VIDEO | 5 Minute Tips | how to clean a bong
or watch it on my YouTube channel

Stoner Glass Gets Gross

There comes a time in every stoners experience when they look at the water in their beloved bong and question the cleanliness of smoking weed. Bongs get disgusting. As smoke gets pulled under the water and cooled, the water turns yellow, filth builds up along the sides, the mouthpiece can taste like ash, and bowls get clogged and caked in sticky resin that does not come off in hot water.

I’m just keeping it real. I love smoking pot and don’t plan on ever stopping, but that doesn’t make me blind to how it looks to outsiders (and appearance-conscious insiders). As an unofficial ambassador of pot smoking, I feel the need to model clean use. All the better, because using a clean bong enhances my medication sessions and make them far more enjoyable!

Why it’s a Good Idea to Clean your Bongs

Bong water is nasty and is a breeding ground for shit I don’t want to think about. In my opinion bong water should be changed frequently, either after every bowl or every session. In reality, I will go a few sessions in between cleanings, but only a few. I don’t like the way a dirty bong looks, tastes, or makes me feel. And, a dirty bong is often the culprit behind those unattractive cough attacks that make you pee your pants. Not fun.

  • Glass that is regularly cleaned is easier to clean. Resin builds on resin, creating a coating that can be ridiculously difficult to get off. Think of it like an oven. Sometimes people go years without cleaning the oven, and when they finally get the courage to do so, it’s practically a lost cause. You need hardcore chemicals that burn your nose hairs when inhaled. But, when you clean an oven semi-regularly, it never gets the chance to get so far gone, making it a breeze to clean.
  • Dirty bong water is a not good for you. Resin covered pieces irritate our lungs and make us cough, and splash back with dirty bong water is just as gross as it sounds.
  • The natural pleasant aroma and flavor of cannabis is easily masked by a dirty piece. When you have a freshly clean bong, filled with cool water and an ice cube or two, you fully experience the subtle nuances of your flower.
  • Dirty bongs look bad. They certainly don’t look make the habit look healthy. If you care about changing the social stigma around cannabis use, then you may be very sensitive to this, I know I am! Ash covered paraphernalia is also like a beacon for curious kids and uncomfortable questions. An ashtray filled with butts and ash is far more noticeable to a child than one that is spotless and looks like a decoration. Bongs are the same, when they are spotlessly clean they look like chemistry instruments. Look kids! I’m a scientist!

How to Clean a Bong (0r pipe, one-hitter, whatever)

If you do it regularly, cleaning a bong is easy. There are plenty of products on the market to make it easier, but the basic rubbing alcohol + salt trick will do just as good a job.

Materials

  • 90+% isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
  • Coarse salt: kosher, Epsom, sea salt, whatever
  • A way to plug openings so you can shake the bong clean. I have used paper towels, a sponge, rags, my hand, Saran Wrap, and aluminum foil. You can also find premade corks in sizes just right for many types of bongs. In the above video, I use Resolution Caps, and they are amazing! I highly recommend them.
  • Brush – bottle brushes, a bong brush, a trumpet brush (yes, we’ve used the brush from David’s trumpet case!), or pipe cleaners. Remember pipe cleaners? If you’ve got some kids in the house, chances are you’ve got some pipe cleaners laying around. You can also unwind a wire hanger, wrap one end in a paper towel, and use that! Bendy and free.
  • In the above video, I also use RezBlock – a resin preventer from 420 Science, worth every penny! You add this to the water of a clean bong and it makes your piece so easy to clean later.

Directions

  1. Remove any separate components, like stems, bowls, and bangers. To clean these smaller items; put them in a plastic bag with rubbing alcohol and salt and let soak for a few minutes before cleaning under running water. Use pipe cleaners, toothpicks, paper towels, whatever, to get into the smaller crevices.
  2. Dump out any water from the bong and rinse.
  3. Add isopropyl and salt to the bong. Use enough that all areas of the bong will be contacted when you shake it.
  4. Either let the bong sit for a few minutes, or skip that step, cover openings, and shake it like a polaroid picture.
  5. Use your brush to manually scrape off any resiny sections you can reach. Focus the salt onto particularly dirty parts and shake gently to concentrate the abrasive onto them.
  6. Dump out the solution and rinse.
  7. Wash the mouthpiece with soap and hot water, especially if you share your bong with people!
  8. Rinse the entire bong thoroughly. Rinse until the rubbing alcohol and soap is completely gone, then add fresh, cool water for your next session, which hopefully will take place shortly.
  9. Finally, add RezBlock to make your next bong cleaning take half the time as this one did.

Regular Maintenance

  • Replace the water in your bong often, after every session if you can!
  • Keep extra stems and bowls on hand for the times you don’t want to clean but do want to get high.
  • Clean your bong collection often. Avoid letting resin and dirt build-up or they can be impossible to fully clean when you finally get around to it.
  • Avoid holding your bongs by their mouthpiece. Our hands are often carrying germs and bacteria, we don’t lick our fingers for a reason (at least that’s what I tell my children).

Cleaning your bong collection may be a smelly chore, but it’s a critical component to the responsible stoner’s regimen. A few simple household items will have your bong sparkly clean, leading to less coughing, a more positive outlook on smoking, and a better stoner session over all.