Eliminate Smell In Acrylic Stem With Hydrochloric Acid

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Mar 1, 2014
A neat little trick I just discovered.
After buying a $45 Chinese made Tobacco pipe (very well crafted) I was horrified at the garbage fire smell that saturates the box it was shipped in (nasty cheap plastic, I have no idea how they can so consistently find plastic that smells so shockingly abominably bad).
It’s hard to say if the smell also partly originated in the materials of the pipe itself, but sipping on the empty pipe was about as pleasant as sticking your head in a barrel of used motor oil.
Normally to de-gass plastic you just have to let it sit in fresh air for a week or two. I wasn’t so confident that would work in this case given the restricted nature of the airway in a pipe stem.
After managing to destroy one of the spare stems in hot water, I turned to the cleaning cabinet for the next test.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner, mixed with water at about 4:1 water/cleaner ratio. Fill a tall glass and immerse the stem.

24 hours later and after a quick rinse the Acrylic looks totally unaffected, and the two surviving stems seem to have been rendered odourless.

To finish sanitizing the pipe of the nasty smell I also sanded out the bowl and did a quick rinse of toiled bowl cleaner through the Briar. I don’t know if I needed to do anything more than sand out the bowl but I did the rinse anyway.