How to clean a bong with all-natural bong cleaners

Published May 13, 2019 10:30 a.m. ET
(Including two recipes for the very best and natural bong cleaners) Photo Credit Christopher Katsarov

There will always be the joint and blunt smokers, but when it comes to marijuana use, most consumers prefer a slightly fancier method of consumption like water bongs, dab rigs, vaporizer, or weed pipes. The problem with these kinds of devices is that they do require regular maintenance to continue to perform like new. It doesn’t take long at all for even the least used bongs to build up a layer of grime and resin that hinders both the flavor and functionality of the piece. Let this task go un-managed too long, and you will eventually find that your bong or pipe gets so clogged up that you can no longer draw through it. Once it gets to that point, it’s incredibly difficult to turn back. Cleaning your bong regularly will make the whole process easier and faster as there will be less resin and other particles to break up.

DIY- Two best bong cleaners

Some people like easy water bong cleaning solutions that can be found at your local head shop for just under $20, but those also contain chemicals that can interfere with the flavor of your pot if any residue is left behind. Most are also fume causing which requires an open window and risk to the lungs which seems like a lot of uncertainty just to clean some old cannabis residue. Instead, we recommend one of the following all-natural cleaning recipes that can be used on dry bongs, water bongs, dab accessories, dab rigs, and weed pipes that are made of any kind of material.

Isopropyl alcohol or vinegar & sea salt

This recipe is easy and especially effective when used on older build up, but the alcohol can get difficult on the breathing and should only be used in a well-ventilated area. Vinegar will smell a bit funny, and it won’t hurt you to inhale, but it is slightly less powerful than isopropyl so choose your cleaner of choice wisely. Mix one cup of either vinegar or isopropyl alcohol with four tablespoons of sea salt for a scrub that is abrasive but safe. Once you are finished, continue to the section how to clean a bong for a few pointers.

Water & lemon


Water is, of course, the most natural cleaner that you could ever use, but this method does require high-temperature heating and isn’t nearly as effective on its own when tried on older build up. It’s more ideal for a regular maintenance regime that is performed every few days and can only be done on materials that can withstand being boiled so wooden pipes and cheap plastic bongs might not be ideal candidates. If you want to try this method first, it can also be used in combination with the other cleaning solution for an extra boost in cleaning power. Though you might gain a few pointers from the how to clean a bong section, this process is mostly done in a saucepan and will be explained here. You will need just a few things to start including:

  • 1 deep pan
  • 1 cup of purified water
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • towels (or paper towels)
  • tool to safely remove bong pieces from the boiling water
  1. Add the lemon and purified water into a saucepan and heat the liquid until it begins to boil.
  2. Place the bong or weed pipe into the solution until it is mostly submerged.
  3. Turn the heat to low and allow the pieces to simmer for 30-45 minutes. Rotate larger pieces as it simmers that have portions which emerge from the water for an even soaking.
  4. Use a pair of tongs or heat safe gloves to remove the bong and accessories and place them on a towel to rest.

How to clean a bong

You should have a few different things on hand to clean out the bong or pipe chambers as efficiently as possible including:

  • Cleaner
  • cotton swabs
  • pipe cleaners (metal wire)
  • 1 container
  • towels (or paper towels)


  1. Soak the bong and bowl or accessories completely disassembled in the cleaning solution by immersing them in the liquid inside of a container for 20-30 minutes. Make sure all of the pieces are under water, and if some remain above the water level than rotate them halfway through.
  2. Remove the parts from the container and place them on towels or paper towels.
  3. Use cotton swabs and any other tools at your disposal to gently wipe and scrape away any remaining grime.
  4. Once you are finished, rinse the pieces thoroughly and allow 30-40 minutes for them to dry completely before use.


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