There are three piece n a hookah that are the hardest to clean. The vase, the hose port and the purge. With a little finesse you can clean them pretty easily and tonight I am going to tell you how I get my vases looking s good as the day I bought them.

We’ve all had a vase that forms a ring of residue around the waterline. It’s a combination of molasses that has dripped down the stem, smoke particles, nicotine and other gross stuff from the smoke. Hookah smoking isn’t healthy. Stop kidding yourself. So what do we do to remove this?

Of course, you can use a vase brush but they usually don’t reach the shoulders of the vases and you can’t quite get the angle right to clean every nook and cranny. There are some vases that are almost impossible to fully clean with just a vase because of their design. Vases with sloping sides are the easiest but anything with a square shape or other angles are a pain.

You could get a whole set of high-grade bottle brushes and try to clean those hard to reach places but that’s going to cost a pretty penny and might not even do the job well. I have another suggestion.

Uncooked Rice

I’m serious. It’s an old trick for cleaning hard to reach areas in glass that I learned about through my use of glass carboys in brewing. Those can build up some sticky fun that you need to get out and most things short of a pressure washer aren’t going to do it. The process is simple. Put a little uncooked rice in the bottom of your vase, maybe a handful, and cover it with just enough water so it sloshes around. Then cover the mouth of the vase and commence the sloshing. make sure the rice passes over the dirty areas and you’ll be surprised how clean it gets.

The principle is pretty simple. The rice is harder than the gunk but softer than the glass so it doesn’t scratch the vase. It is abrasive enough to remove the left over residue though. After the cleaning is done just rinse out the vase and discard the rice. Simple as that.

Make sure to use this trick before company comes over so they don’t see your rig and turn up their noses. A clean hookah makes for a clean smoke so make sure to give the whole rig a good once over regularly. has a good selection of hookah cleaning kits too. Check them out.

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11 years ago

What i found best is to use some palmolive (regular dish soap) along with decently hot water and uncooked rice, and swish that all at once over and over and the smell, residue, and scratches will be “polished” off with the use of the rice, leaving your vase like brand new. i especially use these with my Lavoos since you can’t even use those brushes in there.

Joe Vandergraff
9 years ago

I’ve started using the same method as cleaning other glass smoking pieces; Hot water (so hot you can’t hold your hand in it), 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, and Epsom Salt. Mix together and shake well. The water makes resin at the waterline soft, the salt grains don’t dissolve completely and act as scrubbers, and the alcohol neutralizes all the residual flavors and sterilizes the inside, killing any bacteria. Works for any glass vase/pipe, whether it’s a KM Vase, a Lavoo/Roi/Zarah Glass Hookah, or a Phire/Stax/Hoss bong.

6 years ago

You can also use crushed ice, salt and lemon juice in the same way. Next time, I am going to substitute rice for the crushed ice and see if it works as well.

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