How to Use a Glass Bong for the First Time

If you are looking for a smooth, clean and enjoyable way to smoke your favorite herb or tobacco, you might want to try using a glass bong. A glass bong is a water-filtration device that cools and filters the smoke, producing an especially smooth, clean-tasting, and potentially healthier smoking experience. In this blog post, we will explain what a glass bong is, how it works, and how to use it for the first time.

What is a glass bong?

A glass bong is a type of water pipe that is almost exclusively used for smoking herb or tobacco. It usually consists of one primary vessel which is air- and water-tight, along with a bowl and stem, and some sort of mouthpiece. Most bongs have a hole somewhere above the water level, known as the “carburetor”, “carb”, “choke”, “bink”, “rush”, or “shotty,” which helps to clear the smoke when released.

Glass bongs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are simple and functional, others are handmade, stained-glass works of art. Glass bongs are preferred by many smokers because they are easy to clean, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. Glass bongs can also be customized with different accessories, such as percolators, ice catchers, ash catchers, diffusers, and more.

Glass bongs are made by superheating glass to a temperature of up to 1163°C, making it malleable enough to shape. Then, utilizing a hollowed steel rod or blowpipe, the craftsmen literally blow on one end filling the molten glass with air, forming a bubble-like shape. The glass is then shaped and molded into various forms using tools and molds. The final product is then cooled down slowly to prevent cracking.

How does a glass bong work?

The physics behind a glass bong are fairly straightforward: smoke is pulled through a chamber filled with water, and as the smoke bubbles up through the liquid, the water simultaneously cools down the temperature of the smoke and pulls out fine particulate matter including tar and ash.

This process has several benefits for the smoker. First, it makes the smoke smoother and less harsh on the throat and lungs. Second, it reduces the amount of toxins and carcinogens that are inhaled. Third, it preserves more of the flavor and aroma of the herb or tobacco.

Interestingly, there are a number of scientific studies showing the efficacy of water filtration. According to a literature review published by researcher Nicholas V. Cozzi, a study in 1963 found that “water filtration reduces both the amount of particulate matter and the number and quantity of toxic substances in the smoke that passes through it.” Similarly,a number of studies throughout the 1970s found that THC tends to pass through water while a number of other, potentially harmful substances are filtered out and stay behind in the water. Further supporting these findings, a study published in 1991 concluded that when smoke passes through water or some other wet surface, a number of toxic substances are removed.

What do you need to use a glass bong?

Here’s everything you need to use a glass bong:

  • Your favorite herb or tobacco
  • A glass bong. Be sure your bong has a downstem and bowl.
  • A lighter or hemp wick
  • Water
  • A grinder (you can also use your fingers or scissors)

For cleaning your glass bong you will need zipper-top plastic bags, plugs that fit the holes in your bong, and a cleaning solution (either one designed specifically for bongs or a combination of rubbing alcohol and coarse salt).

How to use a glass bong for the first time: step-by-step instructions

  1. Prep your bong

    Before doing anything else, be sure your bong is ready to go. Insert the downstem while checking that your bowl slides smoothly in and is cleared of any ash. Next, pour water into the mouthpiece until the waterline is above the base of the stem but below the bowl. You can also put ice cubes in the water if you’d like. Finally, if you are using any additional components such as an ice catch, be sure everything is in its proper place inside the bong.

  2. Grind your herb or tobacco

    The best way to do this is with a grinder, as the device will give you the most uniform grind. However, you can also use your fingers or scissors to break up your herb or tobacco into small pieces. Avoid grinding it too finely, as this can clog up the bowl and prevent airflow. Once you have your herb or tobacco ready, pack the bowl with about half a gram of freshly ground buds. Don’t pack it too tightly, as this can also restrict airflow and make it harder to smoke.

  3. Place your lips inside the mouthpiece

    Place your mouth inside the mouthpiece, creating a tight seal. Make sure your lips are not touching the rim of the bong, as this can be unsanitary and unpleasant. If you are sharing the bong with others, be courteous and wipe off any saliva or residue from the mouthpiece before passing it on.

  4. Use a lighter or hemp wick

    Hold a flame over the bowl and inhale slowly and steadily. Using a lighter can result in low levels of butane inhalation, which is non-toxic but may present health problems in large quantities. Alternatively, you can use a hemp wick, which is a natural and organic way to light your herb or tobacco without inhaling any butane. To use a hemp wick, light one end of it with a lighter and then use the burning end to ignite your bowl.

  5. Start inhaling

    As you light the bowl, inhale gently until the chamber starts to fill with milky-white smoke. You don’t need to inhale too hard or too fast, as this can waste your herb or tobacco and make you cough. Just inhale enough to keep the flame going and draw the smoke into the bong.

  6. Clear the bong

    When the chamber is full of smoke, release the carb or pull out the bowl and inhale the remainder of smoke from the chamber. This is called clearing the bong, and it’s important to do it quickly and smoothly to avoid stale smoke. Stale smoke is smoke that has been sitting in the bong for too long, and it can taste harsh and unpleasant. To clear the bong, inhale forcefully and deeply until there is no more smoke left in the chamber.

  7. Exhale

    Exhale slowly and enjoy the effects of your herb or tobacco. If desired, repeat steps 3-6 until you are satisfied or until the bowl is empty. Be careful not to overdo it, especially if you are new to using a glass bong or smoking in general. Glass bongs can produce large hits of thick smoke that can make it a more potent option than most other smoking methods.

  8. Clean your bong

    It’s not a must every time you use the bong, but make sure to keep it clean and change the water regularly. A dirty bong can harbor bacteria, mold, and residue that can affect the taste and quality of your smoke. To clean your bong, empty out the water and disassemble any removable parts. Place them in zipper-top plastic bags filled with cleaning solution and shake them gently until they are clean. Rinse them with warm water and let them dry. For the main body of the bong, plug any holes with plugs or paper towels and pour some cleaning solution inside. Shake it well until all dirt and grime are removed. Rinse it with warm water and let it dry.


Using a glass bong for the first time can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Glass bongs are one of the most popular and effective ways to smoke herb or tobacco, as they offer a smooth, clean, and potentially healthier smoking experience. By following these simple steps, you can learn how to use a glass bong for the first time and enjoy its benefits.

We hope this blog post has been helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Happy smoking!

: Cozzi NV (2016) The Pharmacology of Water Pipe Smoking: A Review of Literature Relevant to Water Pipe Tobacco Smoking Practices Worldwide . Available from: