How to Clean a Bong: A Proven Method


A bong is one of the most popular and effective ways to smoke herb or tobacco, but it can also get very dirty and smelly over time. Resin, tar, ash and bacteria can build up inside the bong, affecting the taste, smell and health of your smoke. That’s why it’s important to clean your bong regularly and thoroughly, using the right tools and techniques.

In this blog post, we will show you how to clean a bong using a proven method that involves coarse salt, rubbing alcohol, warm water and some elbow grease. This method works for most types of bongs, whether they are made of glass, metal, ceramic or plastic. However, if your bong has delicate or intricate parts, such as percolators or ice catchers, you may want to use a gentler approach or a specialized cleaning product.

Before we start, make sure you have the following items ready:

  • A sink or basin
  • Coarse salt (such as sea salt, Epsom salt or rock salt)
  • Rubbing alcohol (preferably 99% isopropyl alcohol)
  • Two large zipper storage bags
  • Rubber stoppers or bong plugs
  • A towel
  • A small brush or pipe cleaner (optional)

Now, let’s get started with the cleaning process:

  1. Empty the bong and rinse it with warm water. While wearing gloves, pour out the old bong water and any leftover herb or tobacco from the bowl and downstem. Give the bong a good rinse with warm water to remove any loose particles and debris. You can also use a small brush or pipe cleaner to scrub away any stubborn resin from the inside of the bowl and downstem.
  2. Disassemble your bong. Take apart your bong as much as possible, removing all removable parts such as the bowl, downstem, mouthpiece and any other attachments. Check for any damage or cracks on your bong and replace any broken pieces before using it again.
  3. Add coarse salt and rubbing alcohol to your bong. Next, you need to add an abrasive and a solvent to your bong to help dissolve and remove the resin buildup. Coarse salt and rubbing alcohol are the best combination for this purpose, but you can also use vinegar and rice or baking soda instead. The stronger the rubbing alcohol, the better. Ideally, you would use one over 90%. Pour some salt into the base of the bong, enough to cover the bottom. Then pour some rubbing alcohol into the bong, enough to fill it about halfway. You can also add some salt and alcohol to the zipper bags and place the bowl and downstem inside them.
  4. Plug the holes and shake it up. Use your hands, fingers, thumbs or rubber stoppers to plug or block the open holes of the bong, such as the mouthpiece and the joint where the downstem goes. Make sure there are no leaks before you start shaking. Shake the bong vigorously for about five minutes, making sure that the salt and alcohol mixture reaches every part of the bong. You can also massage the zipper bags with your hands to make sure that the bowl and downstem get cleaned as well.
  5. Rinse and repeat. After shaking, empty the dirty solution from the bong and the zipper bags into a sink. Rinse everything thoroughly with warm water until there is no trace of salt or alcohol left. You may need to repeat steps 3 and 4 if your bong is very dirty or stained. You can also use a small brush or pipe cleaner to scrub any remaining resin from hard-to-reach areas.
  6. Dry and reassemble your bong. Once your bong is clean and rinsed, use a towel to dry it completely. Make sure there is no moisture left inside or outside of your bong. Reassemble your bong by putting back all the parts in their proper places. Your bong is now ready to use again!

Cleaning your bong regularly will not only improve your smoking experience but also extend the life of your bong. Ideally, you should change the water in your bong after every session and deep clean it at least once a week. This will prevent the growth of mold, bacteria and other harmful substances that can affect your health and the quality of your smoke.

For more tips and tricks on how to clean and maintain your bong, check out these sources:

Happy smoking!