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Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

This is a discussion on Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color... within the General Pipe Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Hello everyone, Today I finally picked up a pipe, a Medico Varsity briar to be exact, so it's rather cheap. ...

  
  1. #1

    Newbie in the ocean


     

    Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    Hello everyone, Today I finally picked up a pipe, a Medico Varsity briar to be exact, so it's rather cheap. When I returned home with it I noticed the stem had a sticky substance left over from a price tag, so I took some rubbing alcohol and rubbed it off. I proceeded to then rub the entire stem in an attempt to clean it up, but there was a tan stain color on the cloth I used. I thought nothing of it until I placed the pipe in my mouth and recieved a strong chemical type taste, after which my pipe literally began turning colors; into a greenish-yellow hue. I'm not sure what this means. I tried to do a search, and the only thing I came up with was that the stem may be a vulcanized stem, but i'm not even sure if this particular stem is vulcanized, or if the company even uses the vulcanized rubber type stems that are vulnerable to oxidation. After I cleaned it up, I smoke my first bowl of tobacco, but I noticed that near the head of the stem that was placed in my mouth had those colors again. I really don't know what the material is, it could be plastic for all I know. Is this normal, or is the stem hazardous? I'm totally freaked out.

  2. #2

    FNSH Mod ultramag's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    It definately sounds exactly like an oxidized stem. You might be able to get it polished back up good enough with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and good 'ol fashioned elbow grease.

    Good luck and welcome to the forums.
    But real men--real men prefer their women like pipes. They knock them gently and care for them always. No man shares his pipes!!!

  3. #3

    Newbie in the ocean


     

    Re: Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    Quote Originally Posted by ultramag View Post
    It definately sounds exactly like an oxidized stem. You might be able to get it polished back up good enough with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and good 'ol fashioned elbow grease.

    Good luck and welcome to the forums.
    That's good to hear. It was something of a curveball when it happened, for I seriously believed I had thrown $20 away. Could bleach be employed in this situation?

  4. #4

    FNSH Mod ultramag's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkConfidant View Post
    Could bleach be employed in this situation?
    No need to really here. The stem just needs polished up to get rid of the oxidation it sounds like without being there.
    But real men--real men prefer their women like pipes. They knock them gently and care for them always. No man shares his pipes!!!

  5. #5

    he that puffeth RJpuffs's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    The magic eraser trick should work, or use toothpase (regular, old fashioned, gritty toothpaste) on a soft damp cloth. Note that you probably wiped off the protective wax coating with the alcohol, so it will oxydize back up soon. You can try rubbing the bit with a LITTLE olive oil, soak for 10 minutes, wipe off. Or a pipe wax (not car wax), carnauba/bee/wasp whatever. Pay particular attention to the mouthpiece and the notch, scrub it as well or else you will continue to get the sulphur taste with each puff.
    Ron aka RJ aka RJPuffs
    --
    Old age isn't too bad, when you consider the alternative.

  6. #6

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    I love turning stinky old pipes in great smoking, sweet-smelling (still old) pipes. Have fun making your right.

    What they said. Also -

    Be sure to scour out the inside of the stem with an alcohol-dipped bristle pipe cleaner; them what are nasty on the outside are invariably nasty on the inside.

    A few hours of bleach soaking works great on oxyidized stems except for three things:

    a. it can affect inked or embossed imprints; cover any nomenclature with Vaseline before a soak.
    b. it sort of furs up vulcanite and, after a soak, the stem will need a good rubbing out or, perhaps, a light brush-up with a very fine polishing abrasive or abrasive polishing paper.
    c. get one drop of bleach on anything else in the house and you will hear about it.

    I have heard good things about soaking oxydized stems OxyClean, 1-T per qt water. I tired it once (30-min) and it sure turned the water brown but the stem remained heavily oxidized. There may, therefore, be a better forumla but I haven't experimented further (yet).

    Pictures and the means of your recovery to: Diamonds from Coal thread
    Last edited by Mister Moo; 04-21-2010 at 11:04 AM.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"

  7. #7

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish mugwump's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    Just be careful around the tenon of the stem while polishing as it's very easy to remove too much material there making for a loose fit when reattached to the shank.

  8. #8

    Newbie in the ocean


     

    Re: Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    Thanks for the help here! I'm going to try out the Mr. Clean, but regarding bleach, how safe is it? Particularly in regards to whether any bleach is deposited inside the stem and how to effectively clean that out afterwords so I don't have to worry about the fumes, etc. Also, will bleach turn the stem white? If so, how do I get the original color back? These are such noob questions, but if I could get some further help in this area, I sure would appreciate it.

  9. #9

    Ask me why I dinged Black Mister Moo's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe stem had a nasty taste, smell, and color...

    Bleach won't turn stems white.
    "But with a little bit of luck You'll run amok!"


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