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Health Risks of Not Cleaning Your Bong

Posted by John Thomas on

Health Risks of Not Cleaning Your Bong

Medicinal herb consumption can come in a variety of ways. One popular choice is bong smoking; in fact, Australia has achieved a record of having the highest number of bong smokers in the world. The popularity of bongs is owed to its intricate filtration systems that make consuming medicinal herb a healthier and more pleasant experience, removing the burning sensation caused by the smoking method.

Be that as it may, having a bong does come with risks. The catch is that most of these risks are preventable, provided you keep your bong clean and hygienic.

Dangers of Dirty Bongs

Here are a few horrifying things to convince you to clean your bong:


You don’t want dirty and stagnant water going into your body. Bongwater, if not changed regularly, can become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, mildew, yeasts, and other microorganisms. Over time, your bong water will accumulate enough of these microorganisms to create a biofilm which visually should be enough reason to make you feel queasy and quickly change out the bong water.

Speed of build-up

The biofilm containing all the pathogens and microorganisms can grow quickly in 24 hours. The longer they stay in the murky bongwater, the more nutrients and water supply they get to multiply and make a home in the bong. With each passing hour, the bong will get more cumbersome to clean, and one cleaning session will not guarantee a sanitized bong.

Potential diseases

Having these microorganisms in the biofilm is bad news for your body. Allowing the biofilm to enter through the respiratory system is an easy way to invite all kinds of diseases such as Typhoid, pneumonia, hepatitis A, malaria, and strep throat, to attack your immune system. Contaminated bongs not only make the smoking experience unhealthy by making it smell and taste bad but will also allow pathogens resistant to antibiotics into your body.

When Should You Clean Your Bong?

How often should you clean your bong to avoid biofilm accumulation? It depends on how often you smoke. Heavy smokers should change the water every one to two days. Freshwater improves the overall taste. Casual smokers, on the other hand, have to make sure to clean the bong after each use. Because there is less regularity or planning for each session, the best option is to clean it after use.

If you have a habit of skipping the regular cleanup, you’ll begin to notice clear signs telling you to clean your bong. Other than the presence of the slimy film, here are some things you should watch out for:

Resin build-up

If you’ve just changed the bongwater and it still smells bad and worse, starts discoloring too early, this is a sign of heavy resin build-up. Not cleaning out the resin from each session and leaving it in the bong makes it harden over time and attach itself to the glass, making the water smellier and murkier than usual.

Black and white specks

Black and white specks are signs of mold that grow out of stagnant water and wet environments. Inhaling mold will greatly increase the chances of lung infection, and it’s extremely difficult to get them out. Once your bong starts showing signs of mold, it may be best to replace it with a new one immediately.

How to Clean Your Bong

Thankfully, all the health risks involved with dirty bongwater can be resolved with a few remedies. Other than changing the water in the bong, here are a few ways to completely sanitize your bong:

Hot water

One way to make sure your bong is clean is to sanitize it immediately after buying it from the bong shop. A good wash with a mild detergent and warm water will do wonders to help get your bong clean. Repeat this a few more times to get it as clean as possible. This method is best for new or very clean bongs, although is always good practice, think of it just like washing your cups and plates.

*We do not recommend using boiling water.

Isopropyl alcohol and iodized salt

This adds a few more steps to rinsing your bong with hot water. After rinsing, place the bowl and downstem into a plastic bag, then add isopropyl alcohol and salt. Let it soak for a few minutes and longer if it’s been a long time since your last bong cleanup. After a few minutes, feel free to add more salt before taking the bong and shaking it to scrub off the mess. Empty the solution, rinse with warm water, then repeat the whole process a few more times, making the soaking time a bit longer than before.

Special cleaners

Glass bong cleaners are made especially for bongs, guaranteeing a better result than homemade solutions. There are several brands of cleaners available at your local bong store with differing formulas; some combine salts and resin-melting chemicals, while others are actual glass and metal cleaners that don’t need any extra scrubbing.


Using a bong is the healthier option compared to other popular forms of consuming medicinal herb. However, it doesn’t help the case if you’re using a dirty bong. Instead of minimizing health risks, it puts you in immediate contact with potential viruses formed in the stagnant water. Make sure to keep each session healthy by regularly cleaning your bong.

Bonus Tip: Regularly emptying and adding fresh water to your bong is one of the best preventative measures there is.

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