The Ultimate Guide of Percolator Bong

Hit as the aim of smoking weed can be achieved in several ways. If you prefer smooth hits, you must be familiar with percolator bongs. Do you ever wonder why the hit from the percolator is different from other pipes, bongs, bubblers, and others? Here is a simple explanation for the question.

What is a percolator bong?

Not only for coffee, the percolating system also works for weed. People can find it in bongs. That’s why they are called percolator bongs. In bongs, a percolator refers to the water chamber in the down part of the bong used for filtering and cooling down the smoke.

Though nowadays the shape of a percolator varies, they still serve the same function which is water filtration by providing an extra chamber.

How a percolator works

Through pipes, people directly inhale the smoke from the burning weed in the bowl. The smoke tastes dry and sometimes causes cough. Meanwhile in a percolator bong, smoke from the high concentration moves to the lower one when passing the water chamber. The process is called diffusion. Some particles are left in the water chamber making the smoke or gas that passes through purer and cooler. 

Steps in using a percolator bong

1. Make sure the bong is clear. You can clean it first and let it dry.

2. Fill in the water for half to one inch from the bottom surface. To check whether the amount is correct try to inhale first without weed. If some water comes to your lip, it has too much water. In contrast, if there are not many bubbles or water movement/sound, it needs more water.

3. Place weed in the bowl and lit it (preferably with a hemp wick).

4. Inhale to move the smoke to the water chamber. During this time, you will see some bubbles or water movement

5. You could exhale the oxygen first while waiting for the smoke to get transferred to the pipe and then inhale the smoke that is reaching the mouthpiece.

6. Remove the bowl and inhale the remaining smoke.

How to clean a percolator bong

After using a bong, you need to clean it, so that for the next use you get an original taste without any stink or additional taste from the previous smoking. There are several ways in cleaning a bong. People can use rubbing alcohol and salt. This most common way is quite simple as you need to fill in the 91% concentration or more alcohol along with some Epsom salt in the bong. Cover the mouthpiece using plastic wrap. Shake violently so the stains on your bongs will disappear. Finally, open the wrap and let the liquid come out of the bong. You can rub the mouthpiece gently for another additional step.

Besides using alcohol, you can also clean the bongs by boiling them. yet you need to be careful as too high a temperature could break it. Gradually reduce the temperature and simmer the bong for several minutes. Drain the bongs using a paper towel and pipe cleaners.

Percolator bongs and hit

As already mentioned, the smoke in a perc bong needs to go through some bubble or water chamber. Some big particles of the herbs will be trapped in the chamber and the smoke gets cooler. Most bongs or gravity bongs have a wider area for the water chamber, and it creates more contact of the smoke with water.

Once people inhale the smoke, it is easier for the lungs to inhale the pure smoke at a lower temperature. On the contrary dry smoke with high temperature often causes sore throat. The THC absorption is the same and due to sticking on the extra chamber (for water) the amount of THC could be less. So, you will not get any higher, but only a smoother hit.  

Types of percolators in bongs

To create diffusion and other purposes, percolators are made in various shapes. Nowadays there are dozens of famous percolators for bongs: inline frit, organ, pyramid, showerhead upline, matrix, double frit disk, raised disk donut frit, inline, honeycomb, respirator, turbine, cube, atomic, ladder, coil, tree, disk, and ice catcher. They vary in terms of shape and design.

Some of them like inline frit, donut frit, and double frit disk percs have additional colorful frit built inside the chamber. The frit function is only to create a trippy dimension for the design without adding any taste nor enhancing the hit. It is relatively safe as it is melted and unlikely to get carried by the smoke. The rest pecs have different chamber structures that create different water movements. If you prefer loud and big waves for the water, you should choose atomic and disk percolators. Some of them also require additional chambers apart from the main pipe like the inline percolator. This type of bong is surely heavier than others.

Pros and cons of percolator bongs


• Smoother hit as the smoke is purer, fresher, and cooler. It is good for beginners who are not ready to handle the dry hit.

• Better and quicker rips because of the condensed smoke and it intensifies the smoking experience.

• Due to the large volume, people can share the smoke with others. Smoking in a group is more recommended using percolator bongs instead of other devices like pipes or bubblers.

• Cleaner for the lungs. Smoke from dry pipe usually still carries some ‘hard’ particles from the weed. Yet the particles are filtered and trapped in the water chamber due to the diffusion process.


• Smoking from a percolator bong requires longer breath due to the larger volume. You can overcome it by exhaling the oxygen first before sipping the smoke.

• They need regular cleaning and more complicated cleaning tools. Especially the ones with complex designs like the pyramid, disk, atomic, and others, as they have more holes and chambers.

• Not travel-friendly and hard to carry. Except for the collapsible percolator bongs since you can assemble them before use. When they are not assembled in one part, there is a high risk to lose some parts of them too.

Apart from the pros and cons of a percolator bong, you need to understand the typical rip and high that you like. Stoners who love smooth and soothing highs are most likely smoking using this type of bong. If you have a similar style, surely a percolator bong or a gravity bong is the best for you.

You can also read about >> The Best Dab Rig Accessories to Enhance Your Smoking Experience


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