Step-by-Step: How to Clean a Bong & Make it Spotless

by greenrush
how to clean a bong

They say that cleanliness and godliness go hand in hand. And, there is nothing closer to a heavenly smoking experience than using a nice, squeaky clean bong. A clean glass piece enhances the taste, smell, and even the high of the buds you smoke. Cleaning a bong may be a chore, but luckily, we have some excellent advice for you on how to clean a bong.

Is It Healthy To Smoke Out of a Dirty Bong?

NO! Smoking a dirty bong can be harmful! Keeping your equipment nice and clean does far more than give you the full range of notes in your favorite flower. What would Tangie be without that excellent citrus flavor, or why would you allow Blue Dream's sweet berry overtone to become a residue ridden nightmare?

The residue that builds up in your bong doesn't just look disgusting; it can be unhygienic as well. If you're sharing a toke with friends and using a dirty piece, you are passing the inevitable amount of germ build-up around at every turn. Which, in turn, can lead to illnesses like the common cold or worse. Cleaning any built-up residue in a bong or pipe can also help reduce unnecessary carcinogens. Your bud will taste better, and your lungs will thank you for it.

What You'll Need

how to clean a bong

You'll only need 4 or 5 simple household items to thoroughly clean your bong. You'll want to gather:

  • A small plastic Tupperware container with a lid (or Ziploc bag)
  • Coarse Salt
  • 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Water
  • Wine bottle cork (optional but helpful!)

How To Clean A Bong: Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Take Apart Your Bong!

You can't begin the bong cleaning process with the glass parts still assembled. So, go ahead and remove the bowl piece and downstem. Some new cannabis consumers may overlook the fact you have to take apart your glass, whether it be a bong, pipe, dab rig, or any other piece of glass, for that matter. 

Step 2: Dump Out The Dirty Bong Water

Who wants dirty, stinky water remaining at the bottom of their glass piece? Not us. One would think this is common sense. However, to emphasize, you must dump out the dirty bong water before you officially begin the process. Before you start cleaning your bong, you'll need to pour out the old water in your bong into a sink or drain; drain the bong water out of the downstem hole.

*Note: If you use a bong often, it's a good idea to change out the water daily. Doing so will help prevent excessive resin build-up and help preserve the flavor and cleanliness of the smoke.

Step 3: Rinse Everything With Hot Water

Next, rinse each piece - bowl, downstem, and bong - with hot water. Wearing dish-washing gloves (or not), get your running water as hot as it can get, or as hot as you can handle. The hotter the water, the more effective it will be, ultimately speeding up the process. Cleaning the pieces with hot water will remove some of the surface resin that tends to have a compounding or snowball effect of build-up. 

Step 4: Place Each Piece In Its Own Container or Ziploc Bag

After the hot water rinse, your next step is to place each piece - bowl and downstem - into its own container or Ziploc bag. Pour a handful of coarse salt and rubbing alcohol (preferably 99% isopropyl or rubbing alcohol) into each of the two storage bags until the bowl and downstem are fully submerged.

Step 5: Let Them Soak

Then, lay both pieces in the container and add more alcohol to the mix to fill the container's bottom. Place the lid on tightly and shake the container to ensure the alcohol and salt completely cover/rinse both pieces. 

When the salt meets the alcohol adding friction, it will act as liquid sandpaper to loosen the dirty build up. The longer you can leave them, the better. But if you're tight on time, about ten minutes should do it.

Step 6: Fill The Main Chamber Of Your Bong With Solution

Now, it's time to move onto the main character of the show. Slowly pour the solution into your bong - in either hole - filling the chamber. How much, you ask? No need to fill the chamber to the tippy top, but just enough to give it a nice swirl and shake out the liquid.


how to clean a bong

Step 7: Shake, Shake, Shake It Up!

Placing a wine cork in the hole (or not), go ahead to make sure all of the holes are covered, then shake! Shake the bong as hard as you can for as long as you can; the longer, the better.

You'll be able to see the resin build-up begin to dissolve and fall off into the water. However, if you can still see some traces of resin and dirt stuck to the glass, don't fret. We'll go through another step as extra reinforcement.

Step 8: Pour Salt And Alcohol In The Bong

Begin pouring the coarse salt into both sides of the two pieces to fill them up and cover them thoroughly. Using your alcohol, then rinse off both pieces on both sides while still holding them over your container to catch all of the alcohol.

Now, onto the bong itself. Start by pouring at least two tablespoons of salt into the mouthpiece and down the chamber until it begins to collect in the base. Then, rinse again with alcohol in both the mouthpiece and the stem and bowl joint.

Step 9: Tightly Plug The Holes

If the holes are the right size, you can plug them with a wine cork; it's optional, however. The simplest way is to cover both holes with a hand towel, ensuring it's airtight. You can also use plastic wrap and rubber bands to seal the holes.

Step 10: Shake Some More… 

Seal all of the openings - again, you can use a wine cork to plug up the stem, and you can place your palm over the mouthpiece to fully cover it. Shake it up thoroughly to coat every inch of glass with the salt and alcohol mixture.

Step 11: Rinse All Pieces With Hot Water Again

Next, remove your cork, rinse the bong thoroughly with hot water, and you're done! Depending on how dirty the stem and bowl are, you can also let them sit for a few hours in the alcohol and salt mixture.

Step 12: Let Them Dry

The last and final step is to let your glass pieces air dry. 

Step 13: Smoke Time!

Voila. You know what to do. 

Now that you know how to clean a bong, it may be an excellent time to give your bong a superior cleaning; you never know when friends may be stopping by!

*repeat this process as needed*

Why You Should Clean Your Bong Regularly

Five simple reasons why you should clean your bong:

  • Taste
  • Smell
  • Bacteria
  • Difficulty

How Often?

For heavy smokers, we recommend cleaning your bong at least every 48 hours. While it seems counterintuitive, casual smokers should clean their bongs every day. 

Casual smokers often go days between one smoke sesh and the next. When you don't subject the bacteria to heat and smoke every few hours, it has plenty of time to grow and get stronger.

Clean Bong, Cleaner Rip

After cleaning your bong, get yourself ready for a cleaner rip to take you to the moon. Can't find weed on hand? Don't worry….

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