Hookah has always been a multi step process. There is a certain amount of finesse, mystique, and personal method involved with every session. This is part of what makes smoking shisha so enjoyable; everybody has their own version of a masterpiece. Nargile and art go together, often seamlessly. Unfortunately, smoking tobacco can get really dirty, and cleaning all these works of art can be time consuming and annoying, but always well worth it.

The hose of the cachimba pipe is an essential piece of hardware for any hookah smoker. There are countless variants, styles, and price points out there. Since the days of market domination by Nammor and Narbish, there have been a large number of new players entering the field. Some notable hoses are the Dream Hose, which comes with glass or aluminum tips, or the Lavoo hose, which is nice, although overpriced.

What do all of these hoses have in common? They get nasty, they ghost flavors, and they build up dirty carbon and tar. There are many cleaning solutions out there, but you have to be cautious to use the right cleaning solution for the job. This is a device you are going to be inhaling from, and that means you should be careful about using harsh chemicals.

In all my years of smoking shisha, I have found three components to help with cleaning hookah hoses- lime or lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda. These are the building blocks to have a clean hookah experience, and one that won’t leave harsh chemicals in the hose. Firstly, you need to know how badly your hose is ghosted. If this is a weekly or semi weekly rinsing, then lime or lemon juice is the right path. If your hose is filthy, vinegar is a better option.

Run hot water through your hose for 3-5 minutes. After doing this, you need to get as much water out of the hose as you can. Now proceed to phunnel some baking soda into the hose. Pour some into both hose openings, but not a ton, just enough to fill up maybe a fifth or so of the hose. Then proceed to pour your citrus juice into the hose. Make sure to do this over the sink, because the fizzing will be intense to say the least. If you really want to get full effect, plug both ends with your fingers, allow some pressure to build up, and then let one off in the sink, and it will help force the solution through the hose. With the remaining solution in the hose, take your hose by two hands and pull up vertically on one end and lower the other, and repeat and reverse. The gravity will slosh the cleaner up and down the hose, and help clean it. After doing this for about five minutes, rinse again for 3-5 minutes with hot water. Allow the hose to dry overnight. If your hose is super dirty, use the same method, but substitute vinegar for lime or lemon juice.