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New Year, New Hookah [Setup]

New Year, New Hookah [Setup]

Every time a new year rolls around it seems like a lot of folks have a lot of new goals to fulfill. Hookah is of course a want not a need but it’s a hobby you can continuously build on. If you own a hookah, or want to own a hookah, make this the year you upgrade it or step out of the gates with the right hookah gear!

If you missed it, we already outlined the best of the best hookah products from last year [here]. However, here are some things to seriously consider moving into the new year if you plan on a hookah living in your house.

Clean Your Hookah & Get Hookah Cleaning Supplies

Various hookah base brushes and cleaning supplies

The best hookah is a clean hookah. It’s not uncommon for first-time hookah owners to go with the “simple wash” with warm water and soap method and get stuck there for a while, but when you really want to keep your hookah in top condition to extend its life, and have the best hookah experience, you’ll want to make sure you’re cleaning it the right way. 

Having a clean hookah means it will last you longer and you’ll get better results when it comes to things like flavor and supply use.

The least expensive hookah cleaning supplies like base brushes, shaft brushes, and Bling Cleaning Solution are simple things to nab and have on hand at all times as a hookah owner. AO has the best solutions here with their Standard Base Brush, their fancier Contour Base Brush, the Boobie Brush, Shaft Brush, and Bowl/HMD Hard Wire Brushes.

Upgrade/Replace Your Hookah Hose

Non-washable hookah hoses crossed out next to washable hookah hoses

While it’s becoming less common, some hookahs today still come with non-washable, traditional style hoses. One of the best upgrades you can make for a hookah is to get your hands on a washable hose.

Our favorites are those from HookahJohn and Shisha House, like the Flaca, Ripper, and Galaxy hoses. A washable hose will last you much longer than a non-washable one, and they prevent flavor “ghosting” when you’re smoking many different shisha flavor profiles.

By the way, even washable hoses need replacing after a while. Maybe it’s time you change yours? You can find out more about that topic in our blog here.

Upgrade/Replace Your Hookah Bowl(s)

Various Alpaca and HookahJohn branded hookah bowls

Today many of the hookahs on the market come with phunnel style bowls (the ones with one large raised hole) while some still come with traditional style bowls (the ones with all of the holes on the bottom).

What you don’t want to do with start the year with, or continue using, that one bowl that’s chipped up, cracked, or just plain met its last leg of the road.

Bowls made by Alpaca and HookahJohn give you plenty of options to choose from and are made from high-quality materials for a longer life. They can also be used with most heat management devices or foil, so they have a lot of versatility.

Silicone bowls like those from Starbuzz are also nice upgrades since they are shatterproof, don’t require a bowl grommet, and will work on nearly any hookah.

For more information on figuring out which bowl is right for you, check out our guide here.

Grab Some New/Extra Grommets

Various types of hookah grommets

Alright, this is something every hookah owner is guilty of and needs to remember. It’s like remembering to replace your socks. Having the right grommet, and extra ones on hand, makes owning a hookah so much easier and eliminates many problems.

Sure most hookahs will come with a set of grommets, but over time and use they tear or get really soft, and then you’re just creating unnecessary issues for yourself.

Do yourself a cheap favor and get you some new Bowl Grommets, Hose Grommets, and replace that Base Grommet if your hookah uses one.

Make The Switch to a Heat Management Device (or Try One)

Various styles of hookah heat management devices

If you haven’t smoked a hookah with a heat management device before perhaps this is the year to do so. Traditionally hookahs are generally smoked by covering the shisha/bowl with foil. Heat management devices (or HMDs) remove the foil aspect [in most cases based on preference].

HMDs retain heat, use less charcoal in the long run, and help create a smoother smoking experience.

Today with so many options available there’s an HMD for any price point. Kaloud holds the reins with their Lotus+, Lotus II, and Lotus III options. However the AO 912 Stainless Steel and AO Badcha chimney style HMDs are solid choices that are gaining popularity very quickly.

Switch Up Your Hookah Setup for Ease

There are also many “smalls” that make preparing and maintaining your sessions much more enjoyable.

Hookah Foil

AO Panzer Hookah Foil Roll and Amira Pre-Punched Hookah Foil

You can totally use your regular kitchen foil roll for your hookah bowls, but having dedicated foil for your sessions is a simple, inexpensive solution that makes prep work a lot easier.

Amira Pre-Punched Foil sheets are fantastic. Pull one out, holes are already punched, slap it on a loaded bowl, and you’re ready to go. Another great option is AO Panzer Hookah Foil Rolls. It’s like a pre-cut-to-the-right-width bulk roll of foil for smoking shisha. All you gotta do is punch the holes.

Shisha Forks & Foil Pokers

Shisha foil poker and shisha fork

When you’re loading up a bowl of shisha you have the option of using your fingers, some random oversized utensil, or using a Shisha Fork. Not only will a shisha fork keep your bowl prep and your hands cleaner, it also works great for precision shisha packing.

Once you’ve gotten your bowl loaded and [foil users only] foil stretched taught, use a Hookah Foil Poker instead of that toothpick, random unfolded paper clip, or thumbtack that keeps going missing.


Various styles of hookah tongs

Hookah Tongs are vital to a hookah setup. You have to move your coals from your burner to your bowl, you want something to move them around on your bowl for heat management, and the ones that come with your hookah may be small beginner tongs that have a short life.

AO has Standard Tongs and Winged Tongs, or you could go with a standard pair of Fan Tongs.

If those tongs you currently have seem to have had better days, get a new pair!

We have a list of the Basic Hookah Necessities you should always have on hand as a hookah owner, and for more Hookah Tips & Tricks we have you covered.

As always, we’re here to help so reach out if you have any questions on what hookah accessories you’ve been eyeing or need to make sure you have the best possible hookah experience!

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