How to Clean a Bong

Cleaning a bong can feel like the most tedious, difficult, and unnecessary aspect of bong ownership. But if you’re a regular bong user, how you clean a bong is an essential task.

If you don’t know how to clean out a bong, you are depriving yourself of getting a quality bong hit every time. Even the best cannabis gets diminished when smoked out of a dirty bong.

Think of it this way. Would you reuse the filter in your joint? Well, used bong water is even more disgusting than a used filter.

When you let bong water sit, mold and bacteria grow quickly inside your bong. Inhaling these substances can lead to lung damage.

You wouldn’t just let mold grow in your home, would you? So why let it cultivate inside your bong?

We believe it’s possible to turn even the cleaning aspect of bong ownership into a ceremonial ritual. In this article, we won’t tell you the best way to clean a bong, we’ll tell you all the best ways to do it.

How Often Do You Need to Clean a Bong?

Experts recommend you clean a bong every few days to a week of use. For the best results, you should empty and replace your bong water every time you smoke.

Mold begins to grow within 24 hours, so any time water sits in the bong it is at risk of growing mold. You should also consider cleaning parts of your apparatus, like the bowl, after every smoke session.

Looking at the color of your bong water is the most efficient way to know if you’ve waited too long to give your bong a good clean.

You may not see the resin build-up yet, but if the water is looking dirty, brownish, or greenish it’s full of resin and may already be colonizing mold.

If your bong water is darker brown, or almost black, you have waited way too long to attend to your bong. Yuck!

Ways to Clean a Bong

Cleaning your bong and using fresh water every time you smoke will dramatically improve your entire smoking experience. When you use a dirty bong, you don’t get the full flavor profile of your cannabis with each hit.

Taking the time to properly care for your bong will also increase its lifespan and usefulness.

There is no significant difference between how to clean a water bong, how to clean a glass bong, and how to clean a plastic bong. Pretty much the same rules apply to all types of bongs.

You just may want to check the quality of the plastic before adding boiling water. Here are our top bong cleaning methods in order of effectiveness.

Bong Cleaning Solution

If you don’t mind spending a bit of money on your bong’s upkeep, cleaning your bong with a pre-made bong cleaning solution is a great option. Some of our top choices for bong cleaners include Formula 420 and Orange Chronic.

Formula 420 is biodegradable and non-toxic. It is safe to use on glass, ceramic, and metal bongs, but not ideal for plastic or silicone.

Orange Chronic is an eco-friendly, alcohol-based cleaner that does not leave behind any kind of odor or taste. It is effective at cleaning glass, silicone, ceramic, and metal bongs.

Adding boiling water to your bong after applying the cleaning solution will help remove any built-up resin more efficiently than the cleaner alone.

99 Percent Alcohol

If you are looking for a more affordable way to clean a bong, we recommend using 99 percent isopropyl alcohol. No trace of bacteria or mold can escape the cleaning powers of a potent alcohol solution.

For the best results, soak your bong in the alcohol solution. Then use a long-handled, rough-bristled bottle brush or reusable straw cleaning brush to scrub the interior of your bong. That will ensure you get all the resin off.

91 Percent Alcohol

If you can’t find 99 percent isopropyl alcohol, 91 percent will do. But you shouldn’t use an alcohol solution that’s more diluted than that or it will leave traces of bacteria inside your bong. And then what was all that effort for?

If you have to use 91 percent alcohol instead of 99 percent, just make sure to soak your bong in the alcohol solution for a longer period of time before rinsing.


A cost-free and classic approach to how to clean a bong is to use a pot of boiling water. Just bring the water to a simmering boil (as opposed to a rolling boil), immerse the bong completely, and wait 25 to 30 minutes.

It is imperative that your pot is large enough to fully immerse the bong. Otherwise, you will end up with a bong that is only partially clean.

Epsom Salt & Alcohol

Adding Epsom salt to your alcohol bong cleaning solution is a great way to add some extra cleaning power.

First, you’ll want to remove the mouthpiece and the pipe from your bong. Then pour in either 99 percent or 91 percent isopropyl alcohol and add a coarse salt such as Epsom salt. Rock salt will work too.

Cover the open ends of your bong and shake vigorously for five minutes. Then empty the bong and rinse it with water and soap.

Lemon Juice

Adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to your bong will help to remove foul odors and grime from your bong. Just add lemon juice and boiling water to your bong and shake it vigorously.

Then wait five minutes so the heat from the water and the acid from the lemon can do their work. Empty and rinse your bong and you’re good to go.

It is important to note that cleaning your bong with lemon should be used as more of an extra step or an interim clean in between thorough cleanings with a stronger solution like isopropyl alcohol.

Best Way to Clean a Bong

The best way to clean a bong is to use a strong cleaning solution like isopropyl alcohol combined with a hard-bristle brush or coarse salt to remove all the resin and bacteria.

Changing your bong water every time you use it and cleaning your mouthpiece regularly will also do a lot to improve your experience.

In the mood for a new water bong or dab rig? Treat yourself to our selection of high-quality glassware to suit all your smoking needs.

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