How Often Should You Change Bong Water?
4 min

How Often Should You Change Bong Water?

4 min

If left to fester through multiple sessions, bong water can turn pretty rancid pretty quickly. Trust us when we say it is in the best interest of everyone involved that it gets changed regularly.

Ever gone to take a hit from a bong only to be met with a stale, nasty, and overall unpleasant taste? Well, if the water in your pipe has been left to fester, it can turn your perfectly planned smoking session into a bust. Cleanliness is next to godliness, as they say, so in this article we take a look into how often you should change your bong water to ensure you get the most out of your weed.

Why does a bong need water?

Why Does A Bong Need Water?

So, what's the point of using water in a bong? What does it actually do? Essentially, the water acts as a means of filtration for cannabis smoke, removing certain contaminants and preventing ash from making its way into the mouth and lungs. You see, when cannabis is combusted, hundreds of secondary toxic and carcinogenic compounds are produced, which enter the lungs when you inhale. While the water in your bong won't filter out all of these toxic byproducts, it makes for a cleaner smoke overall. Furthermore, the water cools the smoke before it reaches your mouth, making for a smoother pull that's less likely to cause irritation to the lungs.

How long can the water stay in my bong?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as you can keep water in your bong for as long as you want; it ultimately comes down to personal preference, and hygiene! But by changing the water in your bong after every session, it will only serve to keep your pipe clean and your hits much more flavourful.

Benefits of changing bong water regularly

Benefits Of Changing Bong Water Regularly

There are many potential benefits to changing the water in your bong regularly, from improving taste to preventing pathogens. You're only doing yourself and your stash a massive disservice by not staying on top of it. Here’s why you need to change your bong water.

Better taste

Without the presence of old, tainted water in your bong, you can really enjoy all of the nuances and fine flavours of your favourite strains. Fresh water will act to remove various contaminants without adversely impacting the inherent flavour profile of your bud.

No bacteria

Leaving old water in your bong acts as the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria, and can even lead to mould growth—definitely something you want to avoid! Nobody wants to inhale smoke that’s passed through bacteria-ridden water. Even if it doesn’t get you sick, it’s still pretty gross!

Longer-lasting glassware

Caring for your bong will only serve to make it last longer. By changing the water regularly, you can keep your pipe clear of any stains and imperfections, and it will generally make cleaning and maintenance much easier.

Better filtration

Clean water does a better job of filtration than that containing ash, plant matter, and various toxic byproducts.

Bong looks better

Not only will your glassware last longer, but it'll also look a whole lot better too. Without any stains or nasty liquid, you and your smoking buddies will be able to appreciate the beauty of your water pipe and its contents.

Related article

How To Clean Your Bong

How do you know you need to change your bong water?

How Do You Know You Need To Change Your Bong Water?

Aside from changing your bong water after every session as a habit, there are several telltale signs that the liquid could use a freshening up. While we always advise changing your bong water before it exhibits any of these signs, here are some clues that it's time to pour out the old liquid and start afresh.

Bad odour

Bad Odour

With all the bacteria present in the old bong water, there's no surprise that it can begin to emanate a bad odour. If you find that your bong is smelling a little funky, it's time for a deep clean and a change of water.

Resin buildup

There are some people that swear by scraping the resin buildup out of the bong and smoking it. However, don't fall victim to this practice. If you notice some black or brown resin building in any part of your bong, especially the water chamber, give it a good clean.



As the stagnant water will eventually develop mould, it's best to act fast and give your pipe a proper, thorough clean before lighting up again. Bacteria and mould have no place in a regularly used bong, and even less of a place in the lungs and mouths of you and your friends.

Brown water

The clearest visual sign; brown water is automatically unappealing and should be dealt with ASAP. This discolouration is caused by the resin and tar present in cannabis smoke, and will, in turn, stain your bong and support the growth of all manner of pathogens.

Can bong water make you sick?

Can Bong Water Make You Sick?

Absolutely! Dirty bong water carries all kinds of bacteria and nastiness that you wouldn't want anywhere near your mouth or lungs. So it's best to change it often. And don't get us started about the idea of drinking bong water—this would be like eating the filter tip of a used cigarette. Not very appealing, we're sure you'd agree.

Tips for getting the most out of your bong experience

While we've discussed the reasons why you should regularly change the water in your bong, we've not talked about how to optimise the bong-smoking experience. Here are a few suggestions for achieving filtered hits from a clean device.

Use Brilliant Bong Water

Use Brilliant Bong Water

This handy product from the team at Zamnesia is ideal for keeping your bong in tip-top condition. Before your next smoking session, add a little Brilliant Bong Water to your rig, and you won’t have to worry about any resin or ash buildup! Once you’re finished, simply pour out the liquid, and you’ll be left with a sparkling clean device.

Use an activated carbon filter

You can always look to use an activated carbon filter with your bong. This device sits between the downstem and bowl and acts as an additional layer of filtration before the smoke hits the water. Perfect for removing certain contaminants.

Use a pre-cooler

Use A Pre-Cooler

A pre-cooler works to filter the smoke through an additional water-filled chamber. This means that most of the residue from the smoke is kept in the pre-cooler, leaving the main chamber of your bong less affected.

Use distilled water

Use Distilled Water

Using distilled water is also a viable option for bongs. This pure water acts to reduce the levels of impurities and unwanted compounds in your bong, making for arguably cleaner and smoother hits overall.

Keep your bong clean, and you can't go wrong

As you can tell by this point, keeping your bong clean and regularly changing the water is paramount to a satisfying smoking experience. Leaving water to stagnate will only cause more problems than it’s worth. By taking just a little time to refresh your smoking apparatus, you can keep your sessions clean and enjoyable every time!

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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