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How Gross Is Bong Water, Really?

December 21, 2022

Be honest. You’ve probably smoked from a bong with dirty bong water before and wondered about the repercussions for your health…if there are any. But really, how often should bong water be changed? And is dirty bong water bad for you? 

Not only does dirty bong water smell and taste unpleasant, you can face a few legitimate health issues if you don’t clean out your bong regularly. We’re not trying to scare you, but cleaning your bong is an important way to protect yourself from harmful bacteria and the infections it can cause. Let’s explore good, bad and gross bong water and better cleaning habits.

How Often Should Bong Water Be Changed?

Cannabis consumers love their weed, and nearly all will tell you that smoking from a bong with fresh water just hits differently. It’s smoother. You can taste the terpenes in the flower. Some even say they get higher. But how often should bong water be changed to get that clean and flavorful experience every single time?

Many smokers will tell you to change the water after every use, because when water doesn’t circulate, it stagnates. And when water stands stagnant, even for just a few days, harmful bacteria like Legionella can form. 

If changing your bong water after each use seems unrealistic, it can be helpful to create a routine to change it at least once every few days, depending how often you use the bong. A good metric to keep in mind is this: if you’re looking at a resin-covered bong, it’s time to change your bong water!

Anatomy of Bong Water

You’ve probably wondered when does bong water begin to mold. We hate to break it to you, but the anatomy of bong water after just a day is almost definitely quite gross.

Here’s why: Because water begins to stagnate after 12 hours. At this point, it’s a prime environment for developing bacteria and even mold if it stagnates long enough. Like any moist environment, bacteria like Strep and E. coli and fungi like black mold can thrive in gross bong water. If inhaled, these pathogens can cause strep throat, pneumonia, emphysema and other respiratory ailments. 

Smoking from a bong filled with dirty bong water increases the likelihood of any pathogens in the water reproducing and spreading throughout your body, potentially making you ill. This is how people develop respiratory infections from smoking dirty bong water. Think of your bong as a drinking glass. You wouldn’t drink days-old water that’s just been sitting out on the counter, would you? Probably not…who knows what’s growing in that water?

Key takeaway: The anatomy of dirty bong water is gross and harmful. 

Why Does Bong Water Smell So Bad?

Why does bong water smell so bad? First, you need to understand exactly what your bong is doing when you smoke with it. When you light the flower and inhale, the water inside the bong cools the smoke to make it a smoother hit for you. It’s also filtering things like tar and resin, which end up in the water. That’s not all that ends up in your bong water, either. Ashes, saliva, resin and even dead skin cells are left in the water every time someone uses bong. When these sit and stagnate in the water, bacteria and mold grow. And bacteria and mold smell bad.

Is Bong Water Good for Anything?

The short answer is no. If you’re wondering is bong water is good for anything, like watering plants, the answer is a resounding NO. 

Just like you don’t want the pathogens that grow in gross bong water in your body, you don’t want them anywhere near your plants…or anything else you care about.

Properly dispose of dirty bong water by pouring it down the sink, then thoroughly clean out your bong with a healthy amount of baking soda and lemon to kill any residual bacteria and eliminate any lingering odor. Is bong water good for plants? No. Is bong water bad for you? Yes.

Products for Cleaning Dirty Bongs

There is more to keeping a clean bong than just changing the water. It’s also important to give your piece a regular proper cleaning. Luckily, there are also products available that make it very easy to keep your bong clean! Randy’s Orange Label, a natural citrus cleaner, is popular among stoners for its ease to use and fantastic results. There’s also Grand Master Smoke Soak and Wash, a biodegradable bong cleaner rated 4.5 stars on Amazon. You can also use cleaning plugs made to fit your bong’s hard-to-reach openings to guarantee you don’t miss a single spot.

The Safest Bet for Clean Bong Water

So how often should bong water be changed, really? 

The safest answer is: After every use.

This doesn’t just keep you healthy, it actually extends your bong’s lifespan. Whether you use specialized cleaning products or good old-fashioned soap and water, young lungs will thank you for keeping a clean rig.

Buds Garage is your one-stop shop for all your cannabis needs. With locations in Everett and Birch Bay, Washington, we’re proud to serve our local communities by providing top-shelf products in a friendly and chill atmosphere. Drive on up to shop in store or pick up your online order, and drive away happy

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