Having hookah trouble? If things aren’t going your way, you don’t necessarily have to buy new equipment. Instead, give these ten ridiculously easy hookah hacks a try. They’re so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them in the first place, and they’ll cost you almost nothing.
I’m just going to say it: rubber grommets are a real pain in the butt. They always end up getting lost, they break too easy, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll fit on either a new hookah stem or a hookah bowl. Which is why this particular hack is so useful: instead of going out and buying a bunch of new grommets (which you’ll probably lose anyway), try making your own with paper towels. You can custom fit it to any bowl and stem you’d like, and when it’s time for cleanup, you just throw it away and make a new one for next time!
File this one under the “duh” category. Didn’t think of it? Don’t feel bad…neither did I. But it makes so much sense! If you have a loose piece on your hookah that’s making smoke escape, just cover it snuggly with electric tape. It’s not permanent—the tape will loosen eventually and you’ll have to reapply it. But it’s good for a few sessions. I’ve also found this to work on hoses when holes become apparent.
Carpet burns are the worst. The worst! I hate them so much, I included them as the single best reason to switch to e-hookahs. But if you’d rather just stick to the real thing for now, consider placing your hookah on a large pet tray…you know, the kind you find at the bottom of guinea pig cages. That way when a coal falls, there’s less of a chance that it’ll be on your precious carpet. You can also try large baking trays, but I’ve found them to not be quite big enough.
Speaking of carpet burns…have you ever accidentally dropped a coal when transporting it from the burner to your bowl? It’s super lame…but easily avoidable! Sure, you could spring for a fancy coal carrier—like the ones you find at hookah lounges—of you could just as easily use a frying pan. The one-egg-wonder works great for this.
The very best hookah tongs I ever owned came with a handy-dandy hole poker attached to them. Unfortunately, they were also the ones I always lost. A quick fix? Just use a thumbtack…those somehow always turn up. Thumbtacks are also a great way punch smaller holes, which really help when it comes to overall heat control.
Cleaning your hookah is required maintenance, but using dish soap and a bottle brush can be a real hassle if you smoke frequently. While you should still thoroughly clean your hookah parts frequently, try using a little white vinegar and water in between major cleaning sessions. A teaspoon of vinegar will do the trick—just fill the rest of your base with water, shake it up, and rinse it out. If you don’t have vinegar lying around, you could also try this with lemon juice.
Dry shisha bringing you down? There’s a hack for that…add a little bit of honey to it, and mix it up! It sounds a little weird, but makes sense when you consider that molasses is a shisha ingredient. Keep in mind you don’t want to add a lot…a little honey goes a long way.
Have you ever accidentally burned coils for longer than you should have? I know I have, and this particular trick is especially useful for that. Simply add another layer of foil on top of your existing foil, and…presto! Quick and easy heat maintenance. Just remember: the bigger the gap in your foil, the longer it will take to heat up a bowl of shisha, so try your best to keep the foil as tightly packed as possible.
Here’s another quick and easy cleaning trick. After every smoking session, run lukewarm water through your hose to prevent smoke residue from building up inside of it. It’ll make your hoses last a lot longer, and it’ll keep the flavor from dipping into nasty-town. Keep in mind that this only works with washable hoses.
Chilled smoking is a fantastic way to get more out of your hookah sessions, but sometimes adding ice to your bowl can be problematic—sudden changes in temperature are a big reason why hookah bowls crack. You also simply may not have ice handy. In cases like this, try placing your hose into a freezer for 30 minutes or so. This will chill the smoke before it gets to you…especially useful for those hot summer days! Note that this is only recommended for higher-quality hoses that won’t break if you cool them. I also suggest taking off any cloth handles.