5 Weird ways to clean a bong that actually work

Published May 23, 2021 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / José Antonio Luque Olmedo

Isopropyl alcohol is the most commonly used bong cleaner because it’s cheap, effective, and easy to get, but not having some on hand doesn’t mean that you have to struggle with a dirty device. There are many different ways to clean a bong and they don’t all include strong chemicals or store-bought bong cleaner. All you really need is a few ingredients that will work when combined to combat the sticky resins, oil, and ash that can build up, and lucky for you, we’ve got a list of some of the weirdest ones, which can help when you’re stuck in a pinch or find yourself seeking more environmentally friendly options of how to clean a bong.

1. Coke or Pepsi

One of the strangest ways to clean a bong that we’ve come across is the soda pop technique, which utilizes the incredible power of Coke, Pepsi, or any other brown-coloured fizzy pop. In some cases, light flavours will work too, but nowhere near as well. These beverages are sweet, delicious, and insanely abrasive due to an abnormally high acidity that can eat at everything from the enamel on your teeth to the crud that sits along the walls of your bong.

To use pop in place of regular bong cleaner, you’ll need to soak the whole device for a minimum of 1 full hour before rinsing the piece clean with warm water and then patting it dry before use.

2. Baking soda and vinegar

Most of us have a bit of baking soda sitting somewhere in the fridge or kitchen cupboards because it’s one of the most versatile ingredients out there. It can be used for baking, cleaning, and removing pungent smells, all things that your bong probably needs if you’re here. The problem is that they must be combined in order to work properly because it’s the chemical reaction between the two additives that make the solution abrasive enough to clean a bong.

To do this, you can combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and after a quick rinse of some warm water, take the mixture and use it to coat the inside of the bong as much as possible. Then leave it for an hour or two before washing the bong cleaner away and then patting it dry.

3. Water and pebbles

This certainly isn’t the most effective bong cleaner, but when you’ve got no other options, it can help to break up some of the sludge in a bong or pipe. All you need is a bit of water, a handful of pebbles, and a few minutes of time to mix everything together by hand. The results won’t be as immediate or distinct as some of the other ways to clean a bong on this list, but with the help of patience and a bit of extra time, you might be surprised to see how much this can accomplish.

Run the bong under a tap that’s set to as high of a temperature as you can handle while still comfortably holding the device for at least a few minutes to start. Then toss in a handful of small, round pebbles and use your wrists to swirl the bong cleaning solution about which should break up anything that’s inside before dumping that water out and replacing it with some fresh stuff.

4. Salt and lemon juice

If you want a 100% natural bong cleaner, then this is an excellent place to start because it’s far simpler and more effective than a basic water rinse even with the help of stones, and there are no chemicals included in the mixture. All you need is some lemon juice which can be freshly squeezed or store-bought, though it must be real juice in order to work, and a few pinches of the coarsest salt you can find, and in no time, your device will look like new.

Add ½ cup of lemon juice to a measuring cup along with at least 3 tablespoons of coarse salt. Then stir the ingredient to mix and use that solution to fill your bong to the top, using any excess to carefully pour down the edges starting at the mouthpiece. Now leave the bong cleaner to sit for anywhere from 30-60 minutes and then rinse the bong until it’s clean and you can no longer smell lemon.

5. Plant-based oil, soap, and distilled water

Since you’re trying to get rid of sticky buildup and resins, you might be hesitant to pour something that’s oily into your bong to clean it, but despite the fact that this may be one of the strangest ways to clean a bong, it is also one of the most effective. Unfortunately, however, it will take more time than the rest if you want to see stunning results, so it’s best to try this one right before you go to bed, leaving plenty of time for soaking overnight.

You can use any plant-based oil including vegetable, soy, sunflower or peanut, to coat and soak a dirty bong before leaving it to soak overnight in the kitchen sink. The next morning, you can scrub away the gross film and then wash the whole thing with a few drops of dish soap and water.

Don’t forget these useful bong cleaning tools

Finding a good bong cleaning alternative is only half of the battle won because if you want to return your device to a like-new state, then you’re going to need to put in some arm work with the assistance of a handful of potential tools.

  • Cotton swabs
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Metal pipe brushes
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning cloth
How often you should you clean your bong


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