Wondering why you should use a pipe screen? Well, to put it bluntly, there’s really nothing worse than a mouthful of ash. There are several different solutions out there, so take a quick look at some pipe screen options.
Reasons to Use a Pipe Screen
Of course, you don’t NEED a pipe screen. You’ve probably had many perfectly fine bowl sessions without one. There are bowls with small holes that don’t let any ash through, but after a few uses, these often get plugged up with tar. There always seems to be that one time when you pull too hard and wind up with a mouthful of debris, even if you’re experienced at lighting up.
In addition to keeping gross plant matter out of your mouth, there’s also the fact that pipe screens will help keep your bowl cleaner over time. They keep some tar from building up on the glass. They even make it easier to empty out your piece between sessions. This all means that you might be able to clean your piece less often. And, with water bongs and bubblers, you might have fewer concerns about clean water.
Different Kinds of Pipe Screens
Circular mesh pipe screens made of silver or brass are the most popular pipe screens. They last for a few sessions each and come in bulk packs. To use, just tuck them into the empty bowl and press down until the screen conforms to the shape of the bowl. They tend to get caked with tar or burned in the center. Really, they cannot take too much heat, so be sure to order plenty of these types of screens at once (they’re cheaper that way anyway).
Stone pipe screens are a slightly hardier version of mesh pipe screens. They’re pre-shaped with a circular metal rim just right for stone pipes. These stone pipe screens are not solely disposable like the mesh ones are but regular cleaning is needed before being replaced.
Glass pipe screens are a great option if you want a pipe screen that is even less disposable, something that can be cleaned up and reused. Glass pipe screens are often shaped like flowers or jacks and sold in bulk packs so you can just use them once if you want. If you don’t want to waste a perfectly good glass pipe screen, you can get them sparkling clean by soaking in 91% isopropyl alcohol with some coarse salt.
Built-in pipe screens are another alternative. Lots of female and male bowls come with screens punched into the bottom instead of a single hole. Some of these built-in screen bowls have simple single-wall bowls with a few holes in the glass bottom and a handle. Others are more complex with double-walled bowls to keep ash out of the stem. But both simple and complex designs are very affordable so, whatever screen type you want, you won’t have to spend too much.
Whether you plan to grab 100 disposable mesh pipe screens or would rather find a bowl with a built-in screen that will get the job done automatically, there are a lot of options out there to help you stop nasty things from ending up in your mouth!