12 May, 2022


Cannabis users are constantly trying different ways to consume their favorite strains, from vaping to edibles. And if you’re used to rolling blunts but want to take a break, bongs can serve as a perfect alternative. Not sure where to begin? Fret not, as bongs are not as complicated to use as they might appear. To help you out, we’ve prepared an ultimate guide that will have you using your bong like a pro.

Anatomy of a Bong

Bongs come in various materials, including wood and ceramic. Most users consider glass bongs to be the best because they are non-porous and odor and flavor-neutral, and will therefore not mess up the taste of your cannabis. Bongs come in various sizes and shapes, with some having grand centerpieces while other discreet rigs.

There are standard components that you can expect from every bong. These are:

  • Bowl- this is where you place your ground weed, and it can come in different materials, including metal and glass
  • Stem- this is the part attached to the bowl and stretches to the bottom of the bong
  • Chamber- this is the long tube where the smoke passes through before getting to the mouthpiece
  • Mouthpiece- this is the top part where you inhale the weed smoke from
  • Percolator- not all bongs have this filtration system. Its location varies from bong to bong, and it helps cool and filter the smoke, which results in smoother hits

How To Use a Bong: Step by Step

Step 1: Fill with water

Most bongs have a detachable downstem. Start by taking it out and adding fresh water. The ideal amount should submerge the downstem by no more than an inch. Fill water through the mouthpiece if your bog has a permanently fixed downstem. Also, there’s no standard amount of water because each bong is different. If yours has a percolator, ensure the water inundates all the openings. Consider adding ice through the mouthpiece if your bong has a catcher component

Step 2: Grind your favorite strain

We recommend using a weed grinder to get the right size. What’s more, you can collect kief which you can later add to your joint. It’s still okay to use your hands or scissors if you don’t have a grinder at hand.

Step 3: Add a screen

Bong screens are optional. However, it would help to use one if you are a beginner. They help prevent ash and bud from getting into the mouthpiece and keep the water uncontaminated for longer.

Two types exist, metal and glass screens. Metal screens are malleable, so they come in handy when you buy the wrong size and must force it to fit inside the bowl. The only downside is that they can overheat, so ensure you regularly switch to a new one. Place the screen inside the bowl, then proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Fill the bowl

Insert the downstem back into the bong. Start filling the bowl by packing densely at the bottom and loosely at the top. Avoid overfilling the bowl to avoid spillage.

Step 5: Take a hit

The final step is the most exciting because you enjoy all that hard work. First, check whether there’s a carburetor(carb) hole, then cover it with your thumb. Doing so will prevent the weed smoke from escaping before you’ve had a chance to inhale it.

Next, place your mouth on the top part of the mouthpiece before lighting up the weed bowl. Draw the smoke to load up the chamber with the desired smoke amount. Be sure to leave some lung capacity for the inhalation. However, it will require some practice to get it right. Afterward, inhale the smoke and take your mouth off the mouthpiece. Remove your thumb from the carb hole to clear the remaining smoke.

Alternatively, take out the downstem if your bong lacks a carb hole and inhale the weed smoke in the chamber. Remember that you don’t need to hold the smoke in for an extended period because the cannabis compounds go into your system immediately after inhalation.

How To Use Different Types of Bongs

  • Gravity bong. This bong type is primarily DIY and uses a plastic bottle as a bong. You will need to lift the bottle as you heat the weed bowl to fill the desired smoke.
  • Bubbler bong. Bubblers are bongs with slight modifications to them. They require less water and typically have a detachable hitter instead of a carb hole.
  • Mini bong. This bong is similar to standard bongs but smaller hence more inconspicuous.
  • Gas mask bong. These bongs are more recent and have a mask attached to them. Put the mask over your head, light up the bowl, and inhale the weed smoke.

Bong Maintenance

Keeping your bong in pristine condition requires regular cleaning. Doing so ensures:

  • Resin and other contaminants don’t ruin the taste of your weed
  • Your bong and bong water remain odor-neutral
  • Your bong doesn’t collect germs and you limit the risk of contracting necrotizing pneumonia
  • The cleaning process is hassle-free, with less resin and ash buildup

How often should you clean your bong?

We recommend washing your water piper every two days if you are a heavy user. If you are more of a casual smoker, it’s best to clean it after every session. If you wonder why, it’s because, unlike heavy users, you rarely subject the bong to regular heat, giving bacteria enough time to increase.

Other than the recommended timeframe, you’ll know it’s time to clean your bong if you notice the following.

  • Slimy film- this creates the perfect environment for bacteria, so it’s best to bring out your cleaning tools immediately
  • Resin buildup- this discolors your bong and affects your weed’s flavor. Also, leaving it on for long can leave a permanent layer, so you’ll need to replace your bong
  • Foul-smelling and discolored water- this happens when you fail to replace the water after every use
  • Ash buildup- if you notice black specks on your bong, this is a clear sign that you need to clean it

How to clean a bong

You’ll need

  • Hand towels
  • Cotton balls
  • Sealable containers
  • Hot water
  • Bottlebrush(optional)
  • Salt
  • Q-tips

Here’s how to clean your bong

  • Pour out the bong water
  • Take the bong apart, separating all detachable components
  • Submerge the bong parts in hot water
  • Place each bong component in a separate container
  • Pour about half a cup of rubbing alcohol and two tablespoons of salt into each container. The rubbing alcohol breaks down the buildup while the salt acts as a scrub. Alternatively, you could use vinegar and rice. However, we recommend the first two ingredients
  • Seal each container and shake for about five minutes. Use the q-tips and cotton balls to get into the hard-to-reach spots of each part
  • Leave the bong parts to soak in the solution for fifteen minutes, then shake
  • Take the empty bong and follow the steps above. Ensure you cover the carburetor hole when shaking to prevent spillage
  • Rinse each component with hot water
  • Check if all resin, ash, and slime are gone. If not, repeat the entire process until your bong is completely clean

You might notice hard water stains on your glass bong. Take lemon juice or vinegar and swish around before rinsing with hot water and leaving the bong to air dry.

We hope this extensive guide guarantees a pleasant bong experience for you and your friends. If you are shopping for a bong, we recommend a glass one due to its taste, odor-neutral advantages, and accessibility. Visit the Hikei site to buy premium glass bongs and buds today.