What Is A Bubbler Pipe - Everything You Need To Know

One method of smoking weed that’s becoming more and more popular is the use of a bubbler. This smoking device is smaller than a bong. In some cases, they’re prettier to look at and easier to use, while still offering that clean smoking experience. 

However, bubbler pipes aren’t known to a lot of marijuana smokers, so that’s why we put together this guide. 

Below, you can find the answers to popular questions like, “What is a bubbler pipe?”. And we’ll offer tips and guidance on everything from how to use and clean your bubblers to the different types you can buy.

What Is A Bubbler Pipe?

A bubbler pipe is a smoking tool that allows you to filter weed smoke with water before you take a hit. They get their name because they produce bubbles when you smoke them.

Bubblers work in much the same way as bongs. They range in size from around 4 inches to 7 inches, making them smaller and more portable than bongs. Given they’re smaller, bubbler pipes often come in intricate and beautiful designs. Some, such as those sold in our store, could even double up as decorative pieces!

We explore the reason people choose to smoke with a bubbler below, but in short, the smoking experience is often made smoother by the presence of water. Toxins and other harmful substances are filtered by the liquid, giving you a cleaner smoke. 

Parts And Components Of Bubbler Pipes

Bubbler pipes can come in a range of different shapes and sizes. However, there are usually standard pieces and components which it’s important to familiarise yourself with. These include:

  • Bowl - this is where you place your dry herbs to burn.
  • Stem - the part often attached to the bowl which takes the smoke into the pipe. Also known as a downstem
  • Water Chamber - this is the area of the pipe where the water is stored
  • Mouthpiece - the end of the pipe where you inhale the smoke

Depending on the brand, some bubblers may also come with extras, like extra filtration and water cooling accessories, and water additives to improve the flavor. 

Are There Benefits To Smoking A Bubbler?

While no form of smoking is ideal, bubblers, like bongs, offer a cleaner smoking experience.

The presence of water within bubblers helps filter out the nasty toxins in weed smoke. This water filtration process can make a big difference to the experience. It’s not as harsh on your throat for one.

But while they perform the same function as bongs, what makes bubbler pipes so attractive to smokers is their portability. They’re much smaller and come in different shapes, looking more like a traditional pipe than a bong. 

Cannabis enthusiasts also appreciate their ease of use. Sometimes bongs can be large and complex to use. Bubblers are lightweight and have just a few components that you can’t really go wrong with. 

Are There Different Types Of Bubblers?

Bubbler pipes are made from all different types of materials. Some offer benefits that others do not. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular:

  • Glass - this is the most common and also the most popular type of bubbler hand pipe. The main reason for this is because of its purity and its ability to be shaped into interesting and intricate designs. As a result, glass pipes are the go-to for many bubbler smokers
  • Silicone - this type of material is popular for its durability and also its flexibility. If you drop a silicone bubbler, it won’t break. You can also wash some of these pipes in the dishwasher. They’re ideal for the on-the-go smoker.
  • Ceramic - this type of pipe material offers a more classic look and feel. The nature of ceramic helps contribute to a smooth smoking experience. However, they can be tricky to clean, as well as breakable.
  • Acrylic - these plastic bubblers are cheap and lightweight and are more resilient than their glassware counterparts. Ideal for smokers on a budget. They often come with a fixed bowl and fewer components compared to other water pipes.

Can You Make Your Own Bubbler Pipe?

It is possible to make your own bubbler pipe, however, a bit of craft work is involved and the use of tools, so it’s not advisable. 

However, the basic process of making your own bubbler involves:

  • Using a small plastic bottle (give it a good clean first), cut a hole for the downstem. You can use a small piece of metal or glass tubing for the stem. If you’re desperate, the empty shell of a plastic pen can do the job. The hole should go around halfway up to a third of the way up the bottle. 
  • Fit the stem and angle it down so it touches the water. 
  • Secure a makeshift bowl to the end of the stem. You can use anything bowl-shaped but metal and glass are more suitable. Make a small hole in the bowl to allow the smoke to travel through the stem. You can also use gauze wire to stop the bud from falling in.
  • Add water, pack your bowl, and give it a test. 

How To Use A Bubbler Pipe: A Step-By-Step Guide

Using a bubbler pipe is nice and straightforward. However, if you’re new to this device and take a look at it for the first time, you may feel a bit stumped. 

If you haven’t already done so, check out our explanation of the different pieces you can find with a bubbler above. 

Now you know what everything does, here’s a simple, three-step breakdown of what you need to do to have a great smoke with a bubbler. 

  1. Prepare - The first and arguably the most important part of the process is preparing your bubbler. First, add a small amount of water—just enough water to cover around half an inch of the downstem. How much water you add will depend upon each pipe, but this is a good rule of thumb. You can also grind up your dry herb into a medium-fine consistency, so keep a few lumps in there rather than using powder. This helps the burning.
  2. Pack The Bowl - This is where some people can go wrong—they pack the weed into the bowl too tightly. You need to keep it a little loose so that air can pass through.
  3. Smoking - Some bubblers may have a hole, known as a carb hole, that you need to cover when you light your marijuana. Some bubblers don’t have this feature. Either way, lightly ignite your herb and while you do so inhale from the mouthpiece. This draws the smoke into the water and then into your lungs. 

Remember, every water pipe is different and some designs may require a different smoking process. If you’re unsure, check the manual that came with your bubbler, or you could also ask the seller for help and advice too. 

Advanced Tips And Tricks For Using A Bubbler

  • Lighting a bubbler - it’s important to gently light your bubbler so that the herb burns at an even rate.
  • Using ice in a bubbler - If you want a smoother and cool smoke, you could try a bubbler that allows you to put small ice cubes or ice chips into the mouthpiece. If your pipe is too small, you could also use very cool water.
  • Packing a bubbler - You can play around with your bowl packing technique to improve your smoking experience. For example, if you pack larger pieces of weed at the bottom, this can stop finer pieces from dropping into the pipe. This can be especially useful if you don't have a cone shaped bowl.

How To Clean A Bubbler

Just like bongs, bubblers can grow dirty over time. To maintain a happy and healthy smoking experience it’s important to undertake regular maintenance and cleaning. 

Depending on how often you smoke with your bubbler, it’s advisable to clean it thoroughly once a week, and a quick clean after each use. 

The materials you can use to clean your pipe will also depend on what it’s made of. For example, certain liquids may be unsuitable for ceramic or acrylic. However, the best tools for the job are usually:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (91% or higher concentration for best results)
  • Coarse salt (sea salt or kosher salt works well as an abrasive)
  • Zip-top plastic bags (if the bubbler can be disassembled) or a container large enough to fully submerge the bubbler
  • Pipe cleaners, cotton swabs, or a small brush

If you don’t have these things you can also use warm water and dish soap. 

Next, disassemble your bubbler and rinse everything in warm water. 

After that, add some salt to your bubbler, which will be used to remove the grime from the inside of the chamber. You can then add your alcohol and give the bubbler a good shake. Allow it to stand for a couple of hours and then clear it out. 

You can use cotton swaps and pipe cleaners to remove any stubborn stains, and then give it a good rinse with clean water. 

Buy A Bubbler Pipe Today

If you’d like to buy a bubbler pipe, then head here to check out our complete range.

We offer a mix of all different sizes, from pretty 4 inch pipes to larger 7 inch ones. We also offer a fine range of shapes, colors and designs that you’ll be proud to show off to your fellow smokers.

We also offer fast and discreet shipping and pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. You can head here to check out our customer reviews.

Key Takeaways On Bubblers

  • Bubblers are a perfect alternative to bongs for those looking for something smaller and more portable. 
  • Bubblers come in a wide range of intricate designs and patterns. They’re often made of glass, though you can get pipes made of ceramic, acrylic or silicone too.
  • It’s best to clean your bubbler once per week, and clean the water after every use to avoid mold and bacteria build up.

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