Should You Put Ice in a Bong?
Using ice to cool your bong hits makes smoke sessions feel much easier on the throat and lungs, but these same frosty rips can be even more harmful than just using cold water.
While ice bongs are designed to give you a break from the heat of toking, these same frosty rips can be much more harmful than just using a classic water percolator or even nothing at all.
What is an Ice Bong?
Ice bongs are water pipes that feature ice notches that hold cubes of ice.
I can speak from experience when I say that there is a noticeable temperature difference between ripping a bong with vs without ice.
We’ll go over whether or not ice notches are a must-have in all bongs and bubblers later, but for now:
How Does an Ice Bong Cool Smoke?
This is all about the simple rules of contact, and the drastic temperature difference between hot milky smoke and frozen water.
When hot smoke passes through the neck of a bong, it comes in contact with that loaded ice stack on the notches; a last-second battle between hot and cold leaves you with much cooler hits.
This interaction decreases the temperature of smoke because of the freezing conditions inside the chamber.
What is an Ice Catcher?
An ice catcher (also called ice notches) is a group of indents that are usually welded into the neck of an ice bong that can hold and suspend ice.
These indents can be designed in many different ways, but the main purpose is to create a platform for ice without restricting the airflow when smoking.
Another practical benefit to ice notches is the ergonomic grip that they can provide.
Aside from functional use, some ice notches are designed to give a piece a better aesthetic look.
You can find ice catchers in bongs made from different materials like glass, silicone, acrylic, or even bamboo.
They all have the same purpose though: to catch ice and cool smoke as it passes through the neck of a bong.
Do You Need Ice Notches in a Bong?
Definitely not, you’d be fine without them.
Ice notches are 100% a matter of preference, some stoners swear by them, while others are completely opposed.
It seems that most modern-day bongs come equipped with an ice catcher, but we’re not totally on board yet.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the pros of using ice bongs, let’s delve into the potential negatives.
Is Smoking From an Ice Bong Dangerous?
According to reports, it actually can be! We’ve found multiple cases of serious respiratory problems after use of an ice bong.
There have even been instances of hospitalization in people smoking with a full ice catcher.
However, we’ve foud that a lot of the risk of damage is easily avoidable.
Can Smoking out of Ice Bongs Cause Bronchitis?
Unfortunately, there are links between ripping bongs with loaded ice catchers and bronchitis.
How to avoid some of the damage:
So, when an ice cube is first pulled out of the freezer there is a noticeable amount of loose frost along the surface of the cube.
If immediately dropped into ice notches, these cubes will shed those loose frost shards as you inhale, sending them directly into your throat and lungs.
As you can imagine, inhaling daggers of water can be very irritating to the human body, which can contribute to the cause of bronchitis if the irritation is serious enough.
There are two things you can do to avoid damaging your lungs while smoking out of ice bongs:
1. Just wait a few minutes for the frost to melt. Once you notice that the surface of the cubes is smooth and wet, load ‘em up!
2. Give them a quick rinse with medium temp water; soaking melts the frost right off as well.
Is it Bad to Put Ice in Your Bong?
Even with our tips above, there is no complete avoidance of inhaling particles of water and ice using ice notches.
To be safe, you should try to avoid using ice notches too frequently. Every now and then should be fine though.
That being said, we know how important it is to have smoother rips, so here are some alternatives to cooling your bong smoke.
How to Smoke Using Ice Without Ice Notches
Here’s our favorite combo that makes a very noticeable difference:
Step 1. Percolation!
Long explanation short, percolation is what happens when you smoke using water like an ordinary bong. If you haven’t checked out our guide on the benefits and science behind percolation and diffusion, make sure to smokephisticate yourself.
Step 2. Once you’ve added your water just enough to get some solid bubbles using your downstem without risk of slurping, add some ice to that water!
Using an Ice Catcher vs. Putting Ice in Bong Water
The main benefit of leaving your cubes to soak is that you completely avoid the risk of inhaling ice shards.
It’s also worth mentioning that ice water makes just as much, if not more of a difference in cooling your smoke compared to using dry ice-notches.
If ice notches or a narrow bong neck prevents you from inserting ice, just soak some cubes in your water before pouring.
After either leaving cubes in your water or just leaving the water in the freezer, you can fill your bong appropriately and start smoking.
The water won’t stay cold for quite as long, but it will still be much better than room temperature, or even cool water.
Although the great debate between whether ice notches are dangerous and worth the risk is an age-old discussion between stoners in forums and rotation — the decision is yours — but whatever you do, keep informed on the facts and stay Smokephisticated.
Most stoners know that adding ice to a bong can help cool rips, but rumors say it’s dangerous. Before using ice bongs and ice catchers, we have some advice, and even possible alternatives.
Everything You Need to Know About Ice Catchers
If you’ve smoked a bong before, then you already understand why most smokers love them. The water chamber and percolators have an awesome cooling effect, which will give you a cool and great-tasting hit– not to mention that they’re healthier than standard glass pipes.
Ice catchers take this cooling effect to the next level. Bongs with ice catchers have exploded in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. Read on to learn more about ice catchers, and how they elevate your smoking experience to the next level.
What Is an Ice Catcher?
Most smokers prefer bongs to other methods of smoking, like glass pipes. The reason is simple. When you smoke a bong, the smoke cools down, thanks to filtration features like the water chamber, and in higher-end bongs, percolators. At some point along the line, a creative smoker decided that including ice would cool down the smoke even more. But, as the ice cubes melted, they would eventually fall into the water chamber. Ice catchers have changed the game for smokers who enjoy colder hits.
Ice catchers are pinched glass formations inside the body of the bong that hold the ice above the water chamber. They are generally located above all of the percolators in the bong, and are the last filtration stop before the smoke flows into the mouthpiece. Sometimes called ice bongs, bongs with ice catchers are a must for smokers who like their smoke extra-cool. They have also become a standard feature in new bongs.
Why Should I Put Ice in a Bong?
Well, you don’t need to put ice in a bong. But it helps.
Putting ice in your bong takes your bong’s filtration process to the next level. When smoke flows through the body of the bong, it will eventually hit the ice, bringing the smoke’s temperature down to an even more comfortable level. Even with a few ice cubes, the additional cooling power will have a noticeable impact on the smoke.
However, you should keep a close eye on the level of water in the water chamber. Because the ice will gradually melt, you should monitor how full the water chamber is, and empty it as you go.
4 Benefits of Ice Catchers
For smokers that want to bring their bong smoking experience to the next level, ice catchers offer plenty of benefits.
1. Filters Smoke
First and most obviously, the ice catcher is designed to facilitate smoke filtration. While the ice catcher will not do this on its own, the ice it catches will. Adding ice to the equation will help you to enjoy filtered, cleaner and better-tasting hits.
2. Inhale More Smoke
It’s no secret that many bong advocates enjoy taking huge bong rips, thanks to the fact that the smoke is filtered. Because ice further cools the smoke, ice catchers make inhaling large amounts of smoke even easier.
3. Doubles as Splash Guard
Nobody likes anticipating a nice, cool bong rip and accidentally getting a taste of bong water along with the smoke. In fact, bong water splashback turns some people off from water pipes altogether. Ice catchers prevent this from ever happening by acting as a splash guard. With the ice catcher positioned above the water chamber, you can enjoy the cool smoke without ever worrying about this.
4. Awesome Visual Feature
n the bong world, scientific glass is in. High-grade clear glass that allows the smoker to watch as the smoke is filtered has become quite popular. Ice catchers carry in the tradition of this scientific look, and bring your water pipe’s design to the next level.
How Do Ice Catchers Work?
Ice catchers have a fairly simple design and function, despite the creative theory behind them. In most cases, the ice catcher is made up of three pieces of glass that protrude from the inside of the bong. So, the ice catcher keeps the ice elevated simply by keeping it suspended. If you don’t want the ice to melt into the water chamber, then remove the ice cubes after your smoking session. It’s that simple.
New bong technology is pushing these boundaries with a different style of ice catcher. Rather than having pinched glass, these bongs have a trapezoid-shaped ice catcher, which acts as a shelf. It also carries all of the other benefits that standard ice catchers have.
Do All Bongs Have Ice Catchers?
While they have become popular in recent years, not all bongs have ice catchers. If you’re the kind of smoker who likes to improvise, you may be able to create a makeshift ice catcher on your existing piece. But chances are, the ice catcher will eventually break– or worse– your bong could shatter.
If your previous piece broke, or you’re looking for an upgrade, then be sure to check out a bong with an ice catcher. There are even plenty of bongs under $100 with ice catchers.
3 Toker Supply Bongs With Ice Catchers
Ice catchers aren’t reserved for higher end pieces– bongs of all different shapes and sizes have them. Check out some of the examples below.
Super Thick Beaker Bong
Available in several sizes, the Super Thick Beaker Bong takes a simplistic approach to filtering smoke. The downstem feeds directly into the water chamber, which diffuses the smoke. The ice catcher is right above the water chamber, which means you can add a secondary layer of filtration.
Fat Chamber Honeycomb Bong
The Fat Chamber Honeycomb Bong features a honeycomb percolator that goes a long way in filtering the smoke. Thanks to the ice catcher positioned above this perc, you can cool the smoke down even more.
16″ 8-Arm Tree Perc Straight Tube Bong
This scientific perc bong is excellent with smoke filtration. In addition to the multiple smoke-diffusion features, the ice catcher directly above cools down the smoke with great results.
Find a Bong With an Ice Catcher
If you’re choosing to smoke from a bong, you may as well have the best possible experience. Our online headshop carries plenty of options, and we’re committed to pairing you up with the piece of your dreams. Check out our selection, and enjoy your cool smoke!
Ice catchers are becoming more and more popular, and they're here to stay. This awesome feature aids in the smoke cooling process by keeping ice above the water chamber. Read our blog post to learn everything you need to know about bong ice catchers.