How to Clean a Bong

A closeup of the mouth piece of a bong.

I have a profound respect for bong owners. There is no hedging with a bong. Many marijuana users will have the discrete toke from a modest bowl, keeping their little habit secret from the world. I suppose our draconian drug laws have something to do with that. Still, when I walk into a home and see a glistening, clean bong, I see it as a statement. “Yes, I take pleasure in smoking marijuana,” the bong proclaims, “and I do so proudly and in luxurious fashion.” Indeed, bongs are the fine caviar of pot smoking devices…except when they become dirty. Dirty bongs are the rotten fish eggs of marijuana use. Fear not! In this article I will show you how to clean a bong using items you probably already have in your home.

Six Steps to a Clean Bong

  1. cleaning suppliesGather your bong cleaning supplies. First, you’ll need rubbing (isoprophl) alcohol to dissolve the resin’s hold over your bong, and salt – a mile abrasive – to help it along. You’ll also need something to cover and tie the bong (rubber bands and wax paper), something to plug the stem with (cotton balls), pipe cleaners and other items to get into the stem and do the detail work. Rubbing alcohol can be irritating, and resin is gross (unless you smoke it), so you’ll want gloves and perhaps a mask.
  2. Bong with waxp aper to hold in cleanerAdd the salt and rubbing alcohol, and shake the bong.Throw the salt into the bong first. How much you add depends on the size of the bong. You don’t want it all to dissolve, but you don’t want it to sit in a glob on the bottom. You need friction to clean a bong. Plug the stem with a cotton ball and cover the chimney (I use rubber bands and wax paper). The shaking can get tedious. You can imagine you’re being electrocuted by the government. They want to know, if not from them, where you get such outstanding bud.
  3. dirty water in toiletFlush it away, and repeat if necessary. This stuff is nasty, probably the 32nd most nasty substance to pass through these porcelain gates. You only need to flush it the first or second time through, then the solution will be less murky. You can also save the rubbing alcohol, even the murky stuff, for future bong cleaning. Jars work best for storage. A jar full of used rubbing alcohol makes for a great gift during the holiday season.
  4. scrubbing bong with pipe cleanersDo the detail work. Clean the stem with pipe cleaners and cotton tipped applicators (Q-Tips). With rubbing alcohol, there usually is very little detail work to be done, if any. Some people will use a straight toilet cleaning brush to clean a bong. While it surely demeans your bong (sorry toilets), it would be great for getting into awkward stems, and just like in the bathroom, it would loosen even the most horrid sludge buildup.
  5. Rinse bong to let dryRinse thoroughly. You don’t want to get rubbing alcohol in your system, so go crazy rinsing. You can also let it soak. When you’re finished, you’ll be reminded why you first bought the piece. Behold, the bong is risen! Now that you’ve learned how to clean a bong, you need to learn how to clean the slide or any other separate part of the bong.
  6. bong slideClean the slide. I do this using the exact same method described above, only I put the slide in a plastic baggy. If you want a step by step demonstration on how to clean a bong slide, see our article about cleaning pipes.

I Show You How to Clean a Bong, You Help End Prohibition

Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that, if caught with marijuana, I will be arrested and treated like a criminal. Having their arguments debunked and proven false repeatedly, our supposedly well-educated puppet leaders end the debate with the equivalent of “nah-nah na boo-boo.” The county I live in averages around 200 marijuana arrests each year. This leads to countless court dates, endless paperwork, and loads and loads of money. It comes down to the fact that our legal system needs marijuana to rationalize bloated budgets. Without weed, my county would have to lay off at least one judge, a few cops, and a slew of other legal underlings. I hate that my tax money is being wasted. Forget the fact the war on drugs has failed. Forget that the country’s best economists have urged legalization for years. Forget that the cop mind is underdeveloped. Marijuana prohibition infringes upon your freedom. Support NORML and other groups advocating legalization. Write your state representatives. We have some momentum now with medical marijuana. Don’t let the movement die.

Alternative Ways to Clean a Bong

box of efferdentEfferdent. This is what your grandmother uses to clean a bong. With age, wisdom? I’ve seen this solution posted in countless forums, and everyone seems to agree – it works. You put the product in and let it soak overnight. My question is, what has Grandma been eating that she needs a chemical that can clean resin sludge? Regardless, you can order Efferdent from Amazon if you’re…incapacitated.

pot of water on propane burnerBoiling. It can be done with water or with vinegar, but either way, add some salt to the cauldron. This is a better method for smaller pieces, but it will work to clean a bong. I’ve also heard of bongs breaking from the extreme temperatures, but I’m pretty sure this is because people tried to rinse with cold water. Pouring boiling water (or vinegar) in the bong outside would be best, but you’ll need to watch for self-righteous citizens and cops.

Slice MMA FighterIntimidation.When Slice furrows his brow, his bong shits its pants, dislodging all resin sludge. But if you’re going to clean a bong this way, you’ll need to develop a menacing glare and street cred.

Druid holding up skullLocal Wizard.Because I’m lazy, I recently contacted a local wizard to clean my bong. His spell casting, both healing and elemental, was much renowned among the male virgins in my community. Alas, he rolled a 13 and my bong had fire resistance. I’ll go with a paladin next time.