Cleaning out your bong is something that is pretty important, but rarely discussed and unfortunately people are not really aware of the real reasons to keep it clean.
A lot of cannabis patients prefer to use water filtration to cool down their cannabis vapour, us included, however how often do you actually change that water and give the bong a scrub?
Vaping VS smoking
One of the big advantages in vaporising compared to smoking is when you use a bong, it will stay cleaner! With smoking/combustion you are producing tar and nasty chemicals, that’s what the water is filtering and what dirties the bong up. When Vaping, you don’t produce any of that; just cannabinoids, terpenes and good stuff.
We’ll be honest, before we vaped and were still smoking we rarely cleaned out our bongs. Our mentality was, “What’s the use? It’s gonna get dirty after a few bowls anyway.”
With vaping through bongs, the water and the bong stay cleaner for much longer. Some gunk builds up, but that is natural cannabis oils and actually usually smells okay. Nothing like the horrible smell of bongs used for smoking.
HOWEVER that does not mean you should clean your bong less often. The issue here isn’t actually how the bong looks (although that’s a good indicator!!). It’s about all the things you can’t see.
The Bad News
Essentially if the water is left for more than 24 hours, it can be dangerous and could be classed as standing or stagnant water. With no movement and/or aeration, stagnant water becomes a prime breeding ground for biofilms, or a collection of bacteria and/or fungi. Left untreated, stagnant water often becomes home for dangerous diseases and pathogens, eg. bacteria, mould, fungi and even viruses.
When water and contaminants sit in the danger zone (5C – 60C) bacteria can double every 20 minutes. You can’t see or smell bacteria either so you have no clue it’s there.
If you are using your bong often, then you are aerating the water (via the bubbles) but unless you are vaping and bubbling 24/7 (which is impossible) then the water is unfortunately still going to stagnate.
Our medicinal cannabis is EU GMP or equivalent, which means it must be below a certain level of pathogens (bacteria, mould, etc.) to be distributed to patients. It doesn’t really make sense to use this medicine through a bong that might be adding all these harmful nasties to your meds.
So how often should I clean my bong?
Honestly we would recommend a hot water rinse every day. Don’t know about you but we wouldn’t drink a glass of water left out for over 24 hours. Think of it in the same way. As you’re using the bong, you’re agitating the water and inhaling water vapour, with all the possible mould spores, viruses and bacteria included.
By hot water rinsing everyday, your bong will also stay nice and clean. For a more intense clean we recommend isopropyl alcohol (don’t forget the gloves, safety first). This will clean up any residual oils and also thoroughly disinfect it. Another handy tip; if you rinse with isopropyl alcohol and leave to air-dry for display, your bong will be super shiny with no water marks.
Step by step guide for a very dirty bong! Or just a darn good clean.
- Empty the water out of your bong (toilet might be best)
- Get that hot tap running (into the bong if possible)
- Rinse, fill and shake that mofo
- Empty out water
- Add Isopropyl Alcohol and course salt
- Shake that mofo again
- Shake that mofo some more
- Empty the bong of the Iso. (this can be used again if not too dirty)
- Either rinse with hot water and then add cold to use right away
OR leave to air dry and it will be all shiny
These steps can be repeated if necessary. Adding some washing up liquid with the hot water and before the isopropyl can help loosen stuff off.
There are some products that can be added to water to help keep your bong cleaner, such as our “keep it clean bong liquid” however, this is only to stop gunk forming from the vapour, NOT to protect against bacteria or mould. https://thecannacabana.je/product/keep-it-clean-bong-liquid-by-the-canna-cabana/
We supply only 99.9% Isopropyl Alcohol for cleaning at great prices: