How to use a Bong for Smoking

by Nick S. September 05, 2018 6 min read

Bukket Pipe Herb Grinder and Bongs

The word bong can refer to a variety of different-looking types of glassware. They will likely be referred to based upon their different modifications or defining characteristics. However, there is still a basic format that differentiates a bong from various other types of glassware. First of all, a bong incorporates water in order to ‘cool down’ the smoke before you inhale it. The point of this is to allow for a greater, stronger hit without the kickback or punch to the back of your throat.  We will discuss some helpful tips, tricks, and hints as well as specify some differences between varieties of bongs.

 

Silicone Bongs and Silicone Skull Bongs

Step by Step Guide to Using a Bong

Bongs are, thankfully, not too difficult to use and are generally as fragile as other similarly thick pieces of glassware. The steps for using a bong are as follows:

 

  1. Make sure that your bong does not have any cracks or cuts in the glass
  2. Now, begin to fill your bong with water. Make sure that you do not fill up the bong too much or too little otherwise, you will not achieve the pleasant smoke you are looking for with a bong.
  3. Prior to introducing the herb, test the level of water you have placed into your bong. This will make sure you do not pull water through and that there is enough to proper percolation.
  4. Introduce the herb. Do not overpack as this will affect airflow.
  5. As you pull or inhale, with the mouthpiece, pay attention to the amount of smoke filling the bong.
  6. When the desired amount of smoke has percolated and entered the main chamber, remove the glass piece holding your herb– otherwise referred to as the ‘slide’. This will release the smoke into the mouthpiece and available to consume.
  7. Once you have cleared the chamber you can replace the ‘slide’ and repeat the process until you have finished using your bong.

Silicone Bongs on Beach

Tips for Using a Bong

Bongs do not necessarily have to be complicated – and the less complex the bong the easier the maintenance and use will be. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some best practices and tips to ensure a good, clean smoke. Check out some of our tips below:

  1. Make sure that you do not overdo it with a bong. By that, just make sure that the water level is where it needs to be and not too low or too high. Especially on overfilling, this can make using a bong rather unpleasant should the water also pull into your hit.
  2. On top of making sure that you are not getting carried away filling your bong, regular maintenance and cleanup is highly recommended when it comes to bong use. Although cleanliness and good cleaning habits are important in just about any piece of glassware, a bongs use of water means that things can get rather smelly, sticky, or downright gunky. Make sure to change your water frequently and keep your glassware clean in order to keep having a good experience.
  3. Do not worry about taking in too much or too little with your bong as far as your hit goes. You can always cover the large chamber to keep the smoke in. That way, you don’t have to worry about dealing with too harsh of a hit or ending up in a coughing fit.
  4. On top of being able to cover the main chamber, don’t be afraid to cover the bowl pack with your lighter to ensure that excess herb isn’t burnt off for no reason.
  5. Of course, as with anything, don’t overpack the bowl. This will reduce airflow and cause you to get a weaker hit while burning more herb.

 

Bukket Pipes

How to Use a Gravity Bong

A gravity bong, while still a bong, goes about achieving a great hit in a rather different way than your average bong. For starters, with a normal bong (or piece of glassware for that matter) you are often going to be taking the hit yourself with your lungs. This is the normal way to go about things. However, a gravity bong uses physics to force the smoke into your lungs leaving you with a megahit of sorts. This removes the work from your lungs and can be seen in the function of any gravity bong from homemade ones to those that are professionally made. The key to remember is that this can also mean that you should be more careful the first time or two that you hit a gravity bong – no one wants a coughing fit that will destroy their good time.

 

Often, people make their own gravity bongs. There are a ton of different ways to do this and all of those ways can be found online. The most common that you will likely see involves a water bottle of sorts, things like tinfoil, and some sort of bucket to hold the water. The water is critical as this is what forces the smoke out of the cavity in the gravity bong and into your lungs. The choice is yours as to whether or not you want to go with something homemade or store-bought, however, there are almost as many varieties and brands of gravity bong to purchase as there are to make at home. It all comes down to preference, however, the best way to ensure consistency is to go with something manufactured. After the appropriate amount of research has been completed, naturally.

Glass Bong with Ice Catch

What are Common Bong Accessories?

Bongs can be customized with a wide variety of accessories to make your experience more enjoyable. One such item is known as an ash catcher and it functions pretty much as it sounds – it is designed to prevent any resin or ash from your bowl get into the rest of the bong. Another item that helps in providing a smoother, cleaner hit is an ice catcher. An ice catcher allows you to cool down the hit without jamming up the main chamber. That way you get a lot less drag on your hits.

Other accessories that you might find useful could be something like a diffuser or a percolator. Both items are generally used to make your rips smoother and therefore more enjoyable. At the end of the day, as has been made clear, a bong can be one of the smoothest smoking experiences you can have. 

How to Clean a Bong

You can’t have a good thing without a little bit of work. If you’re going to go through with purchasing a bong and accessories, make sure to take care of them. Otherwise, you won’t be getting the most bang for your buck and cashing in on some huge, smooth hits. Generally, follow this format and you’ll be fine:

 

  1. Make sure you have some sort of solvent and something abrasive. Some people opt to use isopropyl alcohol and some don’t. Salt is a good, clean abrasive.
  2. You should apply the alcohol and salt and shake your piece. If you choose to use an alcohol-free option like boiling water than quickly switch it down to simmer and carefully submerge the piece.
  3. Once you have thoroughly shaken the alcohol and salt solvent or submerged in boiling water, manually clean any stubborn areas and continue to rinse.
  4. Rinse and repeat, just make sure to avoid cracking your glassware by submerging in hot water unevenly or allowing it to evaporate out.
  5. The alcohol method is safe as long as you thoroughly rinse out your glassware afterward with hot water.

 

Why Buy a Bong?

A bong is a wonderful piece of glassware. Like anything, you need to take good care of it and there are tomes about each individual brand or piece of glassware. It’s worth making sure you know the limits of your glass as well as the proper maintenance schedule. You’ll get some of the cleanest hits you can get with herb and flame, one of the most potent (particularly if you dabble in gravity bongs), and you can still end up with some beautiful glass that in and of itself is a treat. Whatever your reasoning, you can’t go wrong with a bong.

Nick S.
Nick S.


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