How to build a water bottle bong
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- What is a water bottle bong?
- What you need to build a water bottle bong
- Step-by-step instructions to build a water bottle bong
- Why people smoke out of water bottle bongs
- Why people avoid water bottle bongs
- Bottom line
What is a water bottle bong?
Far from embodying the braindead “stoner” stereotype, the cannabis community is actually quite ingenious—especially when it comes to throwing together makeshift smoking devices. The water bottle bong is one of the best examples of this ingenuity.
A water bottle bong is exactly what it sounds like: a bong fashioned out of an old water bottle. A water bottle bong should not be your primary smoking tool. In fact, it should probably not even be a piece you use more than once. Instead, a water bottle bong is a last-ditch effort when you find yourself in a pinch and have no other way to smoke. If you find yourself in this situation, making a water bottle bong will serve as a quick, easy, and incredibly effective solution. Here’s everything you need to know to build a water bottle bong from scratch.
What you need to build a water bottle bong
- A plastic water bottle. Use one of the standard 17-ounce bottles, and avoid the smaller ones. You can also use soda bottles, but you’ll want to wash out the sticky residue first.
- Scissors, razor blade, or a sharp knife
- A pen, marker, or highlighter that you don’t mind taking apart
- Aluminum foil, the thicker the better, or a small metal pipe bowl that can fit inside the cylindrical body of your pen, marker, or highlighter
- A needle or toothpick
- A lighter, match, or hemp wick
- Your favorite cannabis strain
Step-by-step instructions to build a water bottle bong
Step 1: Prepare the plastic bottle
Find a plastic water bottle; the standard 17-ounce size works best. If you can’t find a plastic water bottle, you can also use a soda bottle. Just be sure you take some extra time to clean the inside thoroughly — you don’t want all that sticky residue from the soda getting in the way of your smoking experience. Once you’ve got a clean bottle, remove the wrapper to make it easier to work with.
Step 2: Prepare the downstem
Next, you need to make a downstem that can house some sort of bowl. To make a downstem, you’ll need to use either a regular ballpoint pen, a marker, or a highlighter. A slightly fatter marker (think the fat Crayola Magic Markers) or a thicker highlighter tend to work the best, but a normal pen is doable, too. Take apart the pen, marker, or highlighter and remove all the insides; you only need the empty cylindrical body of the pen, marker or highlighter. This empty plastic tube will serve as your downstem. Now you need to pair your downstem with a bowl.
Step 3: Make a bowl
If you happen to have a metal pipe bowl on hand, see if it fits inside the plastic cylinder from your pen, marker, or highlighter. If it fits, you’re good to go.
If the metal pipe bowl doesn’t fit, or if you don’t have a metal pipe bowl handy, use aluminum foil. Tear off a medium to large piece of foil. Fold the foil over a couple of times to make it a bit thicker and more substantial. Now place the foil over the bottom end of the cylinder from your pen, marker, or highlighter. Fold the edges of the foil down to hold it in place. Next, use a fingertip to gently press down on the foil, creating a slight indentation without tearing the foil. Use a needle or toothpick to poke three to five tiny holes in the foil. This is the bowl that will hold your herb, so make sure the holes aren’t too big, otherwise your cannabis might fall through.
Step 4: Insert the downstem
Use either scissors, a razor blade, or a knife to cut a small hole in the side of the water bottle, roughly an inch or so below the midway point. You can also use a lighter to melt a hole into the bottle; just don’t breathe in the fumes. Make the hole barely big enough for your downstem to fit inside. Once you establish a fit, insert the downstem into the bottle, at a downward angle, so that it almost reaches the bottom of the bottle.
Step 5: Make a carb hole
Rotate the bottle 90° from the downstem and make another small hole in the side of the bottle, using whatever method you used in Step 4. This will be your carb hole, so be sure it’s in a position that will let you hold the bottle comfortably with your finger placed on top of this new opening.
Step 6: Add water
With the downstem inserted down into the bottle, hold the entire device upright and carefully pour in enough water to submerge the bottom of the downstem. Once the bottom of the downstem is underwater, you’re all set.
Step 7: Pack the bowl
Grind up your bud and gently pack it into your bowl. Insert the bowl into the downstem and get ready to smoke.
Step 8: Spark up
To smoke your water bottle bong, use the regular mouth of the bottle as your mouthpiece. Hold the bottle sideways with the downstem and bowl sticking up but away from your face. Place your thumb or finger over the carb hole. Use a lighter, match, or hemp wick to ignite the marijuana. Use your lungs to pull in through the mouthpiece. As you do, the smoke will get sucked down into the bottle and begin bubbling up through the water.
Step 9: Clear the bong
When you’re ready to take a hit, remove your thumb or finger from the carb hole and pull the smoke up through the bottle and into your lungs.
Why people smoke out of water bottle bongs
The only real reason people smoke out of water bottle bongs is because they have no other — or better — smoking device on hand. A water bottle bong is a stopgap solution, not a tool for regular repeated use. You should only make and smoke out of a water bottle bong when you’re in a pinch. Otherwise, use a real glass bong.
Why people avoid water bottle bongs
Water bottle bongs are not intended to be permanent, repeat-use smoking tools for several reasons. For starters, water bottle bongs are not all that sturdy; they’re simply handmade, thrown-together smoking tools. Further, smoking out of plastic and aluminum foil is far from ideal, especially since both substances can create highly toxic fumes when burned or melted.
Smoking out of a real glass bong will always be a better, safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable way to smoke cannabis, but when you have no other options, go ahead and have fun making a water bottle bong.
A water bottle bong is exactly what it sounds like: a bong fashioned out of an old water bottle. Here's how to make and use one the next time you find yourself in a pinch.
The Best Safe & Simple Water Bottle Bong
There are so many DIY recipes for water bottle bongs out there that it can be hard to distinguish the good from the bad. You’ll even see instructions for water bottle pipes that claim to be bongs but don’t use water. Wrong! Don’t be fooled. A bong uses water to filter and cool the smoke which makes for a much more pleasant and enjoyable smoke.
On top of all that, a lot of the builds you’ll see use materials that, when heated, can release toxic fumes. These toxic fumes can make your smoke taste bad and even lead to headaches. No one wants that. That’s why we’ve assembled instructions for the safest and simplest water bottle bong you can make at home.
The majority of the pieces and tools can be found pretty much anywhere, scavenged if not immediately available, or purchased for cheap if absolutely necessary. The only piece you may want to carry with you is the small socket. We’ll talk about that in detail below. So without further ado, let’s get to building a simple and safe water bottle bong.
As mentioned, most of these items can be found somewhere in the house. If you can’t find the exact piece we mention, look at the purpose of the component, read the instructions below to get an idea of how it’s used, and improvise a new solution. Here are the supplies you’ll need.
- Bong: Water bottle
- Down stem: Plastic pen or mechanical pencil
- Bowl: 7/32 socket
- Screen: Small bit of screen
- Sealant: Glue, super glue, or silly putty
That’s it for the bong itself. You’ll probably also need a pin or needle, a knife or scissors, and maybe a pair of pliers. The pin or needle is just to poke a hole in the bottle. It really doesn’t matter which you choose because it’s just to get the hole started and won’t be the final size. The knife or the scissors can also be used to poke the hole but will primarily be used for doing a bit of cutting on the pen. But again, we’ll explain that in the instructions below. Now let’s get to the actual build.
The nice thing about this build is that the components can be disassembled for easy travel. A socket, a hollow pen tube, a bit of screen, and some silly putty or super glue are pretty innocent by themselves. Chances are, they wouldn’t ring anyone’s internal alarm if the pieces were accidently discovered in your bag or car. It would probably just look like a bunch of junk. Anyway, here’s step one.
1. Choose Your Water Bottle Bong
Any 16-ounce water bottle will do. Some of the water bottles out there are pretty flimsy. We like a water bottle that is a bit thicker so we don’t have to worry about squeezing too hard while we’re smoking. Remove and discard the cap unless you’re going to reuse this homemade bong for some reason.
2. Poke Holes In Your Water Bottle
With the pin or needle, poke a hole toward the top of your water bottle of choice. This will be your carb hole. Next, take your pen with the ball point end still intact, and push it through the hole to make it bigger. Remove the pen from the water bottle and pick up your pin or needle again. Your carb hole should be high enough that water won’t slosh out when you tip the bong.
Make another hole in the bottom third (toward the bottom) of your water bottle. Then push the pen through like you did with the first hole. That creates an opening just about the right size for your stem (next step) and helps keep everything more airtight. Don’t worry if the hole isn’t perfect, we’re going to seal it later on. Pull the pen out of the water bottle and move on to the next step.
3. Build Your Downstem
A simple, cheap stick pen works best in this situation. We like the kind with a plug in one end and the ball point at the other end.
Both the plug and the ball point can be removed with a pair of pliers. If you can’t find a stick pen with a plug in one end, you can always cut the sealed end with your scissors. We still recommend pulling the ball point end with the pliers but you can cut it in a pinch. Just remember that there’s a tube of ink in there and it may make a bit of a mess. Plan accordingly. Once you’ve removed both ends of the stick pen, you’ll have a hollow tube to use as a downstem.
4. Assemble Your Bowl
This is where the 7/32 socket comes into play. A small socket like this might not be easily found in some homes meaning you’ll have to buy one. That’s not usually a problem during the day, but when you’re in need of a bong for a late-night toke and everything is closed, you’ll be up a creek without a paddle. These sockets are pretty cheap (
$3.00) depending on which brand you buy, so you could purchase a few and keep them in various places so you’ll always have on handy. The 7/32 socket has one small end and one large end. The large end will be the bowl and the small end will be attached to your downstem.
Once you’ve got your socket, find a piece of screen. This screen is to keep your bud from falling into the downstem. The mesh needs to be fairly tightly woven so burned bud doesn’t fall through. An easy DIY solution to this problem is to unscrew the tip of any faucet and remove the screen. Cut the screen to fit the large end of the socket. The nice thing about this step is that once you’ve got the screen in there, you really don’t have to find a new one for a while. You can remove it to clean now and again (if you feel like it), but, really, you can just leave the screen in there all the time. It’s not like you’re going to actually use it for its intended purpose any time soon.
5. Piece Together Bowl, Downstem, & Water Bottle
Push the small end of the socket into the hollow pen tube. It should be a pretty tight fit. Next, insert the end of the hollow pen tube without the socket back into the water bottle. There’s your rudimentary bong. But hold up there Sparky! We’ve still got a few more steps to go before we’re through.
6. Seal Where Necessary
An airtight seal (or as nearly airtight as possible) between the socket and pen tube, and the pen tube and the water bottle, makes smoking with this bong so much easier. This is where the glue or silly putty comes into play. We like the silly putty because it can be peeled off and reused after your smoke session. That said, glue or super glue will work just as well but can’t be reused (nor can the pieces be disassembled).
The bulk of the sealing will need to be done where the pen tube touches the water bottle. If you’re using glue, spread a generous amount around the edge of the pen tube where it enters the water bottle. Let the glue dry for a few minutes to ensure airtightness. If you’re using silly putty, press the putty tight around the pen tube and water bottle to form a seal. Tape can also work if you have nothing else.
You may also need to seal the socket/pen tube interface as well. Keep in mind that if you glue these two pieces together, you won’t be able to get them apart again. That’s why we like silly putty for all our sealing needs.
7. Add Water, Marijuana, And Fire
Fill the bottom third of the water bottle with water until it covers the bottom opening of your pen tube. Pack the socket with a strain of your choice, light up, and smoke away.
DIY Will Do In A Pinch, But Glass Is Best
Homemade bongs can be fun for parties and when your regular paraphernalia isn’t available. But for regular smoke sessions, a glass bong is best. You don’t have to worry about whether everything is airtight or whether it will work correctly (it’s designed with both of those things in mind). You also don’t have to worry about hazardous chemicals being released when you heat up the components. And you don’t have to worry about the whole thing coming apart when you pass it around. We know you did a great job putting it together, but it is MacGyvered after all.
Purchasing a glass bong may set you back a twenty or two (or three or four), but it will last pretty much forever. Plus, you won’t have to stress about finding all the materials to make your own water bottle bong. You can just relax, light up, and fly away. And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Learn how to make a simple water bottle bong from household items and discover how silly putty can make a huge difference in your smoke session.