How to Clean a Bong (Step-by-Step Guide)

How to clean a bong

There are countless reasons for why smoking out of a dirty bong is a bad idea. Even though most of us are guilty of doing precisely that during our college years (and after), it’s important that as we mature, our habits mature too.

In the comprehensive guide on how to clean a bong, we delve into the intricacies of bong care, providing valuable insights to ensure a pristine and enjoyable smoking experience.

As we grow older, we naturally start paying more attention to things like hygiene and health. However, apart from those two things, there are many other reasons why keeping our bongs clean at all times is something all of us should start practicing ASAP.

But, before we list a few of the most efficient techniques for keeping your bong clean, let’s run through a few key reasons why it’s super important to pay attention to the cleanliness of your smoking gear.

Dangers of smoking out of a dirty bong

First and foremost, smoking out of a dirty bong severely compromises the flavor of the herb you’re smoking. By doing this, not only are you destroying the taste (which becomes less smooth and more tarry), but you’re throwing your hard-earned money away. Instead of doing a massive disservice to your smoking crew and yourself, clean your bong first.

Oftentimes various kinds of debris and resin found within the bong’s crucial parts like the stem and bowl severely hinder the performance of the device by clogging it up.

If you don’t clean your bong regularly, you’ll end up with a lot of sticky buildup that is very difficult to scrub off. This means that you’re going to have to put a ton of work into removing this slimy mold and resin from your bong if you don’t end up ruining it completely.

Most importantly, smoking out of a dirty bong is bad news for your health. Did you know that it takes less than 24 hours for the nasty biofilm to form? More precisely, this biofilm is the breeding ground of all kinds of hazardous microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria.

On top of this, when you’re using a bong, a lot of resin and burnt herb ends up in the water as well, further contaminating the formed biofilm with pathogens like E. Coli, Streptococcus, and Flavobacterium.

These pathogens can cause serious pulmonary problems such as emphysema, pneumonia, and many others.

When everything is taken into consideration, it becomes painfully clear that there’s much more to lose than to gain from keeping your bong dirty. 

However, all is not lost. Here’s what you should do:

Turn bong cleaning into a habit

The best way to avoid all the previously mentioned dangers of smoking out of a dirty bong is to turn the, often tedious, cleaning process into a daily/weekly habit.

Here’s what we mean by that:

  • If you’re an avid/daily smoker, make sure to change the water in your bong every single day!
  • Don’t leave the bong filled with water if you’re not using it that day.
  • Rinse out the bong with hot water once a day, when it suits you the most, and make a habit out of it.
  • At least once a week, clean your bong with the mixture of isopropyl alcohol and salt (the most common and efficient technique). 

If you adhere to this practice, you’ll find that your bong will get dirty less frequently, and when it does, it won’t require a ton of laborious scrubbing to become sparkling clean once again.

This practice will save you a ton of time and won’t put your patience to the test. Think about it for a second. Is it better to spend 5 minutes each day cleaning your bong, or a couple of hours when it hasn’t been cleaned for ages?

Give it a shot. We promise you won’t regret it.

Before we move on to the most efficient bong cleaning techniques, we’d like to give you two additional pieces of advice. The first one is related to how you store your bong. If you’re not using it, it would be best to keep it well protected within a hard case or a bong bag.

The second piece of advice is to use filtered water both when you’re smoking and when you’re rinsing out your equipment. This will prevent any water stains from forming inside your bong.

Best bong cleaning techniques

As you might imagine, people rely on various techniques to keep their bongs sparkling clean. However, not all of those techniques apply to all types of bongs. For example, silicone and glass bongs can’t withstand the same cleaning treatment.

Learn about the effective methods for cleaning a bong, with a step-by-step guide that ensures optimal hygiene and functionality. This information is especially useful for enthusiasts of glass filter tips for joints, looking to maintain their smoking gear in top condition.

Here’s everything you need to know about the most efficient bong cleaning techniques:

Rubbing alcohol and salt for glass bongs

Most of the time, smokers rely on this well-known recipe for keeping their bongs clean. It’s a super reliable and inexpensive technique, but it’s suitable only for ceramic and glass bongs.

These are the steps you need to take:

  1. Disassemble your bong.
  2. Seal the holes (either with res caps or a plastic bag with a rubber band securing it in place over the hole), pour a layer of salt in it and add rubbing alcohol.
  3. Give it a good shake and let it rest for up to 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat the shaking at least three more times.
  5. Rinse out with warm water.

For the disassembled parts, put them in a Ziploc bag with the same alcohol and salt mixture. Let them sit in it for at least 30 minutes.

However, if you’re looking to go full-on natural, you can replace the alcohol with either vinegar or lemon juice. Both of these will get the job done almost as good as alcohol, but the process will last a lot longer. It would be best if you left your gear sitting in the mixture overnight to achieve the best possible results.

Vinegar also works wonders when combined with baking soda instead of salt. The best thing about this combination is that it leaves no unpleasant odors behind, and it’s completely safe and natural.

Also, you can use a mixture of lemon juice and water to get rid of the nasty water stains on your bong. Moreover, you can even add a couple (no more) of drops of lemon juice in the water while you’re smoking. The enzymes found in lemon juice will prevent sticky resin buildup from forming.

Silicone bongs are the easiest to clean

Unlike glass, silicone and alcohol aren’t exactly fond of each other. In fact, if you use alcohol to clean up your bong, you’ll most likely ruin it completely. Alcohol severely deforms silicone’s chemical structure and weakens it irrevocably.

But, luckily, silicone bongs are the easiest ones to clean because, most of the time, they are dishwasher safe.

The only thing you should be cautious about is whether your silicone bong is made with a chemical called BPA. Humans aren’t designed to consume this chemical, and if you do end up washing the bong in the dishwasher, it will activate this toxin and let it leach into into the bong itself.

Therefore, if you’ve yet to purchase a bong and you’re looking to get a silicone one, make sure that you buy one that’s BPA-free!

Of course, it would be smart to rinse out the bong with warm water after it’s been washed in the dishwasher. You don’t want to smoke soap now, do you?

Make a change for the better

Hopefully, we’ve helped you realize the importance of keeping your smoking gear gleaming. As you’ve seen, it doesn’t take a ton of time and effort to do, but the benefits of doing it are profound.

Best of all, you can even use 100% natural ingredients to clean your bong to ensure safe weed smoking sessions afterward.

Treat yourself, your smoking companions, your herbs, and your gear with respect. Make a change for the better, today! 

About the author
Helena Miles

Experienced journalist with a decade-long experience of researching cannabis. She has been featured in many prominent outlets, such as The Growth Op, National Post and The Province.

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