How to Clean a Bong: A Proven Method

If you enjoy smoking herb or tobacco from a bong, you know how important it is to keep it clean and fresh. A dirty bong can ruin the taste of your smoke, harbor harmful bacteria and fungi, and damage your health. Fortunately, cleaning a bong is not as hard as it may seem. You just need some basic supplies and a little time. Here’s how to do it.

What You’ll Need

To clean your bong, you’ll need the following items:

  • A sink or basin
  • Coarse salt, rice, or baking soda
  • Rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or another cleaner
  • Clean water
  • Latex gloves
  • A small brush or pipe cleaner
  • Rubber stoppers or bong plugs
  • A towel

Step 1: Disassemble Your Bong

The first step is to take apart your bong so that you can clean each piece separately. Remove the bowl and the downstem from the base of the bong and set them aside. Check for any cracks or chips in the glass and replace any damaged parts before using your bong again.

Step 2: Rinse and Fill Your Bong with Warm Water

Next, empty out your bong and rinse it with warm water to get rid of any solid particles. Then fill it halfway with warm water and add a generous amount of coarse salt, rice, or baking soda. These will act as abrasives to help scrub away the resin buildup inside the bong.

Step 3: Add Rubbing Alcohol or Another Cleaner to Your Bong

Now it’s time to add a solvent that will dissolve the resin and make it easier to remove. Rubbing alcohol is the most common choice, but you can also use vinegar or another cleaner. The stronger the alcohol, the better. Ideally, you would use one over 90%. Pour enough of your chosen solvent into the bong to cover the salt, rice, or baking soda.

Step 4: Plug the Holes and Shake It Up

Before you start shaking your bong, you need to plug the holes to prevent spills and messes. You can use rubber stoppers or bong plugs that are designed for this purpose, or you can improvise with your hands, fingers, or thumbs. Make sure you have a good grip on the bong and shake it vigorously for about five minutes. This will help the abrasive and solvent mixture to loosen and remove the resin from the walls of the bong.

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

After shaking your bong, empty the dirty solution into the sink and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Check if there are any remaining stains or spots inside the bong. If so, repeat the cleaning process as many times as needed until your bong is sparkling clean.

Step 6: Clean the Bowl and Downstem

The bowl and downstem are usually the dirtiest parts of the bong, so they may require some extra attention. To clean them, follow the same steps as above, but use a small zipper storage bag instead of the bong itself. Put the bowl or downstem in the bag along with some salt, rice, or baking soda and some rubbing alcohol or another cleaner. Seal the bag and shake it for a few minutes. Then rinse it with water and use a small brush or pipe cleaner to scrub away any stubborn resin.

Step 7: Dry Your Bong

The final step is to dry your bong completely before using it again. Use a towel to wipe off any excess water from the outside and inside of the bong. You can also let it air dry on a rack or in a sunny spot. Make sure there is no moisture left in the bong before storing it or smoking from it.

Tips for Keeping Your Bong Clean

Cleaning your bong regularly will ensure that you get the best possible smoking experience every time. Here are some tips to help you keep your bong clean:

  • Change the water in your bong after every smoke session. This will prevent bacteria and fungi from growing in stagnant water.
  • Avoid using tap water in your bong. Tap water may contain minerals and chemicals that can leave deposits and affect the taste of your smoke. Use filtered or distilled water instead.
  • Don’t let your bong sit dirty for too long. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to clean. Try to clean your bong at least once a week, or more often if you smoke frequently.
  • Store your bong in a cool, dry, and dark place. This will prevent dust, dirt, and sunlight from damaging your bong.
  • Use a bong cleaner or a glass cleaner to give your bong a quick rinse between deep cleanings. You can also buy cleaning solutions specifically made for bongs from head shops or online stores.


Cleaning a bong is not a difficult task, but it is a necessary one. By following the steps above, you can keep your bong in good shape and enjoy smooth and flavorful smoke every time. Remember to use the right supplies, shake well, rinse thoroughly, and dry completely. Happy smoking!