in water for 30 minutes. It 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. Drain the water after half an hour and clean with pipe cleaners and paper towels.

Another standard method of cleaning a glass bong without alcohol is to use lemon along with boiling water. Once again, boil water (many users recommend purified water, so filter it first) and add lemon juice to the bong. Pour the boiling water into the bong, shake thoroughly and wait for approximately five minutes. This process enables the acid from the lemon juice to help get rid of the gunk. Pour the solution out of the bong and rinse it with warm water.

How to Clean a Glass Bong

Now that we have shown you how to clean a glass bong without alcohol, it is time to focus on the time-honored tradition of using isopropyl alcohol to keep glassware in great shape. You can use 70% alcohol for lighter cleaning, but heavy users tend to rely on 91% or 99% isopropyl alcohol. Here’s how to clean a glass bong with household items.

Aside from the alcohol, you’ll need the following:

  • Table or rock salt because it is more coarse. When you add it to the alcohol, it is abrasive to the resin and residue, which boosts your solution’s cleaning power.
  • Pipe cleaners; wire cleaners are fantastic at getting to hard-to-reach spots.
  • Small pieces of cork, cotton, or fabric to plug the stem.
  • Rubber bands if your bong is comprised of several pieces. They prevent the parts from shaking while you clean.
  • Plastic gloves to protect your skin from the alcohol.

Now that we have the supplies, here’s how to clean a glass water bong:

  • 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.
  • Add the alcohol and salt to the bong. Experienced users suggest that adding the salt first is crucial or else it will be dissolved by the alcohol and go to waste. Use the fabric/cotton/cork to cover the tube and stem after adding the isopropyl alcohol.
  • With the alcohol and salt in your bong, shake it vigorously for a minimum of five minutes. If you failed to cover all the holes, now is the time you’ll regret it, as alcohol will spill all over the place.
  • You must also immerse the pipe in the alcohol and salt solution for several minutes.
  • If you haven’t cleaned your bong in a while, you may have to repeat all of the above at least once more. If your bong is exceedingly dirty, allow it to soak in the solution for a few hours.
  • Pour the solution into the toilet bowl and flush once you’re done with it.
    Soak pipe cleaners in the solution and use them to scrub the nooks and crannies of your bong.
  • When you are satisfied that the bong is clean enough, give every piece a final rinse with hot water.

How to Clean a Silicone Bong

You’ll be shocked to hear how easy it is to clean a stained silicone bong. While users of glassware have to be careful every time they use and clean it, keeping a silicone bong clean is remarkably easy; as long as you have a dishwasher!

Silicone bongs are light, small, and last for a very long time. Learning how to clean a silicone bong is about as hard as figuring out how to work a machine. Instead of having to dislodge resin, or spend money on isopropyl alcohol, you can clean your silicone bong in the dishwasher. Why? Because they are all but unbreakable.

How to Clean Resin out of a Bong

It is imperative that you learn how to clean resin out of a glass bong. When you allow it to remain, the resin taste 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. A simple method is to pour some of the alcohol into the bong followed by salt.

An increasing number of marijuana smokers want to know how to clean a bong and save the resin. After all, it is still capable of getting you high, and with the price of cannabis these days, every little helps!

[Keep reading to discover how to clean resin out of a bong and smoke it — it is remarkably easy!]

All you have to do is:

  • Place the resin-coated glass in a cup with boiling water. As you’re smoking the resin, don’t add salt or alcohol.
  • The length of time you leave the piece in the water depends on how much resin you want. Eventually, you will see the resin float to the top of the cup.
  • Cover a clean container with cheesecloth and pour the water into it.
  • The resin stays on top of the cloth, so it is easy to scrape it off. Put it on a piece of paper to dry.
  • Remember, the resin is the stuff left after you’ve finished smoking your weed! You can smoke it and get high, but it doesn’t taste particularly good.

You can also scrape the resin out of your bowl without the need for hot water. You need a scraping device (even a paper clip will do!), a lighter, and a pipe with plenty of resin on it. With these simple tools, it is easy to clean pot resin off a bong:

  • Scrape the inside of the bong with the paper clip to remove as much resinas possible.
  • Smack the bowl a little, and the resin will fall out. It is a good idea to do this over a clean surface!
  • Place the flame of your lighter on the surface of the bowl. The length of time you need to do this for depends on how thick the glass is.
  • When you heat up the resin on the sides of the glass, it should be easier to scrape out.
  • Use the clip to scrape the inside of the pipe again, but be careful not to press too hard lest you damage it.
  • Take the resin and light it up!

bong cleaning

How to Clean a Bong Bowl

In our guide, the next step is to teach you how to clean a bong bowl piece. Keeping your bowl in pristine shape requires a reasonable degree of maintenance, and there are several ways to clean out a bong bowl.

As is the case with scraping resin, the goal is to remove the built-up material, and a paper clip once again comes in handy. You can use the resin-scraping guide as a quick and easy way to clean a bowl piece for a bong.

More discerning marijuana users prefer to utilize special cleaning paraphernalia such as pipe cleaners. If you would prefer not to scrape the inside of your bowl, you can try the good ol’ wash and rinse with alcohol, salt, and hot water method. Isopropyl alcohol does a great job of dissolving the gunge, and the abrasive qualities of the salt further help remove the resin build-up.

How to Clean a Bong Stem

Those who try to learn how to clean the down stem of a bong soon discover that it is a massive pain in the ass. Not only do the holes get clogged, but it is also reasonably hard to reach every part of the stem. One quick and easy way to clean a glass bong stem is to pour salt down the downstem until it is almost full; make sure the downstem is still attached to the bong at this stage.

Pour rubbing alcohol to the top and create some suction on the bong to help the isopropyl move through the salt. Warning! There is a danger of breathing in alcohol fumes, so don’t try this method if you have any concerns. Make sure the room is well ventilated, and it may be a better idea to place your hand over the top of the bong; the goal is to create suction.

Keep pouring alcohol and create negative pressure in the bong until all of the salt passes through. Shake the solution while it is in your bong for a fast clean, and rinse everything with hot water. Those who use this method tend to use Everclear instead of isopropyl alcohol.

A quicker and safer method of cleaning the stem of a bong is to place the stem in a Ziploc bag. Fill it with salt and alcohol and shake it for a few minutes. You can also use this method for a quick bowl clean.

How to Clean a Bong with Vinegar

It is also possible to clean a bong with white vinegar. While it isn’t as strong as alcohol, it is relatively effective when you submerge it in water for an extended period.

Merely place your bong parts in a salt and vinegar solution and leave it there overnight. Make sure you thoroughly rinse and scrub with hot water, or else your next session will involve weed with more than a hint of vinegar. You can also use apple cider vinegar or a combination of vinegar and baking soda for a decent clean.

Have you ever cleaned a bong only to see annoying hard water stains that ruin its appearance? If so, try cleaning your bong with vinegar to prevent your clean bong from looking dirty. Pour white vinegar into the bowl of your bong and swish it around for a minute. Let the bong sit with the vinegar at the bottom for a few minutes.

Finally, rinse the bong with hot water and allow it to dry.

How to Clean a Water Bong: Conclusion

In summation, there are a variety of ways to clean a water bong. You can clean out a glass water bong with a quick rinse, heavy soak or deep cleaning using isopropyl alcohol. There are a few bong cleaners on the market designed to help you get your glassware cleaned in a matter of seconds.

Alternatively, soak your bong with boiling water mixed with a liquid cleaner for up to two hours. If you don’t want to spend money on a store-bought cleaner, you can perform a DIY bong clean by soaking it in a solution of alcohol and salt. It is a tried and trusted cleaning method, and experienced users know it gets the job done almost every time.

Overall, it is best if you can clean your bong with boiling water reasonably often, as it is a quick and easy cleaning method. When you add alcohol and salt to the mix, you have a trustworthy bong cleaning tactic that ensures you enjoy clean hits the next time you smoke.

Article Sources:
  1. Diane Sarvis

    Just boil the bong for 15 to 20 minutes in plain water. If the compound does not leave, add salt or ACV to the boil, but all that is required to be done.

  2. Antoine Lockwood

    I can see a slimy film inside the stem of my bong, I boiled it in salted water for about half an hour, but to no use. What should I do?

  3. dakota richer
    for a cheap quick clean. (toker for 9yrs)

    if you take a bbq wooden skewer stick and gently scrape down with warm to hot running water, you can easily and effectively clean your down stem to your bong. also surprisingly Dawn dish soap for a quick, cheap, effective clean on your bong and all its accessories, just remember to do a deep rinse so it doesn’t taste soapy.

  4. Desiree Barker
    Clean it properly and in time

    Please do not compromise or delay the cleaning of your bong. I once contracted some lung infection, by not cleaning my bong for 6 months at a go, which was so obstinate, that it did not go away even with very heavy antibiotics. So I had to undergo hospitalization for a week, when the doc kind of inserted some instruments in my mouth, and cleaned my lungs, or the passage, not sure. But it was quite painful and scary. So better clean your bong properly and do that in time.

  5. Angela Clinton
    Regulate the temperature first

    Before you put our bong in boiling water, try circulating hot water through it, to avoid the risk of breakage due to sudden temperature change. This is especially good for bongs that use cheap glass, or are not very high quality you can say.

  6. Charles Holman
    Try ACV

    Just use ACV and hot boiling water to clean the bong. You do not have to keep a lot of stuff to clean your bong and it is easy as well.

  7. Dave Kay
    Good job

    This is a great article – but sadly no amount of wise words can beat that overwhelming laziness from a blast of your best bud haha.

  8. Joey Smith
    Try Vodka

    Try Vodka if you are running out of vinegar. It will be equally effective!

  9. Joe Flight
    Great post!

    This is a great post!! I first got a bong 6 years ago when I was a student and I did not clean it properly ever, the novelty soon wore off, and then so did the taste of the weed I was enjoying!!! Now I am in my late twenties and I couldn’t recommend keeping on top of cleaning your equipment more!! My tip would be to clean it before you let the high take over because you won’t want to do that when high as a kite!!

  10. No
    What a bad idea

    No way in hell would I put my bong in boiling water! What an awful crack risk.
    Go get yourself some bong cleaner or just rush salt, vinegar and rice through it.
    Cannot believe you would even suggest boiling your bong.

  11. Jami

    I think it’s weird to smoke resin out of a bong. Pipe, yeah. Bong resin is gross. Lol!

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