The health and hygiene of your cannabis smoking accessories is important. Maybe cleaning your bongs and pipes isn’t the first exciting thing that comes to mind when you think about weed, but cleanliness is crucial! Bong health directly correlates to lung and throat health. After all, cleaning your bongs and pipes is a pretty painless venture that is going to improve your next smoke sessions to a huge degree. And you’ll be grateful you did it. 

Roll up your sleeves, prep yourself for a little polish-off, and let’s go through the in-and-outs of how to clean your bongs and pipes.

Why to Clean Your Bongs and Pipes

Most cannabis pipes and bongs are made of glass, but some are ceramic, acrylic, wood, or metal. Regardless, tar builds up after repeated use of smoking accessories, making it more harsh to toke and also lessening the flavour of the cannabis. 

You can even scrape and save the resin to smoke, though it’s quite harsh. Best is to clean your bong and then take that first fresh hit.

When is Cleaning Time?

In short, cleaning time is as soon as you notice buildup in your weed accessory. You’ll know it, because it’s brown and sticky. 

How often you need to clean your bong or pipe is in direct correlation to how much you smoke. Some regular tokers like to clean their bong or pipe daily. If you smoke a few times a week, you’re probably okay with cleaning your bong or pipe weekly. And if you’re a very infrequent smoker, monthly will probably suffice. 

It’s also important to note that for bongs and bubblers, it’s usually a smart idea to change the water before smoking every time you use it. Water that sits in a piece too long is full of tar and debris

Steps to Clean 

Cleaning a glass bong, pipe, or bubbler is simple. While there are many different products on the market specifically made for cleaning your gear, really you need just two common household items to clean it: Isopropyl alcohol—90% or higher is best, and coarse salt.

To clean your weed piece:

  • If it’s a bong or bubbler, empty out the water
  • For a bong, remove the bowl and downstem
  • Pour the alcohol and coarse salt into the bong
  • Plug the holes and shake it for a minute or two
  • You can also put the bowl and downstem in a plastic bag or pot and fill it with salt and alcohol that way. Shake it and also let it soak. This method is also good for pipes. 
  • Pour out alcohol/salt mixture
  • Rinse with all alcohol and salt out with warm water. (Don’t use hot water, as it might crack glass!)
  • Let it dry until it doesn’t smell like alcohol (approximately an hour)
  • Repeat if there is still tar build-up remaining. 

For tough tar that won’t let go, soak the bong or pipe for a few hours or overnight. You can also purchase a pipe brush and scrub it after pouring out the alcohol.

Be very careful not to break a glass piece when cleaning it. Cleaning involves vigorously shaking glass and usually happens near a porcelain or metal sink. This means it’s a major danger zone for breakage. It can be wise to place the bong or pipe on an old rag so it doesn’t break on your countertop

For other types of bongs, such as silicone or acrylic, you’ll need to use a less abrasive method such as hot water and dish soap, instead of the 90% alcohol.

The resin will be incredibly sticky, so you may want to wear disposable gloves. And avoid dumping dirty bong water down your drain as it may eventually clog it!


Cleaning your bong regularly is crucial to your health and enjoyment of cannabis

Although you can buy mixtures that promise to clean your bong well, using a combination of isopropyl alcohol and salt will clean your bong just as well. 

Learning how to clean your bong well means you protect both your health and your beloved bong. A well-made bong can last decades, but regular maintenance is a key component to it operating well. The more often you clean your bong, the less you’ll need to deep-clean it, which can be pesky as tar is so sticky. Enjoy cannabis with a clean bong.

Peers has a wide variety of cannabis products to explore. Speak with one of our representatives today to get started!