Why do you clean rim soot?

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tdehart

New member
Aug 12, 2016
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So... I've been smoking for just over a year now and I fully understand the importance of cleaning my pipes on a very regular basis and have gotten into a good routine for doing so. But there's one thing I'm not sure I understand or even agree with: that's cleaning the rim. I have a couple briars and a couple corncobs - all I need. I've let the soot build on all my pipes, I've cleaned all the soot off the rims of all my pipes over the year I've smoked so, I know for a fact that the build-up isn't char - it's definitely soot. But my question is why? Frankly, I prefer the look of my pipes (especially the cobs but also the briars) with the soot on the rims.
Why do you clean the rims of the pipes and is it necessary?

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
I wouldn't say it's necessary, I think a lot of pipe smokers just don't like the way it looks. That is probably especially true for those smoking expensive pipes with attractive rim grain, or a nice plateau. It actually never occurred to me not to clean the rim.

 

dottiewarden

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2014
3,051
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Toronto
I picked up an Estate at an antique shop and I'm sure the rim hadn't been cleaned ever. It came off easily with a little hair gel. I would think it can serve as a protective coating, but as jpmcwjr says "Some I clean, some I don't."

 

ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
1,185
26
With briars I generally just use saliva on the rim after each smoke or I'll use some hot black coffee. With cobs I let the rims darken because I like that well used look.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,136
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WI
I don't clean my rims. I perfer the look of the well used and worn pipes.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,584
68
I keep mine clean because I enjoy the look of the wood on the rim. Some very fine straight grain pipes feature spectacular displays of birdseye on the rims. I also wet the rim with a bit o spit before applying flame, which helps prevent singeing the rim. It's a no effort precaution.

 

tdehart

New member
Aug 12, 2016
22
0
I picked up an Estate at an antique shop and I'm sure the rim hadn't been cleaned ever. It came off easily with a little hair gel. I would think it can serve as a protective coating, but as jpmcwjr says "Some I clean, some I don't."
...see I wondered if it provides a protective coating too - seems like so long as its soot/tar it would. When I've cleaned it in the past I've used Everclear and plain old rubbing alcohol and both work wonderfully to remove the build up - but it almost seems to me that it would act more like cake does on the inside of the pipe if you allow the soot to build up on the rim.
Here's my one of my two MM Legends with some delayed satisfaction still in it from this morning-(She's one of my go-to pipes that I use and abuse and often put to bed wet but when I pick her up in the morning she still loves me!)

Isn't she beautiful?
Thanks for the responses - it's great to hear everyone's opinions.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,454
72
Yeah, I clean and polish my pipes after each smoke. A lot of mine have different staining around the rim than the rest of the pipe and I like to keep that pronounced. How in the world did you blacken that cob rim? Even my oldest cob, 15+ years, doesn't look like that. 8O

 

tdehart

New member
Aug 12, 2016
22
0
...How in the world did you blacken that cob rim? Even my oldest cob, 15+ years, doesn't look like that. 8O
...I don't know?? I'm feeling a little self-conscious now like I've just been told I've always had three eyes but never knew it :P - I just fill up my bowl all the way to the top and proceed to smoke that bad boy. Typically, during the week I smoke on the way into work and then again on the way home. Maybe later in the evening I smoke again one more time as I sit and smoke with my lady. (Haven't won her over yet - she still smokes cigarettes.) Weekends, I smoke 2-4 times each day? I don't know how I've gotten such a black rim - I haven't been trying to; I just have. I've cleaned the rim on this pipe in particular at least once over the last year - I've had it since like... September of last year(?)

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
3,213
12
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
whil using lighters I have had bad experience with many a pipes to get rim, darkened ,good if not burnt, because of cheap lighters ,and what I had leard , from this on I will only do that char light using matches and only- then I shall buy a proper Peterson or similair lighter for relightin purposes- these Bic lighter can be leathal to pipes,,

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
And to think they used to have to use a chunk of glowing ember or a smoldering stick to light their pipes. Must have had to be very careful if they cared about rim char. Which, they may not have.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,454
72
I don't know?? I'm feeling a little self-conscious now like I've just been told I've always had three eyes but never knew it
No, no! Don't get me wrong, It looks good on a cob! Just never knew how they got that way. Have seen many with it, was just never able to do it.