Removing Oxidation from Stems

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bowenz123

New member
Feb 26, 2017
6
0
Just got an unsmoked estate pipe with really good condition on the bowl. The only downside is that the stem has some oxidation from storage.
So I looked into some tips and tricks on how to clean stems, and most people just drop it into bleach or an oxi-clean mix. However, I am concerned that doing so will someone damage the tenon. One person said to suspend it with a pipe cleaner so you leave the tenon out of the solution .... just wondering if anyone has done this before and does submerging the tenon into the solution perfectly fine or is it an oversight?

 

bowenz123

New member
Feb 26, 2017
6
0
Thanks I will give that a shot. Any preference for the solution? aka bleach, bleach & water, oxiclean mix .... ?

 

lightmybriar

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2014
772
265
I personally use 150 proof grain alcohol and I always put the whole thing under, even the tenon. I wasn't aware this could damage it, and in my case, it never has. That doesn't mean it won't, though haha...but I do it on all my pipes to clean and start the removal of oxidation. Then it's just incessant wet sanding starting at 600 (some people start with a coarser grit) and going all the way through a nine-piece set of micro mesh sanding pads. Then to the buffing wheel. This is just my personal preference.

 

pagan

Preferred Member
May 6, 2016
5,964
16
West Texas
I never had any problems with the tenon but if you are concerned then do like @embers said and coat it with Vaseline, I use oxyclean and works wonders, a good rubdown with mineral oil and a cotton rag to restore to a dark black the buff/polish with carnuba wax

 

pipeman7

Member
Jan 21, 2017
291
0
Secret tip: Oil of oregano instantly removes oxidation. Just a drop, takes a long time to dry and get rid of the intense scent/taste of the pungent oil. For lesser cases, tea tree oil

 

deleon

Preferred Member
Nov 7, 2011
585
9
I use oxyclean mixed with some hot water. depending on how bad the stem is I'll leave it there for an hour or longer but it loosens the residue inside the stem as well. Wet sand with 800 or 1000 then polish.

 

fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
2,747
0
Topeka, KS
Bowenz123:
I'm a Clorox and water, dump and leave overnight guy. And I was taught to do it that way by a much admired member here who's reclaimed a few thousand old soldiers.
Afterwards, a lot of hot water and soap and then Micro-mesh to hell and gone. Bob's your uncle.
I know, kinda' old school. But my Depression era mom tried to treat most childhood ailments with oral doses of kerosene and turpentine while my dad kept saying, "Antibiotics?"
Go figure.
Fnord

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,458
121
Warm water and baking soda is my way to go ... never failed me. Just dip submerge it in warm water, maybe 300 ml water and one spoon of baking soda. Let it sit for about an hour, then use the coarse side of a dish washing sponge to remove all oxidation that is left over. For shine, I use a cotton swab with extra virgin olive oil . 9 out of 10 times it will make the stem like new.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,958
1,615
I was recently gifted with a freehand pipe with a P-Lip stem that oxidized after polishing and then only one smoke. Rather than contend with that, I sent it off and had an acrylic stem with a fishtail bit made for it. It's much more fun to smoke this way. I've remedied oxidation on several pipes, but this was just too rapid.

 

aquadoc

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
1,543
193
United States
Barkeepers friend, water, elbow grease. Extreme areas my require sandpaper... I start with 2000 and finish with 6000.

 

dino

Preferred Member
Jul 9, 2011
649
154
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, followed by Flitz polish, and finally, Obsidian oil.

 

cossackjack

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2014
838
22
Evergreen, Colorado
Recent accidental discovery:

Mr Clean Magic Eraser (or generic equivalent) has 2 levels of abrasiveness.
Dry sanding is more aggressive, especially when the stem has been pretreated in an OxyClean soak (1/2 scoop/pint water). Recommend doing this outside while wearing a dust mask as it creates very fine air-borne dust.
Wet sanding is finer, less aggressive, & dust-free.
paulie:

Barkeepers Friend is also available as a liquid (abrasive suspension) which is better for fine polishing & less effective than the powder at removing oxidation (it works best on ceramics, stainless steel, & glass [glass cooktops, wood fireplace/stove glass doors])

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
3,683
643
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
Stickframer; I did preview this, today had hell of a time sanding the (Sic!) brand new Peterson stem back to it original lustre even the magic earsers did not help, was really pissed with these petersons and new factory warranty does not cover stem replacements even on new ones, but seems its all over now, always learning something,

 
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