How to Clean Your Bong

January 3, 2021

Cleaning Your Glass - Bongs & Rigs 



One thing both Bongs and Rigs have in common, is that they get dirty.  Yes, Rigs tend to take weeks of regular use to get to a point of unusability, while bongs can become filthy within hours, but they still both get dirty, and luckily, they are both made clean again by the same process.


First of all, the most important aspect of cleaning your bong is to understand how cannabis, in all of its forms, interacts with water.  Put simply, it doesn’t really.  It’s not water soluble, meaning that you can’t dissolve it with water, no matter how hard you try.  Unlike when you leave your dirty pot of caked-on pasta sauce soaking in the sink overnight, and in the morning, find that most of it has disintegrated into the water; cannabis doesn’t behave the same way.  


Have you ever wondered why no matter how much soap you use, you can never really chip away at the build-up in your bongs, rigs or pipes?  It’s because marijuana is not water-soluble.  What marijuana does dissolve in, or break down into however, are both alcohol and fat.  Marijuana is both alcohol-soluble and fat-soluble, which is why it is most commonly combined with things like butter and oils for cooking, and extracted with solvents like alcohol and butane for concentrates.  


So, now that it’s clear that marijuana is not water-soluble, but is alcohol-soluble, we should clearly use alcohol to clean out our bongs, rigs and pipes. Isopropyl, otherwise known as rubbing alcohol, comes in a few different strengths.  We recommend always using the 90-99% Isopropyl to ensure maximum cleaning efficiency.  With 70% Isopropyl, the other 30% is water, and as we know, that is useless when it comes to cleaning cannabis residue from our bongs and rigs. 


Vaporizers can also be gently wiped down with alcohol, as long as you don’t get any of the electronics wet.  For instance, for metallic vaporizer screens like the ones found on the Arizer Extreme Q, we tend to keep one soaking in alcohol and one in use.  That way when the current screen becomes a little too clogged, we can easily rinse off the one in alcohol and swap it in, almost good as new.  We toss the clogged one in our little container of 99% Isopropyl and screw the cap back on to avoid the alcohol evaporating.  


The Fastest and Most Efficient Method to Clean Your Glass


Grab a bottle of 99% Isopropyl and either some rock salt or rice, both work just as well as the other.  The key here is that neither salt nor rice dissolve in alcohol, and as a result, act as scrubbing agitators when swirled around with the Isopropyl.  


Step 1: Pour out your dirty bong or rig water. 


Step 2: Rinse it out a few times with tap water.


Step 3: Pour in the 99% Isopropyl to about 1/5th the amount of water that you would normally fill your bong or rig up with.  You don’t need as much alcohol as you may think.


Step 4: Pour in a handful of rock salt or rice.


Step 5: Cover both the mouth hole of your bong/rig and the glass joint hole.  If either one of those aren’t securely covered, you are going to get soaked with salty alcohol once you begin shaking it.  



Step 6: With both holes covered, and making sure you are clear of foreign objects, such as the tap on your kitchen sink, or any low-hanging lighting, begin to shake your glass piece back and forth, and up and down, relatively gently.  Almost instantly, you will see the alcohol begin to dissolve the resin and grime from your bong, rig or pipe.  And as you are shaking, the rice or salt, will bounce all around and scrub away the more difficult stains and tar.  


Depending on how dirty your glass piece is, the entire shaking process can take from 20 seconds, to 2 minutes, but by that point, most glass should be looking almost good as new.  It seems difficult to believe, but it is true.  Try it the next time you need to clean your bong, rig or pipe.