Every hookah user, passionate and responsible ones anyway, needs to learn how to clean a hookah, and properly too. Even those who are quite diligent and good at keeping their hookahs tidy and regularly maintained, must perform a thorough and deep cleaning session every once in a while, for otherwise, their hookah won’t be able to produce all those delicious flavors we all like and enjoy, and we don’t want that now do we?

Our Smokey News team likes to break down the “how to clean a hookah” process into 4 basic steps, so here we go:


  1. Clean the Stem

    First, run hot water through the hookah stem for about 10 seconds, then get your stem brush, run it through hot water as well, push the wet brush into the stem and start to move it back and forth. If possible, brush the stem about 8 inches of the pipe at a time and work your way to the full length of the pipe. In case your pipe is much longer than your stem brush, make sure you insert the brush at the other end of the pipe as well and clean it through. Once this is done, run some more hot water through the pipe. Repeat the whole process if necessary.

  2. Clean the Hose

    First, you need to remove the hose from the base by twisting it gently from side to side in order for it become loose and easily detachable. When you feel it is loose enough, pull the hose so it comes off and the two pieces separate. Now it is time for some blowing. Put your mouth on the spout (no rhyme intended) of the hose via which you would typically inhale the tobacco, and blow through it with as much force as you can. The blowing should discharge any lingering stale smoke that may alter the flavor of your next session.NOTE: It is recommended that you do this after every time you finish your hookah session.

    After your blowing efforts are done, it is time to rinse the hose with some regular tap water. It is recommended that you do this as regularly as possible, or whenever you notice the flavor of your smoke is being affected.

    IMPORTANT: Never use soap (or similar chemical products) for cleaning the hose. Always use tap water only for this step.

  3. Clean the Base (Vase)

    Hookah vaseThe base of your hookah should be cleaned thoroughly using a vase brush, hot water and/or soap. This step should also be done on a regular basis as you do not want to let the vase of your hookah sit around with water in it for longer periods of time, as this can result in moldy lines building up around the vase. Let the vase dry before your next use.

  4. Clean the Heads/Bowls

    Thorough rinsing of the clay and ceramic bowls is always a good idea as you don’t want those annoying black stains forming on these pieces as they can be extremely difficult to remove. Plus, there’s also a chance that you may scrub off the glaze after hard scoring sessions. So, try to be regular and thorough with the rinsing of the neck, head and bowl of your hookah, and make sure you use small pipe brushes as these can be rather handy.

Additional Tips:

  • You can use cleaning solutions, lemon juice, vinegar, or Formula 420 to clean the vase, stem, and head – but don’t use these for hose cleaning.
  • You can soak the vase, head and stem in a cleaning solution and leave it overnight.  
  • Plan your hookah cleaning in advance so you can let it dry during the night. This will prevent the build-up of flavor residue.

We hope we managed to thoroughly answer the titular question: how to clean a hookah? Should you have any more questions about hookahs, or you seek to buy some quality smoking, vaping, and hookah equipment, liquids, vape pens, cigars, or tobacco – feel free to contact our smoke shop in Fort Lauderdale!