If you’re looking for a complete rundown on everything from how to use a bubbler to what they are, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll look at everything you need to know regarding this popular smoking device.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a Bubbler?


A bubbler is a smoking device that relies on water and a percolation system to filter the smoke. This creates much softer, smoother smoke than one would achieve with other smoking methods, such as rolling paper. They’re similar to bongs in these ways, but there is still a difference, which we’ll explore shortly.

First, here are the main components:

  • Mouthpiece
  • Bowl (where your herbs go)
  • Water chamber
  • Stem (connects the bowl and water chamber)

Bubbler vs. Bong

The primary difference between these two devices is size and shape. Bongs are generally 1.5 to 2 times larger.

Bubbler vs. Bong: Why Use a Bubbler?

Bubblers are popular for travel or more discrete use while bongs are popular for home use or situations where discretion is not needed.

Due to their larger size, bongs will provide much larger hits, which you may not want; a bubbler will be better suited for your uses if this is the case. The device’s smaller size also makes it much easier to use and navigate than a bong, which can be cumbersome for newbies.


If you’re looking for a bigger hit, a bong will suit you better. Bubblers also do not have as many removable parts as a bong, making cleaning more of a challenge. You also can’t customize them to the same degree you can a bong. They are also not as useful as bongs for social smoking since they burn faster.

How Does a Bubbler Work?

Before we dive into how to use a bubbler, let’s broach the topic of, “how does a bubbler work?”

This is easy; simply put, the device contains water that filters the smoke before it reaches the mouthpiece. This removes some of the toxins that may be present in whatever you’re smoking. It also cools the smoke, making for a less harsh experience.

Other smoking devices that don’t rely on water for cooling or filtration pass the smoke to you in a more direct, harsher fashion. You may end up ingesting more toxins than you would’ve with a water-based method, and you’ll almost certainly have a harsher smoking experience as a result of forgoing the cooling benefits.

There are some functions specific to individual types. Let’s take a quick look.

Types of Bubblers

A quick peruse of retailers like VaporizerChief
will reveal a few options to choose from. Here’s a rundown on the main few types.


The name is self explanatory here. One key benefit of a hammer is that the longer handle provides more space for smoke, resulting in a bigger hit.


With a recycler, smoke gets filtered repeatedly through a loop. This maximizes the taste of whatever you’re smoking, cools the smoke more than a normal unit would, and prevents the smoke from going stale.



As the name would suggest, this device has two chambers with two bowls and downstems. It works in the same way a normal unit would work, except with double the effect; even cooler smoke and smoother hits.

How to Use a Bubbler

Step one is to fill the chamber with water.

How to Fill a Bubbler with Water

The best way to fill your device is through the bowl (the largest opening). If you attempt to go through the mouthpiece, you’ll likely end up overfilling it since the mouthpiece’s curves can make it difficult to accurately judge the quantity of water.

If you’re a newcomer, use cold water; this will produce the smoothest hit.

How Much Water to Put in a Bubbler?

Having too much water can create splashes or give your smoke a stale taste. Too little water, on the other hand, won’t filter the smoke properly.

The solution? Fill the device about halfway. For double units, that means filling each chamber roughly halfway.

As you get more experienced, you’ll fine tune the level to your preferences.

Step two is to prepare your smoking materials.

Prepare the Herbs

First, ensure the bowl is completely dry. Then, grind your herbs just like you would when using a bong and pack the resulting material into the bowl.

The Smoking Process

Holding the unit firmly with both hands, light the bowl while placing your lips on the mouthpiece. If the device has carb holes, ensure that you are covering them with your fingers. Draw the smoke gently into the chamber and inhale. Once it reaches the top of the mouthpiece, remove your fingers from the carb holes and inhale all of the smoke.

How to Use a Mini Bubbler

Lucky for you, the instructions we’ve outlined above will be just as effective for using a mini unit as they are for a full-sized one.

How to Clean a Bubbler

Now that you know how to use a bubbler, let’s explore how to clean a bubbler.

As mentioned earlier, one of their major disadvantages is that you can’t dismantle them for cleaning as thoroughly as you would a bong. You can still clean it, however, using the following steps:

  1. Drain dirty water out of the pipe
  2. Remove the stem
  3. Rinse the device out with hot water. Let the water flow through the unit, in one end and out the other.
  4. Fill the device with rubbing alcohol and salt
  5. With your fingers/hands covering the openings, shake the device vigorously
  6. Use a q-tip to reach any inaccessible spots in the pipe
  7. Rinse the pipe one more time
  8. Place the stem in a bag with alcohol and salt
  9. Shake the bag vigorously
  10. Remove the stem and rinse

How to Get Resin Out of a Bubbler

Over time, resin can build up if you don’t clean your glass unit regularly. Follow the steps above but add a step: place the device in a pot of boiling water and use tongs to move it around. This should loosen up the resin.

How to Clean a Bubbler Without Alcohol

If you’d rather not use isopropyl alcohol when cleaning, use the boiling pot method above in conjunction with the other cleaning steps.


Bubblers are a very popular smoking device. Their primary benefit is that, like bongs, they filter your smoke and provide cooler, smoother hits. Unlike bongs, they are small, portable, and easy to maneuver, even for newbies. Using these devices is easy and requires even fewer steps than a bong.

Author's Bio: 

Hazel Sansbury is a professional financial Journalist at Value Spectrum. He has more than 4 years’ experience in writing articles on finance, business and cryptocurrency. In the past, he was working for Stocks Reporters. He has a great interest in writing and reading articles on finance.