How Much Water Do You Put In A Bong?

If you’re new to the world of bong smoking, you may be feeling a little weirded out by this strange, pipe-looking thing that’s supposed to get you high.

When you’ve been used to rolling zoots with your bare hands, loading up a bowl won’t be second nature, so you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of bong smoking to make the most of your sesh. 

Water is arguably THE most important thing you’ll be putting in your bong (aside from your weed), so knowing how much to put in, and when to empty it, is imperative.

Here’s everything you need to know about smoking with a bong, and how to get your water levels just right. 

Perc Vs Downstem

First things first, there are two main types of apparatus on bongs – perc and downstem. You may also come across ice bongs, which we’ll get into a little later.

What Is A Downstem? 

The downstem is a piece of glass that connects the bong bowl and the body. The downstem will generate suction that encourages the smoke down through the mouthpiece as you breathe in.

Downstems are often removable, although some may be fixed to the glass piece. You can also get diffused downstems, which as the name suggests, are fitted with a diffuser to aerate and disperse the smoke, offering you a much cleaner smoke. 

How Much Water Should You Put In A Downstem Bong? 

Whether your downstem is fixed or removable, you’ll want your water to sit just above the base of your fixed downstem.

Remember: if you’re using a fixed downstem or a beaker bong, you’ll be tilting the bong toward you when you smoke. This means you’ll be able to add more water than you’d put in a regular perc bong. 

How Much Water Should You Put In A Perc Bong? 

With a percolator (or perc) bong, the exact amount of water will vary depending on the size of your bong. However, the general rule for ALL bongs is to add just enough water to submerge the opening of the perc.

Even if you’re using a complex bong with multiple percolators, apply this rule and submerge the openings of all your percs.

Doing so will allow you to take full advantage of your bongs filtration system, and get the best smoke every time. 

What About Ice Bongs? 

Ice bongs can hold ice cubes in the small notches on the neck of a bong. The ice will cool the smoke as it pulls through the bong, and give you a super cool, super clean experience.

To fill up an ice bong, simply drop your ice cubes into the neck of the bong – the ice catcher will prevent them from entering the chamber. 

How Much Water Do You Put In A Bong?

Why Does The Water Level Matter? 

Getting your water level just right will allow you to make the most of your bongs filtration system, and give you a clean smoke. 

Water sits in your bong to cool the water before it reaches your lungs. So, when you light your bowl and pull the smoke through a blend of water and bubbles, it leads to a cooler, smoother hit of smoke.

The water also works to trap the particulate matter in the smoke – this means that any ash will be trapped in the water, and you’ll be inhaling less harmful particles when you smoke. 

Getting the water level right is crucial, and if it’s off, it will affect how these processes work, and make the experience less pleasant for you.

For example, if you overfill your bong, your lungs will have to work much harder to pull the smoke through the bong. You also run the risk of getting a mouthful of bong water which (take it from us), is NOT pleasant. 

On the other hand, if you underfill your bong, it’s not going to filter your smoke as well.

This means your hits will be warmer, harsher, and a lot less pleasant – in other words, it defeats the purpose of smoking with a bong! Balance is key. 

How To Put Water In A Bong 

Bongs come in various shapes and sizes, so the kind of bong you’re using will determine exactly how you need to fill it. Generally, though, you’ll need to pour your water in through the mouthpiece and pour it back out the same way. 

NEVER leave the water to stand in your bong. Replace the water with every smoke session, and discard the used bong water immediately.

Leaving dirty water to sit in your bong will make it dirtier a lot faster, which will mean a lot more maintenance for you.

Smoking with dirty water will taste extremely unpleasant (especially if it has been left for more than 24 hours), so change it regularly for the best experience. 

Can You Use Flavored Bong Water? 

If you want to take your smoking experience to new heights, you could even flavor your bong water! Adding flavor to the water will blend with the smoke when you pull through, giving you a whole new hit of flavors.

Instead of water, you could add your favorite fruit juice, an infused water, tea, or even wine to your bong! Feel free to experiment and find what works for you. 

The Bottom Line 

The exact amount of water you put in your bong will depend on the kind of bong you’re using. However, the general rule is to submerge the downstem or percs of your bong completely.

If your bong has multiple percolators, ensure you submerge them all, and remember: smoking with a fixed downstem will allow you to add extra water! 

If you don’t want to add water, you can flavor your bong hits with an alternative such as juice, tea, soda, or even alcohol. Whatever liquid you’re using, ensure you follow the rules above to guarantee the best hits every time. 

Zack Finch
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