How to Clean a Bong Effectively: A Guide for a Cleaner Smoke


Water pipes are a common way to smoke cannabis. They’ve existed as a popular smoking method for hundreds of years, and if you’ve used one you know why. A deep, cool hit from a bong is one of the most satisfying marijuana experiences.

Or it can be. If your bong isn’t clean, you know why dirty bong water is used as a negative metaphor.

Don’t waste your premium weed by smoking it through an unclean bubbler. Read on for useful information on how to clean a bong.

What is Your Piece Made From?

Bongs are considered by many the best way to smoke weed. They also come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are basic. Others are unique art pieces, crafted from varying materials like glass, acrylic plastic, and wood.

How to clean a weed bong depends on what your bong is made from. There are important strategical differences to note, especially because cleaning a bong incorrectly will lead to integrity issues and eventual breakage.

Glass, Wood, Ceramic

Regular glass and wood bong maintenance will require common household supplies and knowledge of basic science.

One simple method for how to clean a water bong is to “make a volcano” with white vinegar and baking soda.

Detach the bowl and slide, then coat the inside of the chamber with plenty of baking soda. Then pour in the white vinegar. Allow this combination to fizz and then soak for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing with hot water.

Another quick, easy method for how to clean a bong is the use of denture tablets. Raid your grandmother’s medicine cabinet, drop in two or three, cover with warm water, and soak. Like the “volcano” method, the bubbling action will strip the resin. 


Acrylic or plastic bongs are as common as glass and wood, and just as easy to clean.

For this type, all that’s needed is rubbing alcohol, lemons, coarse grain kosher or sea salt, and plastic freezer bags.

Place the bowl and slide in a freezer bag, then sprinkle salt into the chamber of the bong as well as the parts bag. Pour in the alcohol, lemon juice, and warm water, then swirl and shake to remove the resin from all parts.

For more effective cleaning, let everything soak for up to an hour before rinsing clean.

If you cannot find rubbing alcohol, vodka is a great substitute. The added bonus for using vodka is you can pour yourself a drink while you wait for your bong to come clean.


For these types of bongs, a common cleaning method is to use olive, coconut, or any other type of oil with high-fat content. This is a useful method to help maintain the wood’s integrity and prevent it from drying out.

For this method, pour a few tablespoons of the oil into the bong after draining the water and drying. Swish and swirl to ensure that the oil makes contact with the resin.

Make sure to let the oil sit and soak in your piece for a few hours so the fat can do its work to lift and remove residue.

After the soaking, rinse your bong thoroughly with soap and water.

Be cognizant of how fatty oils can turn rancid. When employing this cleaning method, be sure to rinse adequately.

Bong Cleaner

You may not know how to use a bong properly, or that it requires regular cleaning. If this is the case, home remedies will be inadequate.

Don’t worry. There are a variety of heavy-duty bong cleaners available at any headshop and will get the job of removing the caked resin.

Take note that while these cleaners are advertised as non-toxic, they are chemical compounds. Make sure to rinse your bong liberally before you enjoy your next smoke.

Pipe Cleaners are for Pipes

Pipe cleaners aren’t just for elementary school art projects.

Rather than gluing them to construction paper and sprinkling with glitter, consider using pipe cleaners for their intended purpose. You know, cleaning a pipe.

While many a stoner will suggest an alcohol-soaked cotton swab to clean the small crevices of any pipe or bong, consider grabbing a bag of these the next time you’re in a smoke shop or even an arts and crafts outlet.

Pipe cleaners are preferred simply because they are more sturdy. A cotton swab crafted from cardboard or plastic can break, or the cotton may get caught in the bowl, slide, or stem you want to clean.

Dampen the pipe cleaner with rubbing alcohol or vodka and get to work.


Just as you would clean your refrigerator or bathtub, bong cleaning should be performed frequently.

Ideally, you should clean your bong after each use. If you are a social smoker or a full-time stoner, frequent bong cleaning will keep your smoke full and flavorful.

Regular care will increase the effectiveness and ease of any cleaning method. After all, you didn’t spend all that money on a beautiful, blown glass piece just to have it gunked up and ruined. 

The Importance of Bong Cleaning

Learning how to clean a bong, and doing it regularly will keep your smoking experience as healthy and pleasurable as possible.

Everybody has their methods. Remember while there is no one, true way to clean a bong, doing so is as important as finding the right strain of weed.

So remember to keep it clean and fresh for the happiest and healthiest smoke.