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WeedmapsNews Culture & industry

How to Clean a Bong: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide

May 24, 2019   1:04 pm PDT | Updated 3 years ago

There is an interesting meme going around Twitter that any stoner can (and will) relate to. It goes something like this: I don't know who needs to hear this, but clean out your bong.

The bong, also known as a water pipe in certain head shops, has been a popular device of cannabis consumption since the dawn of stoner culture. This iconic piece of glass paraphernalia uses water to cool and filter the smoke before inhalation. Weed is packed in a bowl that is mounted onto a downstem, which directs the smoke through a water filtration system before it rises up the neck of the bong and through the mouthpiece.

The narrow neck and downstem can make it difficult to keep the crevices from building up resin and stay up to date with bong maintenance, leading to bongs that can look (and smell) like this:

This is gross. Don't let this happen to your bong, please. (Photo by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

A sparkly clean bong has long been coveted by the stoner community, a clear sign of a responsible bong owner and trustworthy stoner. Even the internet knows the benefits of a clean bong.

So, do yourself, your fellow stoners, and your weed a service by cleaning your dirty bong.

While there are a variety of different ways to clean a bong, this is the gold standard, the crème de la glass cleanse, and simplest, most straightforward way of getting the job done.


  • Coarse sea salt
  • 99% Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)


  • Two large zipper storage bags
  • Rubber stoppers or bong plugs
  • Towel


Step 1 — Remove Bowl and Downstem

Carefully remove the bowl and downstem from the bong and place them in two separate zipper storage bags.

Step 2 — Place in Zipper Storage Bags with Alcohol

Pour a handful of coarse salt and rubbing alcohol into each of the two zipper storage bags until the bowl and downstem are fully submerged.

Step 3 — Pour Out Old Bong Water

Take the bong and pour out the old water into a sink or drain.

Step 4 — Add Salt and Alcohol

Pour coarse salt into the bong until the bottom surface is coated with a layer of salt. Once the salt is covering the bottom of the bong, pour about ¼ cup, or 60 milliliters, of rubbing alcohol into the bong. Let it sit.

Step 5 — Plug Holes

Plug the holes in the mouthpiece and downstem areas of the bong. If you don't have plugs or rubber stoppers to insert into the bong, you can purchase standard-size plugs and caps from Amazon or your local head shop.  

Step 6 — Shake Bong

Shake the bong and zipper storage baggies well until the heavy resin that has built up on the surface of the glass starts to come off. Once a majority of the resin has come loose, pour the alcohol and sea salt out.

Step 7 — Rinse

Once you've successfully cleared most of the resin from the bong, bowl, and downstem, rinse off the pieces and reassemble. You should be able to use warm water to wash away any residual resin that is still clinging to the surface of the bong. If there's still resin stuck inside of the bong after washing it out, however, repeat the above steps until the rest is flushed out. Note: Make sure all the alcohol is removed from the bong. You don't want any alcohol left over the next time you go to light a bowl. 

And there you have it, an easy step-by-step guide to cleaning your bong. Remember: The goal is to prevent buildup because it affects the flavor. The longer you can keep your bong water clean, the less you have to deep clean. Change the water daily and give your bong a quick rinse weekly and you can avoid being that stoner.