When you get a bong or buy any water pipe, for that matter, it’s super easy to become overwhelmed by all the different parts and accessories. Bongs are made up of two main components: a downstem and a bowl piece. You inhale through the downstem while you light herbs in the bowl piece. In addition to this, there may be multiple tubes coming out from the water-filled chamber connecting an ash catcher to a splash guard.
There could also be an ice pinch, so you can add some ice cubes into your water bong to cool things down if needed. Items such as a dry herb grinder, tongs, and even a lighter are also essential to have on hand if you want to get the most out of your bong. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your smoking experience, consider these tips before picking up your favorite bubbler.
1. Keep It Clean
A priority when using any water pipe must be ensuring everything is clean and hygienic. You can purchase something like an ash catcher or use a separate bowl piece for dry herbs if you prefer your smoking mixture separate from the water chamber.
A popular method that many potheads agree on works well is mixing some citric acid into the water – this removes all resin build-up while keeping the smell of smoke inside the glass.
When cleaning, remember to avoid harsh chemical cleaners, which can cause scratches that trap more dirt over time. Instead, it is better to use mild soap, water, and a soft brush like the kind you’d use to clean your cooking dishes.
2. Make Sure Everything Is Airtight
As with any smoking device, all pieces need to fit securely not to let any smoke escape – this is why bongs need both a downstem and bowl piece. Before taking a hit, it is important to make sure none of the pieces around the downstem and bowl feel loose. This helps not only in getting the smoothest hit possible but also keeps smoke from leaking out after you’ve pulled from it by accident. If your bong has an ash catcher or splash guard, be sure that those pieces are also entirely airtight.
3. Fill Up To The Lip Of Your Bong
If you want a bong rip that feels like it’s straight from the Gods, there’s one rule every stoner needs to follow: fill up your piece fully to the top with water (and ice if you like).
It ensures that no smoke is wasted and creates a smooth experience where every inhalation fills you up to the max. It also forces air into your lungs which can be much more comfortable than just sucking on a dry downstem.
Once again, the only downside is the increased frequency at which you will need to clean out resin build-up after each use because of this tip – just remember all those dirty bubbles come from good fun!
4. Adjust The Airflow In Your Bong
You will notice with most bongs that there’s a clip or some way to adjust how tight the downstem and bowl piece connects. It isn’t just for altering aesthetics – it also affects the flow of air into your water pipe, which in turn alters the hit.
If you want a stronger inhale with more resistance, tighten everything up. For something more accessible on the lungs, loosen things up so that there’s less resistance when pulling from your water bong. Of course, if you don’t like adjusting anything and prefer a consistently easy smoke every time you exhale, feel free to leave everything as-is!
5. Try Not To Move It Around Too Much After Usage
Bongs are made from glass with a thin, fragile layer on the outside – this is called ‘frosting.’ If you notice some spots where the frosting is peeling off, it’s likely because of water damage.
When using your bong, try to avoid moving it too much after to prevent any unnecessary breakage.
6. Keep Track Of The Downstem When Handing Over
Even with an ash catcher or splash guard, it’s still easy for resin build-up to end up inside the tubing that connects downstem to the bowl piece. In fact, sometimes resin can get stuck inside the bowl-end of the downstem as well. To avoid this, try to track where you hold your water bong when it’s being passed around.
Finally, remember that even with all these precautions, bongs are still made of glass, which means they can break. If you notice discoloration by the mouthpiece or a chip in the rim, consider investing in a new one.