How to Clean a Bong: Our Best Tips to Keeping Your Glass Looking Brand New
Published on 3/28/22
If you're a consistent smoker, you probably have your favorite piece that you love. You use it day after day, even more than once during the day, but have you ever stopped to see if the beloved piece is clean or not? Whether that's your weed bowl or your several different types of bongs, making sure that they stay clean is as important as ever. Below we'll relay all the tips for the best way to clean a bowl, how to clean a bong, how to clean a pipe and how to keep those nice glass pieces looking fresh, for longer.
Types of Glass Pieces
Before we dive into how to clean a piece and why it's so important for your health, let's make sure we have the basics down of the variety of glass pieces. For starters, pipes are almost always made of glass, but they can also be found in metal and ceramic mediums. Pipes are commonly shaped as spoons and any device you've come across that has a bowl, mouthpiece and no water chamber is considered a pipe.
Bongs, on the other hand, have the inclusion of a water chamber and come in a variety of shapes and sizes with removable bowl pieces, slides and other parts. A bubbler is a petite-bong of sorts that is equipped with a water chamber, but with no removable bowl. Just like pipes, these pieces are typically made from glass, but can also come in silicon and cheap plastic materials.
Why It Matters to Clean Your Glass
The more often you smoke and use these pieces, the more you should clean them. As a rule of thumb, a bong should be cleaned out daily and a pipe should be cleaned out once a week. Are you following that schedule? We didn't think so, either.
Cleaning is paramount for two huge reasons. To start, keeping your glass clean will give you the real, clean flavor that you're supposed to receive from the cannabis. You want to taste the smoke from the flower or concentrate, not the resin. Not only will the resin look and smell unpleasant, but inhaling it can be harmful to your health, as mold and bacteria can start to grow where there is heavy resin build-up.
Methods for How to Clean a Bowl and Other Pieces
When it comes to starting your cannabis cleaning project, the main ingredient that you'll see is isopropyl alcohol. With glass pieces especially, this mixture of alcohol diluted with hot water that is often paired with salt will get the caked-on resin off in no time. You can find this alcohol from any local pharmacy or supermarket, just make sure to rinse thoroughly after to rid the glass of alcohol.
If you're not interested in using something so harsh and are wondering how to clean a bong without alcohol (or any other piece!), a vinegar and coarse salt mixture can do the trick. This is also a strong solution, and the salt is great for pulling stubborn spots of debris off your glass. This is a great go-to because people almost always have these two ingredients in their homes and will save you a trip to the store, where we know you're going to grab snacks for when the munchies hit.
Some claim that the easiest and best way to clean a bong or other pieces is by simply purchasing professionally made, pre-mixed cleaning solutions designed specifically for your cannabis gear. If you lean into the DIY methods, the above solutions will do the trick. However, for the lazy stoner - this may be the best for you. Simply purchase at a head shop or dispensary and follow the instructions for a squeaky-clean piece every time.
With all pieces, make sure to rinse thoroughly and allow for a proper dry time before you pack the next bowl.
How to Clean a Dab Rig & Collect Reclaim
We've just learned how to clean a glass pipe, so now it's time for something a bit more advanced. Dab rings are technically bongs, but they do work a bit differently. They are still water pipe devices that vaporize cannabis concentrates, but with less drag than a bong where the vapor travels to the lungs more quickly. Dab rigs also differ from bongs because they get clogged up with reclaim, which is leftover oil that is still good to dab.
Fill up your dab rig with enough isopropyl alcohol to cover the reclaim areas and let it sit for 5-20 minutes. Once the alcohol has had time to sit, shake the rig thoroughly before pouring the alcohol and the reclaim solution into a glass dish. Once this solution is gathered, let the dish sit for the better part of a day to let the alcohol evaporate. Once evaporated, use the THC-rich reclaim for practically anything - your newest edible creation, a THC tincture or all over again in your clean dab rig.
How to Keep Glass Looking New
The golden rule with your glass pieces should always be - the more you use it, the more you clean it. And we suggest cleaning it at least once a week. The easiest way to keep those (likely expensive) pieces looking new is to change the water daily. If you're in a rush from the day-to-day grind, doing a quick rinse with warm water can help loosen up buildup. Also, using filtered water is not only good for the piece but also will give you the flavorful experience that you're looking for from that specific strain.
Grabbing either pipe cleaners or cotton swabs for the hard-to-reach crevices in between the deep cleans will also keep your pieces looking sharp and appealing for the next smoking session with your friends. If you plan on putting your bong on the shelf for a week or two after a deep clean, remove the downstem and bowl to ensure that these delicate pieces won't break.
Do you have a favorite piece? What's your go-to way to keep it clean? Tell us your top tips in the comments.