Best Bong Cleaners
Cleaning your bong can be a hassle, even more so if you’ve neglected it for too long. We get it. You kept telling yourself you were going to clean it, but what was a thin layer of resin has developed into a densely packed on tar. Dirty bongs don't just look and smell gross, but they really degrade the taste of your hit. You miss out on the full flavor profile and it’s just not as enjoyable of an experience.
The cleaning process can be lengthy, and if you only have one piece it means no smoking until it’s done. Luckily, there are a number of bong cleaning solutions specifically designed to make it faster and easier to get crystal clear glass, as well as tried and true at-home methods. Bong cleaners come in a variety of formulas, all promising quick, easy results, but which is the best bong cleaner? This article explores the best way to clean your bong and suggests some of our best bong cleaner for both flower and oil resin.
Best Bong Cleaning Solutions
1. Formula 420 Original Cleaner
Sick of leaving your pipes to soak overnight? Formula 420 Original Cleaner, or just 420 Cleaner as it’s commonly known, is one of the fastest bong cleaners around. This strong solution contains large, coarse salt in addition to other resin-melting chemicals which leave your glass looking brand new in under 5 minutes. Just be sure to shake the bottle before using 420 Cleaner to ensure you get a good mix of salt and liquid.
420 Cleaner is a favorite among veteran smokers for its ability to clean heavily soiled pieces in addition to its quick-acting ingredients. It’s also relatively cheap compared to other specialty bong cleaners. You really can’t go wrong with the popular and widely available 420 Cleaner.
2. Grunge Off
For something a little more environmentally friendly, Grunge Off is our favorite natural bong cleaner. This biodegradable solution uses no abrasives (like salt), no harsh-smelling chemicals, and is easy on your skin while not being any less potent. In fact, we think Grunge Off cleans as well or better than 420 Cleaner. As if that weren’t enough, Grunge Off only takes minutes to work and is reusable. The only downside is that Grunge Off is more expensive than other brands. There are cheaper natural bong cleaners out there, but none of them clean as well as Grunge Off.
3. Orange Chronic
This cleaner has been around for years and there’s a good reason it’s still such a well-known brand. Made from all-natural and renewable resources, Orange Chronic is a reusable glass and metal cleaner. With abrasive granules in the cleaner it produces immediate results and does not require scrubbing or waiting. They actually don’t recommend you soak for more than 5 minutes. This bong cleaner is amazing for those smoking flower from their piece, but in our experience does not work as well on concentrate build up. After the 5 minute soak, rinse with hot water and watch all that resin just slip out of even the tightest percolators.
Resinate is a patented, alcohol-free solution that's available in both abrasive and non-abrasive form. For use on glass, metal, and ceramic, the formula was designed to focus its cleaning power on, "removing all resins, particularly excessively burnt or caked on resins."
Their non-abrasive Resinate Liquid claims to work quickly by simply filling your piece and shaking or by letting the liquid soak. It works well, but for tougher jobs we recommend their abrasive Resonate Cleaning Solution. The Cleaning Solutions cleans on contact and requires no wait time. Simply fill, shake, and watch the resin slide off.
Randy’s Black Label
Oil resin can be trickier and stickier than plain flower resin. And while most bong cleaners still work okay on rigs, not all are safe to use on titanium, quartz, or ceramic. That’s why we recommend Randy’s Black Label. It’s more expensive than other cleaners, but it works flawlessly on any common dabbing material. Clean your nails and rigs with the same solution and striking results.
The most impressive thing about Randy’s Black Label is how quickly it works. Regardless of the complexity of your piece, Randy’s melts caked-on oil resin in just minutes for a sparkling clean rig.
DIY Bong Cleaner - At-Home Solution
The original bong cleaner that has stood the test of time is a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and salt. This old standby has been helping smokers clean their glass for decades. The alcohol effectively dissolves resin, softening it so that the salt can pull it off the walls of your bong or rig and slide right out. While this method is effective in cleaning your glass, it’s also incredibly inexpensive, which explains a lot of its popularity. A single 32oz bottle of 91% ISO and a 1lb container of salt costs no more than $5.
The downside to using rubbing alcohol as opposed to other bong cleaners is time - and time is money. Typically, you need to soak your bong in alcohol for at least an hour to loosen caked-on resin. If it's extra dirty it may need another soak, or even an overnight stay. This is in contrast to specialized bong cleaners, which take just minutes to work.
How to Use Isopropyl Alcohol to Clean Your Bong
Start with the highest percentage of iso alcohol you can find. The purer the alcohol, the better it cleans. Fill the bong chamber with the alcohol, plug or hold the mouthpiece and joint, then “swish” the alcohol around the bong until it coats the interior. If your bong is really dirty, don’t hesitate to fill it to the brim with alcohol. You may also add coarse salt to the mix to help removed solid pieces. Salt will NOT damage your glass, but can cause deep scratches in acrylic and ceramic.
Another tip is to warm the alcohol in the microwave before using it. Warm alcohol works even faster than alcohol at room temperature. Just be careful and only microwave in increments of less than 15 seconds. Alcohol has a lower boiling point than water and will boil incredibly quick. You don’t want a microwave full of alcohol splatter.
Finally, leave your bong to soak for at least an hour. Dirtier bongs take more time. When the soak is finished, rinse the bong with water until all the resin is washed away and there’s no alcohol smell. Like we mentioned earlier, very dirty bongs may need another round of alcohol treatment.