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How to Clean a Hookah - Complete Step-by-Step Guide

How to Clean a Hookah - Complete Step-by-Step Guide

By Amir / April 29, 2024

New Year, Clean Hookah

The New Year is just around the corner, a great time to start fresh and kick off 2020 right with a clean slate and a clean hookah. When’s the last time you gave your hookah a deep clean? Are shisha flavors starting to blend together? Does your hose smell of double apple no matter what you are smoking? It’s time to give your hookah some love. We’re going to walk you through every step of how to clean a hookah so you’re back in business for the New Year with a great, delicious tasting hookah set up. How to Clean a Hookah Blog - gold hookah base and down stem with smoke

Benefits of Cleaning Your Hookah

Improved Hookah Sessions

Everyone looks for ways to improve their hookah sessions. Cleaning your hookah pipe may be the most essential way to accomplish consistent quality hookah smoke sessions. A spotless hookah means pure flavor from your flavored tobacco. No unwanted outside aromas or ghosted tastes from past sessions. No one wants to be puffing on mold from old water or rust particles in the purge valve. The trick: make sure you’re thoroughly cleaning your hookah to rid it of undesirable effects.

Steps to Clean Hookah

Step 1: Hookah Cleaning Supplies

Before you start, gather the needed hookah cleaning supplies. Hookah cleaning brushes are a must. Usually a pack of brushes includes different sizes for different parts. Formula 420 Hookah Cleaning Solution makes cleaning your hookah vase a breeze. A simple shake and rinse with warm water clears the vase right up. Lemon juice can be beneficial to break loose any tough buildup in your stem and hose as well.

Step 2: Disassemble the Hookah

A big step in cleaning your hookah is to take it completely apart. Disassembling your hookah can help you learn how it works. Study how each piece goes together and how the different parts work. This can help you troubleshoot issues with your sessions in the future! Break it all the way down to the hose and bowl rubber grommets. Remove the charcoal tray, adapters and hookah diffuser if you use one. Separate all parts of the hookah stem including the base and down stem if possible. This makes it easier to clean the connections and inside all of the tiny parts where crud builds up and will increase your shisha knowledge and improve future hookah sessions.

Step 3: Clean the Hookah Stem, Base and Down Stem

This is where those hookah cleaning brushes come in handy when learning how to clean a hookah stem. It’s difficult to reach the inside of the long hookah stem and the small down stem. The brushes do the work for you and break loose any leftover tobacco juice or glycerin left inside. Use warm water to rinse and voila! hookah hoses multi color

Step 4: Hookah Hose

Depending on your hookah hose, how to properly clean a hookah hose may differ. The traditional hoses use cardboard and metal coils inside that do not react kindly to water. Make sure to clear all smoke and hang the hose to let it air out after sessions. Washable hoses and silicone hookah hoses can be cleaned. Plug one end and pour warm water and lemon juice inside. Plug the other end and give it a few shakes to circulate the mixture. Rinse with warm water and hang to dry. hand holding hookah bowl with pipe cleaner inside

Step 5: Hookah Bowl

Wash your hookah bowl after every session. Any leftover shisha will burn each time you smoke and effect your flavored tobacco. Give it a good rinse at the very least. How to clean a hookah bowl is pretty simple. Scrub with a soft brush as not to ruin the glaze or finish of your bowl and make it last longer and make sure the main shaft is clear of debris. You can even use a cube of hookah charcoal to scrape at some burnt on shisha tobacco but make sure to brush and rinse after.

Step 6: Hookah Tray

Wash your hookah tray just like you would your dishes. Remove all hookah charcoal residue and make sure to completely dry. Wet coals don’t work very well. hands cleaning a silver hookah tray with rag at the sink

Step 7: Rubber Grommets and Adapters

Rubber grommets help to seal your hookah and allow smoke to flow. Keeping these clean is essential to the quality of your session. Use warm water and maybe a mild soap to wash. A brush could help as well. Soak if needed to clean buildup. Make sure to rinse completely and let dry before reassembling. Use a thick brush to clear the hose adapters as well.

Step 8: Purge Valve

Maybe the worst place for buildup and the toughest part to clean. If your purge valve bb is sticking it could screw up your whole session by not allowing you to clear harsh smoke. Disassemble completely and use a brush to clean the adapter. Scrub the bb to remove any oxidation or rust and reassemble!

Step 9: Reassemble Your Hookah

You’re done! Put your hookah back together after everything has had time to dry and get your next hookah session going! We recommend you give your hookah a light rinse and cleaning after every session and a good deep clean with lemon juice and Formula 420 Cleaning Solution at least once a month. Love your hookah and your hookah will love you back. Visit for all of your hookah cleaning supplies so you can freshen up your hookah for the New Year!

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