What is an ash catcher?

An ash catcher is referring to a part that attaches to a glass pipe that keeps ash from entering the bong and contaminating the water. Ash catchers are popular because they keep the unwanted resin that absolutely nobody wants to taste upon inhaling. Ash catchers are essential for smokers because it truly enhances the overall user experience and creates a flawless filtration system right from the start after lighting up the bowl. Bong ash catchers can act as the first level of diffusion before the smoke enters the chamber and undergoes any other type of filtration. Even though ash catchers are typically not the star of the show when it comes to beautifully designed bongs, they really make a difference in producing high quality hits and after using a bong with an ash catcher it might be difficult to go back to a setup without it. There is nothing like an excellent bong setup where the user does not have to do any extra work, but rather leaves it to the bong to do all of the heavy work. Ash catchers for bongs and percolators combined are for users that are looking for extreme filtration and a clean, smooth bong rip every single time. 

Why use an ash catcher?

The better question is, why wouldn’t you use an ash catcher? In all seriousness, ash catchers can actually save you a lot of trouble in the long run when it comes to maintaining a bong collection. Ash catchers for bongs will act as a wall, preventing resin and other debris from entering the chamber of a bong which will find the small nooks and crannies of a bong that are extremely hard to get to. If you prefer to have an easy cleanup and would like to make things easier on yourself, buying bongs with ash catchers is a life hack that most stoners figure out with increased use. Ash catchers for bongs filter out the unnecessary contaminants that do not belong in a bong, so of course there should be debris and resin built up in ash catchers after continued use but will make it much easier to clean as opposed to the inside of a bong. 

Ash catchers for bongs and dab rigs will increase the quality and taste of each hit, since removing debris and unwanted resin will allow the terpenes and other flavor profiles to pull through so the user can actually taste what they are smoking. Ash catchers are often essential for daily smokers because without it, there is too much risk for debris and resin to seep through and make a mess for later. 

Have you ever inhaled a bong rip that tasted bad, had remnants of dry herb material included and just felt like a choppy, suffocating bong hit? This is typically a normal experience with bongs that do not have ash catchers, so most frequent bong users tend to lean towards options with designs that include ash catchers for bongs or purchasing ash catchers for bongs separately. 

What are the different types of ash catchers?

Just like percolators, there are different kinds of ash catchers for bongs too! Which can make the world of a difference when combined with percolators for extra filtration. There are different types of ash catchers that can be added to a bong that does not currently have an ash catcher attached to it, so if you are eyeing out your dream bong and all that is missing is an ash catcher, feel free to customize your bong baby to make it an ever better setup! Here are a few different types of ash catchers to look out for:

  • Honeycomb ash catcher. A honeycomb bong ash catcher is simple yet extremely efficient and adds as a double filtration since it can hold water and act as a recycler as well. Honeycomb ash catchers definitely make a great water show in addition to any percolators in a bong, so if you are looking for something cool to look at then a honeycomb percolator is a fantastic choice.
  • Showerhead ash catcher. Just like a showerhead percolator, a showerhead ash catcher will hold the water above its slits and will provide extra filtration with forced diffusion. 
  • Tree ash catcher. Another beautiful option for a bong ash catcher, a tree ash catcher not only filters out debris and other contaminants but is also a classic percolator design and acts as a very effective ash catcher as well. 

  • What size ash catcher do you need?

    Choosing an ash catcher can get tricky but if you understand how attachments work with ash catchers for bongs, it will become less complicated! Ash catchers should always have the same joint size of the bong it will attach to, otherwise it is not compatible and cannot fit onto the bong. While some smaller joint sized ash catchers can fit into a bigger joint sized bong, the fit will not be accurate and the user experience will differ because of it. 

    Not only should you pay attention to the type of bong ash catcher you are looking to buy, but also the joint size to be a compatible fit with your bong. The most important thing to remember is to match up joint sizes of the ash catcher and the bong it will attach to, then you can pay attention to style preferences  based on the correct joint size available. 

    While you can attach different types of ash catchers to various kinds of bongs, the ash catcher should also be a compatible angle for the bong joint. There are two types of angles available for ash catchers: 45-degree angle ash catchers and 90-degree angle ash catchers so it should be pretty easy to identify which joint angle you should be looking at. 

    If you are looking at any ash catchers for bongs that are perfect in design but do not have the right joint size for your bong, do not panic! There are adapters available that can solve this situation, but it is almost always easier to buy pieces that have 100% compatibility to fully utilize its functionality. 

    The three different joint sizes are:

  • 10mm joint size. The smallest of joint sizes and not typically the most common. This type of joint size for ash catchers would exist on extremely mini bongs and are not usually in the lineup when considering joint sizes for ash catchers yet along bongs or dab rigs.
  • 14mm joint size. The most common joint size for ash catchers for bongs is a 14mm joint size. To figure out whether an existing bong is a 14mm joint size or an 18mm joint size is to grab a dime and place it on top of the bong joint. If the dime fits perfectly, it is a 14mm joint size.
  • 18mm joint size. Also another commonly known joint size for a bong ash catcher, if a dime falls into the bong joint then that means your bong has an 18mm joint size.

  • Another very important aspect to inspect when shopping around for ash catchers for bongs, is to check the joint gender. If your bong has a female joint, then you should be looking around for an ash catcher that is a male joint to accommodate the female. If a bong has a male joint, the ash catcher you should buy will need to be a female joint to be compatible. If you are a beginner at purchasing glass smoking accessories, this is something you will want to learn so you can apply it towards any type of device that requires joint sizes like dab rigs, recyclers, and so on. 

    It does not have to be a tedious task to figure out what is the right size for ash catchers for bongs, all you need to know is how to properly identify a bong’s joint size and find an accommodating ash catcher attachment to fit. If you or a friend are ever having issues with the joint of an ash catcher for bongs, the first thing you should do is figure out if they are male to female or female to male compatible, then the size of an ash catcher and bong will come after that. If you are rocking with the same joint sizes but have the same gender for each piece, you might as well be trying to fit a 10mm joint size ash catcher into an 18mm joint size bong. Essentially, an ash catcher will be useless if not paired correctly to a compatible bong.

    How should you clean an ash catcher?

    Cleaning an ash catcher for bongs is a lot easier than you might think, and is not much different from how you would normally clean a bong. Ash catchers do not require extra cleaning supplies like other attachments might, and with a trusted store bought cleaning solution like  Randy's Black Label Cleaner it should be as easy as can be considering users do not need to scrub their bong and attachments when using this type of cleaner. If going the DIY route and looking to use an at-home cleaning solution, some isopropyl alcohol, combined with coarse salt and warm water should do the trick. The isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt work together when shaken to remove resin and leftover debris, where the alcohol disinfects and the coarse salt acts as a scrubbing agent to make this much easier on the person cleaning. Regardless of the route you go when cleaning your bongs and attachment pieces, routinely cleaning and caring for your smoking accessories will ensure its longevity and help to maintain its quality. Also, regularly cleaning bongs and its attachment pieces makes it a device that is safe to smoke out of without running the risk for inhaling harmful bacteria and other toxins that can build up over time.