Picture your handheld glass water pipe—chances are, that doesn’t have a percolator. Bongs without percolators aren’t too common anymore, but if you have one without it, you can purchase a separate percolator piece and add it (if your bong dissembles). You’ve probably been using a bong with a percolator, even if you didn’t even know what it was before! There are tons of reasons to use a percolator, but ultimately, they make your hit much smoother. Who doesn’t want that?
What is a percolator?
The percolator or “perc” refers to a part of your bong that dips down inside the water chamber and creates more bubbles when you take a hit. Percs come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, but the concept is a small glass contraption that the water passes through to create a filter. This makes more not only smoother hits, but big hits that are easier to take.
How does a percolator work?
On an inhale, the smoke is diffused through the holes of the percolator, and is turned into tons of tiny bubbles that make that classic bong rip sound (ahhh). The more bubbles there are, the more surface area the smoke has to travel over. A longer distance means the smoke lingers over the water for longer, resulting in a cooler, smoother, and less harsh or “smoky” hits. Impurities are also filtered out more thoroughly when passing over the percolator bubbles.
Because of this, beginners should always look for a bong with a built-in percolator. It greatly reduces coughing and makes getting used to a fresh piece a lot easier.
What kind of percolator is best for me?
We’ve all gone a little crazy over percolators, so there are a ton of styles to choose from. The most common that you’ll find in most basic pieces is the downstem percolator, or diffused downstem percolator. This is your simple glass tube that extends down into the water with slits at the bottom. Most bongs will at least include a diffused downstem percolator (like all of Ooze’s silicone water pipes).
Another common one is the showerhead percolator, like the Glyco bong features. This one provides even more filtration as the smoke is passed down from one percolator to the next. With the showerhead perc, smoke passes through multiple stages of cooling and filtration for an extra smooth hit.
Honeycomb percolators are also a new fan favorite. The holes in the bottom of the rounded tube are in the design of a honeycomb, providing lots of airflow for lots of bubbles and a huge hit.
If you’re looking for a bit of a different design, invest in a bong with an inline percolator. These are horizontal glass tubes that go across the water chamber with slits all the way across. This design creates more bubbles and filtration by covering more surface area of the water with airflow.
Try a matrix percolator if you really want to take your filtration game to the next level. These have horizontal and vertical slits, which means there’s a lot of smoke diffusion happening in all directions. The matrix design also makes separation of impurities and THC smoke more effective.
How Do You Clean a Percolator?
Percolators are intricate pieces of glass that have tons of tiny nooks and crannies that resin can get trapped in if you go too long between cleaning sessions. Making a regular habit of changing the water in your percolator bong, and giving it a deep clean with Res Gel will help to keep all those tiny airflow holes free and open. A percolator can get notoriously clogged and will require a lot of lung power to hit if neglected!
Go take a look at your bong and see if you can figure out what kind of percolator it has! Knowing that can help you achieve the smoking experience you really want, and trust us, it’ll be a lot better with a percolator!