Three dirty bongs in need of cleaning.

Stoner Essentials #7 – Keep Your Glass Bongs & Pipes Squeaky Clean

Best cleaning solutions for removing resin from glass bongs & pipes

One of the less pleasant aspects of using a bong or pipe to smoke weed is the inevitable buildup of nasty, sticky resin, which makes the piece harder to smoke and adulterates the taste of weed. Bottom line, resin is the bane of every weed smoker’s existence.

Experiencing the vast, wonderful world of glass pieces is my favorite part of being a stoner. Glass bongs and pipes are works of fine art, made all the more beautiful by virtue of their function.


The thing is, the more expensive and elaborate the bong, the harder it is to clean. Higher end bongs with intricate designs, while awesome, make for quite a daunting cleaning process. That is, of course, unless you have the proper tools at your disposal.

That’s where the following three cleaning solutions come in.

Sure, you could go with with the homemade salt + rubbing alcohol solution; and with some effort, you can certainly get your bong pretty damn clean with it. But if you ask me, it doesn’t make much sense to spend a poop load of money on an awesome bong only to skimp out on its maintenance costs. Especially when we’re only talking about an extra $15-20.

Full disclosure: I get a small commission from Amazon through their affiliate program when my readers purchase the products linked to in this review, or any of the products from the Stoner Essentials reviews. Having said that, I have used each of the following three products (and a handful of other similar brands) multiple times to clean my smoking devices, and chose these three for a reason: they work great.

Best Cleaning Solution for Bongs & Pipes

Grunge Off Super Soaker

Grunge Off

Grunge Off is one of the most popular cleaning solutions for glass pipes and bongs. And for good reason – it’s extremely effective at cleaning even the dirtiest glass pieces.

It’s actually the first product I ever came across specifically designed for stoners to clean their glass. One of my first roommates out of college used it, and he got me hooked.

The cool thing about Grunge Off is that, unlike with the homemade salt and rubbing alcohol solution, you don’t have to put work (and risk) into shaking your bong around like a madman for it to work. Grunge Off is so powerful, all you need to do is soak your pieces in it and wait. Grunge Off literally liquefies the resin, relinquishing the death grip it has on your piece.

Cleaning your glass with Grunge Off is a simple process. This Amazon reviewer does a good job laying it out in 6 easy steps:

  1. Cover or plug any openings where liquid could escape.
  2. Pour grunge off into glass piece and any separate compartments and seal.
  3. Go to sleep.
  4. Wake up.
  5. Pour out your Grunge Off into a clean oil funnel back into the bottle. (It’s reusable!)
  6. Step back in wonder at the cleanest glass you have ever seen.

As you may have noticed in the above steps, another super cool thing about Grunge Off is it’s reusable. When my roommate first told me this, I thought he was fucking with me. But no, after soaking your pieces in the Grunge Off solution, you can pour it back into the container and use it again.

Depending on how often you use it (and how often you get high), a 16 ounce bottle of Grunge Off can last you an entire year or longer. After reusing it a number of times, the solution loses its color and becomes ineffective.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret, since you’re cool enough to actually be reading my blog.

There’s an easy way to extend the life of 16 ounces of Grunge Off to the point of near immortality. All you need is a coffee filter, and you’re set. You already know what I’m gonna say next.

Once the Grunge Off solution has been used a number of times, strain it through the filter and it’ll be as good as new (it won’t return to it’s original color, but it’ll be every bit as effective as the first time you used it).

No bullshit, I’ve had the same bottle of Grunge Off for coming up on 3 years now. And I have multiple bongs. And I utilize them to their fullest extent. And I like to keep them clean.

Having said that, it won’t literally last you forever… I’m really stretching it with this bottle. The last time I tried to use the coffee filter method, the solution was much more resistant to passing through the filter than the first few times. And of course, over time you wind up with less and less of the solution, as a small amount is lost after every use. But I digress.

So yeah, a bottle of Grunge Off can clean many a bong over the course of years if used right. There’s really no reason not to invest the ~$15 in a bottle of Grunge Off if you’re a frequent smoker.

Bottom line, Grunge Off is the shit. Don’t take my word for it though. Check out the reviews on Amazon.

The makers of Grunge Off provide instructions for how to use it on their website. But for more thorough instructions, check out the video below.

Formula 420 Pipe Cleaner

Formula 420 Pipe Cleaner

Formula 420 Pipe Cleaner is another powerful concoction, and is also very popular among weed smokers.

A friend of mine left an unopened bottle of this at my place a few years back. Upon testing it out, I found that it’s somewhat similar to Grunge Off – especially considering Formula 420 can be reused as well.

I actually thought about not including it in this review because of that. Ultimately I decided to include it because I personally prefer Grunge Off, so if they’re different enough for me to have a preference, I suppose they’re different enough to compare.

So here’s what ultimately differentiates Formula 420 and Grunge Off:

First of all, Grunge Off is meant for soaking, while Formula 420 is meant for shaking.

Put another way, Formula 420 is faster acting than Grunge Off. But for someone with as many bongs and bowls as me, that’s not really an issue; I can just use any other piece from my absurdly vast collection of smoking devices while soaking the others. So it might be preferable over Grunge Off if you only have one piece, as you won’t have to wait around to get high when your piece gets too dirty.

Anyway, Formula 420’s power is apparent as soon as you open the bottle; while both products have strong (and unique) fragrances, Formula 420’s is noticeably more overwhelming. I don’t know if this has anything to do with it being more powerful, but it’s something I noticed.

Speaking of the smell, that’s one of the reasons I prefer Grunge Off. While they both have strong, chemical-ish smell, Formula 420’s is really powerful, to the point of lingering around once its job is done and the bong is clean. It’s quite difficult to get rid of.

Having said that, Grunge Off will leave behind a funky taste and smell in the piece if you don’t take care to thoroughly rinse it out after cleaning, but it’s just not as huge an issue with as it is for Formula 420.

Either way, Formula 420 is a solid alternative to Grunge off depending on your needs. For more info, check out the video below.

420 Science’s Complete Cleaning System: Smoke Soap, Rez Block & 420 Wipes

420 Wipes, Smoke Soap, and Rez Block420 Science is the leading company specializing in everything marijuana related, from beautiful bongs and pipes to weed storage containers to, of course, cleaning supplies. I highly suggest you check them out if you haven’t already.

Anyway, 420 Science produces more than just a single bong cleaner. They have multiple products which, together, constitute the most comprehensive cleaning system available on the market: Smoke Soap, Rez Block, and 420 Wipes. Let’s go through exactly what these products do.

I’ll start with Smoke Soap.

Smoke SoapSmoke Soap is perhaps best described as an all natural version of Grunge Off – it’s a soy and citrus based solution. Personally, I find it very impressive that they were able to devise such an effective cleaner while keeping it all natural.

Like Grunge Off, Smoke Soap is a soaking cleaner – rather than pouring it in your bong and shaking it vigorously for a few minutes to get it clean, you simply let it sit in the bong for a few hours – or overnight – and it gently loosens and liquefies the resin over time.

If you’re looking for something that works quicker, however, 420 Science makes a pretty rad version of Smoke Soap which gets the job done in a few minutes. It’s called the Smoke Soap Microwavable Tub.

Smoke Soap TubIt’s pretty bad-ass, and it works exactly how the name suggests.

Just throw your dirty pieces, anything that’ll fit, into the tub and pop it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. Be careful removing it, of course, as the solution will be very hot. I suggest using metal tongs or something to remove the piece, otherwise you’d be wise to wait 10-15 minutes for it to cool down.

The only negative part about the Smoke Soap Microwavable Tub is that, obviously, it’ll only work with pieces small enough to fit in the tub. The tub is quite large, however, but not large enough to house a full sized bong. But it’s definitely large enough for most glass bowls and bubblers. To get a better idea of the size of the tub, check out the instructional at the end of this review.

Next up is Rez Block. This shit is truly innovative.

5112IYHKrYLRez Block is actually not a cleaning solution, per se. It isn’t meant to clean resin from your piece, but rather to prevent resin from building up in your bong. Since the Rez Block solution is meant to mix in with bong water, it’s only meant to be used with bongs and other water pipes.

Using Rez Block is easy as pie. Depending on how much water your bong holds, it only takes a few drops of Rez Block to work effectively.

The good thing is that Rez Block is tasteless and odorless, so you don’t have to worry about your bong rips tasting funny. Personally, I think it’d be pretty cool if they came out with flavored versions of Rez Block. It’d be pretty cool to take cherry and grape flavored bong rips, if you ask me.

The final product in 420 Science’s complete cleaning system is 420 Wipes.

419KLqHNVwLI personally don’t have much experience with 420 Wipes, but one of my best friends uses them religiously. Before discovering 420 Wipes, he was an ardent user of regular baby wipes for just about everything, including to clean his pieces.

They’re essentially just moist towelettes designed specifically for weed smokers.

420 Wipes are particularly useful for cleaning off hard to reach spots. But if you’re a serious germaphobe, they’re also useful for sanitizing the mouthpiece area of your bong after your dirty, dirty hippy stoner friends hit it.

Also, as the fellow in the video below notes, 420 Wipes are great for those who’re into dabbing, as they’re perfect for cleaning off the dabber after using it.

Anyway, as you can see it’s a simple product, so I won’t regale you with the litany of ways you can use them.

Check out the video below for more information on Smoke Soap, Rez Block, and 420 Wipes. It was actually made by the fine folks at 420 Science, and includes a full demonstration on how to properly use all three products.