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How to clean a bong

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Contents

  1. What you’ll need
  2. Cleaning your bong step-by-step

The bong, also known as a water pipe, is one of the oldest and most commonly used modes of cannabis smoking. Using water to cool and filter smoke, the basic bong mounts a bowl of packed cannabis on top of a downstem, which directs the smoke through water at the base, then up the neck of the bong and through the mouthpiece.

One of the reasons glass bongs have remained a popular way to smoke for so long is that they’re easy to use. Not only do they eliminate harsh smoke and potentially filter out carcinogens and other toxicants produced by burning cannabis, they also require less prep work than a joint and are generally easier to learn to use than other smoking devices or methods. Unfortunately, they can also be exceptionally difficult to clean due to the immense amount of resin buildup, especially when they have more complex filtration features.

Part of knowing how to use a bong is knowing the cleaning method behind it. Below is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to cleaning and maintaining a bong for optimal performance, smoke purity, longevity, and visual appeal.

What you’ll need

Before you begin the process of cleaning your bong, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients and materials:

  • Coarse sea salt
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Two large zipper storage bags
  • Rubber stoppers or bong plugs
  • Towel

Cleaning your bong step-by-step

Now that you have what you need to adequately clean your water pipe, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Remove the bowl and downstem

Carefully remove the bowl and downstem from the bong and place them in two separate zipper storage bags. Placing the bowl and downstem in separate bags ensures that the two small pieces won’t be damaged or broken, and affords them a more thorough cleaning.

Carefully remove the bowl and downstem from the bong and place them in two separate zipper storage bags. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 2: Place in zipper storage bags with alcohol

Pour a handful of coarse salt and rubbing alcohol (preferably 99% isopropyl, or rubbing, alcohol) into each of the two storage bags until the bowl and downstem are fully submerged.

Pour salt and rubbing alcohol into the bags until the bowl and downstem are fully submerged. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 3: Pour out old bong water

Before you begin cleaning your bong, you’ll need to pour out the old water in your bong into a sink or drain.

Note: If you use a bong often, it’s a good idea to change out the water daily. Doing so will help prevent excessive resin buildup and help preserve the flavor and cleanliness of the smoke.

Before you begin cleaning your bong, you’ll need to pour out the old water in your bong into a sink or drain. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 4: Add salt and alcohol

Start by pouring your coarse salt into the bong. The salt should be enough to coat the bottom surface of the base. Then pour about ΒΌ cup, or 60 milliliters, of rubbing alcohol into the bong and let it sit.

Pour coarse salt and rubbing alcohol into the bong and let it sit. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 5: Plug holes

Plug the openings of your bong in the mouthpiece and downstem areas. Standard rubber stoppers will be sufficient. You can also order standard-size plugs and caps from Amazon or from your local head shop. Make sure you know the size of your mouthpiece and downstem openings before you buy plugs.

Plug the openings of your bong in the mouthpiece and downstem areas. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 6: Shake bong

Shaking your bong, as well as your downstem and bowl inside the storage baggies, is the best way to remove heavy resin buildup. Shake well until you can see the resin starting to come off. Once a satisfactory amount of resin has come loose, pour out the alcohol and sea salt.

Shaking your bong, as well as your downstem and bowl inside the storage baggies, is the best way to remove heavy resin buildup. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 7: Rinse the bong, downstem, and bowl

Once you’ve cleared most of the resin from your bong, downstem, and bowl, use warm water to rinse them off. Lightly shake the bong as you rinse to wash away the remaining resin.

Once you’ve cleared most of the resin from your bong, downstem, and bowl, use warm water to rinse them off. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Before you reassemble the bong, rinse each piece thoroughly to make sure you don’t have any alcohol left over. If you find any residual resin after rinsing, repeat each step until it is flushed out. If you have a bong with extra filters or other features that make some areas harder to reach, try using pipe cleaners or cotton swabs.

The more you clean your bong, the less frequently you’ll have to deep-clean it. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Remember, a well-made bong can last a lifetime, but it needs regular maintenance to fully function. The more you clean your bong, the less frequently you’ll have to deep-clean it.

How to clean a bong Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What you’ll need Cleaning your bong step-by-step The bong, also known as a water

How to clean a pipe

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Link copied to clipboard.

Contents

  1. What you’ll need
  2. Cleaning your pipe step-by-step

The pipe, a small, handheld device used to smoke cannabis, is one of the oldest and most common smoking methods in the world. Pipes remain popular cannabis smoking devices today, largely due to their availability, affordability, ease of use, and wide range of types, colors, and styles.

The pipe, a small, handheld device used to smoke cannabis, is one of the oldest and most common smoking methods in the world. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Part of using a pipe, bong, dab rig — or virtually any other smoking device — is knowing how to clean it. With frequent use, and without regular cleaning, pipes will build up residue that leads to clogging and affects smoke flavor negatively. For an optimal smoking experience, it’s important to clean your pipe regularly. Below is a step-by-step guide to cleaning and maintaining a pipe for optimal performance, smoke purity, and longevity of use.

What you’ll need

Before you begin cleaning your pipe, gather the following ingredients and materials:

  • A sealable plastic bag
  • Paper clip
  • 99% Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Table salt (sodium chloride) or epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)
  • Dish soap

Cleaning your pipe step-by-step

Now that you have what you need to adequately clean your pipe, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Place the pipe in a sealable plastic bag with alcohol

Carefully place the pipe in a sealable plastic bag and fill it with rubbing alcohol until the entire pipe is submerged. If you don’t have a baggie on hand, you can also use a small sealable container.

Carefully place the pipe in a sealable plastic bag and fill it with rubbing alcohol until the entire pipe is submerged. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 2: Add a teaspoon of salt

Add a teaspoon of table salt (sodium chloride) or Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). Either will work. Salt will act as a scrubber or sponge on resin where an actual sponge or brush can’t reach. Work the salt into the pipe as much as possible to ensure it’s fully doing the work of deep cleaning.

Salt will act as a scrubber or sponge on resin where an actual sponge or brush can’t reach. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Coarse sea salt is typically used to clean bongs and other water pipes, but table or Epsom salt is usually enough to clean a pipe. If your pipe is particularly dirty or filled with old, hard resin, try using coarse salt.

Step 3: Let the pipe soak

Leave the pipe to soak in the bag or container for about 12 hours. This will give the alcohol enough time to thoroughly dissolve the resin.

Step 4: Shake the bag

Shake the bag vigorously to loosen residual resin. If you’re using a container, skip this step to avoid breaking your pipe.

Shake the bag vigorously to loosen residual resin. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 5: Remove the pipe from the bag and wash

After you’ve let your pipe soak for 12 hours and given it a good shake, remove your pipe from the bag and wash with hot water and dish soap. If you have any stubborn resin still clinging to your pipe, try removing it with a paperclip or pipe cleaners, but only if it won’t do damage to your pipe. You can also try using a pipe cleaner or cotton swab. After you’ve washed the pipe, give it a final rinse with just hot water.

Step 6: Let the pipe dry

Give your pipe ample time to sit and dry before you use it again. If your pipe isn’t totally clean before you begin drying, repeat the previous steps and make sure to add new salt, as the salt from the first round of cleaning will have been largely dissolved.

In both their material build and wide variety of unique designs, pipes are typically designed to last a long time. They also need regular maintenance to keep up their full function and deliver a clean, flavorful smoke.

How to clean a pipe Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What you’ll need Cleaning your pipe step-by-step The pipe, a small, handheld device