Smoking via a pipe has long been popular among many types of smokers. But you may be surprised to learn about all the different types of pipes that are out there. There are dry pipes, wet pipes, pipes of different sizes and designs. It could be unclear which is best for you and how exactly they all differ from one another.
One of the most popular types of pipes is bubbler pipes. But they often get confused with other types. Below, we’ll dive into what they are, how they work, and even cover how you can use one so you can decide if a bubbler pipe is the one for you.
What Is a Bubbler Pipe?
A bubbler pipe is a type of water pipe and is best known for having a smaller, more compact size. Though it can look a little intimidating, it is known for being pretty easy to use and less ornate than other water pipes like bongs. These pipes are made up of a few different pieces:
- A mouthpiece.
- A bowl.
- A stem.
- A water chamber.
Bubbler pipes, or bubblers, are known for their small size, making them the perfect pipe for traveling or if you don’t have a lot of room where you smoke. They are hand-held, making them more convenient to use than a bong (another water pipe) sometimes can be.
How Do Bubblers Work?
Bubblers work like other water-bongs, with the water serving as a filtration system of sorts. The smoke from the lighted product passes through the pipe and over the water. Not only does the water cool the smoke as it passes through, giving you a more comfortable hit, but the water also works to remove particles and debris from the smoke.
Overall, bubblers give users smooth and cool smoke. This is one reason why water bongs, in general, are so popular. Add to it the compact size of a bubbler, and it is easy to see why these are among some of the most popular water pipes on the market today.
How to Use a Bubbler
You have decided to give bubblers a chance. But how on earth do you use one? Though they can look a little confusing at first glance, bubblers are pretty easy to use and among the most straightforward options in the water pipe world.
Plus, when you know how to use them, you can better understand how exactly they work. Here’s how to use a bubbler and get a cool, smooth hit of your favorite product.
- Fill the water chamber. You’ll need to add a small amount of water to the chamber of your bubbler. You don’t want it to be so full that it splashes into the mouthpiece. But you also don’t want it not to be full enough, or it won’t produce the bubbles needed.
- Test your water level. You can test to see if you have the right amount of water in the chamber by taking a quick drag. If it produces bubbles and doesn’t splash, you are good to go.
- Fill the bowl. Grind up your product and pack it into the bubbler pipe’s bowl. You don’t want it to be too tight that air can’t get through, however.
- Light it up. Place your finger over the carb hole (if your pipe has one) and hold the bubbler up to your mouth. Pull in with your lungs while simultaneously lighting the product in the bowl. Note: This is where the action happens in a bubbler. The smoke will travel through the bowl and into the water. You will then see bubbles start to form (hence the name, bubbler pipe). These bubbles cool and filter the smoke before it continues its journey to your lungs.
- Clear the chamber. When you are ready, remove your finger from the carb hole and clear the chamber using your lungs.
You should start to feel the effects of your product shortly after inhaling.
Cleaning Your Bubbler
Sitting water is the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria. That’s why you must regularly clean your bubbler pipe. It keeps it safe for you to use and keeps your bubbler in good working order.
While you don’t need to clean it after every use (unless you want to), it is a good idea to clean your bubbler at least every few weeks or every month, depending on how often you use it.
Bubblers offer many benefits, but they can be a bit tricky to clean because they are small and have a lot of crevices. But if you clean it regularly, it should make cleaning more manageable in the long run.
Here is a simple way you can clean your bubbler, ensuring it continues to work well.
You will need:
Coarse sea salt (1/4 cup or so).
Isopropyl alcohol (6-8 tablespoons).
Large zipper storage bag.
Here’s what you do:
Take apart your pipe as you are able and put the glass pieces in your storage bag.
Add the sea salt and alcohol to the bag and close it tight, ensuring it is sealed.
Shake the bag vigorously (but be careful not to crack your pipe) for about one minute.
Let the pipe soak in the mixture for about four to five hours. You will want to have it sit upright against a wall and make sure the mixture covers the pieces of your pipe.
Every hour or so, shake your bag before letting it sit again.
Once the mixture starts to take on a brown color, shake the entire thing for another two to three minutes to remove resin plugs.
Use your tongs to remove the pipe from the bag.
Grab a cotton swab to scrub any remaining residue in or on the pipe.
Rinse your bubbler under warm water.
Use a towel to dry or allow the air to dry. You will want it to be thoroughly dry before you use it again.