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How to Clean a Bong, the Right Way

Rip it, clean it, then rip again.

clean bong
Henry Phillips

Bongs are an excellent way to get high. But if you want consistently good highs with your bong, you better be keeping it clean.

"The number one feature of a bong is its water. The water works to filter out all of the gunk that comes with smoke. You get the best filtration, not to mention flavor, with clean water," Liam Kaczmar, founder and creative director of bong brand Summerland, says. "However, dirty bong plus clean water equals dirty water."

Listen, inhaling smoke isn't great for the lungs. But when you're hitting from a bong, most of the bad stuff that would've been entered your lungs ends up in the water and all around the interior of the bong. Constantly taking hits from a dirty bong means more than just taking subpar hits — you're breathing in the crap that should've been filtered out. Plus, that sitting water is a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. "Also, a dirty bong is a bit embarrassing for guests to see," Kaczmar says.

Now that we've convinced you to clean up that dirty bong of yours, here's what you'll need and how to do it. Plus, a few tips because we care about you.

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What You'll Need

    How to Clean a Bong

    Step 1

    Carefully disassemble your bong. Remove the mouthpiece, bowl and other accessories. Dump any dirty water and rinse with clean water.

    Step 2

    Fill the chamber with isopropyl alcohol, leaving a little empty space. Follow up with two to three tablespoons of coarse salt. The isopropyl alcohol acts as a disinfectant to cut through the oils in the residual sticky resin, and the salt acts as an abrasive.

    Step 3

    Cover the top of the bong with your hand and vigorously shake. Let it soak for up to 10 minutes.

    Step 4

    Discard the solution. Wipe the inside of the bong with a paper towel, and if it's too narrow, opt for a bottle brush to give the interior a scrub.

    Step 5

    Rinse the inside with clean water, cover the top, shake and empty the contents. Repeat as necessary.

    Step 6

    Clean the exterior of the bong with dish soap and sponge.

    Step 7

    To clean loose pieces, make sure to clear up any debris, especially in the bowl. Soak all the loose pieces in zip-top bag filled with isopropyl alcohol and a couple tablespoons of salt for 10 minutes.

    Step 8

    Shake up the bag, then rinse the pieces with water until clean.

    bong clean
    Henry Phillips

    Tips for Having a Clean Bong

    Tip 1: Never let your water sit

    After every bong-ripping session, dump out your dirty water. Don't give that grime time to settle in your bong. Better yet, rinse out the dirty water immediately and clean ASAP.

    Tip 2: Keep your bong out of sunlight

    Dirty water in your bong will lead to bacteria and algae growth. If you ever do forget to clean your bong, keeping it out of sunlight will slow down that nastiness. Summerland bongs are ceramic and opaque, which Kaczmar says, prevents ultraviolet exposure to the dirty water.

    Tip 3: Salt is your friend

    While cleaning your bong, salt acts as an abrasive to help remove stuck-on filth. Kaczmar says salt is also helpful before you start a bong session. "Dissolve salt into your bong water before a session," he says. "It's been theorized that some of the harsh ingredients bond the salt molecules, instead of the insides of your bong. Dump it and rinse and you'll probably need to clean it a little less frequently."

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