Hookah Blog

10 Hookah Tips & Tricks You Need To Add To Your Hookah Routine

10 Hookah Tips & Tricks You Need To Add To Your Hookah Routine

14th Dec 2021

ol li {margin-bottom: 20px;} Although Hookah may be centuries old, its innovation and preparation methods across the world market seem to be just beginning. With this revolving blend of cultures and practices alike that make hookah and join in the tradition, there is always something new to be learned and put into effect which leads us to 10 of our best tricks and tips! These tips are tried and true, becoming standard operating procedures across the Fumari office and our fanbase too!

1: Wash Your Hookah Between Uses

You can pack a bowl and manage your heat with great attention to detail and care, but if you let your excess juice, tobacco bits, and stagnant water marinate in your vase for days on end, you may as well trash the thing. Hookahs should be cleaned between uses for the best possible flavor and session you can have. Pro-tip: you can even dry your vases in your dishwasher on the plate warmer setting to remove water spots/rings entirely!

2: Keep Your Base Cocktails Safe

Adding fruit, spices, herbs, or even different juices can be a fun and exciting step in your hookah preparation and we encourage it! But some things to avoid are milk, highly acidic fruit (such as lemons, limes, plums, and grapefruit), and alcohol. Milk begins growing bacteria after it reaches 45 degrees (Fahrenheit), highly acidic juices may compromise the quality and finish of your downstem, and alcohol in confined spaces is dangerous to inhale especially for long durations.

3: Purge Before You Start Your Session

Think of how great that first puff always is, by purging before you take that hit, it can be even better. Hookahs, when set up correctly, should always be airtight but in doing so you are also trapping in negative air pressure when piecing everything together. By purging before you begin your session you are allowing your hookah to expel this stale air while simultaneously checking the water level and the purge itself before any surprises come up. Purging before smoking also allows you to stoke your charcoal from the bottom up and check the general airflow of your pack. Consider this your hookah’s warning shot for what’s about to come.

4: Ice Goes Outside of Your Hookah

One of the biggest myths out there for hookah is that ice smooths your smoke, we’re here to say that’s not quite the case. Now ice does have its place at the end of the day and it’s not inside your hookah, it's outside. Next time you need your hookah water cooled down when smoking outdoors during the summer months, try creating an ice bucket with your hookah in the center and some regular table salt. With the ice outside of your hookah, your constant pulls will not melt it as quickly and the salt will even keep the ice colder longer thus prolonging your fun in the sun.

5: Hold On to All Hookah Parts

Hookah isn’t an exact science and oftentimes you are at the mercy of the tools you own to get your pipe in smoking condition. We once even forgot a purge valve and made one using a pen cap and a hookah mouth tip in a pinch. The point here is that you may very well own and get rid of several different hookahs, and as often as you can you should be holding on to random grommets, purge balls, hose port connectors, and even threaded pieces such as bowl ports from those pipes as many stores simply don’t stock these items due to demand. By always having replacements in your back pocket you will be a Hookah McGiver in no time!

6: Pack Below the Rim

Consider your hookah tobacco like Icarus, to stay right there flying amongst clouds you need to keep away from the sun (or your bowl’s searingly hot rim in this case). By packing below the rim, you’re allowing the heat transfer from charcoal to clay to happen naturally and ensuring a more powerful flavor. This also gives your tobacco some breathing room to expand and contract as it bakes meaning clean up will be easier and the likelihood of you using up all of the tobacco you packed is stronger too. A great rule of thumb is to use 2mm below the rim as a starting point for both Heat Management Devices (HMDs) and foil alike.

7: Use a Stainless Steel Sponge in Your Fruit Bowls

Stainless Steel Sponges (Steel Mesh to some) aren’t just for cleaning the grime off your used hookah bowls, they’re pivotal for all of your fruit bowl sessions! While toothpicks are a great resource for decorating and adding more ornate features to your fruit bowl, Stainless Steel Sponges not only cut down your preparation time but make the whole process easier. Instead of meticulously lining up toothpick after toothpick and ensuring the gap between the tobacco and your stem is sealed, you can simply cut a piece off the sponge and plug the hole you created in one quick motion.

8: Treat Your Hookah Flavors As Ingredients

Mixing and creating intricate blends can be daunting. Where do you start? Well, first off you should put some distance between you and the flavor you want to mix. Blueberry Muffin should no longer be what you know and love but broken down into two tastes; a baked good and sweet blueberry. You can add some Lemon Loaf right away - lemon is great with blueberries and now you have double the baked goods! But you’re missing something… maybe some coffee or tea on the side? Add in a splash of Citrus Tea or Mochaccino to complete the “Thanks-A-Brunch” mix!

9: Fully Light Your Charcoal

You can’t rush greatness. If you go through all the work of creating a mix, packing a bowl correctly, and setting up a hookah entirely, you have to play the charcoal waiting game just like the rest of us! Lighting charcoal is always the worst part of hookah preparation, let’s be real but, it’s an important step nonetheless. Using underlit charcoal for your session ensures you will have heat management issues and will undoubtedly taste the charcoal instead of your flavor later on in your session plus you will be more prone to blacking the charcoal out entirely.

10: Bury Your Coals In Ash to Insulate Them

Need another coal? What if we told you that you could already have one? To enter the never-ending coal matrix, save your charcoal ash from each session in a heat-safe container. Light one or two extra coals for your session than you normally would and place them in this container fully submerged and covered in the ash. The ash becomes a natural insulator and keeps the charcoal lit with minimum shrinking for up to an hour; no ashing or flipping required. Now when you need to add another coal or two, Voila! You are ready to go in seconds! Just be sure to blow off any of the excess ash and get that charcoal red hot again.

BONUS TIP: Don’t Overthink It - Hookah is an escape and meant for relaxation. The absolute last thing you should be stressing about is getting a hookah setup and smoking well. While there are a lot of nuances and tricks to becoming a hookah master, Hookah is simply getting heat to flow through tobacco and receive smoke as a result. As long as you are accomplishing that and more importantly enjoying yourself, you did it right. We can always be better but hookah was never about being the best when it was created all those centuries ago, so smoke on.

Thanks for stopping by the blog! Hopefully, you are scrolling away from this with a few new tips and practices you didn’t know of already to get those sweet, sweet clouds! If you are still striving for even more hookah knowledge, check out our 10 Hookah Mistakes blog to ensure your hookah is all that it can be! As always, if you have any tips or tricks of your own you’d like us to include in the next blog shoot us a message @Fumari on Instagram.

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