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Dirty bongs are simply uncool. They’re nasty to look at and are 100% guaranteed to ruin the taste of your top-quality medical marijuana. If you want a great smoking experience, you have to learn how to clean a bong — the right way.

But first off, why clean your bong?

Why Clean Your Bong?

Bongs, like every other water pipe, depend on water filtration to deliver a good toke. 

Expectedly, the bong water, which acts as a filter, collects some of the dirt, oils, and other harsh substances, so you don’t fill up your lungs with unwanted particles that do you no good.

The trapped particles change the color of the water, but as a result, you get to enjoy a cleaner and smoother smoking experience.

For most cannabis connoisseurs, there’s no point using the same bong water for more than a day. 

For the same reasons, it’s inadvisable to reuse a joint filter because of the accumulated tar.

As with a dirty joint filter, stinky bong water would mess with the flavor of every subsequent drag you take.

Over time, resins that are part of the particles the bong water filter out will start caking on the bong’s surface, making it much harder to clean. 

But those only make one – and less bothersome – part of the problems you can avoid when you clean your bong.

A Clean Bong for a Clean Bill of Health

The bigger problem is the health concerns attached. Yes, next time you’re stuck in limbo, asking why clean your bong or using it as dirty as it is, you should think of all the fungi, mold, bacteria, and viruses that may have grown in it.

The dirty bong water, now filled with gnarly particles filtered from your cannabis, serves as a very conducive breeding ground and ecosystem for bacteria, fungi, molds, and viruses to thrive.

Experts say that these germs can grow in your bong overnight. 

And unsurprisingly, these germs can cause or aggravate respiratory conditions — when you’re only trying to manage existing conditions or just have a good time.

For context, there is a record of a patient’s use of a contaminated bong leading to a severe case of pseudomonas lung infection.

To be on the safer side, it’s vital you learn how to clean a bong and make it a ritual to always keep your bong clean after use. 

With bongs, you engage in prolonged inhalation – usually longer than you would when smoking a joint.

So, you can imagine how much germs you’re freely letting through your airways and lungs when you use a dirty bong.

Although there’s a scarcity of studies on bong-related infections, marijuana doctors believe that dirty bongs could be the reason behind pneumonia, inflammation, strep throat, black mildew, staph, E. coli, and other infections among bong users.

If not for any other reason, these health concerns alone are enough for you to prioritize cleaning your bong.

How to Clean a Glass Bong

You now know why you should clean your bong, so let’s hop on to how to clean a bong thoroughly and ensure there is no germ left lurking inside.

Any person that knows how to clean a glass bong knows to always gather the bong-cleaning materials first.

There are a few methods on how to clean a bong; however, they’re similar and require just about the same cleaning materials:

      • Cleaning solutions: the defining factors for the different ways for cleaning a glass bong.
            • To clean like a pro, you’ll need rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) and Epsom salt. The salt acts as an abrasive.
            • If you’d rather learn how to clean a bong with household items or how to clean acrylic and plastic bongs, then a good cleaning agent could be –
                • Lemon juice mixed with rice or coarse salt (such as Epsom salt, rock salt, sea salt, or pickling salt), or
                • Vinegar mixed with rice or baking soda
                • Ziploc bags or plastic bags

        • Bottle brush and cotton swabs
        • Paper towels
        • Dish soap
        • Sponge
        • Disposable gloves 

      Step-By-Step Guide on How to Clean a Glass Bong Like a Pro

      Here’s a 6-step guide on how to clean a glass bong.

      Step 1: Dump the bong water

      Before you start cleaning, you must first dump the water into a sink and rinse out the bong with clean water.

      Step 2: Disassemble the Bong

      Detach all the removable parts of the bong, including the bong bowl, the stem, and the mouthpiece (if using a detachable mouthpiece). Place the detached parts in separate ziploc or plastic bags.

      Step 3: Add Your Cleaning Solution

      Cannabis connoisseurs prefer a mix of isopropyl alcohol, water, and Epsom salt.

      Fill your bong base with isopropyl alcohol and add 1- 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt to form a cleaning solution.

      Step 4: Shake It Up to Clean

      Cover the bong’s openings with your gloved palms and shake the bong for about a minute, ensuring the cleaning solution gets to all parts of the bong. Leave the bong to soak for about ten minutes, then shake it some more.

      This process is best done in a sink. Some persons use a basin or a large container. 

      The disposable gloves help keep your palms from feeling too dry later, as some persons observe that their palms feel unusually dry after cleaning a bong with alcohol

      Step 5: Pour Out the Cleaning Solution and Rinse Thoroughly

      Dump the cleaning solution into the sink, wipe the insides clean with a bottle brush or paper towel, then rinse the bong.

      To ensure that you’ve done a good job while cleaning your bong, you must rinse it repeatedly until you’re satisfied that it’s squeaky clean or you no longer perceive the alcohol in it.

      Clean the exterior with dish soap and sponge and rinse. 

      You can do this before cleaning the insides or before rinsing thoroughly so remnants of the dish soap are not trapped inside your bong.

      Step 6: Assemble and Leave to Dry

      Once you’re done rinsing, re-attach the cleaned bowl and stem and leave the bong to dry. 

      If you’re in a hurry to rip a bong immediately, you don’t necessarily have to leave it to dry. Fill up with clean water and go ripping!

      How to Clean a Bong Bowl

      Did you notice that none of the above steps mentions how to clean a bong bowl or the stem you set aside in a Ziploc bag?

      Well, there is no abracadabra to cleaning a bong bowl. However, the procedure on how to clean a bong bowl and the down stem is slightly different.

      Pour your isopropyl alcohol and add some Epsom salt into the bag containing the bowl and stem. Shake it up for a few seconds, carefully ensuring the bowl and stem do not collide and shatter.

      If you have enough alcohol lying around, you can put them in separate bags. Here are some easy steps:

          • Allow the bong bowl to soak in the isopropyl alcohol-Epsom salt solution for about ten minutes
          • Bring them out of the cleaning solution
          • Use a cotton swab to reach in and clean the interior bong bowl and stem properly
          • Rinse until clean
          • Attach the bowl and the stem to the bong chamber and enjoy your toke

        Other Ways of Cleaning a Bong: How to Clean a Bong With Household Items

        Knowing how to clean a bong with household items could be handy when you don’t have isopropyl alcohol or Epsom salt but need your bong cleaned ASAP.

        The results might not be as fast or as outstanding, but a mix of vinegar and rice/baking soda or a mix of lemon juice and rice/coarse salt will get the job done.

        These cleaning solutions are also in line with what to expect if you’d like to know how to clean a bong with hot water and salt (sea salt, Epsom salt, rock salt, and the like.)

        Whether you’re using lemon juice, vinegar, or hot water solution, the process is basically the same as with isopropyl alcohol.

        The main difference is that you’ll first need to soak or wash the bong, bowl, and stem with dishwashing soap to loosen the muck before cleaning with the cleaning solution of your choice.

        How Often Should You Clean Your Bong?

        To reiterate, aside from a dirty bong looking too nasty to use, the answers to “Why clean your bong?” border on two main reasons:

            • Dirty bongs ruin the flavor of your premium medical marijuana
            • Dirty/contaminated bongs can cause or aggravate respiratory diseases.

          Worthy of note is the fact that fungi, mold, viruses, and bacteria can grow exceptionally well in your bong overnight.

          It is nearly impossible to notice their growth with your naked eye in the case of bacteria, viruses, and some fungi. So, all you might see is discolored water, which you might think is nothing unusual.

          To avoid gambling with your health and risking lung infections, we suggest taking a leaf from the page of cannabis connoisseurs and emptying the water after each use.

          If you smoke up to two bowls daily, give your bong thorough cleaning once a week.

          If you’re a heavy user ripping through more than four bowls daily, you should definitely give your bong a thorough cleaning daily!

          Get the Best Cannabis Advice With Elevate Holistics  

          From learning how to clean your bongs to learning and understanding everything there is to know about the many cannabis products in the market, you can always count on us to guide you aright.

          And when it comes to quickly getting your medical marijuana card online in any legal state at a very affordable price, you also know no other telehealth service does it better than Elevate Holistics.

          Feel free to ask us about anything you’d like to know about the cannabis industry in the U.S.

          While at it, click here or the button below to register with us to start your medical marijuana journey with the utmost ease.

          Get high-quality, affordable weed with an MMJ card.

          At Elevate Holistics, you can get your MMJ card in less than 15 minutes -- right from home.

            • Cleaning solutions: the defining factors for the different ways for cleaning a glass bong.
                • To clean like a pro, you’ll need rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) and Epsom salt. The salt acts as an abrasive.
                • If you’d rather learn how to clean a bong with household items or how to clean acrylic and plastic bongs, then a good cleaning agent could be –
                    • Lemon juice mixed with rice or coarse salt (such as Epsom salt, rock salt, sea salt, or pickling salt), or
                    • Vinegar mixed with rice or baking soda
                    • Ziploc bags or plastic bags

            • Bottle brush and cotton swabs
            • Paper towels
            • Dish soap
            • Sponge
            • Disposable gloves 

          Step-By-Step Guide on How to Clean a Glass Bong Like a Pro

          Here’s a 6-step guide on how to clean a glass bong.

          Step 1: Dump the bong water

          Before you start cleaning, you must first dump the water into a sink and rinse out the bong with clean water.

          Step 2: Disassemble the Bong

          Detach all the removable parts of the bong, including the bong bowl, the stem, and the mouthpiece (if using a detachable mouthpiece). Place the detached parts in separate ziploc or plastic bags.

          Step 3: Add Your Cleaning Solution

          Cannabis connoisseurs prefer a mix of isopropyl alcohol, water, and Epsom salt.

          Fill your bong base with isopropyl alcohol and add 1- 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt to form a cleaning solution.

          Step 4: Shake It Up to Clean

          Cover the bong’s openings with your gloved palms and shake the bong for about a minute, ensuring the cleaning solution gets to all parts of the bong. Leave the bong to soak for about ten minutes, then shake it some more.

          This process is best done in a sink. Some persons use a basin or a large container. 

          The disposable gloves help keep your palms from feeling too dry later, as some persons observe that their palms feel unusually dry after cleaning a bong with alcohol

          Step 5: Pour Out the Cleaning Solution and Rinse Thoroughly

          Dump the cleaning solution into the sink, wipe the insides clean with a bottle brush or paper towel, then rinse the bong.

          To ensure that you’ve done a good job while cleaning your bong, you must rinse it repeatedly until you’re satisfied that it’s squeaky clean or you no longer perceive the alcohol in it.

          Clean the exterior with dish soap and sponge and rinse. 

          You can do this before cleaning the insides or before rinsing thoroughly so remnants of the dish soap are not trapped inside your bong.

          Step 6: Assemble and Leave to Dry

          Once you’re done rinsing, re-attach the cleaned bowl and stem and leave the bong to dry. 

          If you’re in a hurry to rip a bong immediately, you don’t necessarily have to leave it to dry. Fill up with clean water and go ripping!

          How to Clean a Bong Bowl

          Did you notice that none of the above steps mentions how to clean a bong bowl or the stem you set aside in a Ziploc bag?

          Well, there is no abracadabra to cleaning a bong bowl. However, the procedure on how to clean a bong bowl and the down stem is slightly different.

          Pour your isopropyl alcohol and add some Epsom salt into the bag containing the bowl and stem. Shake it up for a few seconds, carefully ensuring the bowl and stem do not collide and shatter.

          If you have enough alcohol lying around, you can put them in separate bags. Here are some easy steps:

            • Allow the bong bowl to soak in the isopropyl alcohol-Epsom salt solution for about ten minutes
            • Bring them out of the cleaning solution
            • Use a cotton swab to reach in and clean the interior bong bowl and stem properly
            • Rinse until clean
            • Attach the bowl and the stem to the bong chamber and enjoy your toke

          Other Ways of Cleaning a Bong: How to Clean a Bong With Household Items

          Knowing how to clean a bong with household items could be handy when you don’t have isopropyl alcohol or Epsom salt but need your bong cleaned ASAP.

          The results might not be as fast or as outstanding, but a mix of vinegar and rice/baking soda or a mix of lemon juice and rice/coarse salt will get the job done.

          These cleaning solutions are also in line with what to expect if you’d like to know how to clean a bong with hot water and salt (sea salt, Epsom salt, rock salt, and the like.)

          Whether you’re using lemon juice, vinegar, or hot water solution, the process is basically the same as with isopropyl alcohol.

          The main difference is that you’ll first need to soak or wash the bong, bowl, and stem with dishwashing soap to loosen the muck before cleaning with the cleaning solution of your choice.

          How Often Should You Clean Your Bong?

          To reiterate, aside from a dirty bong looking too nasty to use, the answers to “Why clean your bong?” border on two main reasons:

            • Dirty bongs ruin the flavor of your premium medical marijuana
            • Dirty/contaminated bongs can cause or aggravate respiratory diseases.

          Worthy of note is the fact that fungi, mold, viruses, and bacteria can grow exceptionally well in your bong overnight.

          It is nearly impossible to notice their growth with your naked eye in the case of bacteria, viruses, and some fungi. So, all you might see is discolored water, which you might think is nothing unusual.

          To avoid gambling with your health and risking lung infections, we suggest taking a leaf from the page of cannabis connoisseurs and emptying the water after each use.

          If you smoke up to two bowls daily, give your bong thorough cleaning once a week.

          If you’re a heavy user ripping through more than four bowls daily, you should definitely give your bong a thorough cleaning daily!

          Get the Best Cannabis Advice With Elevate Holistics  

          From learning how to clean your bongs to learning and understanding everything there is to know about the many cannabis products in the market, you can always count on us to guide you aright.

          And when it comes to quickly getting your medical marijuana card online in any legal state at a very affordable price, you also know no other telehealth service does it better than Elevate Holistics.

          Feel free to ask us about anything you’d like to know about the cannabis industry in the U.S.

          While at it, click here or the button below to register with us to start your medical marijuana journey with the utmost ease.

          Get high-quality, affordable weed with an MMJ card.

          At Elevate Holistics, you can get your MMJ card in less than 15 minutes -- right from home.

          Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

          Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

          About the author

          Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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