How to Use a Bong: A Beginner’s Guide

A bong is a water-filtration device that is used to smoke herb or tobacco. It can produce large hits of smooth and cool smoke that are more enjoyable and potent than other smoking methods. Bongs come in various shapes and sizes, but they all have some basic components that work together:

  • Mouthpiece: This is the opening at the end of the tube where you place your mouth. When placing your mouth on the inhale hole, place your lips inside, not over, the hole. Purse them slightly and force them gently into the hole so that the outside of your lips creates an airtight seal.
  • Chamber: This is where the smoke accumulates, ready to be inhaled. Smoking a bong is a two-part activity — you fill the chamber of smoke, then “clear” it with quick inhale at the end.
  • Bowl (Slide): This holds your smoking material. It is sometimes called a slide because you remove it from the downstem as the final step before inhaling the smoke in the smoke chamber.
  • Downstem: A small tube that connects the water in the bottom of the bong to the bottom of the slide. It may be defused (notched at the bottom) or a simple tube. The smoke travels through the downstem and into the water. Some bongs do not have downstems and instead have a molded glass tube leading from the slide into the chamber. The water should always be higher than the downstem.
  • Carb (Optional): A hole on the side of the bond above the water level, the carb is kept covered while the slide is being lit and then uncovered when the user is ready to inhale the smoke. Most water bongs, however, do not have a carb, unless they are wooden or porcelain.

In this blog post, we will show you how to use a bong step by step, as well as some tips and tricks to make your experience more enjoyable.

Step 1: Prep your bong

Before you start smoking, you need to prepare your bong by filling it with water and cleaning it if necessary. Here are some guidelines:

  • Pour water into the mouthpiece until it just covers the downstem. You can also put ice cubes in the water if you’d like.
  • The temperature of the water is a matter of preference– some people love cold, some warm, and many are fine with room temperature.
  • Contrary to popular belief, more water does not lead to a better experience. It takes your lungs effort to pull air through water, so more water just means you are working harder to pull the smoke through.
  • Make sure to keep your bong clean and change the water regularly. A dirty bong can harbor bacteria and mold, as well as affect the taste and quality of your smoke.
  • You can use rubbing alcohol and salt to clean your bong. Just pour some alcohol into the chamber, add some salt, and shake it vigorously. Then rinse it with warm water and let it dry.

Step 2: Pack the bowl

Now that your bong is ready, you need to pack the bowl with your smoking material. Here are some tips:

  • Use a grinder or scissors to break up your herb or tobacco into small pieces. This will help it burn more evenly and efficiently.
  • Fill the entire bowl with ground herb or tobacco. Loosely pack it by pressing it down with one finger. Add more ground herb or tobacco if the entire thing isn’t full after packing.
  • Don’t pack it too tightly or too loosely. If it’s too tight, it will be hard to draw air through it. If it’s too loose, it will burn too fast and waste your herb or tobacco.
  • If you have a screen or filter, place it at the bottom of the bowl before packing it. This will prevent ash and herb or tobacco particles from getting into the water and clogging up your bong.

Step 3: Light up and inhale

This is where the fun begins. Here’s how to light up and inhale from your bong:

  • Place your mouth inside the mouthpiece, creating a tight seal.
  • Hold a flame over the bowl and inhale strongly and steadily. You can use a lighter, a match, or a hemp wick to light your herb or tobacco.
  • Using a lighter can result in low levels of butane inhalation, which is non-toxic but may present health problems in large quantities. A hemp wick is a natural alternative that burns cleaner and slower than a lighter.
  • As you inhale, you will see the chamber filling up with smoke. Don’t inhale too much or too fast, or you might cough or choke.
  • When the chamber is full of smoke, pull out the bowl or take your finger off the carb and inhale forcefully, clearing the smoke into your lungs.
  • Exhale, and if desired, repeat steps 3-5.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to make your bong smoking experience more enjoyable:

  • If you’re new to bongs, start with small hits and work your way up. Bong hits can be very potent and intense, so don’t overdo it.
  • If you feel like coughing, try to hold it in until you exhale. Coughing while inhaling can cause you to swallow smoke, which can make you feel nauseous or sick.
  • If you want to enhance the flavor and smoothness of your smoke, you can add some herbs, fruits, or juices to the water. Some popular choices are mint, lemon, orange, cranberry, and tea.
  • If you want to make your bong more attractive and personalized, you can decorate it with stickers, paint, or accessories. Just make sure they don’t interfere with the function of the bong or pose a fire hazard.
  • If you want to share your bong with others, make sure to wipe the mouthpiece with alcohol or sanitizer before passing it on. This will prevent the spread of germs and diseases.


Bongs are a great way to smoke herb or tobacco. They filter and cool the smoke, making it smoother and more enjoyable. They also produce large hits that are more potent and satisfying than other smoking methods. Bongs are easy to use once you know the basics. Just follow these steps:

  1. Prep your bong by filling it with water and cleaning it if necessary.
  2. Pack the bowl with ground herb or tobacco.</li