Have you ever taken a hit from a bong and instantly winced from the foul taste? It’s probably not the weed that’s causing that funky smell—instead, it could be the cleanliness of your water pipe. Ask yourself this: when’s the last time you changed your bong water?
Many cannabis consumers are guilty of neglecting to clean their bongs. We’ve all had that friend who never changes their bong water—when you get together for a session, you can’t help but crinkle your nose at the smell.
Don’t be that person! Instead, take good care of your bong (and those who use it) by cleaning it often. It’s more beneficial than you might think.
Here’s how you can clean a bong to make it as good as new:
Why You Need to Clean Your Bong
When cannabis products are smoked, they leave behind resin buildup on the glass. Resin results from combustion; it’s a byproduct of tar, carbon, and ash. This black, sticky substance adds a distinctly bitter taste. It’s not something that you want to breathe in!
Bong water and filtration mechanisms are used to remove contaminants from the smoke—however, they won’t do a very effective job if they’re full of gunk. A dirty bong might cause you to cough more than you normally would have. Fresh water makes for fresher hits!
Another reason why you should clean your bong is that it helps prevent any bacteria or mould growth.
Inhaling dirty bong water may expose you to black mildew, E. coli, or Strep. When you take a hit, all you want to taste is a clean dose of cannabis–not a bunch of bacteria.
Let’s be honest: you’ll never regret it when you clean a bong. Instead, you’ll appreciate the pure taste.
Methods of Cleaning
So, we’ve convinced you that it’s probably time to get your hands dirty and clean your bong. The question is, how do you do it, and what do you need? First, you’ll need to purchase cleaning products, like:
Salt and isopropyl alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is particularly effective at cleaning water pipes, especially when paired with salt. Salt is abrasive, so it can effectively scrub off resin from the insides of the glass.
Make sure to thoroughly rinse your bong after adding isopropyl alcohol to it—inhaling residual fumes can be hazardous to your health. A good indication that your bong is clean is when you can no longer smell any chemicals.
Bong cleaner solution
At The Joint, we offer tried and true cleaning products like Orange Chronic, Purple Power, and Randy’s Black Label.
Products like these are perfect when it comes to getting rid of resin buildup. They combine every cleaning product you need in one convenient bottle. Purchase one today, and see for yourself what a difference it makes when you clean your bong!
You have all the supplies you need—what’s the best way to use them?
Start by filling your bong with a cleaning product. We advise that after you pour the cleaning solution into your bong, allow it to sit for a while. This allows the product to soften up the resin, which makes it easier to dissolve. (If you’re using alcohol to clean it, add a bunch of salt now).
Then, you need to shake the solution around the glass. To avoid making a mess, seal any openings in the piece; you can use plastic wrap and an elastic to cover them up. Alternatively, you can purchase a rubber plug that fits the diameter of your bong (just measure the dimensions of the openings before you shop for one). Once all the holes are covered, give the bong a good shake!
Too many of us know the feeling of dropping your stem and watching it shatter on the ground. When you clean a bong, handle the glass pieces with care.
Once you’re satisfied with your cleaning efforts, pour out the liquid into a sink. Use hot water to rinse the piece thoroughly, and shake it around to remove any salt or cleaning residue.
Other Cleaning Products
First, a word of warning: don’t use your regular household cleaning products when you need to clean a bong. They could leave behind harmful chemicals, or be so abrasive that they damage the glass. In addition, be careful not to mix cleaning products. If you combine isopropyl alcohol with bleach, it will create a toxic gas (chloroform) that may cause you to lose consciousness. Safety always comes first! If you are unsure of whether your cleaning products are appropriate, ask someone!
The following tools make it a little easier to clean your bong:
You might have used these wires to make crafts as a child, but now you can use them to clean a bong! The soft fibers of pipe cleaners will grab onto any resin and swiftly remove it. When used in combination with a bong cleaning solution, your glass piece will be sparkling in no time.
You can also use wood pokers, which are great at unclogging bowls and down stems. If there’s a piece of resin wedged in a pipe, a wood poker allows you to clear it out easily.
This one’s optional, but a good idea nonetheless. When that sticky resin gets on your hands, it can be hard to remove. Coconut, hemp, or olive oil can help get it off your skin. Consider wearing rubber gloves while you clean.
For those hard-to-reach places, try Randy’s Black Label Res-Tips. They can remove buildup from narrow openings like the bowl or down stem. The cotton tips will grab onto any residue and remove it completely.
Sometimes, shaking a bong isn’t enough—you need a brush with firm bristles to get in there and loosen any resin. We offer brushes in various sizes that are perfect for bowls, down stems, and filtration systems.
Plastic Container or Bag
Okay, this one might sound strange at first, but hear us out:
When you’re cleaning your bong, it helps to give it a good shake to disperse the product. This is easier to do with a large glass piece, but it’s trickier when you need to clean small bowls and stems; they’re hard to shake without worrying about dropping them, breaking them, or making a mess! Try using a plastic container or bag.
Add the piece to a container with a hearty dose of your favourite cleaning product—pour in enough so that the glass is completely submerged in the liquid. Then, gently shake the bag and watch the resin dissolve! You won’t spill any liquid or need to worry about the glass slipping out from your fingertips.
Bottom Line: Clean Your Bong!
Now that you know how to do it, you’re probably wondering how often you should clean a bong. That will depend on how frequently it’s used.
If you use your bong every day, we recommend cleaning it once a week. Be sure to change the water before each session! If you only use the bong occasionally, you should still change the water each time you use it—who knows how long it’s been sitting there.
Even if you don’t have time to clean your bong frequently, we recommend changing the bong water each time you have a new session. Your taste buds and lungs will thank you for it! Regular bong maintenance will delay the time until you need to do another thorough cleaning.
Want to take your cleaning regimen to the next level? The next time your water pipe has that brown, cloudy haze, tackle it with one of our bong cleaning solutions and tools at The Joint. Visit our website to browse our complete selection of products.