How often should I clean my bong? This is a question any new glass owner asks eventually. As the base of your bong, the downstem, and the bowl become more and more gunked up, you'll want to read up on our guide on how to clean a glass bong. There, you'll learn the proper technique for restoring your glass water pipe to its original shine.
But how frequently do you need to do this? As you'll learn in this blog post, the answer isn't one size fits all. There are factors affecting how frequently you need to clean your glass bong - which we'll cover down below. By the end of this, you'll have a better understanding of how often you need to clean your water pipe - and how to do it. First things first, though...why does it matter how often to clean a bong? Allow us to explain...
Why Does it Matter How Often to Clean a Bong?
Can't you just clean your bong whenever you have a chance to get around to it? Why is it important to come up with a set routine for how often to clean a bong in the first place? There are a few reasons regularly cleaning your bong on set intervals matters. First and foremost, letting your bong get too dirty between cleanings makes it harder to clean when the time comes. The longer you let resin and plant matter accumulate on the glass, the more intense your cleaning session will be. By cleaning more frequently, the work required isn't as intensive.
But that's not all. The longer you go between bong cleanings, the stinkier your water pipe gets. It'll start to reek after a while - which leads us to the next point. Not cleaning your bong often enough starts to affect the flavor of your flower. If you're buying quality cannabis, you are doing yourself a disservice by smoking it out of a dirty bong. To truly appreciate the taste of your flower, clean your bong as often as possible.
Last but not least, a dirty bong just looks gross. Don't fall victim to the notorious "lazy stoner" stereotype. Clean your bong frequently. But how frequently, you ask? We can't necessarily give you a set timeframe for how often you should clean your bong until we discuss the factors at play.
If it looks like this image above, it's time to clean it.
How Often Should You Clean Your Bong? Factors to Consider
Now that we know why it's important to keep a clean bong, we're going to start breaking down how often you should clean your bong. As we alluded to before, there isn't one answer that fits everyone. The frequency of your bong cleanings depends on the following factors:
- How dirty you let your bong get between cleanings
- How many different people use your bong
- Do you pull ash through the downstem into the bong when clearing your hits?
- How frequently do you change the water out?
Each of these factors affects how often you should clean your bong. Read on to learn more about each one...
How Dirty You Let the Bong Get Between Cleanings
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you're someone who doesn't mind a little bit of resin build-up, then you can probably go longer between cleanings than someone who likes their bong to be sparkling clean. It really comes down to personal tolerance levels. Just know that letting your bong get too dirty will make it harder (and more disgusting) to clean when the time comes.
How Many Different People Use Your Bong
If you're the only one using your bong, then you don't have to worry about anyone else's germs or residue getting into your water pipe. But if you share your bong with others, it's important to clean it more frequently. The more people who use your bong, the dirtier it will get - and the more often you'll need to clean it. This makes sense just from a sanitary standpoint. But there's another way you can look at this factor: if you have guests over frequently, you want to let them hit a clean bong...right? This is just being a good host. Let's move on to the next consideration: the manner in which you actually hit your bong.
Do You Pull Ash Through the Downstem Into the Bong When Clearing Your Hits?
When clearing a hit from your bong, some people like to pull ash through the downstem into the water chamber. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - as it means you don't have to deal with using a debowler! But it does mean you'll need to clean your bong more frequently. The ash will start to accumulate in the water, making it dirtier faster. If you don't pull ash through when clearing your hits, you can go a little longer between cleanings. There's another factor affecting how fast your bong gets dirty - the frequency at which you replace the water in it.
How Frequently Do You Change the Water Out?
This might be the most important factor of all. How often you change the water out affects how long your bong stays clean - regardless of how often you actually clean the glass itself. We recommend changing the water out after every smoking session. This is especially important if you share your bong with others or live in a hot climate (which makes the water evaporate faster). We recently wrote a complete guide on how often you should change your bong water - it's a great resource if you're a new bong owner. Even seasoned glass parents might learn something new - take a look.
So, How Often Should I Clean My Bong?
So, how frequently should I clean my bong? Now that we've gone over all the factors that affect how frequently you should clean your bong, it's time to give you a general answer based on the considerations above.
- If you're a light smoker and only smoke 1-2 bowls a day - or fewer - your bong won't get noticeably dirty very quickly. To keep it looking pristine, you can clean it once every few weeks - or even once a month if you don't mind a bit more gunk.
- If you're a moderate smoker and pack at least 3-4 bowls a day, your bong will be noticeably dirty within a week. Those who smoke this amount and want to keep their bong sparkling clean should undergo weekly cleanings. If you don't mind a little bit of build-up, you might be able to go every other week between cleanings.
- If you're a heavy smoker and you pack 5-10 bowls or more daily, that glass is going to show signs of soil within a day. You should clean your bong at least once a week at the bare minimum. But, if you prefer to keep your glass looking brand new, you might need to clean it twice a week or more.
These recommendations above are very loose estimates. You'll figure out pretty quickly if you need to clean your bong more frequently - and you can try going longer between cleanings to see what that looks like, too. What matters most is you set a cleaning schedule and stick to it - adjusting the intervals as necessary.
It's also worth noting that some people like cleaning their bong bowl between each pack - this is a great way to keep your bowl sparkling clean. And, in turn, it allows you to fully enjoy the flavor in each hit. Some people like to clean their bong before and after they have company over, as well. Your preferences for cleanliness - or perhaps your tolerance for dirtiness, to put it another way - will dictate exactly how often you should clean your bong.
Quick Guide to Cleaning Your Water Pipe
Well, there you have it - how often you should clean your bong. At this point, there's just one thing left to do - actually clean the bong! We wrote a guide on the best way to clean a water pipe to point you in the right direction. But, we'll quickly summarize it for you below:
- Empty the bong of all water and residue. If the bowl is still packed, debowl it.
- Remove the downstem and bowl (if applicable) and soak them in isopropyl alcohol. While those components are soaking, start scrubbing the inside of the bong with a brush - focus on the areas where the resin has built up.
- Once the downstem and bowl are done soaking, scrub them using pipe cleaners or q-tips. Then, clean them both off using soapy water. Then, thoroughly rinse them and set them aside once you're satisfied with the cleanness.
- Fill the base of your bong with isopropyl alcohol. Cover the downstem hole and the mouthpiece hole - and start shaking as hard as possible. This is the safest and most efficient way to get gunk off the glass.
- Fill your sink with hot water and add some dish soap. Submerge your bong in the soapy water and let it soak for a bit. Then, rinse it off thoroughly - you might need to do this a few times to get all the soap out.
- Dry everything off and reassemble your bong. Fill it with water and give it a test hit!
- A Short Cleaning Video if you prefer a visual guide
As you can see, it is actually pretty simple. Depending on how dirty your bong was, you may need to repeat certain steps to truly unlock a like-new clean.
There are other methods we've seen people employ to clean their bong as well. You can try scalding hot water as well - but this gets a bit dangerous. We do want to caution you against using other popular methods to scrape plant matter and gunk off the glass - such as using Epsom salt. Sure - agitating the sides of your glass by rattling a salty solution will definitely clean your bong. But, it will also create micro-abrasions over time. These tiny scratches won't just look bad - they can lead to bigger cracks down the road. The last thing you want to deal with is figuring out how to fix a broken bong.
How Often Should You Clean Your Bong? Wrapping Things Up
We hoped this blog post answered your question - how often should you clean your bong? You now know that the answer is not one size fits all, along with the factors that you'll want to consider when coming up with your own specific cleaning schedule.
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