How Much Water Do You Put in a Bong?

If you are new to bongs, or if you want to improve your smoking experience, you might be wondering how much water you should put in your bong before lighting up. The answer is not as simple as you might think, because different bongs have different designs, sizes, and features that affect the optimal water level. In this blog post, we will explain why the water level matters, how to find the right amount of water for your bong, and some tips and tricks to make your bong hits smoother and more enjoyable.

Why Does the Water Level Matter?

The water in your bong serves two main purposes: cooling and filtering the smoke. When you inhale through the mouthpiece, the smoke travels from the bowl, through the downstem, and into the water. The water cools down the smoke, making it less harsh on your throat and lungs. The water also filters out some of the heavier particles and water-soluble molecules from the smoke, such as tar, ash, and some toxins. This makes the smoke cleaner and smoother, and reduces some of the health risks associated with smoking.

However, if you put too much or too little water in your bong, you will not get the full benefits of the water. If there is too much water, you will have to inhale harder to pull the smoke through the water, which can be uncomfortable and inefficient. You may also end up getting water in your mouth, which is unpleasant and unsanitary. If there is too little water, you will not cool or filter the smoke enough, which can make it harsher and more irritating. You may also waste some of the smoke that escapes through the air gaps in the water.

How to Find the Right Amount of Water for Your Bong?

The right amount of water for your bong depends on several factors, such as the size of your bong, the type of downstem or percolator it has, and your personal preference. However, there is a general rule of thumb that you can follow to get started:

the water level should be just enough to cover the downstem or percolator


The downstem is the tube that connects the bowl to the base of the bong. Some downstems have slits or holes at the bottom to diffuse the smoke into smaller bubbles, which increases the surface area of contact with the water. The percolator is an additional device that further diffuses and cools the smoke inside the bong. Some bongs have multiple percolators in different chambers for extra filtration.

By covering the downstem or percolator with water, you ensure that all of the smoke passes through the water before reaching your mouth. This maximizes the cooling and filtering effects of the water. However, you don’t want to add too much water beyond this point, because it will make it harder to inhale and increase the risk of splashback.

To measure the water level in your bong, you can use a simple method:

pour water through the mouthpiece or downstem until it reaches about 1-1.5 inches above the bottom of the downstem or percolator

. You can also use a ruler or a finger to check if the water level is correct. If your bong has multiple percolators in different chambers, you may need to tilt or shake it gently to distribute the water evenly.

Tips and Tricks to Make Your Bong Hits Better

Now that you know how much water to put in your bong, here are some tips and tricks to make your bong hits even better:

  • Clean your bong regularly

    . Dirty bongs can harbor bacteria, mold, and residue that can affect the taste and quality of your smoke. You should rinse your bong with hot water after every use, and deep-clean it with alcohol and salt every few weeks.

  • Add ice cubes or cold water

    . If you want to make your smoke even cooler and smoother, you can add some ice cubes or cold water to your bong. Some bongs have ice catchers or ice pinches that hold ice cubes above the water level. Be careful not to add too much ice or cold water though, because it can reduce some of the flavor and potency of your herb or tobacco.

  • Experiment with different water alternatives

    . If you want to add some flavor or aroma to your smoke, you can try replacing the water in your bong with other liquids, such as juice, tea, or flavored water. However, be aware that some liquids may be sticky, acidic, or sugary, which can damage your bong or make it harder to clean. You should also avoid using alcohol or carbonated drinks, because they can be dangerous or unpleasant to inhale.

  • Grind your herb or tobacco finely

    . To get the most out of your bong, you should grind your herb or tobacco finely before packing it in the bowl. This will increase the surface area of contact with the flame and the smoke, which will enhance the flavor and potency of your smoke. You can use a grinder, a scissors, or your fingers to grind your herb or tobacco.

  • Don’t overpack or underpack the bowl

    . To get the best airflow and combustion in your bong, you should pack the bowl just right. If you overpack the bowl, you will restrict the airflow and make it harder to inhale. You may also waste some of the herb or tobacco that doesn’t burn evenly. If you underpack the bowl, you will get less smoke and less flavor. You should pack the bowl loosely enough to allow some air to pass through, but firmly enough to hold the herb or tobacco in place.


Bongs are great devices for smoking herb or tobacco, but they require some care and attention to get the best results. By knowing how much water to put in your bong, and following some simple tips and tricks, you can enjoy smooth and satisfying bong hits every time. Remember to always use your bong responsibly and safely, and have fun!