Re: my hookah has a funny taste
Baking soda and a mixture of either white distilled vinegar or pure lemon juice. I use one part vinegar to three parts water. Get a cleaning brush if you don't have one already. Cup your hand around the top of the stem and pour a bit of baking soda down it. Follow that with the vinegar or lemon juice and water. Use your cleaning brush to scrub the stem really well. Make sure you scrub through both the opening of the stem and the opening of the downstem.
If your hookah is common chamber (if it's a Chinese rig, chances are it is common chamber) see if you can't unscrew the downstem and inspect the heart. Check for rust, calcium deposits (white flaky looking spots), built up smoke or tobacco juice residue or ash from your coals.
Make sure you stand the stem upright to drain after cleaning. Give the base a good scrub. If you don't have a brush specifically made for base cleaning, you can buy a baby bottle brush at the store to scrub it out. Try not to leave the stem submerged in water once your session has finished. Make sure your bowl is really clean and there are no pieces of burnt shisha stuck to it or inside the holes (assuming you're using a mod or Egyptian bowl).
If you've done all of this and it's still tasting bad then check your hose. If water has gotten inside your hose and it isn't a washable one it's likely rust and the bad flavor is coming from your hose rather than your hookah.
Last edited by HippieMama; October 14th, 2009 at 06:11 PM.