How to Clean Your Bong 101
How to Clean Your Bong: The Basics
Bongs are a timeless and efficient way to smoke weed. They’re easy to use, deliver a robust high and, aside from electronic flower vaporizers, are generally the cleanest way to smoke flower. That is – if you’re diligent about cleaning your bong. So here’s a quick guide on the basics of how to clean your bong.
Although regularly cleaning a bong can feel like a monumental task, there’s no better feeling than that first rip after a good clean!
Different people swear by different cleaning methods, but the process below is sure to leave your bong, bowl piece, and slide sparkling clean.
1. Gather your bong cleaning materials.
- Your empty bong (with slide and bowl piece removed)
- 91% or 99% isopropyl alcohol (not 70% – it may help clean it but it won’t make it spotless)
- Coarse salt (sea salt or Epsom salt are recommended)
- 1 or 2 Ziploc bags for the slide and bowl piece
2. Add the isopropyl alcohol (AKA iso).
You may not need as much as you think, start with less and add more as you see fit. For really crusted pieces that haven’t been cleaned in a long time, you can microwave the iso in a glass container for no more than 30 seconds. Warm iso can tackle even the toughest resin with ease.
3. Add lots of salt.
You may need more than you think! The key to a clean bong is agitating the resin that accumulates on its inner walls. Big chunks of salt are the best way to scrape that off. Some people opt for a scrub brush, but with enough salt it isn’t necessary.
4. Close off both openings of your bong.
Silicone caps are a great option for sealing the bong’s openings. They are easy to wash and can be re-used over and over!
If you’re like me and don’t have silicone caps, you can always rely on the classic: paper towels. Twist them so that they create a cork-like mechanism to stop the iso from leaking onto your hands when you shake it.
5. Shake your bong as vigorously as possible.
Place one hand firmly over the mouthpiece, the other over the downstem. You’ll want to shake in multiple directions. Get creative with your shake! Wherever you see lingering resin, try and concentrate the iso and salt in that area.
6. Dump out the dirty contents.
The best place to dump salt/iso solution after cleaning a bong is still up for debate. Iso isn’t great for septic systems and it’s also not great for grass and soil.
However, one Heady Vermont reader suggests dumping it on gravel, concrete, or a patch of grass you don’t care about.
7. Rinse your bong.
The easiest way to do this is to run lukewarm water through it for several minutes. You can do this using the bathtub tap or really any faucet, just be aware that there will be some lingering salt chunks that will wash out. Do not use hot water.
8. Clean the other pieces.
This step can be done at any time throughout the process.
Put the slide and bowl piece into Ziploc bags. Since they are both made of glass, they must be cleaned individually.
You can also do these one at a time to reduce plastic use.
Add iso and salt into the bag and shake vigorously! Don’t be afraid to add salt as needed!
Let them sit for a minute or two, then carefully dump the dirty contents and rinse each piece thoroughly under a steady stream of lukewarm water.
9. Reassemble all pieces and add water.
Refill your bong with the regular amount of water and put the slide and bowl piece back in place.
10. Take a nice clean rip.
You can now fully appreciate the flavors and terps in your herb without that resin-y, dirty aftertaste of shame. There’s no better way to celebrate than to pack the bowl and smoke that sparkling clean bong!