Three ways to clean a bong

Here are a few tips to ensure your bong stays nice and clean



Let’s face it, nobody likes to start a smoking session with a filthy bong. Not cleaning your bong regularly can lead to residue building up. And the more residue, the more difficult it is to clean. Having a dirty bong can also ruin the taste of cannabis. Here are a few tips to ensure your bong stays nice and clean.

The basic methods for cleaning a bong

You should treat your bong same way you treat a coffee mug. You wouldn’t leave a stained cup on the counter for a week straight. Cleaning out your bong should be thought of the same way. There are numerous ways to properly clean a bong. Many people use a combination of methods depending on the type of glass they are smoking out of. And each method has pros and cons.

#1: Alcohol and salt (the best method)

This is the ideal way to clean a bong. It’s cheap, efficient and easy. Here is what you’ll need to get started:

Cleaning ingredients:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Coarse salt (kosher salt or sea salt)
  • Warm water

Tools needed:

  • Food storage container
  • Q-tips or pipe cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Tape or plastic wrap
  • Rubber bands


Begin by cleaning out loose ash and then emptying out water in the reservoir. Next, take the coarse salts and isopropyl alcohol and put them into the chamber of the bong. Some believe the alcohol should be heated for 20 seconds in a microwave-safe jar, but this step is not necessary. Pour the salt and alcohol into the food storage container for bowls and tiny pieces, and transfer one piece of glass into the container at a time. 

Cover the food container lid securely and protect the bong’s openings with a piece of tape or plastic wrap. Keep them sealed shut with rubber bands. For small bubblers or other little pieces, you might be able to get away with sealing the openings with a paper towel that is twisted up. This is done so the alcohol and salt won’t leak all over your hands and the surfaces you are cleaning the bong on. This is an important step so don’t skip it.

Gently but extensively shake the container to ensure all parts of the piece come in contact with the solution. The salt in this cleaning process can be thought of as an agitator that functions to gradually scrape away at the residue. If you are cleaning process a bong that has a percolator, you might want to use a finer type of salt that will get into the smaller crevices. If your glassware has a ton of heavy and built-up residue, let it soak for a decent period of time. You might even want to let your pieces soak overnight depending on the extent of buildup. Next, rinse it out with warm water and repeat the process if needed. Put on gloves and clean spots that aren’t easy to reach with a pipe cleaner or Q-tip dipped in alcohol.

Down stems and bowl heads are examples of areas that you would do this on. Some people might worry that this cleaning method could cause users to inhale harmful fumes. To lower the risk of this happening, make sure the glassware is fully rinsed out.

#2: Boiling water

How to clean a bong without alcohol? If you’re the type of person that likes to avoid chemicals you can always use the most affordable and natural solution out there: water. Remove one piece of glass at a time and put it into a food storage container. Boil water and pour it over the pieces in the container. Ensure all of the pieces in the container are completely submerged in water. After that, seal the lid on the container very tight.

When you are cleaning bongs and bigger pieces, you can pour boiling water right into the neck of the piece and cover openings with heavy-duty tape or plastic wrap that is heat-resistant. Keep in mind that the glassware will get very hot so use protective oven gloves. Shake the boiling water around so that it comes in contact with all of the parts.

Next, rinse everything out with warm water. Cold water isn’t used at this point because it can cause the glass to crack and the last thing you want is for your bong to shatter into a million pieces. Using water is a convenient and simple method for those that like to keep their pieces in peak condition regularly. It might not be suitable for pieces that have a huge and heavy build-up of residue.

#3: Commercial cleaning products

Specifically formulated products are available to wash your bong and other glass pieces. Formula 420 is known to be very efficient in getting rid of resin and grime. If you are using pieces that aren’t constructed from glass, the company also offers products that can clean plastic and acrylic.

ResRemover works well for cleaning bongs. It is a plant-based solution that comes in a pouch and is all-natural. All you have to do is pour hot water into the pouch with your filthy pieces, seal it up and let it soak overnight. The product will do the rest of the job. If you want a convenient solution without using harsh chemicals, this is a great alternative cleaning choice. 

What’s the point of cleaning your bong?

The most obvious reasons to clean your bong is for your own well-being and health. Many consumers don’t realize different types of bacteria can grow inside a dirty bong. Resin is the perfect environment for bacterial organisms to grow in, so cleaning on a regular basis will prevent them from making your bong their permanent home. Cannabis users that use their bongs daily should clean every second day. If you’re the type to use a bong only occasionally, then just empty it out and clean after each time you use it. Do not replace the water until the item is able to be used again.

Cleaning your bong will provide a much better experience. Using a bong with heavily built-up residue will make your smoke taste dirty and stale. You don’t want to purchase top-shelf cannabis and wreck the taste by smoking it out of a dirty glass. Smoking out of a clean bong will create less of a pungent odour and you will just feel much better in general.

Smoking out of a clean bong also prevents clogging, which can be a nightmare to deal with. Regular cleaning is an easy way to prevent this from happening. You won’t have to deal with any obstructions in the pipes and will be able to fully enjoy a smooth and clean toke every time.

You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a bong and then not take care of it. Buying a bong is like purchasing a new vehicle. After spending that kind of money, maintenance is key to ensure top performance. 

Additional bong cleaning tips

One of the most important tips to keep in mind is to clean out your bong on a regular basis. Bongs become harder to clean depending on how long you go without cleaning. White vinegar is an ideal solution to use to get rid of water stains. Squeezing a little lemon juice into your bong water makes it more difficult for the residue to stick to the glass. Following these simple tips will increase your bong’s lifespan and create a more enjoyable experience.

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