A hookah should be cleaned after every session. This is not only ideal but also practical. Such an approach demands very little effort and barely five minutes. Besides, using an unclean hookah is unhealthy and you will not have the most satisfying experience with your favorite shisha tobacco flavors.
The Essentials for a Swift Cleaning
You need access to running water, preferably warmer than room temperature, the brush set, a sponge or you could use a soft dishrag, and a highly absorbent towel.
5 Steps in 5 Minutes to Clean your Hookah
Disassemble the parts of hookah after your session. The clay bowl and heat management device will be hot, so use the tongs. Set them aside so they can cool down and can be cleaned last. Place all the components on the counter next to your sink. Arrange the essentials on the counter: the slim brush, the thick brush, the sponge, the towel, and you can get a stainless steel scrubber for rigid stains.
Step 1: Clean the Hose
If your hose is washable, hold the bottom end under the faucet and fill it up with some water. Pour the water out from the other end. Fill it up with some water again, and this time you must hold it inside the hose, swish it for a few times to clean the interior and let the water drain out from both the ends. Once done, hang the hose so remaining droplets of water can drain out naturally and the piece can get air-dried.
Step 2: Clean the Smaller Parts
Begin with the grommets. Take the base, bowl and hose grommets, one at a time, and wash them under running water. Since grommets are not supposed to get too dirty, you can simply use your fingers to clean them. If you find some stains or residual traces, you can use the sponge. Set them aside on the towel to dry. Take the tray and wash it in the sink. The ash on the tray should wash off easily. Clean both the sides of the tray and place it upside down on the towel, or counter.
Step 3: Clean the Stem
Take the stem and let water run down from top down or vice versa. You may do this once or twice. Get the sponge or dishrag and clean the down stem and the neck. Gentle rubs or wipes should get the job done. Now, get the slim brush, which should be the longer one between the two in the set. Insert the brush from one end of the stem and clean the inside. Gentle motions should suffice as the hookah is being cleaned after just one session. There is hardly any rigid stain inside the stem so you do not need a rough scrub.
If you want, block one end of the stem with your hand and pour water inside it from the other. Hold the water inside and swish it. Drain out the water and see the color. If the water is clear, then you don’t need any more washing. In most cases, a cycle of two or three washes are sufficient for the stem. Set it aside in a tilted position.
Step 4: Clean the Base
Pour out the used water in the base. Hold it under the faucet and fill it up. Swirl the water inside the base and drain. Take the thick brush and clean the interior of the base. Be gentle but thorough. The brush must reach the entirety of the interior for effective cleaning. Rinse the base again and it should be squeaky clean. Place it aside. Set it upside down if possible. Leftover water droplets will flow out.
Step 5: Clean the Bowl
Check if the bowl and the heat management device are still hot. Use tongs if they are. Wash the heat management device to get rid of any ash. Take the sponge and scrub the inside. If there is some rigid stain outside, which is the bottom of the device, then you must use the stainless steel scrubber to clean. Rinse it and set it aside upside down.
Take the bowl, get rid of the tobacco, and wash it under the faucet. Use the sponge to scrub. If there is any hard stain, use the stainless steel scrubber, but gently. Wash the bowl twice or thrice, as needed, for a thorough clean. Place it upside down on the towel. You can dry wipe each component using the towel after rinsing.