Best Alcohol For Maintenance

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1fatbbqr

New member
Apr 21, 2013
31
0
My state, in its infinite wisdom and in pursuit of its never ceasing attempt to regulate all parts of its citizen's lives, has decided to make grain alcohol above 190 proof illegal. During the same legislative session, they have also decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, while making high proof alcohol illegal, but that is another rant for another day.

Not knowing exactly how this bill is worded, I fear that Everclear may be included in this ban. Everclear is what I currently use to clean my pipes with. I will be buying a few bottles while I still can to ensure that I have some in reserve. What are some good alcohol alternatives for cleaning a pipe, that are also below the 190 proof limit? Would 151 proof rum be a viable alternative?

 

durham270

Preferred Member
Jan 30, 2013
916
0
It sounds like now may be the time to stock up. I use a 190 proof called Golden Grain for most pipe cleaning. I've also used Absolut Current Vodka for cleaning some of my aromatic pipes.

 

smeigs

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2012
1,050
0
i use the 91% isopropyl alcohol for most of my cleaning needs. Seems to work just fine. If I used rum or bourbon, I think I would drink it all before I got to cleaning.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,574
822
Chicago, IL
Ditto smeigs
i use the 91% isopropyl alcohol for most of my cleaning needs. Seems to work just fine.
I have also used Seagrams gin for the purpose -- while it lasts, that is. :D

BTW, for routine cleaning, I use solvents only to clean the stem & shank, on the theory that this is where foul tastes reside.

I have forgone the use of solvents in the bowl without noticeable ill effects, finding that regularly scraping the bowl with the

spade end of my pipe nail is sufficient. This may help you conserve alcohol.

 

bryanf

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2013
742
0
My advice would be to maintain with beer throughout the day, and only switch to the hard stuff at night.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,266
474
The high test rubbing alcohol probably does the job best, but whiskey, gin, or another relatively high

proof potable seems more appetizing, especially since you can do with really small quantities. If you

need an alcohol bath for your pipe, use something you wouldn't drink.

 

checotah

Preferred Member
Feb 7, 2012
505
0
Finding and storing anything above 190 proof is its own challenge. Pure alcohol (above 190 proof) is hygroscopic, which means that it will absorb moisture out of the air when its container is open, thereby diluting it and automatically reducing the proof. Before I retired, our company used pharmaceutical grade 190 proof alcohol and it was very closely monitored both for proof and use. I used to use it to clean my pipes, but now find that 151 rum works as well and leaves a nicer flavor.

 

daveinlax

Preferred Member
May 5, 2009
1,058
5
WISCONSIN
If I want flavor I have a 151 and Coke with a lime but with my pipes I don't want any flavor, yuk! I use the 91% rubbing alcohol. I did a test using 80 proof vodka till the pipe cleaner came out clean and then went at it again with the 91% and it was like starting over. The pipe cleaner came out black as tar. 8O

 

fadingdaylight

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,194
0
Huh, maybe I am the only one, but I use Jim Beam Black. I just keep a mini bottle in my pipe cleaning drawer, it doesn't take much to get the job done well. I just clean all but one, so they can dry until the next day.

 

bentmike

Preferred Member
Jan 25, 2012
2,423
0
I use 151. I noticed that my local shop is now carrying Everclear and I thought about picking up a bottle. Isn't the Everclear higher proof than Bacardi rum or are they both the same?

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,190
179
Maryland
I've used both Everclear and 91% isopropyl alcohol. I can't discern any difference in effectiveness in cleaning or taste, so I just stick with the cheaper 91% iso from Walmart (about a buck a bottle). A fifth of Everclear is around $17 in Maryland.

 

andrew

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
2,883
2
I find vodka is the best as it doesn't really smell on your breath, and beer is good to maintain the buzz.

 

salmonfisher

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2014
332
0
Dumb question....what about taking long sips of 151 rum an then blowing into stem? (not to be done near open flames)
:rofl:

 

pipejunky

Member
Feb 16, 2014
210
0
I can't get everclear where i live either, but when i travel if i see it i by it.A liter will do me for about a year.