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How to Set up a Hookah: A Step-By-Step Guide

You like smoking hookah. You like it so much, in fact, that you’re looking to piece together your own rig. The only problem is, you don’t know how!

That’s why you’re here. You’re looking for help on how to set up a hookah. Fortunately, we have all the information you need in this step-by-step guide.

Setting Up the Hookah

Setting up a hookah is a little more difficult than most would think. As such, it’s important to follow these directions carefully and not to skip any steps.

1. Clean the Hookah

Before you can begin the setup, you must clean the hookah. This can be done with the use of water and a long, soft brush.

Every component needs to be scrubbed . . . with the exception of the hoses. The hoses are not made to be saturated in water. As such, they shouldn’t be cleaned at all.

2. Fill the Vase

Once the hookah components have been cleaned, you can start the setup. This begins with the filling of the vase. The vase is the base of the hookah; aptly named, it looks similar to a flower vase.

When filling the vase, make sure to use cold water. The colder the water, the more soothing your experience will be. If necessary, you can add ice.

As far as the water level goes, it should exceed the metal hookah stem within the vase by around an inch. Filling it less than this will create functionality issues. Filling it more could cause damage to your hoses.

3. Insert the Shisha Shaft

Now that the vase is filled, you can insert the shisha shaft.

Once the shaft has been inserted, it should be fastened with its accompanying rubber tie. This tie ensures that there are no gaps between the shisha and the vase, allowing for the strongest drags possible.

4. Attach the Hoses

Next, you’re going to attach the hoses to the shisha shaft. The shaft should have two or more spouts upon which you can attach the hoses. It’s typically as simple as sliding the hoses onto these spouts.

Make sure that all of the hoses are attached. If you leave a spout open, the hookah will have trouble facilitating a decent drag.

And, as was noted above, make sure that the water in the vase is not too close to the hoses. Leave at least 2 inches of clearance to ensure that the hoses don’t get wet.

5. Place the Tray

Once the hoses have been attached, you’re going to want to place the tray on top of the shisha shaft. This tray’s purpose is to catch any tobacco or hot embers that might fall during a drag. It should fit snugly onto the shaft without much trouble.

6. Pack the Bowl

Once you’ve placed the tray, your hookah rig has been set up. However, you still have to prepare it for smoking. This will begin with the packing of the bowl.

The bowl sits on top of the tray. In order for the hookah to be smoked, this bowl must be packed with a substance called shisha. This substance consists of tobacco, sugar, molasses, and fruits.

Make sure not to pack the bowl too tightly. There needs to be some space through which air can move. Fill the bowl to just under the brim, leaving a millimeter or two of clearance.

Then, once the bowl has been filled, cover it with a piece of foil. Make sure the foil is pulled tightly over the top of the bowl and crimped at the edges so that it remains secure.

7. Perforate the Foil

Air needs to be able to reach the shisha in the bowl. As such, the foil that sits on top of the bowl must be perforated.

Use a toothpick or similar object to rip small holes in the foil, creating between 10 and 15 holes in total. To maximize airflow in the packed shisha, you could poke holes into it as well.

8. Heat the Hookah

In order for a hookah to operate, it must be adequately heated. There are two options for heating a hookah:

1. Use quick charcoal, or

2. Use natural charcoal

If you’re using quick charcoal, you should hold it in tongs and heat it with a lighter until it’s covered in ash and is glowing orange. This should take somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds. Once this time has passed, add the charcoal to the top of the foil on the bowl.

If you’re using natural hookah charcoal, you should place it in a pot and heat it on the stove for 10 to 12 minutes. When doing so, make sure that there’s no risk of ash falling off and coming into contact with an oil line. Then, once it’s covered in ash and glowing orange, add the charcoal to the top of the foil.

9. Smoke Away

At last, the rig has been set up. Now you can smoke to your heart’s content.

When doing so, take only small, light drags. Should you take big drags, you could burn the shisha, causing it to burn your throat.

Be relaxed in the way that you smoke the hookah. Take time between each drag and enjoy yourself. Your hookah should contain enough shisha to last for 30 to 45 minutes.

And That’s How to Set Up a Hookah!

And there you go, that’s how to set up a hookah. Now you can save money by skipping the lounge and smoking with your friends at home.

Looking for other such information? You can find it right here on our website. Check out some of our other articles now!

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