How to Clean a Bong - 420 Science

How to Clean a Bong

Let's talk dirty bongs and how to clean a bong... You wouldn’t use the same pan for cooking all of your meals without washing it. It would be gross, your food would taste nasty, and you might get sick.

The same thing happens when you don’t clean your bong. A dirty bong is terrible for your health. It negatively impacts the flavor of your cannabis, and you don’t get the full effects of smoking.

So why are you smoking out of a dirty bong? Maybe it’s because you don’t know how to clean a bong. After all, you can’t just throw it in the dishwasher. If “know-how” is why you aren’t cleaning your bong, don’t worry. We’re here to help and show you how to clean a bong the right way.

Why Should You Clean Your Bong?

We alluded above to some obvious reasons why you should clean your bong. Honestly, it’s just gross not to. It’s not sanitary, but it also negatively affects the quality of your smoke sesh in many ways we’ll describe below.

A Dirty Bong Smells Awful

Have you ever gone to take a bite of something, but as you move the food closer to your mouth, the smell is so off you can’t bring yourself to taste it? Your bong will start to get that rank smell if you don’t clean it. Once you’ve smelled a dirty bong, you know exactly what we’re talking about. There’s no other funky smell quite like that mildew and bacteria combo that gets stuck in there.

A Clean Bong Hits Smoother

Maybe you aren’t afraid of a little bit of gunk and stink, but you do want your smoke to be good. Hits taste better from a clean bong because they aren’t competing with the smell of old weed, nasty water, and resin buildup. That means your smoke will be smoother.

Also, remember, the more complex the air path from the bowl to your mouth, the more difficult your bong will be to clean. This complexity also signifies that your bong needs cleaning more regularly because there’s a greater opportunity for stuff to stick in there.

A Dirty Bong Can Actually Make You Sick

The last thing you need is your bong making you sick, which can happen if you don’t clean it. A dirty bong can give you respiratory infections because of bacteria and inhalation of mold spores. To help avoid getting sick, always store your bong empty. Don’t leave water in it. That can grow mold. A biofilm will start growing after a day or so of water setting. It’s awful for your lungs.

You may think you can see if your bong is clean, but that’s not always the case. Mold isn’t always green. So don’t assume that your bong is clean just because it’s not growing green stuff.

Oh, and always clean your bong after you smoke with others. It’s not a good idea to share a bong right now with so many people getting sick from COVID-19, but if you risk it, be sure to clean your bong afterward. You don’t want to repeatedly expose yourself to others’ germs. You also may want to consider using some cleaning wipes before you pass the bong.

clean bong

A Clean Bong Looks Amazing!

You probably spent a lot of money on your bong because you liked the way it looked. Keep it looking great and help it last longer by cleaning it regularly. Think of a clean bong as a way to reflect that you know your stuff, whether you’re recommending a particular strain or a tool someone else should use.

3 Ways to Clean Your Bong

Now that we convinced you to clean the stinky gunk out of your bong, the question becomes how. There are three common ways to clean a bong — boiling water, isopropyl alcohol and Kosher salt, or bong cleaner. We’ll describe each method below, so you can decide which will work best for you. Regardless of which way you choose, you’ll need to keep some supplies on hand.

Supplies to clean your bong include:

Your bong also will be easier to clean if you have a set of hole plugs for it. The plugs let you block the mouthpiece and downstem, so you can fill the bong with cleaner and let it set.

1. Cleaning a Bong with Boiling Water

We started with this method because you have water, but it’s probably the riskiest way to clean your bong. Boiling a glass bong can cause it to shatter. So, while this isn’t our favorite approach, it works if you’re careful.

To clean your bong with boiling water:

  • Empty the bong and rinse it out well with warm water.
  • Place your bong in a pot large enough to hold it.
  • Cover the bong with cold water.
  • Heat the water at medium/low heat. Heat the water slowly so you don’t crack the glass.
  • Bring the water to a simmering boil and keep it there for 25-35 minutes.
  • Remove the bong from the water and place it on a towel to cool.
  • Use cotton swabs, pipe cleaners, and a bottle brush to clean any leftover residue out of bong parts.
  • When the bong is cool, rinse it out and off with warm water. Do not rinse the bong while it is still hot. Also, don’t rinse it in cold water, or it will crack or bust.

While this cleaning method will work, we have to be honest and tell you it’s risky. Getting glass too hot or cold too quickly can cause it to crack or shatter. The same is true when cleaning a glass pipe. Gotta be careful if you clean this way.

2. How to Clean a Bong with Kosher Salt and Isopropyl Alcohol

You can use Kosher salt and isopropyl alcohol when cleaning a bong or any other tools you use for smoking cannabis. The mixture is a kind of homemade bong cleaner. Use 91% isopropyl alcohol, not rubbing alcohol, because it’s stronger. When learning how to clean a bong with alcohol, it’s essential to get the ingredients right.

To clean your bong with Kosher salt and isopropyl alcohol:

  • Empty the bong and rinse it out well with warm water.
  • Fill it halfway with warm water.
  • Take the bong apart so you can clean the pieces. Remove all of the parts you can, including the pipe and the mouthpiece. Also, it is an excellent time to check to make sure all of the bong parts are in good shape and replace any that need replacing.
  • Add the salt and rubbing alcohol to the base of your bong.
  • Plug the holes with your fingers or stoppers and shake the mixture inside the bong for about five minutes.
  • Rinse the solution out with clean, warm water.
  • If your bong still doesn’t look clean, you can repeat this process as many times as you need to.

When using this method, you can put the small pieces of your bong in a zipper bag, cover them with alcohol, add salt, and let them soak while you clean your bong. You also can use cotton swabs, pipe cleaners, and a bottle brush to clean any leftover residue out of bong parts.

Only use this method on glass bongs. If you have an acrylic bong, using alcohol on it will tear it up. You should know that cleaning your bong this way probably will lead to scratches, and it will damage the longevity of your piece, regardless of material.

3. How to Use Bong Cleaners

Perhaps the simplest and best way to clean a bong and make sure you do it regularly is to keep bong cleaners on hand. Bong cleaners don’t damage your bong, regardless of its material. They’re also safe to use.

420 Science has bong cleaning kits for an all-in-one cleaning option. They’ll get all the resin, residue, and plant matter out of your bong, giving you the most flavorful, effective hit. If you run out of a specific supply in your kit or aren’t ready to buy a complete kit, no problem. 420 Science has individual components too.

The process of using a bong cleaning kit is pretty much what we described above with salt and alcohol, just with different products.

But before we go into other methods of cleaning a bong, let us tell you about a little trick. You can use ReZBlock to keep your bong cleaner for longer. The all-natural resin preventer stops resin from sticking to your bong wherever water touches it. It doesn’t keep you from having to clean your bong, but it makes it a lot easier to clean when you do.

natural bong cleaning

Other Methods to Clean a Bong

There are some other, lesser-known ways to clean your bong. While these methods may work, they aren’t quite as common and may negatively affect your bong’s lifespan.

Lemon Juice

You can use lemon juice to clean your bong and to make it easier to clean. If you put five to 10 drops of lemon juice in your bong water, it keeps resin from sticking to the glass, making your bong easier to clean. You also can use lemon juice and hot water to clean your bong, following the steps above. If you have hard water stains in your bong, use warm water and lemon juice to clean it out, then rinse it with cold water.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Using baking soda and vinegar is the messiest way to clean your bong, but it will work if that’s what you have on hand and it needs cleaning.

To clean your bong with baking soda and vinegar:

  • Put your bong in the kitchen sink
  • Pour half a cup of baking soda into the chamber
  • Fill the bong with vinegar
  • It will bubble up (and probably over), but you also may want to swirl it around to get all the parts clean.
  • Leave the mixture in your bong for five minutes or so
  • Rinse it out with clean, warm water.
  • If your bong still doesn’t look clean, you can repeat this process as many times as you need to.
  • Use cotton swabs, pipe cleaners, and a bottle brush to clean any leftover residue out of bong parts.

Liquid Dish Soap

Now we’re getting to the point of advising you to clean your bong with things we know you have in your kitchen. Again, these aren’t the easiest or most effective ways to clean your bong, but they’re better than nothing.

If your bong is filthy, you can soak it in warm water and liquid dish soap before using any of the methods above. Alternatively, you can use warm water and dish soap to soak, scrub, and clean it, but it will take more work to make it sparkle.

How Often You Should Clean Your Bong

How often you should clean your bong depends on how much you use it. Most people recommend rinsing your bong out well with warm water every time you use it and never leaving dirty water in your bong. Aside from that, you should do a more thorough cleaning weekly or monthly, depending on use.

Don’t underestimate how quickly your bong can get dirty and the importance of cleaning. The more regularly you clean it, the easier it will be to clean and the less likely you’ll have to soak it and use all the tools to deep clean it.

We get that you may not know when to clean your bong. But there’s a pretty simple way to tell. If your bong doesn’t look like it did when you bought it, you need to clean it.

You should clean your bong when:

  • Resin builds up on the glass
  • The water isn’t clear anymore
  • The water stinks
  • There’s debris in the chamber
  • It looks like it’s stained

What is the Best Way to Clean Your Bong?

If you aren’t already cleaning your bong, now’s the time to start. You certainly don’t want your bong making you or anyone else sick. And you want to get the most out of the time you spend smoking.

You can use some basic household products and get your bong clean. But the best way to keep your bong in pristine condition and make sure it lasts is to use products specifically designed for bong cleaning.

At 420 Science, we have everything you need, from the bongs themselves to bong cleaners to keep them in like-new condition. Still have questions about what you need or how to clean your bong? We’re happy to help. Just contact us.

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