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Today’s bongs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and prices. There are many variations and terminology that includes water bongs, gravity bongs, Roor bongs, cheap bongs and a whole bunch of homemade bongs.
This type of smoking device is most notable because of the smoke filtration that occurs with the average bong design. As a puff is taken, the smoke travels through water first which leads to a smoother and cooler hit. Better yet, most of the bongs now come with ice catchers which all ice to lay in the path of the smoke, giving another layer to the smoothness.
Bong Options found in a Head Shop
1. Gravity Bongs
Usually homemade, and very well known for delivering huge, ripping hits. Gravity bongs work by using physics & gravity to both build the smoke and deliver the hit.
To understand it better, read below to see how to make a gravity bong...
Fill a sink with water and cut an emptied 2-liter soda bottle in half. The mouthpiece of the bottle will be the bowl piece where the herbs are packed – use tin foil or a salt shaker head as to pack the dry herbs into. Once packed, submerge the bottle in the filled sink – obviously keep the mouthpiece above the water.
Next, light the herbs and as you normally would, but no need to put your mouth on anything, just slowly pull the bottle upward. As the bottle is pulled up, the pressure created with pull the flame into the herbs and smoke will begin to fill the bottle. Continue pulling up slow while keeping the end of the bottle under water – smoke will escape otherwise.
To take the hit, remove the bowl piece to reveal an open mouthpiece. Now go to take a pull as you would with any smoking device and push the bottle downward. The downward force will create pressure that forces the smoke up and out the mouthpiece, deliver a huge hit!
Some grav bongs are bit more sophisticated than that, even if they are homemade, but that example is the most popular. And fortunately, nowadays you don’t have to be McGyver and you can get yourself the Bukket Gravity Bong which is a portable, ready to use grav. It functions similar to an accordion and is fast becoming popular.
2. Roor Bongs
A Roor bong is the mother of all bongs. Some say there are two types of smokers. Those who dream of owning a Roor and those who own a Roor. Others say it’s a whole lot of green spent on a bong that could instead go to green for smoke.
A Roor does not have a rubber seal where the stem goes into the glass. Everything is blown into the bong. This very popular glass piece is known to hit hard and clean. They are made of quality, German glass which is a bit more durable than the kind of glass you see on some other beautiful, decorative pipes. Indeed, Roor bongs are a stoner status symbol.
3. Percolator Bong
Perhaps the stoniest smokers on earth like this one because you can hit it and hit and hit it and hit it and you won’t cough. So, you will seriously enjoy yourself. But you still should know when to quit! It’s up to you!
How does it work? Basically, it sends the water and the smoke through percolators, like the kind coffee pots have. There are “tree percs,” which are when percolator tubes vertically are assembled inside the bong. There also are “inline percs” which are percolators that send water and smoke through the tubes horizontally.
You get such a clean hit, you don’t realize how much smoke there really is hence why so many people love the Percolator Bong!
4. Homemade Bongs
Gravity bongs are popular homemade pieces, but when you find yourself in the oddest pinch without a smoking device, there are many options to choose from. If NASA can get astronauts back from the moon in a broken spacecraft, you can find a way to smoke. Get McGyver like and try out a cool example below:
Simple Bottle Water Bong - You can make a homemade bong of the traditional one-liter water bottle variety. Simply poke a hole in the side of the bottle, above where the water line will be, of course, with the bottle about half full.
Next, insert a straw or even something more firm like the body of a BIC pen for example. Next fasten an aluminum foil bowl on top of it – or McGyver the head of a salt shaker. You simply suck out the top of the water bottle while lighting the bowl piece like any other bong.
Obviously, homemade water bongs can be difficult to make. Sometimes people will refer to certain “homemade bongs” as pipes, because they do not contain water. Still, these easy-to-use devices can be made almost anywhere with the right materials.
5. Glass Bongs
Glass bongs are wildly popular because of their stunning appearance that can be achieved through this glass-blowing craft. They can come in elaborate, multi-colored designs or simple functional ones.
The problem, of course, is that glass bongs are breakable. You need to be very careful with glass bongs and a simple tap on the countertop can cause tears of glass. But with careful handling they are certainly worth it. They look good and usually hit very well.
6. Cheap Bongs
Cheap bongs are what most people buy when they are on vacation and don’t intend to bring the bong home on the airplane. Cheap bongs most often are made of acrylic and plastic.
A cheap bong does the trick though. They get gross in a hurry and don’t really clean up well long-term, however. They are cheap, and they are disposable.
7. Silicone Bongs
Silicone bongs are made of sturdy, food-grade safe silicone. The best thing about them, of course, is that they don’t break ever, and yet they still are of high quality. Many people choose to have a silicone bong as their everyday bong.
Silicone bongs come in water bong variety, Badass Skull bongs with ice catchers, and even min-bongs that have an awesome little tray attached for your next bowl.
One of the best things about a silicone bong is that they are incredibly easy to clean and can literally be tossed in the dishwasher if you choose. Other bongs take a little time, love and tenderness to sterilize.
How to Use a Bong
To know how to smoke a bong, aka use it, get familiar with it. The main point of this smoking pipe is to filter the smoke through water, achieving a smoother hit. It’s a very standard concept found in just about all the bong pipe varieties.
For the average piece, before starting any session, always make sure to put water inside or you will be dealing with a dry, harsh hit. How to fill a bong you ask, well simply fill it like a glass of water, just don’t put as much. How much water should be put in? Just make sure the bottom of the slide piece is submerged so that the inhaled smoke is first filtered through the water. Another note on the water, it is important to not spill bong water, as the smell will destroy your day, especially if it is really nasty.
Once the water is in, make sure the slide piece is also in place. The slide is the part of the bong in which the bowl piece will slide into. The slide extends down into the water for filtration purposes, so make sure it is submerged in the water, otherwise you will not be taking advantage of the bong’s filtration system.
With the water and slide in place, the next step is to attach the bowl piece which will easily fit into the top of the slide. Next, pack the bowl with some well-ground herbs and get to smoking.
This is the fun part. Light the bowl and start to inhale – as you inhale, smoke will travel from the bowl head, down the stem, through the water, and begin to fill the bongs interior. The first stage of smoking a bong is known as, “milking the bong”, which gets its name because as the smoke continues to collect, it becomes a milky white color.
Once you have milked the bong, it is time to clear it out, and if you milked beyond your capacity, be prepared to start coughing, but that’s not always a bad thing. To clear things out, simply remove the bowl piece and inhale.
How to Clean your Bong
A gross bong isn’t just gross, it will taint the taste of your hit, which we all know in some cases, can be beyond disgusting – yet you still do it.
If it looks bad and it smells bad, it should be no surprise that a dirty bong is hazardous to your health. You must change your bong water and know how to clean your bong after every use. Always keep your bong impeccably clean if possible.
Before getting into how to clean your bong, it’s important to understand why you need to clean your bong. It’s about more than not offending your girlfriend.
Important Note - Your Bong is a Petri Dish
Some research conducted has shown alarming levels of dangerous bacteria on bongs. The mouth piece and the bowl water get the nastiest, of course, with the bowl water getting the big prize. And you know you’ve tasted it before by accident! Imagine what just one wrong drop could do to you.
The simplest way to clean a bong is with rubbing alcohol and table salt. However, if your bong is made of marble, and yes, they do make them, be aware that the rubbing alcohol can expand in the marble’s tiny cracks and bust your bong. 420 cleaners are also an option and many of them come with tiny scrubbing agents.
Bong Cleaning for Beginners
Obviously, you need to first pour the water out of the bong after detaching the bowl and stem if there is one, as well as any other removable pieces.
You will want to fill the nasty bong up with hot water first, mix and rinse to loosen everything up. Pour it out and repeat a few times and hopefully a great deal of the resin particles will come out with it.
Next, fill your bong with a solution of table salt and rubbing alcohol, or some sort of 420 cleaning solution if you have. Pour it into the bong and just shake it up and let that resin melt away. Continue to shake and soak to let the agents do their job.
Then pour it out, and rinse and repeat if needed. At the end, rinse thoroughly with hot water to watch away any remaining pieces and to clean out any cleaning solutions that may have been used. Be sure to make sure that bong is rinsed out and dried out before you use it again.
As for the stem and bowl, a common trick is to put those pieces in a baggie (individually) mixed with the same alcohol and salt solution, or the pipe cleaner, and shake vigorously.
Obviously, things can be sped up when extra crud is manually scraped away with a cotton swab, old toothbrush or whatever else.
There also are tons of products you can buy to clean your bong. Just remember to protect your hands and everything around you when cleaning a bong. You do not want that nasty smell on anything.
A few final words about the beloved bong
The bong, always will symbolize the great movement. However, modern-day delivery methods have made herbal consumption faster, heavier and stealthier. But just as every home has a fan, most have air conditioning and heating systems as well.