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Cleaning and how often?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Capt Ahab, Dec 16, 2011.

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  1. Gary

    Gary Member

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    I use 2-3 pipes/day and rotate through them. Only run a cleaner through them if they get wet. Next morning I run a cleaner through each of them and set them in the rack to dry and grab 2-3 more for the next day. Having 15 pipes or so means they get to rest a week or so between smokes usually. If ever they taste or start to smell sour, I dab a cleaner with Everclear and run the cleaner through as well as swab the bowl with the cleaner.
     
  2. FlyPilotTed

    FlyPilotTed Member

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    I usually smoke a bowl out of them, tap loose-ish ash out then let it cool before taking a few pipe cleaners to the bowl and stem separated.
     
  3. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I'm with Zirrow on this one, at least for standard stems. I think you're pretty safe breaking down a military mount or spiggot mount stem during or immediately after a smoke, though.
    I'm also a great ignorer of pipes. I don't have a compressor in my garage, so I do run a cleaner or two down the stem after a smoke, but then I stick 'em in the rack and let fresh air do it's thing. I don't break my pipes down that often, because I figure that's one more opportunity to break a pipe. Once in a while, I might soak a cleaner in pipe sweetner (I'm still working on a couple of bottles of Bee, if that tells you anything about my cleaning regimen) and scrub a little if it gets sour, but that doesn't happen too often. Salt and alcohol is only brought out when I get a new-to-me estate pipe.
     
  4. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    Don't get too lax in cleaning. Otherwise, you'll
    end up with this:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    That took decades of hard smoking.
     
  6. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    After smoking for twenty years, albeit moderately, my pipes only have a dime's thickness of cake, and I've never really had to ream one out. I do occasionally scrape a little off the inside of the bowl with a pipe knife if it looks rough, but that's about it.

    I do wonder how the shank got broken on that one...
     
  7. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    This thread reminds me.... I need to clean my pipes.. ;) It's been a few weeks.

    I started off, very diligent about cleaning after each smoke, now - not so much. The only thing I typically do now is; after each smoke, I put a pipe cleaner in and leave it there for 4 - 12 hours (sometimes more if I forget). That's 'supposed' to soak up a lot of the gunk and moisture.
     
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  8. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    My point exactly.
     
  9. DMWyatt

    DMWyatt Member

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    I hold the same doctrine towards my pipes that I do with my guns: I clean them when I believe they need cleaned. If I over-complicate things, I burn myself out.
     
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  10. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Well, I found this thread, and I found it quite interesting myself. For one thing, the different periods of time people wait between cleanings is one of the classic pipe-smoker arguments. I agree with the above posted, it's a question of cleaning when necessary. It's not a surgical procedure.

    One thing that is odd to me is this: I have a nice Neerup which is actually my very favorite pipe. Haven't had it very long, but it's got a nice cake in it now and smokes wonderfully. Really fantastic, effortless draw, perfectly gorgeous grain, just everything you would want in a pipe. The only thing is, I can't run a pipe cleaner through the shank without disassembling the pipe. The airway, with the pipe fully assembled, will not pass a pipe cleaner from bit to bowl. So that method, which I would use if, say, the pipe got a bit clogged during a smoke, is not possible for that pipe. So my question to you fine fellows is: if the draw gets blocked on your pipe where it won't draw properly, how do you fix that in mid-smoke? It's usually a case of something screwing up at the air hole in the bottom of the bowl, in my experience, so something needs to be run through there, but how do you do that if you can't pass a cleaner through without disassembling the pipe? My opinion is that you should NEVER EVER take the stem out when the pipe is hot, so that's out of the question, especially for pieces of briar that cost hundreds of dollars. So what to do?

    Also, is this to be considered an error in the making of the pipe? I've heard people boast that "this pipe will pass a pipe cleaner from bit to bowl", so I assume that's considered a characteristic of quality pipes, but honestly, I've seen a lot of pipes, and it's hard to imagine that many of them are much better than this Neerup I've got. Peder does phenomenal work, and I recommend a Neerup to each and every one of you if you haven't yet had the pleasure of owning or smoking one. From the low end ones to the highest end ones, they are simply fantastic, and his briar has gorgeous grain more often than not. Anyway, I'll quit my rambling now and listen.
     
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