There are 3 cleaning and maintenance prerequisites to ensure your hookah delivers the best smoking experience. First, all the components of your hookah must be impeccably clean, such as the base, bowl, hose, and pipe or stem.
Second, all the parts of your hookah should be in flawless condition. You can’t expect a chipped bowl or cracked hose to deliver the most delicious and voluminous clouds. Third, you must not have an incompatible component for your hookah, including the plastic or rubber grommets.
If you have a hookah with special features, such as diffusers, magnetic connectors, etc., every such component must be cleaned and maintained in a timely manner. Any of the essential parts malfunctioning will adversely affect the smoking experience that your hookah can deliver.
How To Clean Your Hookah
You must clean your hookah periodically. A weekly routine may suffice for those smoking once or twice a week. If you smoke every day and that too for more than one session, you must clean a hookah at least twice a week. Irrespective of the cleaning routine, you must always get rid of the water in the base after you are done for the day. Don’t let dirty water sit in the glass base.
You may use various cleaning agents to cleanse different parts of your hookah. Use isopropyl alcohol for the glass and metal components. Don’t use isopropyl alcohol to clean the clay bowl or silicone hose. Also, remove smoked shisha tobacco from the clay bowl after every session.
Baking soda and vinegar will work for the clay bowl as well as the glass base. But don’t use vinegar on aluminum, steel, and other alloy or metal parts. Regular dish soap is safe for your hookah hose and pipe or stem. Use lukewarm water to form sufficient lather with ordinary soap.
Don’t use any cleaning agent that can or has a tendency to form any gooey residue or buildup in the various parts of your hookah. You will already have some stains inside the bores of the pipe or stem. Sticky solutions or anything that doesn’t readily dissolve in water are not suitable.
You will need resealable or ziplock bags to use isopropyl alcohol so that the appropriate parts can soak for a while and you can shake them inside for a proper cleanse. Likewise, you need a brush to clean the hookah with baking soda and vinegar or regular soap and warm water.
Get soft-bristled brushes unless your hookah kit already has two of varying sizes and thickness to clean the various parts. You can use clean rags to wipe hookah parts after rinsing. Don’t use tissue paper or any material that can form streaks on alloy, clay, glass, metal, etc.
How To Maintain a Hookah
Always get rid of dirty water from the glass base as soon as you can. Wash the glass base after a few sessions. You can wash the clay bowl after a few rounds to prevent residue buildup and stains, which may comprise glycerin, honey, molasses, resins, etc.
If you wash your washable hookah parts after the rounds for a day, you can use only water. If a part is evidently dirty or stained, a quick cleaning with an appropriate agent, as I have discussed above, may be a cakewalk compared to the long and tedious process of removing rigid stains.
Disassemble your hookah and separate the parts after every set of sessions. Separated parts are easier to clean, maintain, and store. An assembled hookah may have tough stain buildup in the connecting ports, especially the grommets and the purge valve.
Suppose you don’t want to rinse all the hookah parts with only water as a part of daily cleaning, especially the hose and the pipe or stem. In such a case, get a can of compressed air and blow into the bores of the hose and stem to remove any loose debris before storing these parts.
You may need compressed air in any case if your hookah hose isn’t washable. Also, a hookah pipe may require a combination of scrubbing with a cleaning brush and compressed air for a thorough cleanse.
How To Use a Hookah Deftly
Don’t expect a hookah to constantly deliver the best smoking experience, be it clouds, flavor, or texture, if you keep changing shisha tobacco without cleaning the main components. Residual flavor and traces of shisha tobacco you used for the earlier sessions will linger in the hookah.
You can change bowls when you switch to a distinct shisha tobacco flavor. Wash the bowl and other parts with only water if you blend two or more flavors. You may even change the hose to ensure the clouds you draw are as potent and true to the flavor profile of any shisha tobacco.
Last but not least, don’t use chipped hookah bowls, cracked hoses, or damaged pipes/stems if you want to ensure the best smoking experience.