Why You Should Clean Your Bong
Just like having your own house requires you to clean it, so does having your own bongs and bubblers. It may be annoying and tedious, and potentially gross, but you still have to do it or risk your house looking like an episode of hoarders.
Same goes for your bongs and bubblers. You wouldn’t want to have people over for a smoke sesh with your bong looking like a swamp monster lives in it. Not only is it extremely gross, but it could get you and whoever else smokes it sick from the bacteria that can grow if not cleaned properly and regularly.
Unclean bongs can also mess with the taste, smell and smoothness of your herb. Not only can they smell like a sewer, the only thing you’ll be able to taste is the old smoke from previous smoke sessions. And breathing all that it might be a little rough on your lungs.
There are many reasons to clean your bongs and bubblers regularly, as well as many ways to do it. You can always buy cleaners from a store or make your own cleaner. No matter how you choose to clean your equipment, make sure you actually clean it.
Why Cleaning Your Bong Is Important
There are a lot of reasons to clean your bong, with the most obvious reason being that it’s gross. Usually, most people clean their house/room before they have people over or because they don’t like looking at a mess. Just like with a house, you wouldn’t want your bong to be all gross looking before friends came over. Or maybe looking at a dirty bong skeeves you out.
One of the big reasons why cleaning is extremely important is because you can get sick from the bacteria that can grow in an unclean bong. Dirty water left in your bong can grow all kinds of fun things like fungi, yeasts and all kinds of bacteria. All of which can turn into a biofilm.
Biofilm can form in less than 24 hours after your bong water has been sitting stagnant. This happens in all kinds of water devices sitting around your house, including humidifiers—so don’t forget to change the water in your other aquatic gadgets!
Biofilm protects the microbes that allow it to grow, making it very hard to get rid of the infections it causes. Biofilm is actually antibiotic resistant because the antibiotics can’t pennate through the biofilm.
These are a few of the kinds of bacteria that can grow in the dirty bong water that you end up inhaling.
• Streptococcus—this is a common bacterium that is found almost anywhere. But, it can cause strep throat and pneumonia.
• Escherichia coli (aka E. Coli) — most people know you are exposed to this through food that isn’t cooked properly or not washing your hands after using the bathroom. It can also thrive in contaminated water. You will basically get food poisoning and everything that comes with it.
• Flavobacterium—this bacterium occurs in stagnant water. It typically can cause respiratory infections.
If that doesn’t make you want to clean you bongs regularly, I’m not sure what will. But maybe you can be swayed by the fact that dirty bongs can affect the smoke, taste, and smell. When smoking, these are the most important parts of it. And if affected in a negative way can lead to an unpleasant smoking experience, which no one wants. Many smokers agree that the higher quality of water, the better the hit will be.
The overall smell from a bong actually consists of two parts. The bong itself (duh) and the smoke. Leaving dirty water in your bong creates a horrible odor and you run the risk of spilling it leaving your floor stained and releasing the odor for everyone to smell.
Smoke can be the culprit for illnesses. Obviously, since the smoke is what we inhale, that’s how the bacteria enter our systems. If the water has created a biofilm and you smoke, all the bacteria travel through the bong and into your lungs.
The taste can be compromised as well if the bong is dirty. If the water is gross, the smoke will end up creating a funny taste to it. Other residues can also build upon various parts of the bong, leaving a funny taste in your mouth.
Signs You Need to Clean Your Bong
It’s not hard to notice when you need to change the water or clean your bong in general.
• Film inside bong
• Resin buildup
• Discolored water
• Smelly water
• Fuzzy mold
How Often Should I Clean My Bong?
While cleaning should be done on a regular basis, it also depends on often you use your bong or bubbler. In general, water should be changed after every session. Since bacteria can form in around 24 hours, it’s not good to leave water sitting in your bong long after you’re done using it.
For heavy users, it’s recommended to clean your bong after every one to two days. Taking it apart completely and letting it soak or even a quick wash will improve the quality of your smoking session dramatically. Afterwards, make it is completely dry before putting it away or bacteria will still grow. For those that are not heavy smokers, after every session will be beneficial to your smoking experience.
How to Clean a Bong
You can either buy cleaners or make your own. For those heavy smokers, it may be better to mix your own cleaners, or you’ll be coughing up a pretty penny to pay for all the cleaner you’ll be using. For those that don’t smoke that much, you can do either.
These are pretty self-explanatory. Take your bong apart and pour the cleaner and water into the bong. Cover all the holes and swish the solution around. Then dump all of that out and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
If it still smells like the cleaner, keep rinsing. Use a pipe cleaner to get those stubborn pieces of grime out. Put the lone pieces of your bong separately in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container, add cleaner, swish around and then rinse!
• Alcohol and Salt
Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and salt is an easy and cheap homemade cleaner. Mix some alcohol and a lot of salt together and dump it into your disassembled bong. Cover the holes and swish around.
The salt helps break up the resin that is stuck to the glass. Dump that out and rinse with warm water. Do the same to the other pieces of the bong. Another substitute for salt is dish soap. The problem with that is that it’s not abrasive and could leave a film on the inside of the glass.
• Long Soak
This can be done with either cleaners or alcohol and salt but is usually done with cleaners. If your bong is really gross it might be a good idea to let it soak for a while. It also doesn’t hurt to do this every so often whether it gets used a lot or not.
It simply helps get rid of all the built-up gunk and keep you healthy. Shake everything up then let it sit for a couple hours. Rinse with warm water until the smell of cleaner is gone.
• Short Soak
Again, this could be done with cleaners or alcohol and salt, but primarily done with alcohol and salt. If you’re in a bit of a rush and need it cleaned quickly, short soaks will do the trick.
These can also be done if your bong isn’t that dirty, but you think it could use a quick cleaning. Shake everything up and let it sit for around 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.