Puff Cigar Discussion Forums
MEMBER CIGAR REVIEWS | STAFF CIGAR REVIEWS | CIGAR VIDEOS | ONE ON ONE INTERVIEWS | CIGAR NEWS | CIGAR FORUMS | PIPES | LIFESTYLE | CONTACT

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

This is a discussion on Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching) within the The Pipe Hobby How-To Discussion Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Hi everyone. Can someone tell me how to clean the pipe stem? I am not referring to a "big cleaning ...

  
  1. #1

    Young Puffer Fish


     

    Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Hi everyone.
    Can someone tell me how to clean the pipe stem?
    I am not referring to a "big cleaning project" which require bleaching and buffing.
    I want to know how to clean the pipe after/before smoking to make sure the stem is clean and sterilized.


    I have tried searching through the internet but all I can find is about the "big cleaning"....
    I know that alcohol should do the sterilizing well, but it will also make the stem dull....
    Is there any great product that can do a better job (not making the stem dull) in sterilizing?


    Thanks.


    for those who may interested in why I am not here for a long time....
    I am going to have my actuarial exam on April 19..
    I am hoping I can pass it and treat it like a (early) birthday present for myself!!

  2. #2

    Pale Horse
    Guest


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Just run a pipe cleaner through it. You can even do this as you smoke

  3. #3

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    A wipe/buff with a soft cotton cloth after each smoke should keep the outside of the stem pretty much up to snuff, and running a PC or two with some alcohol on it through the stem should clear out most of the nicotine inside of it. As for sterilizing, unless you're passing the pipe around, campfire/campus style , what's supposed to be on there that you don't already have a million times as many of already in your mouth? I don't want a nasty buildup of nicotine/tar/saliva on my stem either, but sterilizing I reserve for new pipes (estate or unsmoked).

    I'm pretty sure there are stem polishing cloths, too.
    Last edited by freestoke; 02-21-2012 at 12:27 PM.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  4. #4

    T-Squared TommyTree's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    For a tough stem cleaning, especially on an oxidized stem, there is absolutely nothing as good as Flitz Metal Polish. It removes oxidation and leaves a nice, polished shine. If you don't have oxidation, I'd only use alcohol and a cloth.
    Enabler, Philosopher and Resident Imbiber

  5. #5

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    For the exterior:

    Mr Clean Magic Eraser works great at removing stubborn surface crud and superficial oxidation.

    Plain white toothpaste works great at polishing them (once they're clean) to bring out a nice shine.

    I use a little Vaseline rubbed on with a soft cloth to shine when I'm done.

    For day-to-day cleaning, I don't do anything special. Just wipe them with a soft cloth and rub with Vaseline occasionally.

    As for the interior, just pipe cleaners. I dip them in everclear (high proof grain alcohol). I don't think most guys use everclear daily like I do, but I live in a humid climate so things take longer to dry out here, and keeping the stems and shanks squeaky clean with everclear helps keep my pipes from souring.

  6. #6

    Puffer Fish with some spikes Jogi's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Gents I got my first briar only yesterday. I was also thinking about the cleaning business just like the OP. To me it sounds like PCs after very smoke, and an alcohol-PC every 3-4 smokes should be sufficient. But I don't have access to consumable alcohol. What do I do? I'm not comfortable taking a PC dipped in rubbing alcohol (made up of methylated ethanol i.e. methanol+drinking alcohol = poison) to my pipe. Please help. Should I wash the stem with water every few smokes? PC dipped in vinegar?

  7. #7

    Leading Puffer Fish usrower321's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jogi View Post
    Gents I got my first briar only yesterday. I was also thinking about the cleaning business just like the OP. To me it sounds like PCs after very smoke, and an alcohol-PC every 3-4 smokes should be sufficient. But I don't have access to consumable alcohol. What do I do? I'm not comfortable taking a PC dipped in rubbing alcohol (made up of methylated ethanol i.e. methanol+drinking alcohol = poison) to my pipe. Please help. Should I wash the stem with water every few smokes? PC dipped in vinegar?
    If you have access to rubbing alcohol, you probably have access to 91% isopropyl alcohol (used for first aid). That should work fine and not be harmful (unlike methanol) once dried. Plus it evaporates fairly quickly.

  8. #8

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Hmm. Interesting problem. Maybe you could go with pipe sweetner; it's a lot more expensive than just cheap everclear, but it should be an option for you. I must admit, I'm reluctant to use rubbing alcohol as well.

    As for the OP, I've got to ask, why worry about sterilizing the stem? Do you make yourself sick?

  9. #9

    Young Puffer Fish JCinPA's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Quote Originally Posted by TommyTree View Post
    For a tough stem cleaning, especially on an oxidized stem, there is absolutely nothing as good as Flitz Metal Polish. It removes oxidation and leaves a nice, polished shine. If you don't have oxidation, I'd only use alcohol and a cloth.
    X2 on the Flitz! It's a little expensive, though, unless you have other uses for it. I use it in my gun hobby. Available at Lowes or Home Depot, most hardwars stores.

    I've read on other forums that a 50-50 mix of Brasso and toothpaste, rubbed quickly with old T-shirt material works very well on lightly hazed stems. Washes off with plain water. I use Atmos Fresholator on pipe cleaners in my stems and shanks.

    I don't know if it works, is necessary or beneficial or just marketing hype, but I got some Obsidian Pipe Stem oil to use on Vulcanite stems. Supposedly helps prevent oxidation and dulling in the first place.

  10. #10

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish Andrewdk's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jogi View Post
    Gents I got my first briar only yesterday. I was also thinking about the cleaning business just like the OP. To me it sounds like PCs after very smoke, and an alcohol-PC every 3-4 smokes should be sufficient. But I don't have access to consumable alcohol. What do I do? I'm not comfortable taking a PC dipped in rubbing alcohol (made up of methylated ethanol i.e. methanol+drinking alcohol = poison) to my pipe. Please help. Should I wash the stem with water every few smokes? PC dipped in vinegar?
    As vinegar is an acid and household cleaning agent it might be ago. I'd go for something with minimal flavour maybe and try it on a pipe you can handle throwing away. I let my pipes dry for about a week after a proper cleaning and never taste/smell booze but vinegar might be a different beast. I'd try the 91% isopropyl alcohol if you can get it, would be better then washing with water.
    The land of milk and honey, a safe haven and the last bastion of freedom - http://www.tobaccocellar.com/andrewdk

  11. #11

    Young Puffer Fish JCinPA's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Ugh! Wood is porous, I'd never let vinegar near them. It may work, but doesn't sound like a good idea given the flavor it might impart. It may not, I may be worried about nothing, but, from my reading around the Internet (we all know how reliable anything you read on the Internet is! ) I do not think you'll have any issues with using 91% rubbing alcohol.

    It is poisonous if you drink it, but you are not going to drink it. And it is not made poisonous with nerve toxins or deadly venoms, it is made poisonous by addition of various chemical additives which are all as volatile as the alcohol itself. That is, they are likely to evaporate cleanly leaving no residue. If you do a Google search for cleaning pipes with alcohol you will find those who assume it is an issue, those who claim it is safe by dint of their using it for years without ill effect, neither argument being convincing to me.

    But looking at the ingredients themselves, I am inclined to agree that when used on a Q-tip or pipe cleaner in the shank or in a salt treatment of the bowl, all ingredients should evaporate completely within 24 hours. Without a doubt withing 48 hours.

    I'm not necessarily advocating it, because as I've said, this is 'knowledge' gleaned from the Internet, such as it is. But I would not hesitate to use rubbing alcohol in cleaning my pipes, and many people have been happily doing so for years.

  12. #12

    Full grown Puffer Fish lasix's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    Everclear will do the trick
    Ils sont partis! "And there off"

  13. #13

    Pipe Smokin' Piranha DSturg369's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    For daily cleaning, just a pipe cleaner after each bowl.

    For the BIG clean, a one hour soak in OxiClean, then the Magic Eraser, and finish up with micro-mesh and a dab of olive oil on your finger... Works like a charm every time.
    Dale

  14. #14

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    <QUOTE>I do not think you'll have any issues with using 91% rubbing alcohol.<\QUOTE>

    It's not the 91% about which you need to be concerned, but the other 9%. There are some products like this where this small proportion contains things specifically added to prevent you being able or wanting to drink it. Extremely bitter chemicals or emetics. Neither of which you would want to reside in your pipe. Rubbing Alcohol may well be completely fine, but some Methylated Spirits in the U.K. have Bitrex added to make the winos think twice. In spite of this and the methyl alcohol (really not good for you), some still do try. Violent vomiting and blindness being a happy trade-off for getting out of your skull for some.

    I personally wouldn't clean my pipes with anything that I wouldn't happily consume or which have been specifically designed for these jobs.

  15. #15

    Newbie in the ocean


     

    Re: Cleaning pipe stem (not bleaching)

    hi everyone! this is my first post here. I actually stumbled across this page online and thought I'd make an account just to weigh in on this.

    now, my experience has been that when it comes to pipes, *everyone* will tell you something different, about almost everything.
    that being the case, i can really only offer what i do and my reasoning.

    but for small cleaning work, just to keep care of my pipe between uses, I keep a few pipe cleaners handy and swab the stem out pretty good before and after smoking. I used to smoke cigarettes, so I have a habit of gnawing on the bit, but from what I understand that will age it faster.

    now, for larger cleaning, like after a few smokes, once a week or so, or whenever my better half complains about the poipe smelling too much, I keep a few other things at the ready:

    1) stiffer pipe cleaners, to get a better scrub on it.
    2) rubbing alcohol, isopropyl 91%. its only alcohol and water, and it evaporates cleanly and completely in about 10-30 minutes, depending on amount used. some people will worry about emetics or other toxic chemicals added, but that's actually only used in lab grade(98-99%) to make sure ppl don't drink it. after all, isopropyl is used for cleaning cuts, so it needs to be relatively pure.
    3) a soft cloth, for the outside.
    4) q-tips.
    5) my favorite rum. actually, I use rum because its my favorite liquor, but I get good results using it, and I only use the absolute best quality id be willing to by for myself. I don't drink it no matter what. I keep an extra bottle around for use only with my pipes.
    6) my favorite blend tobacco, which is actually mostly burley, with a nice almost honey flavor to it.
    7) a special tool I made which is pretty much a dowel fit almost perfectly to the bowls of my pipes, with sandpaper glued to it. coarse on one end, fine on the other. when the sandpaper starts to wear down, I toss it and make another, so I'm pretty cheap on the dowels.
    jojoba oil. this is also for the outside, and I use it because some of my pipes will start to dull a bit after so many wiping with 91% isopropyl. as jojoba is a plant wax, it never goes rancid, and if some of it makes its way inside you, no worries! its great for skin & hair. it keeps a nice luster on the outside of my pipes

    so here's the process:
    for the bowl, I don't so a heavy cleaning as often, but when I do, I sand the cake down pretty thin and then later rebuild it. after some light sanding, I'll rub the inside of the bowl with my best rum, which keeps it nice and sweet, without adding anything to it I wouldn't want to put in myself. after that, while I rebuild the cake I only smoke my favorite blend, which as mentioned before is an aromatic burley. it burns drier than other tobaccos, allowing a good layer of cake to build up, and after each smoke I shake the ash inside the bowl before dumping it and then rub with my best rum. after this, I of course don't smoke in it again until fully dry. I continue this until its started to build a good cake, then smoke as normal until its time for a serious cleaning again. this is mostly a process reserved for when my partner starts complaining about it, but if she doesn't, then I use my judgment when it needs a good cleaning.

    for smaller care, I gently scrub the bowl occasionally with a q tip, and moisten my finger(with saliva) and rub the inside of the lip of the bowl to care of any marks from lighting it. this helps prevent covering your pipe with char marks.

    for the stem, aside from swabbing with a pipe cleaner after(and sometimes before) smoking, I'll run a few PC dipped in isopropyl occasionally, to help keep it squeaky clean. if it needs it, I'll also give it a stern scrubbing with a stiffer PC and then let it air out for at least an hour before smoking. 91% isopropyl evaporates *rapidly* so its typically a little drier at this point than usual. if I'm being picky and want to wait for it to readjust to the humidity level here, I just use a different pipe and wait till tomorrow. it really doesn't need much more than that typically.

    for the outside, I rub the outside with 91% isopropyl regularly, and more often on some of my more porous pipes, one of which will sometimes form little black beads on the outside of the bowl if I don't. after wiping it with alcohol, I let that dry for a few minutes, after which its usually a little dull and very very dry. then, I apply some jojoba to the cloth, and give it a nice rub all over the outer surface. I let that dry out for about 15-30 minutes, then wipe clean with a dry section of cloth. after that i twiddle the pipe between my fingers to soak up any excess jojoba and let my own oils from my skin get on the surface, just a little. as I'm fiddling with the pipe, I resist the urge to poke the bit in my mouth and gnaw on it, but usually after cleaning the outside I'm pretty anxious for a smoke, so I try to do it before my first smoke after cleaning the bowl and stem, rather than at the same time as either.

    really, taking care of the outside and the stem are quite a bit less work than taking care of the bowl, and don't really require rest like the bowl does, so I'm not too careful about whether I manage them right before a smoke or not. just remember to always let anything inside of the pipe(stem or bowl) dry completely before smoking.

    oh, and sometimes pipe cleaners leave tiny bits of fuzz in the stem, so I turn the pipe upside down and blow through it to make sure its clear before smoking in it. every time.

    well, that's my two cents, and whether you decide to try out my method or not, I hope you got some useful information from it :-)

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •