I love brass hookahs. I love copper accented hookahs. Apparently, I love high maintenance hookahs because both of these materials are prone to tarnish. This means that if I want to have the prettiest hookahs that I can, I need to polish my rigs on a fairly regular basis.
So, what’s the best way to get a beautiful shine without using nasty and dangerous chemicals?
For my money, Bar Keeper’s Friend is probably what you should look for. This cleaner and polish is made for use in bars and, thus is not going to be overly dangerous. As with all cleaners, make sure to follow all instructions and rinse everything thoroughly. This product will take the tarnish off and leave behind a beautiful shine without much work or nasty chemicals.
If you want to go a completely chemical free route, consider getting a buffing wheel and a Dremel tool. This method takes a little more actual work than some people might be interested in devoting to their hookahs, but one wheel will last you forever and you never have to worry about fumes, curing times or toxicity.
For those of us interested in a homemade solution, 1/2 cup of white vinegar mixed with 1 tsp of salt and turned into a thin paste with the addition of flour will treat you well. Understand that this method will take the tarnish off, but acids and salts can be detrimental to steel. It’s not going to be too dangerous, but I suggest sticking to all brass hookahs with this method.
Lastly, Brasso is going to do the job and do it very well. It has a tendency to smell a bit and I suggest using this product in a well ventilated area, but this is a polish designed specifically for brass. It will do a fine job on copper and stainless steel too, so this is a great product for those Khalil Mamoon Trimetals that we all know and love
No matter what polish you decide to use, never use anything that is abrasive. The bitter enemies of mirror polishes are tiny scratches. Anything that’s abrasive will scratch the surface and render it permanently duller than it could be. We can go over a method for removing these scratches and restoring a mirror finish at a later date, but just remember to always avoid abrasives and buff with a soft cloth like a tshirt or micro-fiber cloth.