Bongs are just lovely, aren’t they? You know you love smoking from your bong, heck, I think most of us “cannaisseurs” do. Cypress Hill wouldn’t write about the glass beauty if it weren’t true.
The art piece that is your bong – the smooth, silky intake, delightful flower taste. The cool way the juicy marijuana smoke hits your throat and lungs. Seeing all the gross stuff remain in the water instead of your lungs – priceless.
Time does roll on, however, and that pristine glass becomes a darker shade of brown and after every sesh – becoming a slimy, sea monster of what it once was. After a while, you might even have a friend pass on the disgusting looking object. What was once a shining beauty of glass mixing seamlessly with your marijuana, now a horrible, passable monster – we’ve all seen that monster. We all remember that monster. In short, gross.
Your marijuana deserves better.
So, how do you clean a bong?
You’ve seen a friend do it once or twice. It seems like a complicated, drawn-out process. Changing out the water is enough, right?
Well, changing out the water does help, most definitely. Short term. The longer you’ve gone without changing the water or rinsing it out, the less the water change alone will help. The process of a thorough cleaning of a bong isn’t as complicated as one may think. With some easily obtainable items, you can keep that sparkling bong gunk-free.
Dirty Bong? Clean It Up!
99% isopropyl alcohol
Sealable plastic bags
Long-handled cleaning brush (optional)
Rubber bong plugs
A pre-mixed solution to replace salt/alcohol mixture
Take everything off. This includes ash catchers, bowls, dab attachments, etc. Be careful removing because some accessories may be glued into your piece with accumulated resin. Trust me, it happens.
Put the accessories in a sealable bag. If putting multiple pieces in one bag, use caution when stacking glass together. We’ll look at these pieces a little later.
Empty the water out of your bong and rinse. Then repeat based on the amount of residue in your bong. 3-4 rinses will ensure a cleaner end product. The use of warm water helps in aiding stubborn resin out of the bong. The use of a long-handled cleaning brush helps in speeding up this process though not necessarily needed.
After rinsing, place everything on a clean towel. Pour about ¼ of your bong with coarse salt (table salt works in a pinch) into the bong. The grainer that salt, the slower you should pour. Large ice cream ice can hit the glass uncomfortably hard. Pour slow.
Continue by filling your bong with about ½ warm water. Caution: Do not mix warm and cold water when cleaning your bong. It can break it.
To finish the solution, fill your bong ½ with the 99% isopropyl alcohol. Make sure the mixture doesn’t overflow out of your bong. This can cause messes. No one likes messes. When in doubt, have more alcohol than water if needed.
Solution Sidenote: Companies make pre-mixed solutions to cleaning bongs. If you wish to skip the salt/alcohol mixture, due to time crunches or otherwise, here are a few amazing pre-mixed solutions that are a great option as well:
Formula 420 is a non-toxic, quick cleaner. The formula allows you to skip the scrubbing and soaking processes. The cleaner is also biodegradable and will leave your bong deodorized.
Orange Chronic is a cleaner made from natural substances such as oranges. This cleaner has a refreshing smell while kicking your resin’s butt. All this while you know your piece is getting cleaned.
Resinate has a cleaning mixture that is just right, taking the guesswork out of making solutions yourself. It sterilizes while leaving your bong squeaky clean. It also comes in various cleaning phase bottles and grinder cleaner.
Use bong plugs and shake salt or pre-mixed mixture around the bong. If you have no bong plugs, simply seal the top of the bong with your palm and plug downstem with whichever finger plugs it. Depending on your situation, this may need to have two people involved. Not everyone can swing a bong around.
Whichever cleaning solution you decided to use, fill the bong accessory bag about ½ way and then seal completely closed. Making sure it is 100% sealed, shake around a bit. Also, make sure the accessories are completely submerged. The more the solution can get into the accessories, the cleaner each piece will come out.
To get some of the finer cleaning details, use pipe cleaners and/or cotton swabs for the mouthpiece, bowls, downstems, etc. Any residue left behind you may want more off of.
Rinse each piece generously through some warm water. Allow each piece to cool a little bit so as not to crack the glass. Fill with crisp, clean new water and enjoy your renewed glass beauty.
Simple Steps to Maintaining a Clean Bong
Now that we’ve got our crisp newly cleaned bong, let’s try to keep it cleaner for longer.
By keeping residue out of our bong, we are also eliminating any contaminants thus keeping your bong healthier to smoke on. Dumping the water you use after each use and rinsing with warm water will clean freshly-accumulated ash. Simple as that.
Some cleaners such as Resinate offer resin “shields” which are supposed to keep your clean bong cleaner for long. Another useful tip would be to have a cover or case for your bong. It will keep dust and other airborne particles from invading your bong, adding to the cleaning chore.
So will you ever again have a dirty bong? Absolutely freaking not!
With these simple bong cleaning steps, hopefully cleaning will seem less intimidating. Never again will you have the disgusting monster of a bong. The bong in which everyone talks about not wanting to touch let alone take a hit out of. Instead, you can lay back and bask in everyone thinking you just bought a new piece.
Remember, a clean bong is a happy bong.