As we grow up, us humans can be very clumsy. We have all experienced it. When you are young, you do not realize how easily some things can break, and that could get you in trouble. As we grow older, we learn complex motor skills, and through experience, we learn what is delicate and what is not.
Since I’ve been smoking hookah, I have never broken a hookah base. In ten years, I have been very fortunate to not break any glass related to hookah, and even though I blame my caution for it, I also have to blame knowledge.
Glass is more fragile than most people think. Sure you can’t drop it often without it breaking, but most people don’t think about fluctuating temperatures and the effect it has on glass.
Many people use hot water to clean their hookah stuff. Hot water is a great cleaning solution. It helps agitate the surface and speeds up the cleaning process. Hot water is also more sanitary than cold water for cleaning. The problem with using hot water is people love cold water in their hookah base. When a hot glass surface meets cold water, the glass tends to explode on the molecular level, leaving the base to shatter.
One way to avoid this is using lab quality glass, otherwise known as Pyrex or borosilicate glass. This glass is designed to have low thermal expansion, which keeps it from shattering from this process. Most people don’t have access to borosilicate glass, especially for a hookah vase. This leaves us with another method to preventing an exploding hookah base, which is knowledge.
I wrote this short blog to give people the awareness of this happening. Some people think it is because the glass is low quality or otherwise flawed. This happens with most glass products under similar conditions. For example, never put ice water in a glass that just came out of the auto drying process in the dishwasher. This is a good way to have a glass explode in your hand and cut you in the process.
Keep safe while smoking hookah! Don’t break your hookah base, only to make the same mistake again the future! If you are going to use ice and ice water in your hookah base, make sure it is room temperature before you chill things down!