I love my non-washable hoses and I try to keep them in good condition, but there is no way to completely prevent rusting if the hose uses an internal metal coil. If it’s just a cheap hose I usually just replace it with something higher quality and washable. But, I recently noticed some rust in one of my favorite hoses and that seemed like a good excuse to rebuild it into something washable.
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Cut the Rusted Hose
The first step is both the most fun and the most painful. It’s time to cut the rusted hose away from the end pieces. You’ll want to have a sharp knife and a pair of pliers. I always carry a Leatherman multi-tool on my person so that covers all the bases. Cut the outer layer off the hose carefully and then use the pliers to get a grip on the metal coil. You’ll want to pull slowly and deliberately to dislodge the coil from the end pieces.
Scrape Out the End Pieces
There will still be a good deal of material glued into the end pieces left over from the outer layer that needs to be scraped out. Depending on the type of glue used to assemble the hose you might have good results with a bit of Goo-Gone dripped on the reaming material and allowed to soak in. This might help to loosen things up and clear out the junk.
Clean the Hose
Now that you have the end pieces fairly clear of debris you can start the next stage of cleaning. I like to clean out the inside with a stiff, thin bottle brush and then the sandpaper comes out to play. I carefully sand off the center post to remove any remaining rust and residue, which preps the surface for gluing as well. Clean all of the pieces with some warm water and soap to make sure that any metal dust is washed away.
Get Some Vinyl Tubing
From here it is simply a matter of cutting some food grade vinyl tubing to the appropriate length and attaching it to the end pieces with a food safe glue. You can buy food grade vinyl tubing at most home improvement stores for very cheap and there are a ton of places to find it online. If you want this to be as solid as a rock you can use FDA approved epoxy to glue it all together, but that is going to be really expensive. Hot glue is a great option as it is safe and fairly easy to remove if you ever need to replace it again. I like to give my hoses one final rinse to make sure that they are water tight and completely clean before I smoke with them. Always better safe than sorry I say.
Almost any hose can be converted to washable in this manner and it doesn’t even have to be rusted. I would just suggest waiting until you have a hose that would otherwise go in the trash to experiment on. Get your methods down perfectly before you potentially ruin a good hose for no reason.
Ornament and Decorate It
The final step in this process is making it pretty, but I’m going to have to save that for another article. Stay tuned to see the unique and interesting way I make this homely hose into a real beauty.