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How To Clean a Bong, Bowl, or Bubbler: The Quick & Easy Guide

By Naomi C. Abrams

Glass is one of the safest, most popular, and easiest-to-clean materials used for smoking devices.

Whether you’re using a bong, dab rig, or pipe, it is crucial to clean your equipment thoroughly and frequently to prevent the buildup of residue and bacteria (and extend the life of your piece). 

In this article, you’ll discover the simplest ways to keep all your smoking devices clean, functional, and fresh-tasting, allowing you to elevate your smoking experience while enjoying your favorite FLUENT cannabis products

Read on to find out how to clean your smoking equipment now. 


How Can I Thoroughly Clean My Bongs, Glass Pipes, And Bubblers? 

A question we frequently hear in our dispensaries is, “What’s the best way to clean my pipe/dab rig/bong?” 

Preventing the spread of germs is paramount, so it’s important to make sure you’re not inhaling bacteria, mold, or tar residue. 

There are two popular routes to clean your smoking devices, each with its own benefits.

Both methods suggest soaking, rinsing, and scrubbing your dirty glass, but the solution is different. 


Cleaning Bongs and Bowls With White Vinegar And Baking Soda

One solution that can be used to clean your glass piece utilizes white vinegar and baking soda.

White vinegar and baking soda are safe and natural ingredients that you likely don’t need to leave home to find. The vinegar helps remove resin and wax easily (while killing any odor), while the baking soda acts as a water softener. 

Mixing the two ingredients sparks a safe chemical reaction that produces gas CO2 and yields a semi-abrasive solution, making for a perfect glass-cleaning agent. 

It will cut through any buildup or grease and leave your pieces sparkling clean and ready to go. 

This method is popular since it’s safe, inexpensive, and easy.  


How to Clean a Bong or Pipe With Isopropyl Alcohol

Some smokers prefer to clean their glass with isopropyl alcohol, which is often paired with salt. 

This is a faster option than using vinegar and baking soda, but it is slightly harsher and must be handled with care. You can purchase this type of alcohol from your neighborhood pharmacy or supermarket. It should be labeled at least 71% alcohol, though using 91% is ideal for killing germs.

Keep in mind, the higher the percentage of alcohol, the faster the cleaning process will be. 

Adding iodine-free table salt will help remove any tar or difficult buildup. 

The risk of using alcohol to clean your glass is that it is somewhat dangerous. It is not ideal to inhale and can be highly flammable when the strength is over 70%. 

Make sure to thoroughly rinse off the alcohol to prevent inhalation or any fire hazard.


Additional Equipment for Cleaning Bongs, Bubblers, and Bowls

In addition to your cleaning solution, you might need one or two other items to get your pipes clean. 

The hardest part of cleaning any smoking accessory is getting all those tricky inside parts where the smoke tar tends to get trapped. 

Cotton tips or brushes can be used to remove this stubborn, hard-to-reach gunk and buildup.

Using a Tupperware container or Ziploc bag is the best way to submerge and clean your bong bowls, glass pipes, and attachments. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place your piece into the bag/container, then pour baking soda or salt. 
  2. Gently shake to cover most areas of the pipe. 
  3. Pour alcohol or vinegar solution, then seal the bag/container. 
  4. Soak for 30 minutes minimum (longer for frequently used pieces). 
  5. After the soak is complete, shake well, then scrub where needed with a cotton tip or brush. 
  6. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Set down on a paper towel to dry. 

Note: For larger pieces (like dab rigs and bongs), pour the cleaning agent from end to end to ensure all areas are covered. Shake delicately, then refill solution if there is any stubborn tar or buildup. 


Remember never to leave water in your bong for more than 8 hours, and do not submerge any electronic parts. Cleaning all glass pipes and bongs after each use is the best measure to prevent unnecessary buildup and bacteria. 


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