Cleaning a bong may seem like a daunting, tedious task. But it doesn’t have to be. 

A bong is one of the oldest, easiest and most commonly used methods of smoking cannabis. The word bong is said to have come from the Thai word “baung”, which is a bamboo tube used for smoking weed.Nowadays, bongs can be beautiful works of art. Regardless of how simple or ‘artful’ bongs may be, they all carry the same function: to filter and cool the smoke that comes from lighting cannabis.

A basic bong usually features a small bowl that holds dried weed. When you light the weed, it combusts and rises. As you inhale, the water in the bottom of the bong starts bubbling, smoke rises through the chamber and then into the mouthpiece.

Bongs require less prep work than a joint, and they can also eliminate harsh smoke and potentially filter out toxins. Bongs with more complex filtration systems can be more difficult to clean, especially due to resin buildup. 

Cleaning your bong is just as important as using it. That’s why we’re sharing an essential guide to cleaning and maintaining your beloved bong.


To start the process of cleaning your bong, here are some must-have materials:

  • Coarse sea salt
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Two large zipper storage bags
  • Rubber stoppers or bong plugs
  • Hot water
  • Q tips or cotton balls
  • Hand towel
  • Bottle brush or pipe cleaners (optional)

Now that you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, here are the steps to properly clean your bong.

  1. Pour out old bong water.
    If you’re a frequent bong user, it’s best to do this daily to help prevent excessive resin buildup as well as preserve flavour and smoke purity.
  2. Remove bowl & downstem, then rinse in hot water.
    To avoid any damage, carefully separate your bowl and downstem and place them in the two separate storage bags after rinsing.
  3. Add salt and alcohol to bowl & downstem.
    Pour a handful of coarse salt and rubbing alcohol into each of the two storage bags until the bowl and downstem are submerged.
  4. Add salt and alcohol to your bong.
    Start by rinsing your bong then pouring your coarse salt inside. Salt should coat the bottom surface of the base. Then pour about ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol into the bong and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  5. Plug holes and shake, shake, shake.
    Using rubber stoppers, bong plugs or hand towels, plug the openings of your bong in the mouthpiece and downstem. Shake the bong vigorously so that the alcohol and salt solution cover all surfaces inside. You can also shake the baggies that contain your bowl and downstem. This will help remove heavy resin buildup.
  6. Rinse all pieces with hot water.
    After you’ve removed as much resin as possible, use warm water to rinse off your bong, downstem and bowl. Before reassembling your bong, check for any leftover resin and repeat steps above until clean. 

Regular bong maintenance is integral to keeping your bong in its best shape. Cleaning your bong on a frequent basis means less of the deep cleaning (win win). 

More bong maintenance tips:

  • Use vinegar or lemon juice for hard water stains
  • Add 1-2 drops pure lemon juice to your water while smoking
  • Store your bong empty