Bongs are one of the best ways to smoke herbs, especially when it is with your homies. But we cannot ignore the fact that it gets stinky and dirty real quick. Due to the burning of herbs and the resin build-up on the inside of the bong, the tarry mess can be a bit difficult to get rid of. You need to find the best way to clean a dirty glass bong to avoid this mess.


If you want to experience quality smoke, you will definitely need to keep your bong clean after having a long session. There are various products and ways to keep your bong free from dirt and stink. But there might be a lot of questions regarding how, why and when to clean bongs at home, let's answer them!

Why Should You Clean Your Bong?


One of the things that accentuate your smoking experience is the taste of your favourite herb. Even if you do not think that smoke has any taste, it does. When you put your mouth in the mouthpiece, molecules from decarboxylated weed come in contact with your taste bud and create different kinds of flavour on your tongue.

If you do not clean the bong at home, all the resin, slime, dirty bong water will ruin the flavour and your experience. The longer you avoid cleaning your bong, the worse it will get. 


Another important aspect to why you need to keep your bong clean and tidy all the time is the 'Smell'. No matter if there is resin buildup inside the bong or stagnant water in the bottom, it will definitely smell bad. The water will be full of leftover residue and ash. Smoking the dirty bong water will not only ruin your sesh but will also be hazardous to your health. 

Having a dirty bong can stink so badly that it will permeate the wall, furniture, clothes and the atmosphere of the place.

Unhygienic Condition

Bacteria and fungus are another reason why your bong needs to be cleaned frequently. You might be shocked, but in less than 24 hours, bacteria tends to grow inside your bong. Within a few hours, the situation gets worse. 

If you are still not convinced, smoking from a dirty bong can cause necrotizing pneumonia in which lung tissue dies. Cleaning your bong is a lot easier than getting treated!

Difficulty in Cleaning

If you leave your bong for a long time, it gets difficult to scrub all the dirt. The longer you wait, the harder the cleaning process will be. One of the most difficult parts will be to clean the bottom of the bong because you won't be able to reach it even with the proper tools and equipment.  

Resin tends to get hard so it is important to clean your bong frequently to avoid all the hard work.

| Also Read: How Does a Bong Work and How to Use It? |

How Often Should You Clean Your Bong?


When it comes to heavy smokers, it is recommended to clean your bong thoroughly every 48 hours. With regular smoking, the growth of harmful bacteria will be a bit slower but only up to a certain point. If you avoid cleaning your bong, bacteria can easily travel inside your body causing serious health issues. Even if you are feeling a bit lazy, make sure you clean your bong every other day to enjoy a clean smoking session in the morning. Sooner or later, this is definitely going to be a part of your daily ritual.


For casual smokers, it is important to clean their bong after every use. You might be surprised as to why heavy smokers are required to clean their bong less, but it all depends on bacteria growth. Casual smokers do not smoke every day so bacteria buildup will be much more than expected. If the bong is not used frequently, bacteria inside the bong will grow faster and stronger. To avoid bacteria issues and enjoy the smoking session, make sure to clean your bong after every use.


| Also Read: How to pack a bowl of weed perfectly? |


Signs That Your Bong Needs an Immediate Cleaning


Here are common signs that will help you understand when to thoroughly clean your bong!

Slimy Layer: You have to be really tough to ignore that inside your bong. The slimy layer you see inside your bong is actually a perfect place for fungi and bacteria to grow. It might be clear by now that bacteria shouldn't reach your lungs to avoid any fatal consequences. Just like bacteria, fungi too is dangerous for your health and can cause serious medical problems.

Resin Build Up: Dealing with resin is a tough job for any bong user. It accumulates and builds up in all the difficult and hard-to-reach areas. They are capable of ruining your experience by affecting the taste & smell of your dry herb. Neglecting resin accumulation can permanently damage the inside the bong. It means that you cannot get rid of them even with the best tools and equipment after that.

Stinky Water: If you leave water in the bong for way too long, it will grow stagnant and turn brown. Smoking a bong without changing the water can start the stagnation process as it is full of impurities from your previous session. The water's job in the bong is to filter the smoke and any impurities build-up. If not changed after every session, the growth of bacteria accelerates in the water. Replace your bong with fresh water after every session.

Speck of Dirt: You might have noticed black or white specks inside the bong. This indicates heavy ash build up. If left ignored, it can convert into chunks that can be accidentally inhaled during the smoking session. A piece of ash in your lungs is never a good idea for your respiratory system. Make sure you scrub them off to avoid any problem.

Let's Get Your Bong Clean


Cleaning a bong may feel like a difficult job but it actually isn't. Just because it seems a bit intimidating, doesn't mean that you should ignore it!

We are going to tell you how to keep your bong squeaky clean just like a new one. Let's check out all the common ingredients that you would require during the process.

  • Hot water
  • Salt
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hand Towel
  • Cotton balls 
  • Airtight bags or containers
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Q-tips

Here's a step-by-step guide that you need to follow throughout your cleaning process.


Get Rid of Swamp Water: The initial step is to throw away all the dirty water inside the bong. The dirty brown water has impurities and dirt from your previous session that is toxic for your lungs.

Dismantle Your Bong: For thorough cleaning, it is important to separate the bowl and stem from the bong cautiously. Make sure you separate all the movable parts from your bong to make the cleaning process easy.

Wash It With Hot Water: Run hot water and rinse every part thoroughly. It helps in getting rid of any surface resin that has accumulated with repeated use. Hot water is great to dissolve any gunk that might be tough to clean at a later stage. Make sure you wear gloves and the water temperature is easy to tolerate for you. 

Deep-Cleaning: Get a Tupperware container with a lid as an earth-friendly alternative. For tiny bong parts, pour 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol and one tablespoon of salt on the bong parts and keep it secured in an airtight container. For larger pieces, pour 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol and two tablespoon salt on the bong parts and keep it in an airtight bag or a container. As rubbing alcohol is acidic, it breaks down the sticky resin building inside the bong. Salt also helps in cleaning the parts. If you do not have to rub alcohol, try using vinegar. The best alternative to salt is rice that helps to scrub the bong clean. If you are using rice, do not let it sit in vinegar or alcohol for a long time.

Shake: After you have packed the parts in the airtight container or bag, shake it vigorously. It will help alcohol and salt solution reach every possible corner and curves and break any resin buildup inside them. Make sure to do this for at least 5 minutes to dislodge the stickiness.

Pour Salt: Add around 2-3 tablespoons of salt into the bong depending on its size. If the pieces are larger, make it about four to five tablespoons. Salt gets dissolved in a liquid so make sure some stays undissolved. This will increase the abrasiveness.

Pour Alcohol: Depending on the size of the bong, pour about a half cup of rubbing alcohol on it. Do not worry about the ratio of salt to alcohol, it really doesn't make any difference.

Plug the Holes: With the help of a hand towel, plug all the holes. Seal the holes with rubber bands. In case the holes are small, use cotton balls to seal them. However, there are beaker stoppers available in the market to seal the holes in your bong.

Shake: Just like how you did in the previous step, shake the bong vigorously so that it breaks down all the gunk accumulated in the hard-to-reach areas. Continue with this process for five minutes.

Wash Everything With Hot Water: Remove all the parts from bags or containers and rinse it under extremely hot water. This process will help in getting rid of gunk, resin, alcohol, and vinegar from the surface. After all these processes, if you still spot any stubborn pieces, remove them with the help of a Q-tip. Make sure you rinse the bong parts thoroughly after the end of the cleaning process.

| Also Read: Old-School Bong: How to Make A Water Bottle Bong? |

The Bottom Line


Imagine smoking yet not enjoying the session because your herb either tastes bad or is stinky. For a better and smoother session, keep your bong clean and tidy. Make sure you go to our above-mentioned tutorial on how to clean a glass bong at home!


Happy smoking!