How to Clean Your Bong the Right Way 

Learning how to clean a bong is essential—unless you love the smell and taste of mold and dirty bong water. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to clean a bong. You’ll wish you tried it sooner! Depending on which kind of bong you have, you can clean it simply and effectively using a few common household items and get back to smoking weed.

How to Clean Glass and Silicone Bongs

Cleaning a glass bong is easier than cleaning bongs made from other materials because you can use more abrasive materials. At the end of the cleaning process, your bong should be sparkly, clear, and ready to use. You don’t need a fancy cleaning solution to keep your glass or silicone bong clean. These household ingredients will get the job done!

What You’ll Need

  • Isopropyl alcohol (90% and above)

  • Coarse salt

  • Large zip-lock bag

  • Dish soap

  • Warm water

  • Sponge

  • Bottle brush

  • Pipe cleaner

  • Q-tips

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Empty the dirty bong water onto the ground outside. Just as you wouldn’t pour cannabis concentrates down the drain, don’t pour residue-rich bong water down the drain or you might clog up your pipes.

  2. Put the bong inside the large zip-lock bag. If you don’t have a zip-lock bag, you can do this over the sink being careful not to smash the glass.

  3. Pour the rubbing alcohol into the bong until it’s half to two-thirds full.

  4. Add a few tablespoons of coarse salt.

  5. Close the zip-lock bag and cover the openings of the bong with your fingers.

  6. Shake the alcohol and salt mixture all the way up and down the bong. The salt will scrub off the resin buildup while the alcohol disinfects the bong.

  7. Leave the alcohol and salt mixture to sit inside the bong for 30 minutes.

  8. Tip out the alcohol mixture outside or directly into the zip-lock bag for disposal.

  9. Wash the bong with dish soap and warm water, using the bottle brush and pipe cleaner to remove the residue from the hard-to-reach places. It’s best not to use boiling hot water because this could bust the glass.

  10. Repeat the alcohol-and-salt process for the mouthpiece and bowl, leaving them to soak for 10 minutes after shaking rather than 30. Wash them out with warm water and dish soap, using the pipe cleaner to remove all of the residue.

  11. Place all of the pieces on a clean dish towel to air dry.

  12. Reassemble the bong.

How to Clean a Plastic or Acrylic Bong

For your acrylic or plastic bong, you’ll be using regular dish-washing materials and skipping the alcohol mixture as it might damage the bong. While the process is simpler in that it requires fewer steps, you might need to use more elbow grease to get all of the residue out.

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap

  • Warm water

  • Sponge

  • Bottle brush

  • Pipe cleaner

  • Q-tips

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Tip any old bong water onto the grass outside.

  2. Wash the bong with warm water and dish soap, using the bottle brush, pipe cleaner, and Q-tips to reach into all of the difficult-to-reach places. You might want to do this in a portable bowl or tub the first time so that you can tip the resin-filled water onto the ground rather than tipping it down the drain.

  3. Repeat the process until the water comes out clean.

  4. Rinse the bong with hot water and place the pieces on a clean dish towel to air dry. Some people like to add a squeeze of lemon juice at the hot-rinse stage. This is totally up to you!

  5. Reassemble the bong.

Alternatives to Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol really is the best thing to use if you want to clean your bong quickly and effectively. However, if you don’t happen to have 91% isopropyl alcohol on hand, you can use vinegar and baking soda instead. As vinegar isn’t as strong as rubbing alcohol, you’ll need to let it soak for a few hours instead of 30 minutes.

To clean a bong with vinegar and baking soda, half-fill the bong with vinegar and spoon a few tablespoons of baking soda. Be sure to cover the openings with your hands because the mixture will start to fizz. After shaking the bong, leave the mixture to sit for a few hours. Then wash, rinse, and air dry as above.

What to Do for Stubborn Residue

If you haven’t cleaned your bong for longer than you’d like to admit and the resin buildup simply won’t move, you might need to soak it in hydrogen peroxide. If you try this method, it’s important to wear gloves because hydrogen peroxide can burn.

For medium buildup, fill the bong as high as you can with hydrogen peroxide, add coarse salt, and simply shake. For heavy buildup, shake the mixture, let the hydrogen peroxide sit overnight, then empty, wash, and rinse. Please note that hydrogen peroxide is only recommended for glass bongs.

Why You Should Clean Your Bong

Cleaning a bong regularly should really be as obvious as flushing the toilet, but surprisingly few people clean their bongs. When you let the water sit, a biofilm forms on the surface of the water—creating a breeding ground for mold. 

At your next smoking session, you’re inhaling mold, microbes, and old bong water with every draw and putting yourself and your bong buddies at risk for increased coughing, strep throat, and fever. And really, wouldn’t those top-shelf weed flavor profiles taste better with clean hits?

How Often Should You Clean Your Bong?

If you only smoke occasionally, you can probably get away with giving your bong a deep clean once a week. Heavier smokers—you know, those who know that a bong is the best way to smoke weed—should clean their bongs every couple of days. If you’ve never cleaned your bong before, give it a deep clean RIGHT NOW!

To keep your bong fresher between washes, tip the used bong water onto the grass after each session so that it’s not sitting there going off. Then, store the bong out of direct sunlight. Before each smoking session, add a squirt of lemon juice to the filtered water to help prevent the residue from building up.

Clean Blong = More Pleasant Smoke

Knowing how to clean a bong is a good start. Now get out there, buy the materials, and do it! The more regularly you clean your water pipe, the less residue there will be to get off, and the quicker you’ll work your way through the steps. Best of all, you’ll finally be able to taste the complex bouquet of terpenes in your favorite strain—which is the reason you bought the bong in the first place, after all. 

And if you find that your bong is simply beyond repair at this point, you can find some excellent replacements at either of our Seattle-area dispensaries!