How To Clean a Bong

Best Way to Clean a Bong

Cleaning a bong can be a delicate process. Bongwater can make the glass really nasty, but the shape and design of bongs can make it challenging to get really clean. Some bongs are large enough that you can actually scrub the insides of them clean. Other bongs that are either smaller or more intricately designed will require soaking in a cleaning solution, for which there are several options. How specifically you end up cleaning your bong will come down to the specifics of what bong you have and what your preferences are, or even what you have available. Of course, you also will need to consider the material from which your bong is made, be it glass, silicone, or other material. Most bongs will have several options for a successful clean, so consider the options and see which one fits you best.

Step-By-Step Cleaning Guide

Step-by-Step Bong Cleaning Guide

  1. Any parts of the bong that can be separated need to be removed now. Usually, this will be the bong bowl, though differing models may have a variety of removal pieces you will need to consider.
  2. Once all removable pieces are taken off, dump out your bong water. You do NOT want that mixing in with your cleaning solution, or you will end up with a gross, stinky mess.
  3. With all pieces removed, place your bong pieces in your chosen cleaning solution. Make sure that your pieces are completely submerged. If you are unsure of what cleaning solution to use, consider the following:
    1. Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
    2. Vinegar
    3. 420 Cleaner
  4. Your bong pieces will need to stay submerged for around 45 minutes. This time can vary depending on dirty your bong is.
  5. Remove the bong from the cleaning solution and rinse thoroughly. If you noticed there is still residue, you can repeat the cleaning cycle, attempt scrubbing, or attempt another kind of cleaning solution.
  6. Allow the bong to air dry before storage. Once dry, the bong will be ready for another smoke session!

Bong Cleaners

Bong Cleaners

There are a variety of bong cleaners that you can use to aid your cleaning process. Though not an exhaustive list, the following items are popular choices in helping get bongs clean!

  1. Isopropyl alcohol: An easy choice to find and fairly reliable. You will have to deal with the strong odor it produces during the cleaning process.
  2. 420 Cleaner: This is a retail cleaner that is specially formulated for cleaning bongs of a variety of materials. This is our recommendation for the most reliable and consistent performing cleaning method. There are formulas for nearly any kind of material your bong is made out of, as well as all-natural formulas.
  3. Vinegar: This common acidic household item can get the job done in a pinch. However, the pungent smell it produces, as well as its comparatively weaker cleaning effects, means that you should only use this method if you do not have something else available.
  4. Salt: Salt is a great solution for stubborn residue that is resistant to some of our listed soaking solutions. Salt acts as a natural brush, and filling a bong with saltwater and gently agitating it will allow the salt to brush away at the sides of the bong.
  5. Scrapers: Sometimes soaking may be an inefficient solution for those with particularly dirty bongs. If this describes yours, scrapers are available for manual cleaning. They are usually designed to easily fit inside the body of your bong and tackle some of those more stubborn stains.

How to Clean a Bong Bowl Piece

How to Clean a Bong Bowl Piece

Bong bowls are cleaned in nearly the exact same way as the normal body of a bong is. You can use any of the aforementioned cleaning solutions to create a soaking treatment for your bong bowl. However, since bong bowls come into direct contact with the dry herb as well as intense heat, you will want to give them longer to soak (at least an hour, if not a couple). You should also make sure that there are no loose pieces of ash or leftover dry herb in the bowl before soaking it.

How to Clean a Bong Stem

How to Clean a Bong Stem

A bong stem is the piece that flows directly from the bong bowl towards the bottom of the bong water reservoir. The smoke follows this path, exiting under the water and filters its way through. Without a bong stem, you cannot use your bong at all. Fortunately, bong stems are relatively easy to clean, as they follow the same process as cleaning the water reservoir. Make sure that the stem is completely submerged with the cleaning solution completely filling the inside of it. You may need to let it soak more than the large body of the bong as it comes in direct contact with the smoke from the dry herb. If there is stubborn residue, you can use a pipe cleaner and gently run it through the stem to help knock loose any stubborn particles.

How to Clean a Bong Without Alcohol

How to Clean a Bong Without Alcohol

As we have mentioned, there are a number of ways to clean a bong without the use of rubbing alcohol. This includes retail cleaners like 420 Cleaner, saltwater, and vinegar. Alternative methods have their own pros and cons for use, so think about which one best fits your desires and wants when cleaning a bong.

How to Clean a Glass Bong

You can use the aforementioned cleaning process to clean a glass bong. Glass is by far the most popular choice of bong material, so you will likely see many different cleaning techniques or solutions for glass bongs. Regardless of which one you choose, just remember to handle your bong with care. Most pipe breaks occur during cleaning, so always clean where you will not easily drop the bong or otherwise damage it.

How to Clean a Silicone Bong

How to Clean a Silicone Bong

Cleaning a silicone bong will follow the same process as a glass bong. However, they also have the added benefit of usually being easier to clean. Silicone bongs will not break or shatter, and many are easily bent and maneuvered to get the ideal cleaning. Many silicone bongs are also two-piece models that easily come apart for easy scrubbing. Silicone bongs have begun to grow in popularity because they are generally less expensive than glass bongs, easier to handle, and easier to clean.

How to Clean a Plastic Bong

Plastic bongs have many similar benefits to silicone bongs. You can also follow the steps listed above for effective cleaning, but you do not have to worry about a plastic bong shattering like a glass bong might (though, being more brittle than silicone, it is still possible for them to break). As with silicone bongs, many plastic bongs are available in multipart models, allowing them to be dissembled into several parts for easier cleaning.

How to Clean a Percolator Bong

How to Clean a Percolator Bong

Percolator bongs (sometimes called percs) are bongs with specialty stems. Instead of a simple opening, they have any number of unique opening (usually comprised of several small holes) that forces the smoke to diffuse before going through the water to filter. Percolator bongs have become popular because they increase the smoothness of the smoke even more so than just using water filtering alone. Though their designs can be intricate, a percolator bong follows the same steps for cleaning as the other bongs listed in this article. Some special considerations to consider are that you will almost never be able to scrub the inside of a percolator. The holes are simply too small, so it is important to not let percolator bongs become super dirty with a lot of built-up residue as it will become very difficult to clean.

Where to Buy Bongs and Bong Cleaners

Bongs and bong cleaners can usually be found in headshops and increasingly at vape shops. However, online will almost always be your best bet in finding the widest selection with the best prices. That includes right here at, too! Any bongs or cleaner bought here will get our always FREE U.S. shipping with no minimum order requirements. 

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