Preparing your Hookah
To get the most fulfilling experience from every hookah session, it is recommended that you clean your pipe immediately after using it. Doing this removes the smoke before it dries which makes cleaning easier. Having to clean your shisha pipe before using it is also a buzz kill. A clean pipe and hose deliver sweeter smoke, and you’ll not have to deal with a terrible taste in your sessions.
When filling the base, fill it so that about 1 inch of the metal tube is submerged in water. The space left is where smoke cools further before being drawn into the hose, giving a much cooler draw. Also, too much water makes it harder to suck.
If you want to improve the flavor of smoke produced, you can experiment with adding coke, lemon or orange juice to your shisha. You could also try adding the flavor to the water in the base.
Preparing your Molasses
When molasses sit for a while, the juices tend to sink to the bottom. Before you put it in your bowl, give it a good mix to ensure that you are not smoking dry tobacco from the top of the pile. Store the remaining molasses in an airtight container too, so that it does not get dry.
If you are new to hookah smoking, we recommend using tobacco free molasses to practice setting up your hookah pipe. Place the right amount of molasses into your bowl, making sure to break it up to help with airflow.
Compacting the shisha into the bowl will not allow proper aeration, which will burn the molasses and produce a burnt smell in your smoke.
After you’ve loaded the bowl, put the coals onto the pipe, then the grommet into the clay bow, and finally place the bowl onto your hookah pipe.
Next, wrap a small piece of aluminum foil over the opening of the bowl and make sure the surface is tight. Using a toothpick or foil poker, punch some holes into the foil and suck on the mouth piece to see how good the airflow is. If not too good, try punching some more holes into the foil.
How to light the coals
How fast you can get to smoking your hookah depends on the type of coals you have:
Quick light coals are fast to light, but you should wait until it has stopped sparkling before placing it on the foil. Placing it earlier could mean that you will be smoking charcoal fumes before you begin to enjoy your flavored shisha.
Natural coals on the other hand take longer to light but are chemical free and thus preferred by experienced smokers. Use your cooker or torch lighter, and wait until it is glowing hot before placing it on the foil.
A good idea of shisha smoking is to place the coal on the outside edges of the foil first and work your way to the middle. It is also a great idea to use a wind cover to prevent the heat from escaping, and also to keep the coals from falling in case someone knocks your pipe.
Now that everything else is done, all that’s left to do it to connect your hose. First place the grommet into the hole and then attach your hookah hose.
Start sucking air through the hose gently to give time to your molasses to heat up gently and to prevent the top molasses from burning and spoiling the taste of the rest of your shisha.
For super fun smoking sessions, we recommend sharing it with friends.
What to do in case your Hookah is not smoking right
- Check your bowl. The most common things that cause a hookah not to draw properly is a bowl that’s packed too tight. Break the molasses and sprinkle it into the bowl till it is full. DO NOT fill past the top level of the bowl as you’ll have to compress it when covering it with a foil.
- Check the coals. Charcoal that is covered with ash does not produce enough heat to heat up the shisha. Use your tongs to tap the coals on the tray to remove the ask before putting it back onto the bowl.
- Check all gaskets. Make sure that everything is fit tightly to make the pipe airtight. Snug fits allow for easier air flow. Also check to make sure that to gaskets are burnt.
- Check the hoses. Test your hose by removing it from the hookah, block one side with your finger, then blow into the other side and make sure it is airtight, no leaks. Also check the mouth tip if you re using one, it could be blocked or semi-blocked.
- Ball Bearing. Check to make sure the ball bearing is in place. If it is stuck on the steel opening, try to replace it, or just clean it if rusted, put it back.
- Water Level. Your inside stem should be about 1.5-2 inches inside the water. Sometimes slightly more and sometimes slightly less depends on how much air space you have left in vase. In any case, make sure the water does not reach or go above the neck. If you have no choice then you re using a small vase and need to get a slightly bigger one.
How to Clean Your Hookah Pipe
Making sure that your hookah pipe is clean before each session will make your smoking sessions more fulfilling. The best way of cleaning your pipe is immediately after your smoking session before storing it. Here are tips on how to clean the different parts of your hookah.
Cleaning the stem
Like mentioned before, the best way is to clean after each smoke. Use a soft dense brush with lots of bristles for a more thorough clean.
Start by running hot water through the stem, then use the brush to scrub off all the dirt. Clean 6-10 inch sections at a time until you’ve cleaned the full length of the pipe. Rinse with more hot water when done.
If for one reason or another you are not able to clean after every use, you can clean the stem every 5-6 smokes, or every couple of months if you are not a very regular user. We however recommend doing this only if you smoke only one shisha flavor. Mixing flavors without thorough cleaning will most probably give you stale smell from previous sessions.
Cleaning the base
Clean your hookah’s glass base after every 5-6 uses by dropping a teaspoon full of baking soda into the bottle then fill it to the brim with hot water. Leave for 20 minutes then use a cleaning brush to get it squeaky clean. Rinse with water.
Regular cleaning of the base will not only keep it clean, but will also prevent dirt and mold from building up.
Cleaning the hose
Before cleaning your hose, it is important to first make sure it is washable since not all should be washed.
Non-leather hoses are not designed to be washed, but you can still wash them if you want to prevent smell build up. Simply rinse it with cold water as thoroughly as you can, but only clean them a few times since water will damage the material. Also note that cleaning non washable hoses will reduce their useful lifetime. Life span could be 3-4 months if used 2 times weekly at most.
Leather hoses could be washed, but are mostly filled with a steel coil that will start rusting after a while. Only use cold water to clean your leather hose, and hang it up to properly dry to get as much usable life out of it as possible. Excepted lifespan is 6-10 months if used once a week.
Washable hoses are made to be washed, and can stand more thorough cleaning. They are what you should go for if you want a clean start to all your smoking sessions. Lifespan can be 1- 2 years or more if properly taken care of.
- Use Disposable plastic hose. Cheap. Clean. Taste preserving. Great pull. Can be used for many hookah sessions at home.
- Do not wash a hose, if you feel it is its time to go, throw away, get a new one.
Hookah Pipe Accessories
- Tongs – Used to handle hot charcoal during smoking sessions. Crocodile style tongs have teeth and are the best for gripping hot coals.
- Screen – Used on the tobacco bowl instead of aluminum foil
- Shisha foil – Alternative to a charcoal screen. Allows for a more airtight seal and thus preferred by pro smokers.
- Cleaning brush – Must have for cleaning your hookah. Longer brushes are best because they can be used to clean a variety of hookahs. Be gentle.
- Mouth tips – Perfect for when sharing a hookah, like in parties or hookah lounges. Available in disposable or non-disposable type. Long or short. Male or female type.
- Hookah bag – Great for transporting your hookah around to parties or friend/family gatherings. Also keeps all your accessories neat in one place.
- Base protector – A durable piece of rubber put on the bottom of the glass base. Its main job is to protect the glass base from damage when put down too hard, and to keep the hookah from sliding around.
- Tray – Also known as the charcoal pan and usually made from stainless steel.
- Wind cover – Must have if you smoke outdoors. It prevents the wind from burning your coal too quickly. Can also be used indoors to keep the heat in and help your coal last longer.
- Adaptor – Useful for turning a single hose hookah into a double hose shisha pipe. Perfect if sharing a session with friends.
- HMD – An HMD (Heat Management Device) is an accessory used to manage the heat of your charcoal for your hookah sessions. The HMD is generally designed of aluminum materials to give off heat to your bowl. This is a replacement for your regular tinfoil & helps bake your tobacco evenly within your bowl. This also helps generate consistent smoke & flavour. Using an HMD also allows you to increase or decrease heat to your bowl by adjusting the airflow that interacts with your charcoal.