Cleaning your bong can be difficult and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many different cleaning methods you can use, some of which are much easier than others. The following four ways to clean a bong make this task more manageable:
Soak in Water
To clean your bong before you enjoy your Sour Suver Haze Flower or other strains, start soaking it in water. Let your bong sit in hot water for about 15 minutes. This will dissolve anything on its surface, like resin or dirt. The remaining contents will be easier to clean once they’ve had time to soak and soften up.
Alternatively, if you have access to cold water, fill your sink with enough water so that there are at least two inches of space between your bong and the bottom of your sink. Allow it time to soak to remove any residue buildup on its surface.
Vinegar and Salt
Using vinegar and salt has long been a favorite way to clean a bong. Fill up the bong with water and add about 2 tbsps of white vinegar and 2 tbsps of salt (or about half of each). With those in place, stir vigorously.
While you’re stirring, take your percolator or bowl piece off your bong and cover it with aluminum foil; you don’t want it absorbing any smoke while you clean it. Now that that’s in place, leave your mixture sitting for at least 20 minutes—the longer you wait, the more time there is for the dirty residue to dissolve.
The rice method is perfect for cleaning bongs with detachable downstems or ones that use multiple slides. Drop some rice in at each joint, and then put everything back together. Let it sit overnight (up to 12 hours). In most cases, you’ll be able to just rinse out your bong after removing all of the rice. If some stubborn residue remains, brush your bong with a bit of warm water.
Alcohol is very effective at cleaning out a bong because it attacks all types of bacteria, not just germs. However, don’t use rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol from your local drugstore; it won’t work as well because it’s diluted with water. Instead, make sure you buy anhydrous alcohol like Everclear. If you don’t have access to that, 70% ethanol can be used instead. It doesn’t clean as well but works just fine in a pinch.
A dirty bong can be detrimental to your smoking experience, as residue that builds up on the inner walls of the tube can alter the taste of what you’re smoking and change its effects as well. It can also lead to you inhaling mold spores and make you sick. To get the most out of your next high, make sure to clean your bong properly.