Starters Guide to Percolator Bongs
Bongs are a popular way for weed users to smoke marijuana. While they can look a little intimidating to new users, bongs offer many benefits, including strong effects that hit quickly.
As users wade into the world of bong usage, they may be surprised by all the options available to them. Bongs can be made to suit the needs of the smoke and fit their preferences.
One type of bong is quickly emerging as the bong of choice for people looking to amplify their smoking experience: a percolator bong. We’ll dive into not only what a bong is but what makes a percolator bong different and why marijuana enthusiasts choose to use them.
What is a Bong?
You’ve likely seen a bong, either in person or on television. These pieces are often synonymous with marijuana use. But, though you may know what a bong looks like, you may not know what exactly it is.
A bong is a type of water pipe. It uses one or more chambers and water to filtrate and cool the marijuana. This process creates a smoother, more comfortable hit than smoking a joint, which is why many people prefer using bongs to smoking weed in other forms.
Bongs are available in many different sizes, from mini to large, and can be made of many different materials, including:
What are Percolator Bongs?
There are many different types of bongs out there. As newbies research different types of bongs and bong accessories, they’ll likely see percolator bongs listed. These bongs don’t actually refer to a type of bong but rather a bong that contains a specific accessory; known as a percolator.
A percolator, which is often called a perc, is a special feature designed to create extra bubbles and aeration. It is essentially an additional water chamber for your bong and lives in the bong’s tube. This chamber uses the water inside to provide additional filtration for your smoke.
Percolation is the bubbling you will see when using a bong. By using perc pieces, you can increase the percolation in your bong, thus adding more filtration and creating an incredibly smooth hit.
Percs are only available in glass varieties but are available in different designs.
Why Use Percolator Bongs?
Percolator bongs, or bongs that contain a percolator or two, offer users many benefits, including:
- An easier, smoother hit. When you use a percolator bong, the smoke is diffused into bubbles, which increases the area the smoke has to travel within the piece. The increased distance allows the smoke more time to cool and filter out impurities, making a smoother hit.
- They are soother for your throat. Do you find yourself coughing from the harsh smoke joints or regular bongs put off and have you inhale? Percolators can help by offering increased filtration, making inhalation easier on your throat.
- They offer a great high. Bongs, in general, are known for helping people get high using a smaller amount of weed. When you add a percolator to your bong, you can ingest more smoke at a time, efficiently increasing your high.
In essence, percolators are known for creating a smoother, less harsh hit. People looking for a way to enhance their bong smoking experience or find something that is easier on their throat will find percolators to be a great solution.
Types of Percolator Bongs
There are many different types of percolator bongs, all in different shapes and each with its own effects and benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Honeycomb percolators. This type of perc is one of the most popular options among bong enthusiasts. They feature flat discs (typically more than one) studded with a bunch of tiny holes. These holes help diffuse smoke without slowing down the smoking process. Honeycomb percolators are typically used in straight-tube bongs. They are stacked directly above one another to create more chambers for the smoke to pass through, offering additional filtration and cooling.
- Tree percolators. Among the more simply designed and easiest to recognize, tree percs are made of multiple rods that are connected at the top. The design resembles tree limbs, hence this perc’s name. Each “tree limb” will have a few slits in it to help with diffusion. This type of percolator is a bit more delicate than others, so it is essential to get a tree perc that is made of borosilicate glass, which won’t break as easily as other types.
- Inline percolators. Another simple percolator, an inline perc is a horizontal tube that has several horizontal slits in it. It is generally situated in the base of the bong and can be used with other types of percs to create an even more enhanced experience. The slits help ensure more percolation takes place in your bong.
- Showerhead percolators. As their name suggests, these percolators can look similar to a showerhead. This type of perc connects to your bong’s main chamber and is a vertical tube that flares out and has slits or holes placed in the bottom. A showerhead perc directs smoke down into another percolator, so plan to use a showerhead perc in addition to another type of perc. You may also see this type of percolator referred to as a UFO or a tire.
- Fritted disc percolators. Fritted disc percs are one of the more powerful types of percolators. They are made of coarse glass particles that are bonded together to create tiny holes. Fritted disc percolators can come in different shapes, such as discs or balls. The number of holes in the percolator makes it an excellent option for those seeking the perfect bong hit, but fritted disc percolators can also be rather tricky to clean (which is especially important with this type of perc).
- Diffused downstem percolators. Simple to use while also effective, downstem percs are basic in appearance and function while offering good results. A downstem percolator is simply a tube with slits in the bottom that sits in the main water chamber of a bong. This allows air to enter the chamber and improves the overall airflow of the bong. Many users like to use downstems because they are easy to remove and clean. Just be sure to purchase a downstem in the correct size for your bong.
Choosing a Percolator
There are other types of percolators out there; some work great on their own, while others work best when combined with other percolators. Some are more aesthetically pleasing than others.
When choosing which percolator you want to try, there are many things you should consider, including:
- How many percolators do you want to use? Since some work better combined, if you only want one, make sure you choose one that works well on its own.
- Your cleaning commitment: Some percs are easier to keep clean than others. Cleaning your bong and your bong’s accessories is important, so make sure you choose one that you feel confident you can keep clean.
- The size: Percs and bongs come in different sizes. Before investing in a percolator bong, make sure you get one that is the right size for you.
- The type of hit you want: While all percolators work to give users a smoother hit, some offer a better experience than others. If you want the ultimate experience, a percolator with lots of chambers of a bong with multiple percolators may be a better option.
If you are struggling to decide what percolator bong is the best option for you, don’t hesitate to ask.
You can reach out to your online retailer and ask for advice and recommendations. Or, if you know someone who uses a bong regularly, ask them for their input. They may know a good one to start with or be able to walk you through your options.
How to Use a Percolator Bong
Using a percolator bong is really very similar to using a regular bong. Here’s how you use it (in a nutshell):
- Fill your bong with water. You’ll want to make sure the water level is below the carb holes but still has enough water to submerge all the percs in your bong.
- Once your percolator bong is filled with water, you’ll want to check to see if there is any splashback. You don’t want any water touching your lips when you are inhaling. Do a quick test to see if you experience this and adjust water levels as needed.
- Then, fill up your bowl with the marijuana strain of your choice and light it up.
- Once the marijuana has had time to heat, vapor will start to form.
- Allow the vapor to pass through the water; then take an inhale for your first hit.
When using a percolator bong, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of a bong, with the added bonus of a smoother, more comfortable hit.
How to Clean Your Percolator Bong
Keeping your bong and bong accessories clean is important. Heat and water can lead to the development of bacteria and mold, which are dangerous to inhale. Plus, residue can build up in the water chambers; this not only is unappealing to the eye but can indicate things starting to grow there as well.
Thankfully, cleaning your percolator bong is pretty easy and can be done using supplies you likely already have at home. To clean your percolator bong, you will need:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Epsom salt (or coarse salt)
- Zipper bags
- Pipe-cleaner like tools (optional)
Once you’ve gathered your equipment, the actual cleaning process is relatively easy.
- Take apart your bong as necessary, including removing the percolator and mouthpiece. This will help prevent the pieces from breaking as you clean them.
- Place the percolator in a zipper bag and add enough alcohol to submerge it. Then, add in some salt.
- Let the bag sit while you fill your bong with alcohol and salt.
- Shake your bag to remove any residue and clean the nooks and crannies of your perc.
- Make sure the holes of your bong are plugged, and shake the bong.
- Rinse your percolator and bong with warm water (not hot) to remove residue.
- Set your bong and equipment on a towel to dry. Let them dry completely before re-assembling and using again.
You don’t need to clean your bong constantly, though it certainly does not hurt to clean after each use. But, regular users should plan to clean their bong weekly or at least monthly. Occasional users can get by cleaning their bong every three to six months.
It’s a good idea to clean your bong when you change marijuana strains. This will prevent cross-contamination of the two strains, which can impact the taste, aroma, and effects you experience.
Percolator Bongs: A Summary
Percolator bongs are simply a bong that features a percolator, also called a perc.
Percolators offer additional smoke filtration while also allowing it additional time to cool. This process creates cleaner, less harsh smoke and a smoother hit. That’s what makes these particular types of bongs so popular among users.
Perc bongs are only made of glass, though other types of bongs can be made of other materials. It’s important to choose a perc that is made of quality glass, so it does not break or crack during use, cleaning, or as it goes through different temperatures.
There are also different types of percs which feature different designs and offer users different experiences. Some can be used on their own while other percs are better used in combination with another. Don’t be afraid to ask your online retailer for help choosing the best percolator bong for you. They’ll take your experience and goals in mind when helping you narrow down your choices.
Marijuana users who are looking for smooth, clean hits that won’t induce a coughing fit will find percolator bongs a good option. Though they take a little getting used to, they are well worth it.