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Best Methods to Clean Your Bong

Added 27 April 2022

Bong

You may have the best weed in town, but what's the point if your bong is not clean? A dirty bong can ruin your smoking experience by making the herb harsher, not to mention the unpleasant taste and various health problems it causes. 

If you love smoking cannabis using a bong, you must ensure it is always squeaky clean. And there are many ways to keep your bong clean. Learn all about cleaning your bong in this article.

Why Your Bong Must Be Clean?

Unclean bong

This one's a given — a clean bong is a must. Cannabis buds have a lot of resin on them, which can build up on the inside of the bong, hampering your smoking experience in various ways. And if you do not clean your bong on time, the sticky resin can render your bong unusable. 

Here are a few reasons why you should clean your bong regularly:

The Resin Biofilm Can Lead to Bacteria Growth

The sticky resin is an organic compound, and if you don't clean it regularly, it can turn into a biofilm where bacteria and other pathogens can breed and grow. Eventually, the same bacteria can end up in your lungs and cause lung infections, among other health problems.

Additionally, the same biofilm can even harbor mold that can grow in just a day. Mold develops very quickly when there's a moist environment and some light — both of which are available in your bong.

Mold is even worse for your health as the mold spores can get in your lungs and cause various health problems like lung infections, asthma, skin irritation, organ damage, and even cancer. 

Resin Buildup Can Dilute the Flavor and Potency

As more and more resin builds up in your bong, it can negate your cannabis' flavor and potency. So, even if you have purchased the highest quality Purple Haze, it will taste like generic cannabis you got from your high school dealer!

Plus, the buildup can make your bong smell bad. And you don't want a smelly bong near you, do you?

It Can Make You Cough More

If your bong is unclean, the residue from the past sessions can make your cannabis harsh to smoke, causing you to cough more. You use a bong so that the cannabis is smooth to smoke, and a dirty bong counteracts that. 

It Can Leave a Bad Impression

This is more of a social problem, but smoking etiquettes are important when smoking up with others. You don't want to come across as someone who gives zero importance to his hygiene. So, no one will appreciate it if you pull out a bong that looks and smells dirty. And it can hamper their smoking experience.

It Can Decrease Your Bong's Life

Lastly, it can affect your bong's life. Resin buildup can cause leaks in the bong, decreasing its life and value. Plus, the bong may start staining over time. 

This is why you must clean your bong.

When to Clean Your Bong?

Bong

The answer to this question entirely depends on how often you use your bong. According to most bong users, you should thoroughly clean your bong at least once a week or every few days. 

However, consider rinsing your bong with warm water after each session because it does not take long for mold and other pathogens to grow in it. 

Here are some instances when you should deep clean your bong:

  • You can see the resin buildup on the bong's insides
  • The water inside looks foggy, brownish, or greenish, or it stinks even if you have just poured clean water
  • You can see some debris in the chamber or the stem
  • Your smoke is harsher than usual, and you can't taste the undernotes of your cannabis 

Even if you don't notice these signs in your bong, you should still clean it regularly, depending on your usage.

How to Clean Your Bong Properly?

Glass bong

Like anything related to cannabis, there are many ways you can clean your bong. The most common method is using isopropyl alcohol and Epsom salt, but you can also clean your bong with hot water, lemon juice, and other techniques. Here are some of the best methods to clean your bong.

Use Isopropyl Alcohol and Epsom Salt 

As mentioned above, this is the most popular (and effective) way to clean your bong. And it works surprisingly well to clean your bong of all the residual resin. Follow the below steps.

Things You Need:

  • 91% to 99% isopropyl or rubbing alcohol — alternatively, you can also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar
  • Epsom salt — alternatively, you can also use rock or Himalayan salt 
  • A large, resealable plastic bag 
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Some dish soap and warm water

Some users are worried that salt will scratch the bong but don't worry. The salts mentioned above are entirely safe to use — they are effective at scrubbing the residual resin but won't scratch the glass. Avoid using other salts as they may be completely ineffective or too harsh for your bong's surface.

Steps on Cleaning the Bong:

Step 1. Dismantle the Bong

In the first step, take apart the bong by removing the stem and the bowl to make it easier for you to clean the bong thoroughly. 

Step 2. Place the Bong in a Resealable Bag

Next, place the bong in resealable bags. At the same time, you can set the bowl and stem in another resealable bag.

If you don't have resealable bags, you can also place the two components in your kitchen sink, but be careful because the sink may scratch the bong, and the resin can stick to the sink's surface.

Step 3. Add Alcohol and Salt to the Bags

Add isopropyl alcohol to the bags. How much do you add? Well, it depends on the size of your bong. But, add just enough to submerge the bong, bowl, and stem. 

Next, add some salt to the bags. Alcohol is enough to remove the resin, but salt helps scrub the bong's inside surface. So, pour a good amount (3 to 4 spoonfuls) of salt into the bags for a thorough scrub.

Step 4. Seal and Shake the Bags

Now, seal the bags properly and ensure they do not leak. Then, shake the bong well, so the salt and alcohol ensure the corners and crevices of the bong.

Pro tip: Flip the bong upside down multiple times to let the salt get in all the deep corners of the bong.

Step 5. Let It Soak

Once you are done shaking the bags, let them sit for at least half an hour. The more, the better. Letting the bong soak well in alcohol and salt allows the mixture to loosen the resin gunk. 

Step 6. Remove the Bong, Bowl, and Stem from the Bags

After a good soak, it's finally time to remove the bong, bowl, and stem from the bags. Next, place them in a safe place and dispose of the bags.

Avoid pouring the alcohol and salt mixture into your sink, as the resin can create a mess in the sink. Instead, reseal the bags and throw them in the garbage bag. 

Step 7. Rinse the Bong, Bowl, and Stem with Warm Water and Mild Soap

Alcohol is flammable, and salt is super harsh if you accidentally smoke it, so you need to remove alcohol and residual salt from your bowl. To do so, rinse the bong, bowl, and stem in warm water and use some mild dish soap to wash the components. 

Just let the bowl dry thoroughly before using it for your next session. You can also use a pipe cleaner and paper towels to dry the components fast.

Using Boiling Water and Lemon 

Lemons

Another method that is quite common among bong users who want a cheap, easy way to clean their bong is to clean the bong with some water and lemon. The hot water and lemon's acidity work together to loosen the grime and clean the bong.

But this is a delicate process and takes a little longer than the alcohol and salt method. You need the water to be hot enough to clean the resin gunk, but it shouldn't be so hot that it cracks the bong! So, you need to be careful.

Let's take a look at how you can do that.

Things You Need:

  • Clean water, preferably filtered
  • A saucepan that can hold your bong 
  • Lemon extract
  • Pipe cleaner and paper towels

Steps to Clean the Bong:

Step 1. Boil the Water

Fill the saucepan with water, ensure your bong can completely submerge in it, and bring the water to a boil. 

Step 2. Let the Water Simmer and Add Lemon Extract

Next, let the water simmer a little. If the water is too hot, it can crack the bong, and if it is too cold, it won't be as effective in cleaning the resin. Ideally, the water should be hot enough to release some bubbles, not boiling.

Then, add some lemon juice to the saucepan. The acidity of lemon helps loosen the resin buildup. Ideally, you should squeeze a couple of lemons, but even pure lemon juice purchases from a grocery store can work.

Step 3. Place the Bong in the Saucepan

Once the bottle is at the right temperature — not boiling hot but still releasing some bubbles — place your bong in the saucepan carefully and let it soak for half an hour. 

You can even stir water from time to time to ensure the lemon juice covers the entire bong.

Step 4. Remove the Bong and Clean It

After half an hour of soaking, remove the bong from the saucepan and thoroughly clean it using a pipe cleaner and some paper towels. 

If you don't have a saucepan that can hold your bong, you can use an alternative method. Squeeze a couple of lemons into your bong and add boiling water over it. Then, let the bong sit for half an hour before draining the water. If you have plugs, you can plug the bong and shake it vigorously, too.

Using Dedicated Bong Cleaners

Bong cleaning brush

Another excellent way to clean your bong easily is to purchase a bong cleaning kit. Bong cleaners are specially made to clean bongs, so you can never go wrong with this method, although a cleaning kit may cost you some money.

You can order bong cleaning kits online or purchase them at your nearest cannabis store. Just remember to choose a high-quality cleaner with good reviews. High-quality bong cleaners are more effective and come with more components that help you clean the bong more effectively.

Most bong cleaners work the same way as the alcohol and salt method mentioned above, just with different ingredients. But read the manufacturer's instructions to know exactly how to use your bong cleaning kit. Not using the kit properly can do more damage than good.

Cleaning a Silicone Bong

Silicone bong

Unlike glass bongs, silicone bongs are much easier to clean. And they are quite durable. However, never use the aforementioned methods to clean silicone bongs as the abrasive salt and lemon can damage the silicone.

Instead, you can use the following methods to clean your silicone bong:

Dishwasher Method

A weird yet effective method to clean a silicone bong is to use your dishwasher. Place your bong in your dishwasher and run it on a 2 to 5-minute cycle. Don't worry — the hot water will not damage your bong since silicone is resistant to heat.

Freezer Methods

You can even place your silicone bong in your freezer. Silicone is resistant to cold temperatures, and the freezer can freeze the gunk and loosen it. Leave your bong in the freezer for a few hours, and then take it out and remove the frozen bits. 

Alcohol Method

If you don't have a dishwasher and your freezer doesn't work for you, you can use alcohol to clean your silicone bong. Silicone does not react to alcohol as it is a polar solvent.

To use this method, submerge your bong in warm alcohol for the night. The alcohol will loosen up all the gunked-up resin. Later, rinse the bong with plain water to remove the gunk and alcohol.

  1. Cleaning Acrylic or Latex Bongs

On the other hand, if you are using an acrylic or latex bong, you don't have many options. Both compounds react to alcohol, which can break them down, and abrasives like salt and lemon can also damage them.

To wash your acrylic or latex bong, you can use hot water and a pipe cleaner. First, fill the bong with hot water and let it sit for some time. After that, rinse it with clean water and use a pipe cleaner to clean the surfaces. 

Rinse and repeat the same cycle until you see clean water coming out.

How to Keep Your Bong Clean?

clean bong

So, you've just cleaned your bong, and don't want it dirty again? While you can't prevent the resin from building up again in your bong, you can still take some steps to keep the bong clean for a few days. Use the following tips to keep your bong clean.

Always Use Fresh Water for Each Session

The best way to keep your bong clean is to use clean, filtered water for each session and empty the bong after every session.

As you use the bong, the resin gets suspended in the water. Over time, the resin starts settling on the surface of the bong and hardening. So, if you dispose of the water after each session, you won't allow the resin to settle on the surface.

Add a Few Drops of Lemon

If you don't mind adding a little citrusy flavor to your cannabis, you can also add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the water before your session. 

The citrus acid in the lemon will break down the resin, preventing it from settling on the bong's surface. The same acid will add a citrusy flavor and smell to your cannabis, keeping your bong smell fresh during the session.

Use Filtered Water

Unfiltered or tap water is rich in minerals, good for growing cannabis but not smoking it. These materials that make your water hard can also lead to various stains on your glass bongs that can be difficult to remove. 

This is why you should always use filtered water to fill and clean your bong.

Don't Let Water Sit in the Bong

We've all done this. Remember how you used the bong, had a fun time, and let it sit on the coffee table for the rest of the night? Well, it turns out it's a bad idea. Dirty water enables the resin to stick to the inner surfaces and allows algae and bacteria to grow. It makes your bong ever more messier. 

Every time you use your bong, ensure you drain it and rinse it with clean water to prevent resin, bacteria, and algae buildup.

Keep the Bong Out of Sunlight

Similarly, keep your bong out of sunlight. Algae and bacteria use sunlight to produce energy and grow in numbers. Therefore, if you leave your bong out in the sunlight, it can start harboring various harmful bacteria and algae. Instead, store your bong in a cool, dry, and dark place when not in use.

Choose a High-Quality Bong That's Easy to Clean

You can do everything to keep your bong clean, but your cleaning strategies won't be enough if it has a bad design or defective materials. Your bong will get dirty.

Instead, invest in a high-quality bong that you can clean easily. There are many well-designed bongs available on the market. Choose one that you like and fits your budget. Remember to read the care instructions and reviews on the same, too. 

Invest in an Ash Catcher

If you don't mind spending more money, you can invest in an ash catcher. It is essentially an add-on accessory for your bong, which keeps your bong water clean. In addition, this accessory filters the smoke before it enters the bong, preventing the ash and resin from reaching the water. 

Additionally, an ash catcher can also filter some carcinogens, giving you a smoother and healthier toke of cannabis!

Summary: Best Methods to Clean Your Bong

Smoking cannabis from a bong is quite a rewarding and fun experience, but a dirty bong can ruin it all. This is why you must always clean your bong. 

Depending on the usage, you should clean your bong at least once a week and rinse it with clean water after each session. And when you are storing your bong, ensure it is dry and placed in a cool, dark place.

You can use various methods to clean your bong. The most popular technique is to use 91% to 99% isopropyl or rubbing alcohol with Epsom salt. The alcohol helps loosen the resin buildup, and salt scrubs the surface, further removing any residual resin from the surface. 

But if you are looking for something simple, you can use some lemon juice and boiling water to clean the bong. Just place your bong in some almost boiling water and add some lemon drops to it. Within half an hour, the hot water and citrus acid from the lemon will remove all the resin buildup from the bong.

Lastly, you can use special bong cleaning kits, too. They are easy to use but come at a bit of cost. However, if you don't mind shelling out that extra money, they work well to keep your bong looking new and smoking fresh.

Apart from simply cleaning your bong, use the tips mentioned above to keep your bong clean and well-maintained. 

If you take this extra effort to keep your bong clean, you will enjoy a smoother, cleaner cannabis toke without the risk of inhaling mold or bacteria. Plus, a clean bong gives a better impression of you in the community. So it is worth the extra effort.








Comments

S_V_F_O
S_V_F_O

Boiling water 2-3 times Cleanses perfectly!

MasterKush714
MasterKush714

ISO and GRANULATED Salt, epsom is best, but the salt has to be right, then using water to let it dissolve = PERFECTTTTT!!!!!!!!!! LETS GOOOOOO :D