In order to reach the level of a Hookah Enthusiasts, one must understand all of the components of a hookah and the shisha that is readily available. There are some of us that get into this smoking hobby/lifestyle, with the mindset of what type of flavors they want to smoke and flavors to avoid. On the other hand we have a large amount of people that are actively trying to taste everything that is new, or something outside of their comfort zone. As long as you have a clean hookah and a clean bowl, these taste testing/explorations are simple. We all know how to clean a hookah properly right? If not check out the how to clean a hookah blog.
When you start a fresh session after cleaning out your hookah, the key to unlocking the full flavor of your bowl is to utilize clean water and most importantly a clean hose. No matter how spotless your hookah may be, as long as the smoke has to travel through a ghosted/dirty hose, do not expect a great taste. As you look over at your cabinet, you may begin to wonder how am I supposed to have a clean hose for every flavors. It's simple there are two main factors about this thought, are your hoses washable or non-washable, and what flavor are you smoking.
A washable does not need to be clean after every session, unless you really feel like adding that process to your setup method. When you are smoking shisha blends with similar flavor profiles, i.e. lemon mint to a citrus blend, or cane mint to spearmint, these sessions should not be affected by a previous session.
Now if we look at going from Nahkla double apple to haze double bubble, you may not be able to taste the full amount of the sweet bubble gum flavor but you may pick up on some of the spice. Lucky for you if this happens you won't need to end your session, just unplug your hose and give it a quick rinse.
How to wash a washable hose
When it comes to cleaning out a washable hookah hose, some people attack this different ways but let's talk about the easiest way possible to get this done. There are several models of washable hoses and they are all made from different materials like: silicone, sealed faux leather, vinyl, and plastic. Even though these hose are washable, that doesn't mean you won't be affected by a ghosted hose, it's just easier to restore the fresh taste.
These hoses are made by several companies so each one has there own unique styling of the hose handle and tubing, so instead of trying to fit the large portion of the hose under your faucet, start from the bottom. Taking the base of the hose and placing it under a faucet will allow you to fill up the hose quickly, just remember to place a thumb on the handle to prevent water from coming out the other end.
With both hands gripping each end of the hose and a thumb blocking the holes, give it a quick shake by raising one end higher than the other and alternating back and forth. If the water is not moving inside of the hose, empty out some because we want the water to flush out any glycerin and locked flavoring.
Let's say you smoked 3 bowls of Starbuzz Black Mint back to back, and you can't seem to get the cooling double apple smell out from your hose. This is when you want to bring out the extra fighting power of Lemon juice, this can be used diluted with water or full strength for the hard flavors. The process is the same as using water, just fill your hose up with both ends capped and give it a shake. The lemon juices acidic properties will knock out soft and hard flavors, leaving you with a fresh taste for your next inhale.
Once this process is finished and you have empty the hose of all the water or lemon juice, give the hose a gentle spin to get rid of any excess water trapped inside. If you don't plan on using the hose immediately, just place it over a door or on a hook and let it hang dry.
In most cases when you purchase a hookah they will arrive with a hookah hose that really isn't all that washable. If you are unsure if your hose is washable or not, a simple test would be to apply a magnet to the side of the hose and if it sticks DO NOT WASH IT
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There are some hookah smokers that prefer non-washable hoses, because of the fact that they hold on to some flavor profiles. This raises the question, how are we supposed to try all of these flavors on the market, with a hose that doesn't wash? You choose your flavors wisely and you make sure to keep your hose fresh, but there is a maintenance side of it to ensure longevity with your hose.
How to maintain a non-washable hose
After you have thoroughly enjoyed a great session with the use of a non-washable hose, make sure you blow any excess smoke out of the hose
. There is a great amount of moisture within the smoke that travels through our hoses, and when you leave smoke trapped inside the hose after a session, it begins to lock itself onto the lining of the hose.
Common hoses like a KM rainbow
or a Mya metal/wood tip
, contain metal rings inside that give each hose their shape. What happens when you leave moisture on a metal surface? Rust. If you have a metallic taste to your hose this may be the culprit, and you will feel sense of regret that you didn't keep that hose in tip top shape.
You may hear from a friend that they have no problems with washing a non-washable hose, but it's the inside that matters in this situation, something that you and I cannot see. You can still find a use for these hoses to prolong that life, and it may be similar to something you would do with a washable hose. Hose flavor dedication.
Single Flavor Hose Dedication
To extend the life of a non-washable hose, try sticking with similar flavors groups, instead of using the same hose for each bowl. With so many flavors on the market, you are bound to run into a flavor that will never leave your hose like double apple. After 2 or 3 session of double apple, coffee, or chocolate flavors, your hose will have a distinct taste that you can try and mask with other stronger flavors. This may not be the greatest of smoke sessions, but if you only have one hose then this is the path, a very ghosted path.
If you are a fan of the styling of some non-washable hoses, or you have more than one, try and mentally label one for a particular flavor profile. If you have several hoses and it's too much to keep up with, get a piece of tape and color code or write what types of flavors the hose should be used to smoke.
An example of some dedicated flavor hoses would be: Floral; Mint; Double Apple; Fruits. The same process can be done for washable hoses as well, which will require less rinsing in between sessions.
What's your preference?
Everyone has their own preference on what type of hoses they like to use with their setup, and that's understandable with so many options on the market. The movement for silicone hoses is increasingly getting stronger, with the needs of a constant clean hose for a fuller taste and ease of cleaning. You can still receive a great amount of longevity with washable leather hoses, it just requires a little more attention, but as long as you use our tips you should be good to go.
Basically what we're saying is, do not wash non-washable hoses, and blow out your hoses when you are done.
Let's us know in the comments below, what's your favorite type of hose to use.