To clean your bong water or not is a great debate among bong smokers. The maintenance and cleanliness of your cannabis accessories is up to the individual person.
However, if you currently do not clean your bong you might want to rethink that.
How does a bong work?
The purpose of a bong is to act as a filter to smoke cannabis, tobacco, and other herbal substances.
A bong is composed of the following parts:
- Mouthpiece – where you place your lips
- Chamber – where the smoke rises and is inhaled
- Bowl – where you place your weed and light it up
- Down stem – a pipe that connects the bowl to the base
- Base – where your bong water is held
- Carb – where you place your finger until you are ready to inhale the smoke.
Bongs work by lighting up the bowl and while the weed is burning it releases a smoke which travels down the down stem to the chamber. Once the weed is lit and releasing smoke start to suck slowly to move the smoke from the down stem to the chamber. When you start to inhale, the water in the base will start to bubble which is what sucks the smoke into the chamber and filters the smoke. Next, remove your finger from the carb and quickly inhale the smoke waiting in the chamber.
Should you change your bong water?
Yes. You should definitely change your bong water.
Dirty bong water can cause lung infections due to the biofilm it creates which is filled with bacteria, yeast and other things only seen through a microscope.
Bad water also leads to a weaker hit that tastes and smells foul. Not to mention you run the risk of inhaling ashy resin and mold.
6 reasons to change your bong water.
- Better filtration – The dirtier the water the less toxins it can filter out.
- Smoother taste – The carbon ash and tars found in dirty water changes the flavor and the way the high affects you.
- Increased bong life – Dirty water clogs the pipes. The cleaner you keep your bong the longer it will last.
- Conserving your stash – When the water is fresh you burn less herb because the high you get from clean water is stronger.
- Authentic scent – Dirty bong water has a strong, foul smell and flavor and will disrupt the authentic scent and flavor of what you are smoking.
- Fewer health risks – Smoking, whether through a joint or a bong, comes with health risks. If you inhale using dirty bong water, you will develop serious lung and health issues like:
- Lung congestion
- Campylobacter jejuni
- E. coli, Flavobacterium
- Giardia lamblia
- Hepatitis A
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
4 signs your bong water needs changing.
- Foul odor – Water takes on a bad smell when the organisms inside start to populate.
- Dark water – The darker the color and the dirtier the device the greater risk of developing a lung infection.
- Resin buildup – A buildup of resin is a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
- Visible mold and mildew – If you see anything floating in your bong or growing on the side its safe to assume that is mold and there is no scenario where you should want to inhale mold spores into your lungs.
How often should bongs be cleaned out?
If you are a casual smoker who only lights up the bong every once in awhile you should clean your bong out right after each use.
If you smoke your bong daily, you should change the water every 24hrs.
If you are a heavy smoker consuming more than a quarter ounce every day clean your bong water out after a few sessions.
If you are a true connoisseur of cannabis, you will want to clean your bong water after each strain so as not to mix up the flavor pallet of the strain you are smoking.
Four ways to clean your bong.
- Plain Water
- Boil enough water in a big enough pot to completely submerge your bong. You could add lemon to the water to help break up the oil and resin in the base and pipe.
- Once the water reaches a boil, turn it down to a simmer and carefully place your bong in the water for 30 minutes. The entire bong needs to be submerged. If a part of the bong is exposed outside of the water, it could cause cracking.
- After the 30 minutes is up, take the bong out and rinse under warm water scrubbing the bong with pipe cleaners and paper towels until clean.
- If you do not have a big enough pot or do not want to submerge your entire bong you can carefully fill the base with the boiling water, cover all holes with tin foil and rubber bands, shake the base thoroughly and wait for 5 minutes.
- Salt Water
- Use 3 tbl spoons of salt and put it in the bong through the mouthpiece. The coarser the salt the better.
- Fill your bong with warm water up to right under the shaft.
- Cover the shaft and holes with tin foil and rubber bands and shake the bong for at least 2 minutes.
- Pour the dirty water in the toilet and repeat until its clean.
- After it is clean, rinse with warm water to get rid of the excess salt.
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Add alcohol and salt to the bong
- Cover all holes with tin foil and rubber bands
- Shake the bong for up to 5 minutes
- Let the bong sit with the solution for an addition 3 minutes
- Pour the dirty solution down the toilet and repeat if needed.
- Rinse everything with warm water.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda
- Fill the bong with warm water
- Shake the bong and pour it out in the toilet
- Pour baking soda into the empty bong making sure to coat all surfaces on the inside.
- Let the bong sit for several hours with just the baking soda in it.
- After it has sat, add more baking soda, and then pour a cup of vinegar into the base.
- Cover all holes with tin foil and rubber bands and shake. Be careful, this will be messy.
- After the fizzing has stopped, scrub the inside with pipe cleaners and long thin brushes.
- Rinse clean with warm water.
While cleaning out your bong might be the last thing on your mind after a great smoking session your lungs and pallet will thank you. Clean those bongs and smoke responsibly.