Glycerin Coils: What's So Cool About Them?
One of the best things about bongs is that many of them have ice catchers in the neck; little notches built into the glass to hold a few ice cubes that cool down the smoke inside of the piece. Though this is by far one of the best features of glass with long necks, the practicality of having a piece of melting ice adding to the water chamber level is unwieldy at best and a wet mess at worst. Bong spillage is gross enough, but when the waterline gets high enough to cause splashback into your face there’s definitely a problem.
Glycerin Coils to the Rescue
Luckily, it’s a problem that now has a solution: glycerin coils. Glycerin coils are the answer to watery woes, offering a way to cool down smoke the way that ice would but without any of the resulting melting issues. Plus, they provide a way for small pieces that wouldn’t be compatible with ice catchers to cool down their smoke. It’s a key to an undeniably better smoking experience, and as glycerin coils are finding their way into pieces small and large alike it’s time to become familiar with the basics.
What’s a Glycerin Coil?
Also known as condenser coils, glycerin coils are freezable glass pieces that are usually incorporated into a bong and are add-ons that function as the neck.
What is Glycerin?
Glycerin itself is a non-toxic liquid usually made of fatty acids that often make their way into our foods as a sweetener or preservative. It’s also a popular moisturizer in soaps. Its high melting point and gel-like consistency upon freezing makes it an ideal alternative to ice in bongs, since it will stay in place and remain frozen for much longer than ice. It freezes quickly, too, so you won’t have to wait hours for it to be ready the way that you would have to with an ice tray.
How do Glycerin Coils Work?
Glycerin coil sections are usually removable to lessen the likelihood of bong breakage when you’re moving it back and forth from the freezer (and to utilize freezer space as well). Once the coil is frozen, it easily slips into the rest of the bong body, accommodating anything from a beaker base to an inline perc and creating quite the filtration double-punch.
Keck Clips are Useful
Because they’re removable, many glycerin coil bongs will include a keck clip, a clever little plastic clamp that works to keep your dropdowns, adapters, and reclaimers attached to the base of the bong. These clips help maintain the structural integrity of the whole piece and keep the glycerin coil from slipping out and breaking. Accidents do happen though so make sure to purchase the PieceProtect™ Warranty Program.
Throw the Whole Pipe In
There are freezable pipes that use glycerin to keep themselves cool, but obviously without the space for the smoke to break down they are only doing that one heat-reducing job. Still these nifty creations can prove useful when you want an ice cold hit without putting together an entire bong.
Glycerin coils also have the added functionality of percolators, offering filtration through and around the coils. The filtration is similar to regular coil percs which are described in our guide.
Cleaning Glycerin Coils
Cleaning glycerin coils is as simple as caring for any other piece. All you need is 91% isopropyl alcohol and some large-grained salt like Epsom or kosher. Take a couple of teaspoons of salt and put it in a container just bigger than the coils, preferably something that can close like Tupperware or a Ziploc bag.
With the piece inside of the container, pour enough alcohol over the glass that it pours into the crevices and sits in the coils. After shaking gently and letting the whole thing sit for about half an hour, give the container another little shake and rinse everything out with some cold water.
Like any intricate percolator, glycerin coils are difficult to get perfectly clean so it might take a few tries with the alcohol/salt solution or a go-around with something like Grunge Off to really bring the whole piece back to a brand-new shine. A little effort goes a long way with these kinds of pieces, and keeping them looking and tasting fresh is the best gift you can give yourself—and your lungs.
Check Out a Glycerin Coil Bong
Included in our selection of glycerin coil bongs are: