How to Clean a Bong For Beginners [Complete Guide]

No one wants to eat their food from a dirty p-late or drink their tea from a dirty cup because it is both unhealthy and disgusting. Using dirty utensils also portrays a bad picture and people may judge you wrongly by that.  The same goes for WEED smokers that use bong to enjoy their favourite hits.

There is every need to inhale your hit from a clean and hygienic bong but some smokers feel that there is absolutely no need to clean the glass pipes they use as their smoking apparatus. The bongs can affect the quality of smoke if left unclean because of the toxins they collect with time. This toxin ranges from sticky resin to various forms of harmful organisms.

How to Clean a Bong

Before we jump to different ways of HOW TO CLEAN YOUR BONG, here is a simple definition of what a bong is for those that may not be knowledgeable.

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What is a Bong?

The urban dictionary defines a bong as “a device used for smoking various substances, mainly marijuana”. Though vape pens are slowly taking over the use of bongs in the marijuana industry, bongs remain useful especially to both the younger and the older marijuana smokers. Bongs date back to the 1960’s and they retain the same kind of personality they did back then even today.

What is a Bong

They come in different sizes and stunning designs. You will find some that are handcrafted and others just plain glass devices. Bongs have two openings one at the neck where the user inhales the vapour from and one just above the base where the user lights up the liquid to get the vapour.

Why Should You Clean A Bong?

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As we said in the beginning of this article, no one wants to eat his or her food from a dirty plate. Bong owners know that they should have clean devices but majority do not know how often they should clean the bongs. How often you clean your bong depends entirely on your personal preference the number of times you use the device.

Some users will clean their bong after every use while others will clean it after a few uses. The best time to clean the bong is every second day to avoid using a dirty device that may cause you problems. The following are the reasons why you should use a clean bong at all times.

Avoid the growth of fungus, bacteria and mold

Bongs contain stagnant water, which is the perfect breeding atmosphere for fungus, and harm causing bacteria. The cause of the formation of fungus and bacteria is because the bongs lack ventilation spaces so there is no airflow to keep the stagnant water fresh. The water forms some black and a pink film, which are clear indications of organisms.


The pink lining is fungus called Fusarium that grows mostly in damp placed. Fusarium is harmful to health and it is known to destroy cannabis plants. When mold grows in the bongs, it also becomes harder to clean it off leaving the bongs looking shady. Mold in bongs varies in both color and appearance. It can be white, black, grey, pink or green.

Allowing mold to grow in your bong means that every time you inhale your weed, you will be introducing mold spores into your system. Mold spores in the system are a large recipe for different kinds of illnesses and a reason why you should clean your bong as often as possible.

To keep your weed tasting fresh always

When you use a clean bong, it is understood that you will get fresh and clean tasting weed every time you smoke. Marijuana is not a cheap product and it is worthwhile to get your money’s worth from the taste of your hit. Not cleaning your bong regularly leaves it with residues from your previous smoking sessions.

There is also the possibility that smoking from a dirty bong means that you may smoke drool from someone else that used your bong. This may affect your respiratory system leading to uncalled for illnesses and discomforts. A clean bong brings out the true flavours and taste of your favourite strains.

Superior THC high

The main reason for smoking is to feel the THC high hit your body system. You cannot get the best hit from a dirty bong. For THC to give you the kind of high you want, it has to get a straightforward path to your lungs.

A dirty bong may have a build-up of sticky resin on the sides and even the base of the bong. This could also extend to the neck of the bong. Sticky resin and other impurities will prevent you from enjoying the full effects of THC.

Smoother puffs and hits

Dirty weed may also lead to you not enjoying a smooth hit. When the smoke is not smooth enough, it is harsh on the lungs, which may lead to bouts of coughing. This could be due to clogging and impurities and therefore the reason why you should have a clean bong with clear water at all times.

When should you clean your bong?

When you notice the following scenarios, it is time to clean your bong

  • When bong water starts to smell, looks discoloured and turns into a brown color, then it is time to clean the bong and give it fresh water
  • If you find significant resin build-up on the side, base or neck of the bong, then it is time to give your bong a thorough cleansing
  • when a slimy film which could be anything from pink to grey, white or green forms on the inside of the bong, then that’s an indication that harmful organisms such as fungus, bacteria and mold are breech in your bong device and it is time for a clean-up.
  • If you see the bogs walls dotted with any spots or specks, stop smoking and clean your pipe.

How to clean a bong

How to clean a bong 2

There are different ways of cleaning your bong. You can use plain water and cleaning liquids or salt cleaners to make them look sparkling clean. Below are the most common methods of cleaning your bong.

Quick wash

This method takes less than three minutes to give you a clean bonk and it is for those that either want to hit on their favourite weed quickly but do not have the time to soak their bong devices or those that just love doing their stuff fast. This method of scrubbing is ideal for moderate to heavily used bongs and it is the easiest method to use even for first time users.

In this quick scrub method, make sure you have the right cleaning liquid. You will find these chemical cleaners in many of the places that sell bongs and vaping juice. The cleaners contain salt, which makes it easier to scrub the bongs within two to three minutes. Make sure you shake the salt liquid well before pouring it into the bong.

Shaking the liquid ensures that you get an even spread of salt. It also ensures that you do not use the liquid only without the salt, which if not shaken well may rest, at the bottom of your cleaning product. Once you have the amount that you need into the bong, shake it hard for two minutes. This scrubs off all the resin. After this, rinse the bong thoroughly in clean water and you are ready to fill it with new and fresh liquid for your next hit.

Deep soaking

If you are not in a hurry and want to give your bong a deep cleansing, then you should try the deep soaking method, which takes about two hours. Deep soaking is most suitable for bongs that have accumulated dirt for a long time. A dirty bong shows neglect and it is a haven for harmful organisms.

When resin stays on for long, it cakes and removing it with a quick scrub may prove worthless and only a deep soak in a strong liquid cleaner would get rid of the caked resin. You need strong cleaning reagents such as KUSH CLEAN, which will leave your bong sparkling clean. What you need to do is soak the bong in the liquid for about two hours.

You do not even have to shake the liquid, as the mixture is uniform with no salt to settle at the base. Once you are sure all the resin is off, pour the liquid out to another device that needs cleaning. Then rinse the bong out with warm water, which helps to remove any remaining resin. The good thing with using a cleaning liquid is that you can recycle it. All you need is to use a filter to transfer the used liquid into another device.

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Product review Kush Clean

Kush clean is one of the best glass cleaners in the market especially for weed bongs. It does not require much effort and even first time bong users can use it with ease. All you do is soak your device in the liquid, wait for all the dirt to come off and rinse the device naturally. Kush clean is re-usable, comes with an amazing scent, removes resins, oils and tars and deodorises the bong. You can actually get four uses from the same liquid if you filter the used liquid with a coffee filter.

Water and lemon method

You cannot clean anything without water but using just plain water to clean dirty bongs may not make it clean. You need to use it alongside something else such as lemon that has stronger cleaning powers. Though lemon and water is not the most effective way to clean older resin build up, it is ideal for bongs with moderate to little dirt.


Using lemon and water mixture is the best method to use for regular cleaning especially for those that clean their bongs every few days. The method also requires a boiling process so ensure that your glass bot and pipes can withstand he heat. You can boost the sparkling effects by adding other cleaning liquids to the mixture.

What you need for this method are a deep saucepan, purified water, lemon juice, paper towels for drying the bong and safety tools to handle the hot devices. Pour the purified water and lemon into the saucepan and let the mixture boil. Place the bong and all other accessories into the liquid until they submerge. Turn the heat to a low level and let the devices simmer for 45 minutes. You can rotate the devices for maximum coverage. Using a pair of safety tongs, remove the pieces and place them on paper towels to dry.

Cleaning with alcohol

Using alcohol to clean the bong is probably one of the most popular cleaning methods. This is so especially for those that do not know of any other cleaning liquids in the market. Alcohol works well with salt but you can also use baking soda in place of the normal salt. Some people also like to add vinegar to the mix and others add mouthwash.

Alcohol is as popular as it is dangerous so you must be very careful when washing your bong and pipes. For starters, it is highly flammable so the place you carry out your cleaning should be fireproof. The best salt to use with alcohol is Iodine Free Salt. Once you have gathered all the ingredients you need for the cleaning exercise, pour a half cup of salt into the bong. After that, add twice as much alcohol as the salt into the bong. Always keep the ratio at 2:1.

Cap your bong by covering the upper and lower opening of the bong. After this, shake the bong thoroughly for as long as you can until all the resin and dirt comes off the sides and base of the bong. You also need to be very careful when shaking to avoid any breakages. After you are certain that the bong is clear of all caked residue, rinse it with warm water to get rid of any remaining residue.

If you do not rinse off the alcohol completely you may notice a blue flame when you light up for a hit. A blue flame is an indication that your bong still contains some alcohol. Salt on the other hand can scratch the glass while you are cleaning because it is abrasive. Scratches from salt can create hiding spaces for tar and resin making the bongs become dirty faster than usual. This is why it is very important to be careful when using alcohol and salt mixture.

The best alcohol to use for bong cleaning is ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL.

Maintenance measures to take to keep your bong clean

All the above cleaning methods take up time especially if your device goes for a while without any cleaning. You can avoid all this mess by regularly cleaning your bong. Regular maintenance means that you can actually clean your bong after every single use by simply rinsing it with hot water.

Doing this daily ensures that the bong does not get a build-up of resin or have fungus and mold growing in the liquid. While you smoke, you can also add two drops of lemon juice to the water inside the bong. Lemon contains enzymes that help to break resin that builds up on the walls of your bong.

Lemon water besides helping to keep the sticky resin away also helps to kill the smell that comes with bong water. You will always feel as if you are smoking something fresh and clean every time. Another way to keep your bong clean and dirt free is to a store it empty always when you are not smoking.

Some people keep the water in the bong even when they are not smoking which in turns attracts the build-up of dirt and harmful organisms. Make sure it is always empty, rinsed well and always dry before your next use. Hard water also causes stains to the bong. to combat this menace, pour some vinegar into the bong and let it sit for a while. swish the vinegar for two minutes and rinse the bong with hot water. after you are done, air dry your bong.

Wrapping it up

It does not require rocket science to know that you need to keep your bong clean at all times if you care for your health and the feel of a good quality hit. Cleaning your bong does not require specialised and expensive cleaners. You can use readily available ingredients such as lemon, salt, vinegar, baking soda and water to keep your bong sparkling clean and hygienic to use at all times. Using toxic chemicals to clean your bong is not advisable as they may leave compounds that may harm your lungs and throat.

We hope with the above guidelines, you will not have to worry about having a clean and safe hit form your weed next time you smoke. We will also be glad to hear your views or comments on the above article. For more information you may need on anything concerning Cannabis Strains, Weed Growth Stages, Health and Recreation Benefits, Growing Mediums, and Growing Equipment among many others, check out earlier articles

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Bowden draws from over a decade of home growing experience as well as consulting for small-scale and hobbyist-level growers. He has written hundreds of articles, thought pieces, and tutorials about growing cannabis at home

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