Ganja Guides

Can You Put a Bong in the Dishwasher?

fisheye view of inside of dishwasher

As most cannabis enthusiasts know, resin can be tricky to remove especially if it’s been a while since your last bong cleaning. For this reason, many consider tossing their water pipe into the dishwasher because it’s more powerful than washing by hand. If you’re looking to deep clean your bong thinking it will be more effective and convenient, it can be. However, there would be nothing more tragic than finding it cracked after the pressure cycle. We’ll discuss whether you can put a bong in the dishwasher and whether it leaves your bong cleaner than soaking it in the sink.

Photo: Pexels

How often should you clean your bong and why

You should aim to clean your bong at least once every ten smoke sessions. However, how often you clean your bong will depend on your frequency of use and personal preferences.  Regardless, you should replace the bong water after every smoke session if you want to draw out the nuances of your favorite herb.

Avoid buildup of contaminants

A dirty bong can harbor bacteria, mold, dirt, and other pollutants. For this reason, cleaning your bongs regularly is crucial to eliminate the contaminants. Otherwise, you risk contracting respiratory infections when you inhale contaminated hits. 

Avoid resin accumulation 

Continuous use of bongs can lead to the accumulation of resin, a sticky substance in a cannabis plant. Resin buildup can clog and affect the functionality of your bong, making it hard to pull smoke through. Also, the resin can provide a pleasant environment for mold to thrive, exposing you to harmful contaminants. 

Ensure good air quality 

When you use a dirty bong, the smoke is less pure and contains many harmful compounds. Inhaling lower-quality air can lead to irritation and other issues. 

By cleaning the bong, you’ll  inhale cleaner and purer air, improving the quality of your experience. 

Flavor and Potency

The presence of gunk and other buildup can affect the flavor of your favorite strain giving it an overwhelmingly smokey taste.

Also, there has been a debate on whether a dirty bong affects the potency of your smoke. Some even argue that resin buildup may help increase potency. However, the resin is a mixture of cannabinoids, tar, and other byproducts, and inhaling it may introduce harmful compounds to your body.

Additionally, a dirty bong has poor airflow, leading to ineffective burning. This may result in wasted product and less effective hits. 

Are bongs dishwasher safe?

This will depend mainly on the material from which your bong is made. 

Bongs are made from different materials, including borosilicate glass, food-grade silicone, ceramic, wood, and more.

Silicone bongs 

Food-grade silicone bongs are generally safe to be put in a dishwasher. However, always verify that the silicone is indeed food-grade and dishwasher safe. This is because high heat in the dishwasher can damage some silicone materials. 

Borosilicate glass bongs

On the other hand, extremely high temperatures in the dishwasher can stress and break the borosilicate glass. For this reason, it’s always vital to exercise caution before putting your glass bong in a dishwasher to avoid damaging it. 

Some cannabis enthusiasts advise using isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt to clean glass bongs thoroughly. However, the risk of breakage is low if your bong is made from high-end quality borosilicate glass.

Percolator bongs

Fragile parts like percolators can be damaged during the washing cycle. Hence, consider washing them separately using alternative methods such as warm water and salt.

Hybrid bongs

What to do if your bong has both food-grade silicone and borosilicate glass? Start by disassembling your bong. Then, place the silicone part in a dishwasher and use the rubbing alcohol to clean the glass section thoroughly. 

How to safely put a bong in the dishwasher

Here is a step-by-step guide on safely putting your bong in a dishwasher.

  1. First, remove the bowl and stem from the whole setup. Then, run each under hot water to loosen any debris or resin. You can also use a cotton swab to get rid of any stubborn buildup.
  2. Then, soak the parts in a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt and wait for 3-4 hours. As an alternative, you can also use boiling water and lemon juice to soak the loose parts for at least 20 minutes to remove the resin buildup more quickly. Follow with warm running water to rinse the parts off before air drying them. Some people also freeze their bongs to loosen the debris buildup. However, you should be extra cautious with this method, especially when cleaning glass bongs. Extreme temperature changes may crack or shatter thin glass bongs. 
  3. The next step is to empty the bong of any remaining water and residue. At this point, you should wear gloves to avoid sticky fingers from resin buildup. Removing residue such as resin helps protect your dishwasher from buildup, which can affect functionality. 
  4. Finally, place your bong in the top rack and make sure it’s secure. Add in dishwasher detergent and select the gentle washing cycle.
  5. Once the cycle is done, inspect the bong for any remaining resin. Let it air dry before using it again. 

However, it’s crucial to know whether putting your bong in a dishwasher is safe in the first place, and whether it will be covered by any warranties. 

Bong Cleaners and Brushes

Besides the dishwasher, you can use a bong cleaner and brushes to clean and remove any remaining resin. The bong cleaner will loosen and dissolve the debris, making it easier to remove with a brush. It will also help to remove any stains, leaving your bong sparkling clean.

Advantages of using a dishwasher to clean your bong 

There are numerous benefits of putting your bong in the dishwasher:


Using your hands and rubbing alcohol to clean your bong can be time-consuming, especially if it has intricate designs. However, if you place the bong in a dishwasher, the machine will take care of the cleaning process quickly and efficiently, saving you time and effort. In other words, you don’t have time to wait 3-4 hours soaking your bong in a sink before use.

Thorough cleaning

A dishwasher uses high-pressure hot water to dislodge debris, bacteria, or buildup. Also, dishwasher detergent helps deep clean and sanitize your bong, leading to healthy and smoother hits.

Potential risks of putting bongs in the dishwasher 

Despite the above benefits, using a dishwasher to clean your bong has potential risks.

Odor retention

When using a dishwasher to clean different kitchen items, there is a high chance it might retain odors. Thus, your bong may have an unwanted smell from previous washes. This may affect the flavor and aroma of your favorite strain. It may also leave a smoky odor within the dishwasher itself. 

However, you can remove the undesirable scent from your dishwasher using white vinegar and baking soda.

Also, the cleaning detergents may leave an odor, affecting the taste of your smoke. That’s why it’s particularly important to rinse in warm water afterwards. 

Material compatibility

Not all materials are designed to be used in a dishwasher. Some materials, such as plastic, may deform under high pressure and temperature, releasing harmful gasses. Others, like delicate glass, may crack or break in a dishwasher. 

For this reason, it’s always essential to ensure the materials used can be placed in a dishwasher without affecting its integrity.

Best way to clean your bong

Using a dishwasher is an effective cleaning method, especially for food-grade silicone and high-quality glass bongs. However, always check if you can place your bong in a dishwasher without damaging it. Otherwise, you may have to use alternative methods such as rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and coarse salt


About Jeremy

Jeremy graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from the Technical University of Kenya. Over the past four years, he's been passionate about writing on a wide range of cannabis-related topics. In addition to guides, he's explored various aspects of cannabis, including its medical benefits, legalization efforts, cultivation techniques, and its impact on society. You can reach him at [email protected].