Learning how to clean your bong properly leaves your piece looking good, and it is certainly better for your health. Look at it this way: The inside of a dirty, well-used bong is covered with moist organic matter. Where do bacteria and fungi like to grow? On moist organic matter! While the jury’s out on whether there’s any likelihood of getting sick from a dirty bong, we recommend erring on the side of caution and keeping your piece moderately clean. Also, if you meet a cute stoner babe and want to share a hit with them, you won’t be red-faced about the filthy piece you smoke out of! Cleaning your bong is important, people! You should be proud of your piece, whether it’s a glass pipe, bong or a glass rig for dabbing concentrates. This is all you need to know on how to clean your bong, distilled down into five simple steps.
Always start by preparing your artillery early. You do not want to get halfway through cleaning your glass piece and realize you have forgotten an essential element in the process. You increase the chance of breaking your rig or bong every time you handle it, especially near a sink. Take your time getting your bits together, and prepare yourself.
What You Will Need to Clean Your Bong:
- A sink with running water, hot and cold preferably;
- Salt or rice. These act as a mild abrasive inside the bong and assist in removing residue and reclaim from inside the piece;
- Isopropyl alcohol. Aim for something with the highest proof you can find. Everclear is a good place to start. If you don’t have access to Everclear (190 proof is what you want) look for isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, that is 91% alcohol or higher. Do not use acetone or other solvents to clean your glass with. Not only are they damaging to the environment when poured down the drain, but you don’t want to be inhaling fumes from those products!;
- Small hand towels to cover large openings of the bong or rig;
- Cotton balls to stuff in the smaller openings of the bong or rig.
Other items that might be helpful:
Bottle brushes, wire poker, cotton tip swabs (Q tips), chopsticks.
Remove all extensions and parts and pieces from the bong or rig. If you’re cleaning a pipe, remove any mesh and try to remove any hardened ash in the bowl.
Rinse your glass piece thoroughly with hot water. Remember that if the water is hot it can be hard to keep a firm hold on your glass piece. Also, it’s worth noting that glass is very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature, which can cause your beloved bong to fracture. When cleaning your piece, always ensure that you increase or decrease water temperature moderately! This is where so many breakages happen — be careful and pay attention. The internet is littered with videos and stories of bong-breakage catastrophes. Don’t be another statistic or example to a stranger’s friends on what not to do!
Using the alcohol you have on hand, fill your bong to the usual level. Your bong might be a small bubbler, others may own large honeycomb rigs; add the appropriate amount of liquid for your own piece. I always tend to pour heavier here to ensure my rig is full of alcohol and is going to get a thorough clean. Now toss in the rice or salt that you have. For a small bong, that might mean just a few spoonfuls. For larger bongs or rigs, that might mean using a full or half cup of salt or rice.
Using the cotton balls and hand towels, block the openings of the piece. Now SHAKE vigorously for five to ten minutes, or until clean. This alcohol and salt or rice mixture can be reused to clean stems, pipes, bowls and other glass fittings. Fill a Ziploc bag and place your accessories in there. Shake them around! Be careful putting glass bits and pieces in the same bag.
Rinse your piece, bong or rig and accessories thoroughly with hot water. Again, be careful at the sink. Hold onto your piece tightly and do not let it knock the sides of that metal sink. Dry carefully with a towel, and if there are sticky bits, wipe with alcohol.
If you dab regularly and have a lot of reclaim leftover, consider the different ways you can use that to get you high. Here are some suggestions! If you want to know more about harvesting reclaim from a used rig, read this article.
How to Clean a Bong, Bonus Round: Product Recommendation
There are quite a number of bong cleaning aids on the market, and most are designed to scrub the hard work away for you. We came across a product called Piece Water. Piece Water is different because it does not scrub or clean your bong for you once a week or month. Piece Water is an all natural, non-toxic bong water alternative. Instead of using water in your piece, you use Piece Water. The all natural water alternative keeps your bong clean as you use it, and requires little to no further cleaning.
Piece Water is also better than water because it traps particulates, making for an even cleaner smoke. Piece Water prevents resin and reclaim from forming, meaning you need not worry about the stink of filthy bong water again.