Even if you’re pretty good about maintaining your hookah, every once in a while you should do a deep clean to make sure that it produces the best flavor possible. It’s best to break the process into four steps: hose, small parts, stem, and base.
Cleaning the Hose
1. Detach the hose from the hookah base. The hose through which you inhale the smoke is connected to the hookah, but not permanently. Twist the hose gently from side to side to work it loose from the base, then pull it so the pieces separate.
If the hose seems lodged firmly, continue twisting rather than tugging insistently. Don’t apply enough force to damage the hookah.
2. Blow through the hose.You can perform this step after every single time you smoke your hookah — it only takes a couple seconds. By putting your mouth on the spout where you normally inhale, and blowing through it forcefully, you expel any lingering stale smoke that might affect the taste you experience the next time you smoke.
3. Rinse the hose if it is washable. Do this whenever you feel the taste of your smoke is being affected — every tenth use or so at the least. If your hose is made of rubber or plastic and is labeled as “washable,” you can rinse it with water after every fourth or fifth use.You should never use soap or any other chemical products when rinsing your hose — simply run regular tap water through it.
Run the faucet in your sink, placing one end of the hookah hose under the water. Make sure the water makes its way into the hose.
Position the other end of the hose to make sure the water that’s pushed through the hose drains back into the sink.
Let water rinse through the hose for about thirty seconds, then turn off the faucet.
Lift one end of the hose up high to allow the water to drain out of the hose.
Hang the hose somewhere with a towel underneath it to catch the water that will drip out of it as it dries.
Don’t use the hose again until it has finished drying completely.
4. Remove particulate matter from unwashable hoses.If your hose is not made of a washable material, you’ll have to rely on force and wind to try to clear it of any particulate gunk that might have accumulated over many uses.
Fold the hose over so both ends are in on hand.
Using moderate force, thwack the hose into a soft but sturdy object to jar loose the particulate matter within.
A sofa is a good object to thwack it against. Don’t choose any surfaces that might damage the hose, like a sidewalk or a brick wall.
Blow through each end of the hose as hard as you can to expel the particulate matter.
Hook the hose up to a vacuum cleaner or air compressor (like a bicycle pump) if you have trouble summoning the required lung strength.
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