Here’s How Often You Should Really Clean Your Bong

How often should you be cleaning that bong and how do you speed up the cleaning process? Read more to learn the ins and outs of why keeping it clean is paramount to a better toke.
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A dirty bong is not something to be proud of, learn how to and how often you should be cleaning it.

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Use salt and isopropyl alcohol to unhinge the stuck on resin.

Adopt a cleaning method program and never let your favorite glass piece look too dirty.

Consider buying one of our recommended cleaners to speed the whole process up.

The dirty bong… We’ve all been there. We’ve all probably been guilty of using one from time to time, but really, there’s no excuse for a gross, smelly, bio-hazard fogging up your pretty glass piece, ruining your weed’s flavor, and making you and your friends sick through smoking. Dirty bong water can significantly degrade the smoking experience, harboring bacteria, fungi, and pathogens that pose potential health risks. You deserve better than that, babe, and you know it. Let’s discuss how often you should be cleaning your glass bong and how to properly clean your bong.

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Heavy Users (defined as those who use cannabis daily) should really be swapping out old water for new water with each new use or, at the minimum, be cleaning their pieces every one to two days. As a connoisseur, you will likely be able to taste the difference when you take a moment to care for your water pipe. Old water means your cannabis will have a weird flavor or worse. Old, stagnant water that’s discolored or smelly is a surefire sign you need to clean a bong.

What Is a Biofilm and How It Relates to Inhaling Mold and Bacteria

Over time (not much time, TBH – 24 hours can sometimes do it), if left uncleaned, your water pipe will develop a slick, slimy Biofilm that is not dissimilar to the pinkish sludge that develops in showers after a long stint of not getting scrubbed. Biofilm can play host to microorganisms such as streptococcus, staphylococcus, E. coli, fungus, black mildew, mold, and bacteria and is 100% NOT something you want to be inhaling. Not only will it adversely affect the taste of your weed, but it could potentially lead to lung infections or colds and flu. Yuck.

It’s impossible to tell what exactly is growing in your dirty bong, so it’s best to be safe and just keep it as clean as possible, thereby avoiding the swamp water your college roommate left in her bong for weeks on end. A thorough rinse with dish soap and warm water is essential to remove biofilm and its contaminants, ensuring your bong remains safe and clean for use.

Easy Solutions to Properly Clean Your Bong

Fret not; you don’t need to ruin your high by rolling up your sleeves and scrubbing out your glass bong every time you take a hit— though it is recommended. Pouring boiled hot water into the piece can help remove the resin, but for a more thorough cleaning, consider using a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and salt. This combination effectively breaks down the resin and keeps your bong clean and free from harmful microorganisms. When using isopropyl alcohol and salt for cleaning bongs, it’s important to note the effectiveness of these ingredients in removing grime, but also the potential dangers due to the flammability of alcohol. Let the solution sit in your bong for a bit, swish it around, or use a towel to plug up the top and the down spout and give it a good shake or two. After using the isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt solution, make sure to remove any detachable pieces such as the bowl for thorough cleaning. It’s crucial to rinse out your bong thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining cleaning solution and residue. Once the bong is rinsed, you can empty the chamber and allow the piece to air dry before you put it away.

How Often Does Your Bong Need Cleaned?

Clearly this needs a scrub

Let’s talk cleanliness frequency, babe. Ideally, you should give your bong a quick rinse with hot water after every use to prevent any nasty buildup. It’s like brushing your teeth – do it often, and it’s a breeze; skip it, and, well, yuck. If your schedule’s packed or you’re just not up for a hot water cleanse after every sesh (and trust me, we’ve all been too stoned to care at some point), make sure you at least do a thorough rinse with hot water once a day. But hey, even with those regular rinses, your bong will need a deep clean every now and then because resin can still build up. If you’re not rinsing at the very least daily, aim for a deep clean with salt and isopropyl alcohol weekly. If you are, every two weeks should cut it. This keeps things fresh, flavorful, and, most importantly, hygienic.

TLDR: Here’s a cheat sheet: 

Daily Maintenance: After every use, drain out that nasty water. Then hit your bong with a splash of iso and some soap and water. Give it a good shake, then rinse it out thoroughly. If you plan to hit it again later, fill it so you’re ready for your next sesh. If you hit your bong often and don’t feel like rinsing it after every use, that’s okay, too. Just make sure to at least rinse it out once a day and wipe down that mouthpiece whenever possible. 

Weekly Maintenance: If you’re not rinsing out your bong on the daily, you’re going to need to go in there and do a deep clean once or twice a week. If you’re a heavy user, that means every 2-3 days. Dump out that nasty bong water, give it a good rinse, and then pour in some coarse rock salt and isopropyl alcohol. Give it a couple of shakes, rinse it clean, and you’re ready to go.

Bi-Weekly Maintenance: If you’re changing your water after every use or at least every day, you can go a bit longer without a deep cleaning. It’s best to just keep an eye on it, though. If you’re starting to smell foul odors or you’re seeing resin buildup or scummy bong water, it’s time for a deep cleaning.

Pro Tips for Keeping Your Bong Fresh

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Alright, let’s step up your bong maintenance game with some pro tips for cleaning your bong:

  • Formula 420: This cleaner is a lifesaver for when you need a quick, efficient clean. It’s designed to get your bong sparkling in no time, and it smells great. Use Formula 420 when you have tough resin buildup but want your bong to smell and taste fresh after you’re done cleaning it. 

  • Orange Chronic: If you don’t like that Formula 420 freshness flavor, shoot for Orange Chronic instead. Orange Chronic is another fantastic cleaning solution that works wonders on resin and gunk, but it leaves behind no flavor or odor. Plus, it really melts off that gunk with virtually no scrubbing. 

  • Add Lemon Juice: If you’re worried about that yucky biofilm and not interested in changing your water constantly, you might want to add a bit of lemon juice to your bong water. Not only does it keep the water fresh, but the natural antibacterial properties of lemons help keep bacteria and mold from growing. Plus, it gives a nice little zest to your next session.

  • Dry Storage: If you’re not a daily user, make sure you clean your bong after each use and put it away dry. Never leave water in your bong when it’s not in use. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria. No thanks!

  • Rubbing Alcohol Dip: For all the removable parts like bowls, down stems, and mouthpieces, store them in a little container full of 99 isopropyl alcohol when you’re not using them. An iso soak keeps them pristine and ready for your next use. 


Keeping your bong clean isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about health, flavor, and making the most of your sessions. With these easy tips and a bit of regular maintenance, your bong will always be ready to deliver a clean, smooth hit. So, keep it clean, keep it fresh, and keep enjoying your best bud in the best way possible. Remember, a clean bong is a happy bong, and a happy bong means a happy you.

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About Author
Author Photo Nicole Flanigan

Nicole Flanigan is a cannabis industry powerhouse with over eight years of hands-on experience across the board. From cultivating top-shelf strains to fine-tuning concentrates, she's done it all— and lived... Read More

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About Author
Author Photo Nicole Flanigan

Nicole Flanigan is a cannabis industry powerhouse with over eight years of hands-on experience across the board. From cultivating top-shelf strains to fine-tuning concentrates, she's done it all— and lived... Read More

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