Every type of hookah requires regular cleaning and maintenance, irrespective of the design and materials of the different components. But you cannot clean all the components using the same method or tools. Every part of your hookah has distinct cleaning needs for optimum upkeep.
Ideally, you shouldn’t reuse the water in your hookah base if you change flavors or go for more than a couple of bowls or rounds. You shouldn’t let used water sit in the glass vase, either. Plus, the bowl, hose, and stem require frequent cleaning and complete air drying between sessions.
So, here’s everything you need to know about cleaning and maintaining your hookah.
A Stepwise Guide to Clean Your Hookah Base
Follow these steps to clean your hookah base, which is almost always made of glass:
- Gently remove the down stem from the glass base and drain the used water.
- Use normal tap water to wash the base. You may also use lukewarm water.
- Get the shorter and thicker hookah cleaning brush that you have in the kit.
- If you don’t have it, you can use a mildly hard or soft-bristled brush or a rag.
- Moisten the brush and gently clean the interior of the glass hookah base.
- Use ordinary detergent or soap water to clean any stains you may see.
- You can also use baking soda or vinegar to clean the hookah’s glass base.
- Once you remove the stains, rinse the glass base thoroughly under the faucet.
- Wipe the hookah base with a dry cloth or paper towel and let it air dry upside down.
- Be gentle throughout the cleaning process so that you don’t damage the glass base.
A Stepwise Guide to Clean Your Hookah Bowl
Follow these steps to clean your hookah bowl, which is almost always glazed ceramic or clay:
- Remove the heat management device or foil from atop the hookah bowl.
- Empty the bowl completely and dispose of the used shisha tobacco.
- You may use a poker or something similar to remove tobacco from the holes.
- Put some water in a pot and bring it to a boil on an electric or gas stove.
- Turn off the stove when the water attains a rolling boil, and get the bowl.
- Place the bowl with its face down into the water and turn on the stove.
- Let the water boil for up to 20 minutes or so, depending on the bowl’s size.
- The water should rinse much of the grime and stains, but some may remain.
- You can use a soft-bristled brush or damp cloth to remove the visible stains.
- Don’t use anything abrasive to clean the bowl that can damage the glazing.
- Ordinary soap water may be fine, but avoid it if there are chips or cracks.
- Keep the cleaned hookah bowl upside down and let it air dry completely.
A Stepwise Guide to Clean Your Hookah Hose
Follow these steps to clean your hookah hose, which is either non-washable or silicone:
- If your hose has a metal coil inside, it is not washable in water, so use compressed air.
- Blowing compressed air should remove substantial debris from inside the hookah hose.
- You may also hold the hose at one end and swing it around for debris to loosen and fall.
- Silicone hoses are washable, so hold one end under the faucet and run water through it.
- Let the running water clean the hose from one end to the other, which drains in the sink.
- You can reverse this alignment of the two sides. A bit of mild soap won’t harm silicone.
- Hang the hose to dry with two ends facing the ground to let residual water drip out.
- You may use compressed air if you have a can to expedite or facilitate the hose’s drying.
A Stepwise Guide to Clean Your Hookah Stem
Follow these steps to clean your hookah stem:
- Disassemble the hookah to remove the base and the bowl, and take apart the stem.
- Hold the stem under a faucet to remove loose debris. You may also use warm water.
- Get the stem cleaning brush, which is the longer and thinner one in the hookah kit.
- Moisten this brush and gently scrub the interior of the hookah stem. You may use soap.
- Don’t use vinegar unless you have a stem made of a material that is immune to acids.
- You can’t use vinegar to clean a brass stem as the material will be stained to an extent.
- Use dishwashing soap or a mild detergent if you think the stem is too dirty and grimy.
- The stem cleaning brush should be sufficient to remove all residual debris and stains.
- Rinse the stem thoroughly with clean water from both sides and air dry the piece.
- Don’t reuse the hookah stem, hose, and bowl unless they are completely dry.
How To Clean the Various Hookah Accessories
Hookah ash and charcoal trays can be cleaned the same way as alloy and metal plates. Forks or pokers you may use with your hookah can also be cleaned similarly. Clean the brushes with some soap and rinse them well to remove any leftover grime or gunk and molasses.