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How Often Should You Change Your Bong Water?

Smoking out of a dirty bong, water pipe, or rig is a recipe for a lung infection. Here’s how often you need to change your water and clean your piece.
How Often Should You Change Your Bong Water?

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Dirty bongs, water pipes, and oil rigs can make you sick! Inhaling dirty bong water can deliver ashy resin, fungus, bacteria, and other potential pathogens right into your lungs. This increases your chances of developing a pulmonary infection, which is certainly not fun for anyone. Fortunately, this problem has a simple solution: change your bong water. Here’s how often you should do it.

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How often should you change your bong water?

How often should you change your bong water?

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Heavy cannabis consumers should change their bong water at least once a day. Similarly, running some boiling water through your dry pipe or bubbler before daily use can limit the ash particles and potential pathogens that you’re inhaling.

If you’re hoping to get the most flavor out of your ground bud or concentrates, some enthusiasts change their bong and bubbler water before each new strain or before each smoke session.

For the daily consumer, this can seem like overkill. For the casual consumer, however, it’s a good idea to thoroughly rinse your bong with freshly boiled water after each use.

Set your bong or water pipe out to dry completely before putting it away until the next time. Always use fresh water each time you break out your bong or pipe.

At the bare minimum, daily consumers should change their bong water ever two to three days. Those that live in hot, dry climates may be able to get away with waiting as long as one week, but this is not recommended.

Heavy consumers are also recommended to clean their bong with alcohol and salt every seven to 10 days to reduce resin buildup that cannot be melted away with hot water.

Keep in mind that different climates may encourage mold and mildew growth. If you have water in your piece, make sure to store it in a warm, dry, and clean location.

4 signs that you need to change your bong water

Just looking at a bong will tell you whether or not it needs to be cleaned. However, if you’re wondering if a piece is safe to smoke from, here are four simple signs that you need to change your bong water:

1. Foul odor

If you’re sketched out about a dirty looking bong, follow your nose. If a bong smells bad, it is well past due for a cleaning and a water change. When you get to this stage, cleaning your piece with alcohol and salt is recommended.

However, at the bare minimum, run some boiling water through your piece before filling it in with the fresh stuff.

2. Dark water

Has your bong water gone from clear to brown? Does it have floating particles of stuff inside of it? Some discoloration in your water will occur with any use. However, the darker the color and the dirtier the bong or water pipe, the greater the risk of lung infection.

If you don’t have time to clean your bong, or you are smoking out of someone else’s bong, a simple freshening up with clean water can greatly improve the overall cannabis experience.

3. Resin buildup

While some people are known to scrape out the resin inside of a dab rig to try to salvage ever last bit of the psychoactivity, this is not recommended. Resin buildup inside a bong is often charred, drastically distorting the flavor of the resin and whatever bud or concentrate you happen to be smoking.

The remnants of charred plant matter or resin can act as a starting point for molds and mildews, which potentially giving them something to eat and break down, as well as increased surface area on which to cling.

For optimal smoking experience and optimal health, it’s best to avoid smoking from devices that are exposed to water and contain substantial resin buildup.

4. Mold and mildews

Water is a vital ingredient for life. Anytime water is present, there exists an opportunity for life to thrive. Unfortunately, living things do not belong in a bong, bubbler, oil rig, or any other sort of water pipe. Even if your device is regularly used for smoking, pathogenic fungus and bacteria can still survive.

While some bacteria and fungi are beneficial, the kinds that grow inside of a bong do not belong in your lungs. To play it safe, do not smoke out of any sort of water device that contains molds or mildews. It’s best to avoid smoking if your device contains:

  • Pink discoloration
  • Fuzzy white or gray molds
  • White speckled powder
  • Black discoloration or speckles

Want to learn more about cleaning your water pipe? Check out the article here.

August 12, 2019 — Last Updated June 03, 2020
Written by Anna Wilcox
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August 12, 2019 — Last Updated June 03, 2020
Written by Anna Wilcox

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