With all the new devices you can use for smoking these days, it can be hard to know which ones are worth investing in and which ones will be best for you. It’s also important to consider the maintenance most pipes require. If you don’t clean out your glass regularly, you may spend hours working to get plant resin out of the tiny nooks and crannies. Bongs can be especially tricky to keep clean since they have complicated percolators that are almost impossible to reach. This has been an issue for smokers for a while, but thankfully, glass blowers have done something about it. You can now purchase ash catchers that can prevent the buildup of tar in your bongs and bubblers.
Water Pipe Maintenance
If you’ve ever owned a pipe of any kind, you know how quickly residue can build up. After a while, it can affect the taste of every hit you take and create blockages that makes it more difficult to smoke your pipe. With water pipes, there’s another element that you need to worry about – the water. You probably already know that water left standing can develop dangerous mold that should not be inhaled, so rinsing out your bong or bubbler regularly is a must, especially if you won’t be using it regularly. The water in your bong also collects any ash or plant debris that comes through the bowl when you smoke.
All of these different elements together can make cleaning difficult, but there are a few different products you can get to make your life so much easier. You can put glass screens in your bowl beneath the plant material, but that will only do so much, and they can create more blockages after just a few uses. A much more effective method of keeping your water pipe clean is using an ash catcher. They catch the crumbs and ash that escape from the bowl before they have the chance to touch the water that filters your smoke. You will notice that every hit from your water pipe will be fresh long after you start using your ash catcher.
The Ash Catcher Upgrade
There are more pros to getting an ash catcher than just keeping your glass nice and shiny. They add another level to your water pipe experience. If you have a bong or bubbler, you’ve probably noticed the percolators that make the water bubble up to filter and cool the smoke. That’s what makes a hit from a water pipe feel smoother than other smoking methods.
Some ash catchers come with percolators as well. If you get one of these, you can add water to it as well, allowing the smoke to go through the percolation process twice before entering your lungs. The effect is a very cool, pure, and smooth inhale with a better taste than you would get otherwise. Ash catchers save you time and energy on cleaning, elevate the experience of using a water pipe and make your rig look much more impressive. You can throw an ash catcher on the old bong you’ve had for years for an instant facelift that is sure to impress your friends.
What’s the Difference Between an Ash Catcher and a Reclaim Catcher?
Before you spend your money on an expensive piece of glass, make sure you’re getting the right one for your needs. There are a lot of bong accessories on the market, and a lot of them are very similar. Ash catchers and reclaim catchers are easy to confuse but have entirely different purposes.
Just like an ash catcher, reclaim catchers are wonderful for keeping your bong clean. The main difference between these two accessories is that reclaim catchers have a silicone bottom, which can be removed for easy cleaning and to collect the resin that is collected in the catcher. Those who use a high-quality product can reclaim high-quality resin that can enhance the experience when included in the next smoke session. Reclaim catchers are typically used by experienced water pipe users, but the less advanced ash catcher can be helpful for anyone who enjoys a nice, clean hit.
How to Use Ash Catchers
Hooking your ash catcher up to your water pipe is super simple. If you take a look at the ash catcher, you’ll see that there is a glass stem pointing downward. That stem goes into the bowl joint of the bong. There will also be a bowl joint at the top of the ash catcher for you to place the bowl.
It is important to remember that an ash catcher will add weight to your water pipe. If you’re planning to add water to the ash catcher for additional percolation, that will add even more weight. Be sure that your water pipe is heavy enough to hold the additional weight without tipping over. There’s nothing more upsetting than dropping and shattering your glass pieces, especially if it’s an expensive new accessory. Be sure to test the balance carefully before using your ash catcher to avoid any tragic losses.
Cleaning Your Ash Catcher
While ash catchers allow for more time between bong cleanings, that doesn’t mean cleaning is no longer necessary. There’s no such thing as a pipe with no maintenance. But the ash catcher does make this process much simpler. Simply detach the ash catcher, place it in a container with isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt. Soak and scrub the glass with the salt and alcohol mix until all the sticky resin is removed.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the water pipe itself while cleaning the ash catcher. Drain the bong of all water and pour the isopropyl alcohol and salt into it. Carefully shake the bong, getting the solution into all the hard-to-reach crevices. Since you’ve been using an ash catcher, there might not be any ash or resin to get out of the water pipe, but you should still do this to sterilize the glass. Once all your glass pieces are spotless, rinse them completely with water and let them dry. Put the ash catcher back on the bong, fill them with water, and you’re ready to smoke once again.