Would you eat your dinner off a dirty plate? Would you drink from a stained glass? We’re hoping the answer to both questions is a resounding ‘NO’! Therefore, it always astonishes us when we hear that bong owners have no issues smoking from a filthy glass piece.
It doesn’t take long for a pristine bong to become a toxic dump, which not only hurts the quality of your smoke; it could also damage your health. If you want to get the best out of your bong, clean it regularly. This guide will show you how.
- Use Lemon Juice or Vinegar to Handle Hard Water Stains
- Add Lemon Juice as You Use Your Bong
- Keep Your Bong Empty During Storage
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?”
This is down to personal preference, but it also depends on how often you use the device. Some dedicated smokers will clean their bong after every single session! This is probably a little excessive. However, if you’re a heavy smoker, washing it every second day is not a bad idea.
Why You Need a Clean Bong
As well as making the weed taste better, a clean bong preserves your health. If you insist on using a nasty piece, you invite the risk of respiratory infection, which will ruin future sessions. There is even a slight possibility of contracting a lung infection, which is terrible news for weed smokers!
Why are you at risk when using a dirty bong? It should be common sense, but here goes. Stagnant water in bongs and water pipes is a prime breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. For example, have you seen black spots on the ceiling of a bathroom without proper ventilation?
You may also have spotted a pink film, which is a fungus. One of the most common types, Fusarium, grows in damp locations. Fusarium is also capable of utterly destroying cannabis plants. Mold tends to accumulate around reclaims and percolators, two of the most challenging areas to clean.
Mold varies in terms of appearance and color, but it comes in green, black, gray, pink, and white. If you use a dirty bong, there’s a danger that you’re inhaling the spores of mold; a recipe for illness. If that isn’t enough of a reason to clean your bong regularly, here are three more:
Fresh Tasting Weed
Ideally, you’ll get a clean and fresh-tasting hit when you use a bong. Given the price of marijuana in some states, it makes sense to get your money’s worth. However, if you don’t clean your bong, you get residues of previous sessions. You could also inhale the smoke that has passed through water that your buddy drooled into in a past session.
When you inhale cleaner smoke, it is better news for your respiratory system. You also enjoy the taste of the smoke more as the flavors come through.
Have you ever taken a rip, only for it to be so harsh on your lungs that you had no option but to cough? You can reduce the risk of this happening by cleaning your bong. If nothing else, make sure you change the water after every session. Also, a clean bong helps the percolator to work at its highest capacity. A clogged perc prevents you from getting a smooth smoke.
The best hit you’ll get comes from a clean bong. The THC-laden smoke gets a straightforward path from the bong to your lungs. If there is a sticky resin build-up at the side of the base and near the neck, you won’t get the full effects of the weed.
You should clean your bong in the following scenarios. If:
- There is a significant build-up of resin.
- The bong water is discolored, brown, and smelly.
- You can see a slimy film inside the bong.
- There is visible gray or white mold fuzz on the resin.
- Black or white specks dot the pipe’s walls.
How to Clean a Bong Without Alcohol
Alcohol is prevalent for bong cleaning. Therefore, we decided that it would be a great idea to show you how to clean a bong without rubbing alcohol first. Isopropyl alcohol is a perfectly safe household solvent to use. However, 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. Next, 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. Too cold, and the water won’t release any bubbles. Drain the water after half an hour and use pipe cleaners and paper towels.
Other Bong Cleaning Options
Another standard method of cleaning a glass bong without alcohol is to use lemon along with boiling water. Once again, boil water and add lemon juice to the bong. Many users recommend purified water. If this sounds like you, make sure you filter it first.
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.
Another option is to boil enough water to submerge your bong in a saucepan. Reduce the heat, so the water is simmering and leave the piece in the water for around 30 minutes. The water must remain warm enough to release some bubbles. However, too hot, and it will evaporate and leave the glass uncovered. Drain the water when time is up, and wait until the glass cools down. Finally, use paper towels to clean the bong.
The main issue with both methods described above is the possibility of cracking your bong in hot water. Today’s glass bongs should be sturdy enough to withstand the heat. If you would prefer not to take the risk, there are other options.
The 5-Step Salt Cleaning Method
A lot of bong users swear by the cleaning power of salt. This is a quick-fire process as you will see:
- Pour three or more tablespoons of salt into the bong via the mouthpiece. The coarser the salt, the better.
- Fill your bong with warm water until it is just beneath the shaft line.
- Cover the shaft hole and mouthpiece hole and start shaking the glass piece. Do this for a few minutes.
- Pour the dirty water down the toilet.
- Keep rinsing with salt and warm water until you are satisfied that the piece is clean. At this stage, rinse until the salt is completely gone.
There are a few exclusive products on the market that could help clean your bong in a couple of minutes. If your bong is only moderately dirty, you can do a 60-second clean using Randy’s Black Label. It is designed for tobacco pipes, but can clean a bong, and has a stellar reputation.
No matter what chemical cleaner you use, make sure you shake well. Even the best commercial cleaners work best when combined with salt. Once you have the chemical solution and salt in the bong, shake for a minute, and rinse after cleaning.
How to Clean a Glass Bong Using Isopropyl Alcohol
Now, 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 alcohol, you’ll need the following:
- Table or rock salt, because it is coarser. 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 has several pieces. They prevent the parts from shaking while you clean.
- Plastic gloves to protect your skin from the alcohol.
Time to Get Cleaning!
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 the gunge inside.
- Add the alcohol and salt to the bong. Experienced users suggest that adding the salt first is crucial. Otherwise, the alcohol dissolves it, and it goes 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! The 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 steps 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 finished. Soak pipe cleaners in the solution and use them to scrub the nooks and crannies of your bong.
- For additional shine, add a small amount of dish soap. Fill your piece until it is about half full of water. Shake the soapy water around the part, and once again, plug all holes! After a minute of shaking, complete the process with a final rinse.
How to Clean a Silicone Bong
You’ll be shocked to hear how easy it is to clean a stained silicone bong. Users of glassware have to be careful every time they use and clean it. In contrast, 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.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, there are three other simple ways to clean your silicone bong:
- Freezing: Silicone is resilient against heat and cold. Put your dirty piece in the freezer for a few hours. When you take it out, crush it up and dump the frozen bits that come out. It gets rid of practically all solid material. Flower smokers may still get the smell of tar from the piece, however.
- Alcohol: Silicone is non-reactive to polar solvents, which is precisely what alcohol is. Fill the silicone bong or rig with warm or cold alcohol (warm alcohol works a bit faster). Immerse the piece in the alcohol solution overnight and rinse with water.
- Plant-Based Cleaners: There are special cleaners with coconut oil and Vitamin E. They work as well as alcohol without the issue of damaging your house’s plumbing.
How to Clean Resin Out of a Bong
You must 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!
Cleaning Resin Is Quick & Easy
All you have to do is:
- Place the resin-coated glass in a cup with boiling water. Since 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 nice.
- 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 resin as possible.
- Smack the bowl a little, and the resin will fall out. It is an excellent 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 depends on how thick the glass is.
- When you heat 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!
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. Fortunately, 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. 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.
If you’re not concerned about keeping the resin, getting rid of the gunge couldn’t be easier:
- Pre-soak the dirty bong bowl in hot water and washing up liquid. The chemicals in the fluid are safe for human consumption. Indeed, they get rid of stains from our plates, glasses, and cutlery. You can leave the bong in the solution overnight if you wish. This is ideal if you want to have a smoke before bedtime!
- After soaking, place the piece in a resealable Ziploc bag and pour rubbing alcohol into the glass. Make sure the part is submerged. Ideally, you’ll pour the alcohol into the bong. Cover the bag and shake vigorously.
- If the bong is filthy, the alcohol will probably show a brownish hue. You’ll need to repeat the Ziploc rinse in that case.
- Add Epsom Salt to the bong while it is still in the Ziploc bag. Close the bag and shake it once more.
- Thoroughly rinse the glass piece with hot water to get rid of the remaining gunk. If you find that small pieces of residue are stuck inside, use Q-tips to tackle it.
How to Clean a Bong Stem
Those who try to learn how to clean the downstem 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. 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. It is probably a better idea to place your hand over the top of the bong. Remember, 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
An alternative method of cleaning your bong involves the dirt-beating combination of white vinegar and baking soda. Here is the process:
- Fill the bong with warm water. Give the piece a powerful shake while covering the mouthpiece and shaft. Dispose of the dirty water.
- Pour baking soda into the mouthpiece, making sure it clings to the glass inside. Don’t proceed until you cover a large percentage of the bong’s surface area.
- Allow the bong to sit for several hours; most users leave it overnight.
- Next, add several more spoons of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar. A large bong may need more. Cover all holes and give the bong another shake. It is best to do this over the bathtub. The reaction of the baking soda and vinegar will start to fizz and overflow.
- Scrub the inside of the bong with a long brush and marvel as it scrubs all the dirt away.
- Rinse the glass piece with warm water until all of the dirt, vinegar, and baking soda vanishes.
Preventative Maintenance to Keep Your Bong Reasonably Clean
If you haven’t cleaned your bong in some time, the process outlined above can take ages. It makes sense to engage in preventative maintenance to keep your glass piece relatively clean. As a result, you don’t have to go through the long and challenging process of deep cleaning. Here are a few maintenance tips.
Use Lemon Juice or Vinegar to Handle Hard Water Stains
Hard water stains are not fun to remove from a bong’s interior. They also make a clean bong look dirty. You can prevent them from forming by pouring vinegar into the bong’s bowl and swishing for a couple of minutes.
It is a good idea to allow the vinegar to sit at the bottom for a few minutes. Use hot water to rinse and allow the bong to dry. You can also use a combination of hot water and lemon juice. Once again, swish the solution inside the bong. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and use hot water to rinse.
Add Lemon Juice as You Use Your Bong
When smoking from your bong, add a couple of lemon juice drops to the water. Aside from making your water smell fresh, the enzymes in the juice help break down the nasty resin that builds up within the bong. Use a small amount only; too much will begin to overpower the taste of the marijuana strain.
Keep Your Bong Empty During Storage
It is incredible how many bong users leave the water inside when they finish a session. Okay, you’re probably stoned out of your mind; but it only takes a few seconds to dump the bong water! Perform a quick rinse with lemon juice, vinegar, or salt. You will be surprised at how clean your bong is by the time you’ve sobered up.
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 rapidly.
Alternatively, soak your bong with boiling water mixed with a liquid cleaner for up to two hours. Don’t want to spend money on a store-bought cleaner? 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 clean your bong as often as possible. A fast rinse after every session with natural ingredients can prevent a massive buildup of gunk. A proper cleaning every week should help you enjoy smoother and cleaner hits. You don’t even need toxic chemicals!