If you regularly use a bong, you’re definitely going to want to keep it clean. Bongs start to reek after a single use and you really don’t want to leave it sitting around like that for long, because the smell, like a hit single from talented trio TLC, begins to creep.
You can get rid of weed smell from a bong by cleaning it properly, though there seems to be ongoing debate between cannabis enthusiasts on the best way to do so. Some people swear by alcohol (there’s even argument on what type of alcohol), others say acetone (which is bad for you), while still others won’t use anything other than commercial cleaning solutions specially formulated just for cleaning bongs. Which is correct?
Why Does My Bong Stink, Anyway?
When you use a bong, all of the contaminants that you'd typically inhale into your lungs by smoking joints or using a dry bowl are sticking to the glass and being deposited into the bong water.
Anyone who smokes tobacco knows that the ashes themselves are malodorous. Same is true for cannabis ashes! Ditto for cannabis resin; even if you empty the water out of your bong after you use it, you’re still going to have somewhat stinky resin stuck to the inside of the glass. This isn’t going to come off by simply rinsing the bong, not even if you add hot water and dish soap into the mix.
Emptied and dried out after each use, your bong won’t stink as much. In my experience, old bong water is the primary culprit behind that nasty fragrance of wet, dirty ass. Oh, speaking of! Anyone who wants to buy my old bath (or bong water) and just luxuriate in my lovely stank can hit me up on OnlyFans. I heard that's a thing these days?
What Is Bong Water?
The water in a bong acts as a filter to absorb everything you don’t want to put into your lungs. There are very valid reasons that people tell you not to drink the bong water and it’s not just because it tastes like the death of everything you ever loved. The things you're likely to find in bong water if you get all CSI and enhance! it include:
- Other microorganisms
Contrary to long-popular rumors, probably propagated by dudes named Squid, drinking bong water isn’t going to get you high. You’ll get a headache and regret it as a poor life decision, much like when you started calling yourself Squid, as you’re puking in the bathroom.
Why? THC isn’t water-soluble, so there isn’t going to be any active THC in the bong water. No high for you! I tried eating flower once when I was younger, that didn't work either, and it's gross. You also can't get high smoking tea through a steamroller, no matter how much you want to...I feel like I'm getting off track.
It is entirely possible that you might make yourself actually sick by drinking bong water. Especially if it’s old! Praying to the porcelain is a best-case scenario for ingesting the bacteria, yeast, fungi, mold, etcetera that could be lurking in your bong water like a snarling gang of Osmosis Jones villains.
If you’re looking at bong water that has a film on top of it, you definitely want to toss it and thoroughly clean your bong before you use it again. That layer on top? That’s biofilm, dude, and it could have E. coli, strep bacteria, or who knows what else in it, especially if you’ve shared it with other people. Can you get syphilis in your lungs? I dunno, you want to find out? CLEAN YOUR BONG.
How Can I Make My Bong Smell Better?
Uhh, clean it. We just went over this, my dude. Oh, but you're asking about making the water smell better while you’re using it, ok then. Things like lemon peels and mint leaves can safely be added to the water if your pants are feelin' fancy.
Some people use alternatives to classic, flouride-laced H2O like cranberry juice. I'd advise you not to do that unless you really are cleaning your bong every single day. Juices contain sugar and leaving those to sit for a day or two and reusing them is worse and more hazardous than re-using bong water. Not only that, but the sugar in it can stick to the glass and make it so much harder to clean. And attract bugs! You want to smoke dead fruit flies like some kind of graveyard ghoul?
How Do You Get The Smell Out Of A Silicone Bong?
You can actually put a silicone bong in the dishwasher to get the weed smell out, but you still want to make sure that any detergent left on the inside or outside of the bong is fully rinsed off before you go to use it again. I mean, really sure. Cuz otherwise it ends up in your lungs. So do a good job! Practice mindfulness when you clean it. It might not make you a master of the zen art of motorcycle maintenance, but it won't won't do that, either. You might as well give it a go!
You can also get the weed smell out by soaking it in alcohol that’s 40 proof or higher (70% isopropyl or above will do it) overnight. Then, rinse the alcohol out with water thoroughly and let it dry.
What Do You Use To Clean A Bong?
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Dish soap
- Commercial Weed Glass Cleaners
People have tried all kinds of stuff to clean their bongs, but the most common daily cleaning solution is the classic combo of isopropyl alcohol and salt. There’s no doubt that this works as a daily cleaning, but some claim that salt scratches the inside of the glass, which you don't want if you paid a lot of money for it. Which you did, unless you got cheap Chinese-made glass, which is a bad idea. Do I need to remind you of how little the CCP cares about your health? Right, anyway, salt definitely scratches the inside of acrylic bongs.
Vinegar will work in a pinch and dish soap is great for cleaning a downstem and a bowl on short notice. But, if you really want to deep clean your bong every once in a while, you want to bring out the heavy-hitting commercial cleaners.
How To Clean A Really Dirty Bong
A really dirty bong should be cleaned with a commercial product designed specifically for glass that’s used with cannabis. You’ll want something like Grunge Off or Kush Clean. Both brands are reusable, which helps makes up for the fact that they’re like $16 per bottle on Amazon.
First, you should separate the pieces of glass. If your bong has a removable downstem, take that out along with the bowl.
Wash your bowl and removable downstem by hand with dish soap and hot water before you can put it into the cleaning solution. At the very least, clean the ashes out of the bowl and rinse any loose material out of the downstem. It’s just gunk you’re going to have to filter out of your cleaner at the end, so save yourself the trouble up front.
Next, you're gonna need a bong plug to fit inside the downstem hole. Heheheh, you said 'plug.' And 'hole.' Aheheheh.
Fill the bong up with the cleaner and let it soak for a minimum of 2 hours. Place your bowl and downstem in a container with your cleaner in it, too, making sure the pieces are completely covered. It isn't a bad idea to simply leave it overnight just to be absolutely sure it's done the job. You don’t want to have to repeat this process a second time if 2 hours isn’t enough!
After soaking, grab some cheesecloth or a metal strainer and a large measuring cup. Dump the cleaner out of the bong through whichever filter you're using, into the cup, so any particulates will be removed before you put the solution back in its bottle for reuse.
Rinse your bong very thoroughly. You don’t want to leave any chemicals behind and end up contaminating new bong water with them. Wax on, wax off, Daniel-san, and voila! Your bong is shiny and clean again.
If you clean your bong daily with salt and isopropyl alcohol like a responsible adult, your bong should only require deep cleaning once a month.
Cleaning a bong sounds like a hassle, but make it a habit, as its benefits far outweigh the time/energy cost. Your hits will be smoother, they’ll taste better, and you don’t have to worry about the fact that you shared your bong 3 days ago with a buddy that turns out to have a case of the syphilitic lung. I knew it was a thing!!!