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What is a Stale Bong Hit?

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What is a Stale Bong Hit?
Many love hitting a bong because of the way the smoke tastes. Those who love the different layers of flavor of their herbs will remain partial to a bong. However, did you notice that there are times when your bong hit tastes fresh and sweet, while at other times they’re just meh and have an old-sock taste to it? What you got there was a stale hit, which many bong users hate to get.

What is a stale bong hit?

A stale hit happens when smoke from the bong stays inside the smoke chamber for 5-10 seconds after you take a hit. This type of hit is characterized by an odd flavor that slightly deviates from the scent of your herbs. It’s also strong and harsh on the throat, causing irritation that makes you cough.

Such occurrence happens mostly on gravity bongs because of the massive size of the hits you get. The capacity of a gravity bong, even if it’s the GRAV Gravitron, is considerably bigger, more so if you’re using a DIY gravity bong. Also, big, tall bongs like the Kayd Mayd Big Kleopatra Bong are prone to getting stale hits when a beginner or someone with weak lungs uses them.

Reasons for stale hits

So what’s causing your hits to go stale when you use your bong? There are a number of factors that can come into play for this to occur.

Not clearing the bong fast enough

The inside of your bong becomes a vacuum once you start pulling it. There are only water and smoke occupying all that space. This is the reason why smoke stays inside of the bong until you lift your finger from the carb hole, or remove the herb slide. Once let oxygen in, it reacts to smoke, causing a subtle chemical reaction. Just like a peeled potato that oxidizes when exposed to air, the same thing happens to your smoke.

The result is a stale flavor and an increasingly yellowish tinge. Now, if you clear your smoke within less than 5-10 seconds after introducing in air, then you’re okay. If not, you’ve got a stale smoke flowing inside of your bong.

Stacking too long

Many just love having big hits, and they do so by stacking the smoke inside the bong. However, if you stack for too long, you’re compromising freshness. Do you notice in the YouTube videos that smoke slowly gets that yellowish tinge the longer the smoker stacks the smoke? That means its starting to get stale with each second.

Not clearing in between hits

Some are over-excited with hitting their bong, wanting to have that rush of effect almost immediately. What happens is they light up the herb bowl when there’s still smoke flowing inside the bong. This will interfere with the fresh smoke that will go inside the water pipe, resulting in a stale flavor.

Dirty bong

It’s hard to pull yourself together to clean a bong while you’re enjoying the taste and feel of your session. However, cleaning a bong is highly advised, and should often be done once your bong cools down to room temperature.

Dirty bong water carries impurities that can interfere with the filtering action of your bong. No matter how many percs you’ve got or how big your ash catcher is, you’ll still get stale hits because of all that dirt.

Dirty herb bowl and downstem

Your herb bowl can be the dirtiest part of your bong because this is where combustion happens. When you light up your herb, resin and other combustion byproducts will accumulate and stick on the inner walls of your bowl. When this happens, the stale flavor will permeate through your fresh load, causing your smoke to have that off flavor.

Now that you know the reasons behind a stale bong hit, you have an idea of how to properly use your bong. You’ll get fresh, flavorful hits every time, and you don’t have to suffer through a stale session. It’s best that you get a bong that you can stack and clear with ease. Move to a bigger size once you’ve mastered using a bong and know how to control your rips for the best flavor.

What’s your experience with stale hits and when do you usually get them? Please feel free to share your story in our comment section below!


  • The hit tastes stale because you take it in all at one time and the tar taste bad because it’s already cool. If you take it slowly it won’t be as bad, as far as coughing. You take the second hit a lot faster than the first one. If you toke the second hit as slow as the first one you will see. People ar impationet
    Keith McCrae
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