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Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

This is a discussion on Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement? within the General Pipe Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Hi guys, bit of a newb here, and to be honest I'm not really at the stage where my pipes ...

  
  1. #1

    Young Puffer Fish


     

    Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Hi guys, bit of a newb here, and to be honest I'm not really at the stage where my pipes will need this type of cleaning, but I'm just a little unclear...
    I've noticed a lot of folk mention when they're doing a deeper clean they use Everclear which, quite frankly, doesn't seem to exist outside of the US. And some others have mentioned rubbing alcohol. I'm a bit dubious of using rubbing alcohol seeing as you're not exactly meant to be drinking the stuff, so I'm not sure how much of it I want near something that goes in my mouth!

    Basically, what I'm getting at is due to the lack of really high proof stuff like Everclear, would using any old spirit still be okay? Being a Scotsman, I do tend to have a few spirits in the house, we do like a drink! Whisky, vodka, rum, etc, are all okay to go in a pipe and will still do the job?

  2. #2

    The Cheese stands alone Commander Quan's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Any high proof spirit will work. I prefer to use vodka since it's a neutral spirit but anything will do. I was able to find some cheap 151 proof vodka locally and that's what I've been using.
    “In my world, everyone's a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!

  3. #3

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by scopawl View Post
    Basically, what I'm getting at is due to the lack of really high proof stuff like Everclear, would using any old spirit still be okay?
    Scotch will definitely get the job done! I use 160 proof vodka and I've used 151 proof rum before, too. The higher the octane, the better, since alcohol is the solvent you're after.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  4. #4

    Full grown Puffer Fish Couch_Incident's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    As a recovering alcoholic, I'm screwed. All of my pipes will be dirty!



    Couch

  5. #5

    I'm watching you.


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Couch_Incident View Post
    As a recovering alcoholic, I'm screwed. All of my pipes will be dirty!



    Couch
    You may want to switch to a meer, or just use cobs instead of worrying about alcohol cleaning. If you get acrylic stems, the stems can be cleaned in detergent and water. The meer bowls just need to be kept cake free and rested to dry out now and again.

    You could use Isopropyl alcohol at 99% (your pharmacist can get for you), and just let everything evaporate over night...
    "Only fine cigars are worth smoking, and only men who smoke fine cigars are worth kissing." -Joan Collins

  6. #6

    Leading Puffer Fish ChronoB's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Couch_Incident View Post
    As a recovering alcoholic, I'm screwed. All of my pipes will be dirty!



    Couch
    This is certainly a tricky situation for you. Perhaps you have a family member or friend that can do it for you? If not, there are commercial pipe cleaning solutions available, and believe me you wouldn't think of putting them near your lips. I'm not fond of them, but that may be your best option if no one is willing to do it for you.

    Prudent use of pipe cleaners during and after smoking will negate any need for frequent cleaning. More pipes equals a bigger rotation, which also helps keep pipes fresh.

  7. #7

    Full grown Puffer Fish Couch_Incident's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChronoB View Post
    This is certainly a tricky situation for you. Perhaps you have a family member or friend that can do it for you? If not, there are commercial pipe cleaning solutions available, and believe me you wouldn't think of putting them near your lips. I'm not fond of them, but that may be your best option if no one is willing to do it for you.

    Prudent use of pipe cleaners during and after smoking will negate any need for frequent cleaning. More pipes equals a bigger rotation, which also helps keep pipes fresh.
    Yea, I've seen options out there and will use those. I should be okay, I just don't like using alcohol on anything...especially on something I used on a daily basis. While I've been sober for some time now, I don't want to jump start a physiological or psychological fire. While I've been jokingly told by my sponsor that I am fit to work in a distillery, I have a very deep respect for the disease and I don't care to chance relapse.

    I like the suggestion of buying a Meer. Crap, that means another pipe!



    Couch

  8. #8

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?



    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  9. #9

    Heavy Puffer commonsenseman's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    I use Scotch, blended though, I couldn't bear to use Single Malt for cleaning.
    “While you smoke, rub the bowl occasionally along the side of your nose. Briar has an affinity for your natural oils.” -My cellar.-

  10. #10

    I'm watching you.


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by commonsenseman View Post
    I use Scotch, blended though, I couldn't bear to use Single Malt for cleaning.
    I use single malt, and proud of it
    "Only fine cigars are worth smoking, and only men who smoke fine cigars are worth kissing." -Joan Collins

  11. #11

    Young Puffer Fish


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by commonsenseman View Post
    I use Scotch, blended though, I couldn't bear to use Single Malt for cleaning.
    That sounds like common sense, man.

    Sorry, I couldn't pass that up. Feel free to roll your eyes.

  12. #12

    Puffer Fish with some spikes Jogi's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Sorry for a bit of a threadjack, but here's my problem (a bit similar to OP's question)

    What to do about cleaning, when I don't have access to any drinkable alcohol? The rubbing alcohol available here is called Methylated Spirits i.e. Ethanol with a small quantity of Methanol to make it unfit for drinking...

    Please remember I'm not talking about the Salt n Alcohol treatment, I'm just talking about the thorough cleaning required after say 20+ bowls? At my smoking rate, I don't think I'll ever need the Salt n Alcohol cleaning...

  13. #13

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jogi View Post
    Please remember I'm not talking about the Salt n Alcohol treatment, I'm just talking about the thorough cleaning required after say 20+ bowls? At my smoking rate, I don't think I'll ever need the Salt n Alcohol cleaning...
    I guess the commercial pipe cleaning solutions don't appeal to y'all, and they are a bit pricey for what you get. The ONLY pipes I've ever done a salt treatment on were bought in lots off ebay and were absolutely horrid, so a little bottle like that can go a long ways. I have a few pipes that are over 30 years old and have never had anything like a salt treatment done to them -- they still smoke just fine. I've used both the pictured products above and they aren't horrible. I bought one when I first started smoking a pipe and people gave me a couple more they'd found moving into a new apartment or whatever over the years.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  14. #14

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jogi View Post
    Sorry for a bit of a threadjack, but here's my problem (a bit similar to OP's question)

    What to do about cleaning, when I don't have access to any drinkable alcohol? The rubbing alcohol available here is called Methylated Spirits i.e. Ethanol with a small quantity of Methanol to make it unfit for drinking...

    Please remember I'm not talking about the Salt n Alcohol treatment, I'm just talking about the thorough cleaning required after say 20+ bowls? At my smoking rate, I don't think I'll ever need the Salt n Alcohol cleaning...
    I'm afraid that you are pretty much stuffed. Any alcohol product you can get will have at least methanol (as you mention) in it to make it undrinkable. As this doesn't stop everyone, some places also put in bitrex and an emetic. You can just stick to dry pipe cleaners which do a good job with a bit more effort. If you are not already, try to get some bristle ones - Dill's Bristle are the best I know. Saliva is a really good cleaner for tar and other deposits. A bit disgusting, perhaps (but ours is a filthy habit in any case...), but maybe try drooling a bit on a pipe cleaner before use. I use this "fluid" to clean the rim of pipes and it works a treat.

    Salam Aleikum.
    Last edited by steinr1; 10-31-2012 at 09:40 AM.
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  15. #15

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Everclear/ rubbing alcohol replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by scopawl View Post
    Hi guys, bit of a newb here, and to be honest I'm not really at the stage where my pipes will need this type of cleaning, but I'm just a little unclear...
    I've noticed a lot of folk mention when they're doing a deeper clean they use Everclear which, quite frankly, doesn't seem to exist outside of the US. And some others have mentioned rubbing alcohol. I'm a bit dubious of using rubbing alcohol seeing as you're not exactly meant to be drinking the stuff, so I'm not sure how much of it I want near something that goes in my mouth!

    Basically, what I'm getting at is due to the lack of really high proof stuff like Everclear, would using any old spirit still be okay? Being a Scotsman, I do tend to have a few spirits in the house, we do like a drink! Whisky, vodka, rum, etc, are all okay to go in a pipe and will still do the job?
    Yes, any old spirit will be ok. Ideally, the best stuff you can use is the strongest stuff you can get that imparts the least flavor. The reason I like Everclear is it is the strongest stuff one can buy, it is neutral (basically, it has no taste), and it is dirt cheap. My corner liquor store sells it for about $13....that used to be a fifth, but the last bottle I bought was a full liter (same price!). Second choice would be highest proof vodka you can find. Another option - here in the states, Bacardi has a 151 proof rum called 'Bacardi 151'. It's the next highest proof stuff that I see readily available around here.

    Honestly, I've never used anything like whiskey or scotch to clean a pipe. I assume it would leave a trace of residual flavor...but it might be quite enjoyable to taste a hint of scotch in a nice Virginia!


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