Everything You Need To Know About How To Clean A Bong

If you’re a fan of smoking with a bong, you’ve no doubt run into the issue of cleaning it. While we’d much rather be smoking than cleaning, a failure to do so could see your beloved bong tossed in the trash. 

That’s why we put this guide together, to give you all the help and guidance you need on how to clean a bong. With these tips, you’ll have your bongs looking sharp and helping give you the best high they can. 

Before we get to that, however, it’s important to understand how bongs work. This way, you won’t cause any lasting damage when you come to clean them. 

Important Information About Bongs

When we hear the word ‘bong’ our minds may jump to the grubby glass devices we see in movies like Pineapple Express

However, bongs have been around for a long time, centuries, in fact. Back in the day, they were made from bamboo, horn or ceramic. The science behind them hasn’t changed since, though glass has become a popular choice of material due to its ability to cool the smoke, allowing for a smoother experience. 

This is also one of the reasons why you use water in a bong—to cool down the smoke but also to help filter out any harmful particles.

Some modern bongs now have features to help cool the smoke further, such as ice catchers and percolators. 

Why Do People Use A Bong?

Given that you have to clean it, using a bong may seem like a lot of effort. However, there are benefits, such as:

  • Better Filtration - When smoking joints, rolling tips usually offer very little filtration. This means that potentially harmful particles from the smoke go straight into your lungs. With a bong, the smoke travels through the water, which provides a level of filtration. Providing your bong water is clean, you’ll inhale cleaner smoke. 
  • Smoother Smoking Experience - With smoke passing through cool water, it also reduces in temperature. This means it doesn’t burn your throat when you inhale. It allows you to take more in for that bigger hit too. 

People also like the look and design of bongs. At the end of the day, it all depends on your smoking habits and what you prefer.

Why Is It Important To Clean A Bong?

The central reason for cleaning your bong is to avoid any potential health problems. 

Over time, your bong water will get contaminated with smoke and the particles within it. If you’re smoking hash or some types of bud, dark, sticky resin may also find its way into the device. 

If you leave all of this untreated, it can grow mold (usually due to the presence of dirty bong water), sprout bacteria, and even grow fungi. This, in turn, can turn into viruses that you’ll inhale if you continue to use that dirty bong. It can cause serious respiratory illnesses like infections and even pneumonia

A clean bong also leads to a better smoking experience. For example, you’ll be better able to taste the nuances in flavour between marijuana strains. 

That begs the question: how do you know when you should clean your bong?

How Often Should You Clean A Bong?

Well, if you see mold or fungi growing on it, you definitely need to clean it.

But in all seriousness, do we have to clean our bongs often? 

The majority of experts believe that depending on your usage, you should clean your bong every few days and go no longer than a week without a clean. 

However, bong water should be discarded after every smoke session. Its purpose is to filter out harmful particles and if allowed to sit, mold and bacteria can sprout in as little as 24 hours. 

What Equipment Do You Need For Cleaning A Bong?

There are a few recommended pieces of equipment for cleaning bongs. It’s worth investing in them if you want to smoke with a bong long-term. Not only will it make your job a lot easier when it comes to cleaning, but you’ll also have a cleaner bong that produces a better smoke.

  • Isopropyl alcohol - this is a powerful disinfectant and cleaner. A strength of between 91 and 99% is best. 
  • Salt - the likes of Epsom salt or rock salt work well because they're coarse and can clean the inside of the bong when shaken about.
  • Pipe cleaner - if you’re looking for a bit of extra help getting those tough stains off, you might want to buy a bottle of pipe cleaner too. Brands such as Formula 420 work well.
  • Bong cleaner caps - if you want to minimize any mess or the risk of any spillages, you can use cleaning caps or plugs on the various holes in the bong to prevent leakages.
  • Cotton swaps - long-stemmed cotton swabs are good for getting those stubborn stains out
  • Straw brush or bottle brush - if the cotton swaps don’t cut it, you could try more heavy-duty pipe cleaners. A straw brush would work well in many cases. Steel brushes aren’t advised as they can scratch the glass.
  • Washing up soap - last but not least, using good old washing-up soap is good to rinse your bong out with after you’ve treated and cleaned it.

So that’s some of the most helpful equipment we need, now let’s look at how to clean a bong. 

How To Clean A Bong: A Step-By-Step Guide

The process of cleaning a bong is largely the same, with some variations depending on what your bong is made of, as well as the cleaning items you have available. Let’s take a look at how to clean a glass bong first. 

How To Clean A Glass Bong

Let’s take a look at how to clean a bong made of glass:

  1. First, disassemble your bong, removing the likes of the mouthpiece and pipe.
  2. Next, give the bong a good rinse under the tap using warm water. Try to get rid of as much debris and as many stains as you can. 
  3. Bong rinsed, it’s time to add your abrasive material, such as salt. Then add the cleaning solution, such as alcohol. 
  4. Cover the holes of the bong and give it a good shake—be careful not to drop it! The combination of the alcohol and salt will attack any stubborn stains. The longer you shake it the better the results.
  5. If you still have stubborn stains inside your bong, you can repeat step 4 as many times as you need to.
  6. If you have really stubborn stains, you can try leaving your bong to soak in warm water and washing up liquid and then repeat the process above. 
  7. Once you’ve cleaned your bong, it’s time to clean the components. Again you can use alcohol to disinfect them and use the likes of cotton swabs or a straw brush to clean the narrow pieces.
  8. Once you’ve finished, rinse your bong out thoroughly with cold water and allow to dry off. 

How To Clean A Silicone Bong

Silicone bongs are regarded as easier to clean than glass bongs. Given the hardier material it’s used from, some people choose to wash their bongs in a dishwasher. 

But if you’re worried about the smell, you can do it by hand following the same steps detailed above. 

With silicone bongs, you can use boiling water (which can damage glass bongs). The higher temperature can break down stains to give you a nice clean finish. 

Some people also choose to freeze their silicone bong or dab rigs. The material is resistant to cold, so the stains and build-up will freeze and chip away easily. 

However, with silicone bongs, it’s important not to use alcohol. It can break down the material and damage the bong. 

How To Clean A Bong With Household Items

If you need to clean your bong but only have household items at your disposal, have a look around for these:

  • Coarse salt, baking soda or rice to use as an abrasive material
  • Vinegar to use as a cleaner. You can also use the juice from a fresh lemon, which contains citric acid. 
  • Dish soap and warm water

Using these ingredients you can follow the same procedure set out above.

Buy A Bong Today

If you’re looking to buy a new bong, then check out our incredible range in the StonedGenie.com store. Some of the things you can find include:

  • Percolator bongs - these devices are designed to cool the smoke, making for a smoother smoke. Ideal for beginners and seasoned smokers alike. 
  • Zongs - we have a fantastic lineup with some funky designs. 
  • Tall bongs - they come in a range of styles and features, such as honeycomb percolators and ice catchers
  • Pineapple bongs - some of the quirkiest and coolest bongs on sale right now. Available in a range of sizes, from six inches to ten inches.
  • Ice bongs - these products feature an ice catcher which allows you to add ice cubes to cool the smoke. It helps to inhale large volumes of smoke and therefore take big hits.

We also have bongs for all price ranges, with some under $20 and others under $50. If you’d like any advice on buying a bong, feel free to reach out to us using the “help” button at the bottom right side of your screen. 

Key Takeaways On How To Clean A Bong

  • Depending on usage, you should clean your bong every few days and go no longer than a week without cleaning
  • For glass bongs, you can use rubbing alcohol (90%+) and salt to remove the most stubborn stains.
  • Boiling water is best for cleaning silicone bongs—alcohol can damage the material.
  • The best household products to use are salt, vinegar, lemon juice, warm water and dish soap.
  • You can repeat the cleaning process several times to ensure your bong is as clean as it can be.

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