You’ve carefully packed your bowl, set up your hookah and sat down for a relaxing session, but your first draw greet you with a mouthful of dirt and ash. This is a bad thing.
Your friend might tell you that it’s ash from the coal getting into your hose and that it’s nothing to worry about, but they would be dead wrong. Let’s think about that claim for a second. That doesn’t make any sense. The ash from your charcoal, even if it gets past the bowl, can’t get past the water in your vase. The idea that these particles magically travel up and into your hose is just silly.
“So, what did I just get a nice big taste of?”
Rust is the most likely option and there is a pretty good chance that your hose is dead. It’s not the answer you want, but it’s probably the case. If you clean out your hose in the traditional manner (I’ll go over that next week) and the particles just keep coming, it’s time to ditch the hose because it’s probably a lost cause and a possible health risk.
On the other hand, it could just be the dried build up of smoke particles. If it didn’t taste like iron, it might not be rust. When a hose hasn’t been smoked for a while and it’s allowed to dry out, the buildup on the inside of the hose will break up and flake off. This is a good thing if you are cleaning out your hose in the traditional manner, but really unpleasant if it happens by surprise. If it’s a washable hose, it’s time to give it a thorough washing with warm water and let it dry out.