Piecing together your hookah and getting it to smoke can seem like an intimidating task. All those hookah pipes, tubes and hot coals… it’s probably why the hookah waiter at your local hookah bar commands such respect. But it’s really easy once you know how to hookah. To help you navigate your hookah, below is a brief hookah how to guide for the set-up and care. There are many different techniques of how you should smoke the hookah, different hookah smoking tricks and favorite flavors of shisha.
How Does The Hookah Work?
The hookah vase is filled with water and the bowl (hookah burner) is filled with special hookah tobacco, which is typically fruit-flavored. The bowl is then covered with a metal sheet, on which hot coals are placed. The hot coals cause the tobacco in the bowl to heat up and produce smoke. Sucking on the hose draws the tobacco smoke through the hookah stem and into the water. The smoke then rises up from the water and passes through a port which leads to the hose, giving the user a cool, flavorsome smoke unlike any other.
The use, care, and cleaning of your hookah
Set-up & Use
- Add water to the vase section so that the bottom of the stem will be approximately 1/2 to 1 inch below the water level.
- Insert the bottom of the hookah stem into the top of the hookah base and fit the metal plate over the top of the stem.
- Insert grommets into the top of stem and the stem’s hose port.
- Attach the hose to the hose port, and check air flow by blocking the top of the stem with your hand and sucking in with the hose. There should be little or no intake of air.
- Fill the tobacco burner to its rim (but no higher) with your favorite tobacco or fruit shisha. Sprinkle the shisha loosely so that air can pass through.
- If you use a metal screen, place it on top of the bowl. As an alternative, you may tightly wrap the top of the bowl with foil, and puncture a series of holes in it to allow air to pass through.
- Prepare your coals. If you use the instant lighting variety, you can light them with a lighter or match. Other types of coal require a stove or a torch. After the coals become red hot, carefully use tongs to break the coals into smaller pieces, and distribute them evenly on top of the metal screen or foil covering the head.
- Inhale on the hose. You may need to wait a minute or two for the hookah to begin operating properly.
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- Stem and vase cleaner brushes
- Clean only after the hookah is completely cooled down.
- Clean the hose by rinsing with water.
- Take apart the various hookah components, including the stem, grommets, head, and plate.
- Dump the used tobacco from the head and the ashes from the plate.
- Remove the stem from the base and dump out the water.
- Wash the bowl, grommets, relief valve, and plate with warm water.
- Run warm water down one end of the stem to remove any loose particles.
- Plugging one end of the stem with a finger, pour a few tablespoons of lemon juice into the stem and scrub the inside of the stem using a stem brush. You may also add a teaspoon of baking soda to the lemon juice mixture and continue scrubbing with the stem brush. Repeat the process from the other end of the stem, and run warm water to thoroughly remove all the residue inside.
- Clean the base by rinsing it with hot water, then add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of baking soda. Swirl the mixture around, scrub with a vase brush, and then rinse with warm water.
- Allow all the components to thoroughly dry before using the hookah again.