There’s A Right and a Wrong Way to Use a Water Pipe

Learn how to get the most out of your water pipe.

Chances are, if you’ve never used abong, you have seen one at a smoke shop or friend’s house.

Water pipes can look intimidating, especially larger ones.

The shape and size can vary, along with the materials.

Not all bongs are constructed from glass. Even the number of percolators can vary.

Add everything up, and it can leave beginners questioning how to use a water pipe.

How Does a Water Pipe Work

A water pipe may look intimidating, but how it functions is relatively simple.

Grind your dry herb and place it in the attached bowl. Don’t over-pack the bowl. This can make it harder to get a proper hit.

Hold the flame to the bowl using a lighter and inhale on the mouthpiece.

Smoke travels through the water chamber and up to the mouthpiece.

Don’t forget about the carbonator. The carb is the small hole on the bong you cover with your finger.

Cover the carb as you inhale and remove your finger when you are ready to draw smoke into your lungs.

Do You Have to Use Water

Bongs are designed for use with water.

You can use one without filling the water chamber, but be prepared for a hot, dry hit.

Along with a burning sensation in your throat, you may also experience a painful coughing fit.

The water acts as the filtration system. It cools and removes the harshness from your hit.

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However, you are not limited to water. You can also fill the water chamber with ice cubes.

Adding ice cubes to the water often produces an even smoother hit.

If you don’t mind paying extra, you can find water pipes with dedicated chambers for ice cubes.

The Right Way to Hold a Bong

Some water pipes have intricate designs, while others are simple. Regardless of the design, how you hold a water pipe rarely changes.

Hold the chamber close to the base in your non-dominant hand. For example, your left hand if you write with your right one, and the opposite if your left is the dominant hand.

Larger water pipes often require additional support, so get ready to bend over a bit as you draw a hit. Placing the water pipe on a stable surface, like a counter, will provide the necessary support.

Use your dominant hand to light the flame as you hold it over the bowl.

When it comes to covering the carbs. Place your non-dominant hand where you can easily reach the small opening.

Inhale and exhale when the smoke fills the chamber.

Water Pipe Etiquette

Most smokers share their water pipes with friends, so knowing the proper etiquette is a good idea.

Wipe the mouthpiece down before passing the water pipe, and always empty the bowl.

The next person in line shouldn’t have to empty your ashes from the bowl. Replacing the water after a few uses is also a good idea.


Karamat Ali is the Editor in Chief and a writer at He has been writing for the blog since its inception in 2015. Karamat has a passion for writing about technology, business, and personal development. He is also helps people achieve their goals. Email: [email protected]

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