by Rory Edelson August 24, 2018 6 min read

Ashtrays are an important tool when smoking joints, cigarettes, or cigars. They are useful to hold ash, butts, clips, and sometimes tools. Although smoking has been around for what seems like forever, ashtrays didn’t become popular until the 1800s. Usually ashtrays are made from a material that stops the spread of fire, making them perfect for dealing with anything you’re combusting to smoke. Many different types of people have ashtrays and there are ashtrays designed to suit everyone’s needs. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the different types as well as their benefits and other useful information about ashtrays.

Silicone Ashtrays

Types of Ashtrays

There are many types of ashtrays that are made from different materials and for specific functions. Here we’ll discuss some of the options available to help you find the best one to suit your needs.

 

Silicone Ashtray

Lighter and Silicone Ashtray

Just like the silicone cooking utensils you might find in your kitchen, silicone ashtrays are made to be resistant to high temperatures. They can be very colorful, so if you’re looking for an exciting ashtray, these might be a good option. And because silicone is such a flexible, rubbery material, these ashtrays are virtually indestructible; you won’t have to worry about it breaking if you accidentally drop it. Silicone also lends itself to easy cleanup, especially since these ashtrays are so flexible, you’ll be able to get into all the nooks and crannies. Speaking of nooks and crannies, silicone ashtrays are often multi-functional, with built-in slots and holes around the outside to store lighters, dab tools, or anything else that could come in handy.

Smokeless Ashtray

The technology of smokeless ashtrays has advanced a lot since their invention in the 1940s, but their purpose of eliminating the smell of smoke by not allowing smoke to escape them remains the same. Modern smokeless ashtrays generally have a fan that draws in the smoke. Many of them also have a carbon filter that cleans the air drawn in by the fan and reduces the smell. Some of them work by automatically turning the fan on when you open up the top, while others have a covered dome to contain the smoke even more before it’s whisked away by the fan. Some can even fit in the cup holder of your car. A smokeless ashtray could be a good option for you if you’re concerned about the smell of your smoke bothering anyone.

Pocket Ashtray

From outdoor concerts to fishing boats, you won’t always find an ashtray where you want to smoke. Enter the pocket ashtray, a very small pouch with a snap closure that can be used to store your butts until you can dispose of them properly. As their name implies, these ashtrays are small enough to fit in your pocket, so they can go with you anywhere you need one. They may not look like much, but they’re made of flame retardant materials and generally lined with foil. This means that they won’t just hold your ash, they’ll also extinguish your smoking materials after you close up the pouch. If you’re looking for a portable and discreet way to store butts, the pocket ashtray is a great option.

Cigar Ashtray

Like other ashtrays, cigar ashtrays can be made from many different types of materials like wood, stainless steel, or glass. The main difference that sets them apart from other ashtrays is that they are generally larger in size. Cigar ashtrays usually have a deeper bowl and wider grooves that are big enough to hold cigars. Many of these ashtrays take on a classic square or round shape with enough grooves to hold several cigars for when you’re having a gathering. Others are long and rectangular, made to hold only one cigar for solo use. Both types tend to look masculine and luxurious, like the kind of thing you’d find in an upscale smoking club. Since it takes a while to smoke cigars, a cigar ashtray is a perfect place to rest them. If you’re smoking cigars alone or with friends, a cigar ashtray would be a good investment. 

Portable Ashtray

When you’re on the go, it makes sense to take a portable ashtray with you to prevent littering. Like pocket ashtrays, these are usually smaller in size. And while these portable ashtrays might fit in your pocket, they might not be as comfortable there. The most common portable ashtrays are small containers, usually round, made of metal or other flame retardant materials. Others are cylindrical and have individual slots to deposit butts. Both of these types come with lids to keep everything in place and reduce the smell. Many portable ashtrays have keychain attachments, so if you don’t want to carry them in your pocket, you can hook them to your keys or anywhere else that would be convenient. Portable ashtrays would be an excellent choice for anyone looking to carry an ashtray with them but not necessarily looking to put them in a pocket.

Glass Ashtray

Glass has probably been the most popular material for ashtrays for as long as they’ve been around. This is probably because it can’t be burned by anything you’re smoking, the flame simply isn’t hot enough. Glass also lends itself to a wide variety of designs ranging from simple, cheap receptacles to ornate, expensive options. One of the downsides to glass ashtrays is that although they’re pretty durable, they are prone to breaking when dropped or knocked. However, there are a lot of vintage glass ashtrays on the market, proving that if you’re careful with them, they can stand the test of time. Whether you’re looking for an ashtray with a retro aesthetic or a more modern edge, glass ashtrays are a classic option. 

Silicone ashtray with dab tools

How to Choose an Ashtray

When it comes to choosing the right ashtray to suit your needs, look to your lifestyle to help you decide. If your ashtray is going to be in a high traffic area in your home or you’ve got a group of rowdy friends, a silicone ashtray might be a good fit. For more refined tastes, a fancy glass ashtray or a cigar ashtray for cigar smokers would be better options. Pocket and portable ashtrays are great for anyone who likes to walk around their home or smoke on the go. Since all ashtrays basically function the same, picking one will come down to a matter of preference. As long as you find one that fits well with your lifestyle and your design aesthetic, you can’t go wrong.

How to Make an Ashtray

Sometimes you might find yourself in need of an emergency ashtray or maybe you just enjoy DIY projects. Whatever the situation, it’s possible to make an ashtray from just about anything, although something that isn’t flammable would probably be best. If you don’t want to get super fancy with it, you can just ash into an empty soda can or bottle. Even some tin foil would work in a pinch. For something more permanent, you can put some more time and effort into making an ashtray out of clay. There are also instructional videos on how to make them out of beer cans, an empty pack of cigarettes, and even origami. When it comes to making your own ashtray, get creative with what you use. The only limit is your imagination.

How to Clean an Ashtray

Just as there are many different varieties of ashtrays, there are many different ways to clean them. For tabletop ashtrays, some experts suggest keeping a layer of sand or baking soda in the bottom, which the ash can stick to, making it easier to dump out in addition to masking the smell. However, that’s not a necessary step as most ashtrays are able to be cleaned by scrubbing them in the sink with some soap and water. Glass ashtrays can be cleaned with some vinegar or rubbing alcohol if they’re still looking gunky. Portable and pocket ashtrays might be a little tougher to clean due to their small size. And depending on the material they’re made of, you might not want to submerge them in water. Silicone ashtrays have the unique advantage of being dishwasher safe, so they’re super easy to clean. Whatever kind of ashtray you have, cleaning it every once in a while will reduce odor and keep it looking nice.

Benefits of an Ashtray

What are the Benefits of Ashtrays?

There are many benefits to owning an ashtray, some more obvious than others. They’re the best place to ash and hold cigarette butts rather than flicking those things on the ground or floor. Ashtrays are also great for holding burning cigarettes, cigars, or joints, should you need to set them down. They can also act as storage for a clip of a cigar or joint that you’re coming back to later. In addition to all those things, silicon ashtrays can also function as an awesome wax dab tray, especially with the spaces they have for holding tools. All in all, ashtrays are super useful and an integral part of smoking.

Where to Buy an Ashtray

Ashtrays can be found in many different locations, even online, giving you limitless options. Locally, your favorite headshop is a safe bet, but they can also be purchased from gas stations, department stores, and perhaps even bodegas. Online, Amazon can be a good resource for purchasing cheap ashtrays as well. If you’re looking for a more customized ashtray, Etsy has a lot of options including pocket ashtrays. eBay would also be a good resource if you’re looking for something with a vintage flair. Lastly, the best online headshop to buy a silicone ashtray is at Vape Vet Store.

Rory Edelson
Rory Edelson


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