Ganja Guides

How to Clean a Weed Bowl?

dirty bong bowl

Cleaning your weed bowl ensures you inhale fresh smoke each and every session. Continued use of your weed bowl may lead to resin buildup, affecting the natural flavor of your favorite strain. It can also expose you to harmful mold and even algae. Here is our curated step-by-step guide on how to clean a weed bowl with and without rubbing alcohol. 

Photo: Pexels

How often should you deep clean your weed bowl? 

Most of the time, you only need to wipe the bong bowl clean, clearing away the ash and limiting residue buildup. 

This cleaning should be done before packing your weed for the next session. All you have to do is tip your bowl over a trashcan to remove the ash. If the ash is sticking to the resin buildup, use a butter knife to carefully scrape it out. The presence of resin buildup is a sign your bowl needs a deep clean.  

Many people wonder how often they should deep clean their weed bowls. As a general guideline, cleaning your bowl thoroughly once a  week or after 10-20 uses is a good idea. However, how often you’ll deep clean your bowl will depend on:

Frequency of use

Some stoners may pack their bowls once a day, while others pack 3-4 times. The number of times you pack your bowl will determine the resin buildup. Thus, if you pack regularly, you’ll have to clean yours thoroughly more often. 

Personal preferences

Some stoners are disgusted by residue buildup and prefer a cleaner smoking experience. Hence, they might thoroughly clean their bowls without substantial resin buildup. 

Change of taste 

Resin buildup may affect the natural flavor of your strain. Thus, if you notice any change in your smoke, it might be time to give your weed bowl a deep clean. 

How to clean weed bowl with rubbing alcohol 

Rubbing alcohol breaks down resin in your bowl, which can be scraped off easily with a butter knife or cotton swabs. Although it’s a slow process, it will leave you with a clean bowl, ready for your next sesh. 

To start, you’ll need:

  • Rubbing alcohol (90% or higher)
  • Coarse salt
  • Cotton swabs
  • Ziplock bags 

Remove the bowl 

Once you have all the materials, remove the bowl. Tap it to remove any ash, then use cotton swabs to dislodge any debris. 

Soaking the bowl

Place the bowl in a ziplock and add one teaspoonful of coarse salt. Then, add enough rubbing alcohol to submerge the pieces entirely and give them a little shake. 

Soak the bag for about one hour (if it’s not that dirty) or overnight. 

Removing the residue

In this step, you may want to wear gloves to avoid direct contact with rubbing alcohol. Remove the bowl piece from the bag. Then, thoroughly clean it, using soapy water and a brush. Rinse with warm water.


Lay the bong bowl on a towel to air dry it for a few hours. Once fully dried, your bowl is ready for the next session. 

Safety consideration 

Here are precautions when using rubbing alcohol to clean your bowl: 

Work in an open, well-ventilated space 

Inhaling alcohol fumes may irritate your nose or throat. It can also cause dizziness or headache. Thus, ensure you work in a well-ventilated space.

Avoid open flames 

Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable. Using it near open flames may cause fires and related issues. 

How to clean weed bowl without alcohol 

No alcohol, no problem. Here are ways to clean your bowl without alcohol. 

Using baking soda  

Most households have baking soda and white vinegar lying around. Mixing baking soda and white vinegar in a ratio of 1:2 will create a perfect cleaning solution for your bowl.

This semi-abrasive solution will dissolve resin buildup, which can be scrapped and washed away easily. 

This is a preferred cleaning method as there’s no risk of fire or harmful residual solution being left behind. However, you should thoroughly rinse the bowl pieces to enjoy the unadulterated taste of your favorite strain. 

Using boiling water 

This alternative method involves soaking the bowl piece in hot boiling water for an hour or so. Then, remove any stubborn residue using a pipe cleaner or cotton swabs. Run under warm water and allow it to air dry before assembly. 

Elevate the sesh

Thoroughly cleaning your weed bowl on a regular basis is essential. It prevents growth of harmful mold and algae, plus it ensures a cleaner smoking session that elevates the whole experience. 


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].