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Keeping Your Bong Clean

bongWe haven’t written a great deal about bongs in the past although we do have a Bongs v Blunts article submitted by a guest writer earlier this year. If this is your method of smoking marijuana do let us know in the comments below and tell us if you would like more information on this.

One thing we want to draw attention to is the importance of keeping a bong clean, with special reference to what you do, or should not do with the liquid you choose to use.

Water is, of course, the most common liquid placed in the chamber to cool down the smoke but there are other options or variations to this.

Some people like to add ice, as a means of increasing the cooling effect whilst others use sparkling rather than still water, to get a bubbly effect. Another alternative is to add lemon or lime peel to the water or mint to add a subtle flavor to the smoke.  However, you should avoid anything sugary as this can adhere to the glass and make cleaning more difficult.

Cranberry juice is said to be an alternative liquid to use instead of water but stick to the unsweetened variety!  And avoid liquor, as that can emit dangerous alcohol fumes and contains sugar as well!

Apart from cooling the smoke one of the benefits of this method of consuming marijuana is that the liquid will filter out matter such as tar and ash.  Although the extent to which this is achieved is open to debate.  Even so, this means that the water will contain both toxic substances as well as others that are desirable, such as cannabinoids.

As water filters out some of the good and some of the bad, that means that you may need to take more hits with a bong than with a joint. Additionally, not all the weed will burn off, so there could be some residual herb in the bong water, which means lower concentrations of CBD and THC in the smoke that reaches you. Some CBD may be left behind and some THC will also be left in the water, meaning that a bong may not get you as easily high as other types of smoke.
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So, what to do with the water and how often should it be refreshed.  Never ever drink this water and don’t use it for any other purpose such as watering plants.  The water in your bong, especially if left to stagnate can gather all kinds of bacteria and fungi, yeasts, and other microorganisms. The best advice is to pour the old water down the drain clean the chamber and replace with fresh clean water or the alternative of your choice.

How often you replenish the water can depend on how frequently you use your bong. The best advice is to do so every time you use it but if you bong often that might be onerous and unnecessary. You will know it is required if you see it develops a top layer known as biofilm. Laying on the surface of the water, this biofilm could harbor any number of nasty pathogens, from Strep and E. coli to black mildew.

There are a number of ways to clean out both the chamber and other bong parts and which one is best for you is likely to be a personal choice and convenience. Alcohol is commonly used and Isopropyl alcohol is a perfectly safe household solvent to use, however, if you are prepared to take a bit more time here are some alternative options.

Boiling in Water.

This method involves bringing water to the boil and then immersing your bong in the water simmering it, but not boiling it, for around 30 minutes.  You need to ensure that the bong is completely covered throughout and that the temperature is not excessive or the glass may fracture.  Once the time is up you can use pipe cleaners and paper towels to finish the job.  Make sure you dry the bong completely.

Water Plus Lemons

As with the boiling option bring water to the boil, add lemon juice and fill the bong.  Shake the water around for about 5 minutes allowing the acid in the lemon juice to clean the glass. You can then empty the water away but this may need a second session if the bong was very dirty or badly stained.  Once it is clean rinse with warm water and dry.


Another alternative is using salt. Use coarse salt and add two or three tablespoons to the chamber and then add hot water.  Shake the bong allowing the saltwater and undissolved salt to clean the glass.  As with the lemon juice, you may have to do this more than once to get a sparkling finish.  Rinse with warm water and dry.

Proprietary Cleaners

In addition to these more traditional methods, there are commercial cleaners available one of which is Randy’s Black Label It is designed for tobacco pipes, but can clean a bong, and has a stellar reputation.

Bongs can certainly offer a uniquely cool way to smoke marijuana but to really enjoy the best experience and gain the full benefit keep yours clean and in pristine condition.


Last update on 2023-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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