Clear glass water pipe on a blue background

How to Clean Your Water Pipe

Water pipes are really not that hard to clean, and some people even think they’re easier to clean than a regular marijuana pipe. To help you clean your water pipe, also known as a “bong,” and ensure you don’t put off cleaning it, we’ve put together this guide that explains:

  • Why Should You Clean Your Water Pipe?
  • How Do You Clean Your Water Pipe?
  • Water Pipe FAQs

Why Should You Clean Your Water Pipe?

There’s a few reasons to clean your water pipe, and the first is that it ensures you’re getting the most flavor out of your marijuana flower. There’s nothing worse than tasting old, leftover marijuana resin burning in the bottom of your bowl. The second reason, and arguably the most important, is that there is some research that shows you can pass dangerous bacterias through the water pipe if it’s not kept clean. To avoid this, it’s best to ensure you’re using not only a clean water pipe but clean water in the pipe. 

How Do You Clean Your Water Pipe?

To clean a water pipe, you’re going to need some tools: 

  • 91%+ isopropyl alcohol
  • Coarse salt or rice
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Pipe cleaner

Once you have the supplies you need, follow these steps to clean your water pipe. 

Step 1: Empty Your Water Pipe
Dump out any water that is left in your water pipe, and tap or wipe the bowl to remove any leftover marijuana. 

Step 2: Disassemble 
Once the water pipe is empty, pull it apart. This means you should remove the bowl and downstem from the carb. (If your downstem can’t be removed, just plan to clean it with that pipe cleaner we mentioned earlier.) If your downstem detaches from the bowl, disassemble it so you can clean both pieces. 

Step 3: Clean Your Water Pipe
Everyone has their own method of cleaning, but we like to add three tablespoons of rice or coarse salt into the base and then add enough isopropyl alcohol to submerge it. Take your thumb and cover the carb. Then, with your opposite hand, cover the mouth of the tube. Shake your water pipe for a few minutes. Dump out the solution, rinse your water pipe with clean water, and inspect it. If it’s still dirty, repeat this step. 

Step 4: Scrub Removable Parts
Once the water pipe itself is clean, give the removable parts a good scrub. You can use regular dish soap and a pipe cleaner in the downstem, and a good sponge for the bowl. If you have resin stuck to the bowl, let it soak in soapy water or alcohol for a few minutes to loosen the debris. 

Step 5: Rinse & Dry
After everything is scrubbed or washed, rinse it with water and let it air dry. Once dry, you can reassemble your water pipe and use it when you’re ready. 

Answering Water Pipe Cleaning FAQs

We love answering frequently asked questions about cleaning water pipes because it means you’re taking good care of your tools. Here are a few answers you might find helpful: 

How often should I clean my water pipe?
If you use your water pipe a couple times a week, we recommend cleaning it weekly. If you don’t consume marijuana very often, then you should just clean your pipe if you see a ring forming at the water line within the base of the water pipe. 

How often should I change the water?
The water in the water pipe should be emptied after every session so the water pipe can air dry. Fresh water should be placed into the base before the next session begins. 

Can I use a cleaning product from a dispensary? 
Yes. Soap or alcohol and water work just fine for cleaning your water pipe, but you may want to be more cautious if your pipe is expensive. You can purchase a water pipe cleaning solution from most dispensaries. 

Learn More About Cleaning Water Pipes

Both using and cleaning a water pipe is easy for both beginners and seasoned cannabis experts alike. If you are interested in purchasing your first water pipe or upgrading to a better one, visit your local dispensary. Our budtenders can help you find the perfect water pipe for your next smoke session. 

Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.