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Disinfecting Estate Pipes

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  • Started 5 years ago by smokertruck
  • Latest reply from uperepik
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    smokertruck

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    Have seen an estate pipe - a calich - i am interested in but have a rather touchy question. Has anyone worried about anything left on the bit being a health issue? Has anyone disinfected a pipe heavy duty wise ? 99% alcohol probably would not do it for something more serious.
    I guess the answer would be not to buy. Have never bought an estate pipe,

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I don't, because I only buy fully restored estate pipes. When I receive one of these restored pipes, I use 190 proof grain alcohol to clean the airway, the bowl and the stem, let it dry and it's ready to smoke.

    If you buy an unrestored estate pipe from an online seller such as eBay or Etsy, or an unrestored pipe from a yard sale, antique shop, Craig's List, etc., it will usually take a considerable amount of effort to "restore" the pipe and clean it up properly.

    Some puffers love doing this restoration stuff. While I admire that part of the hobby, I'll take my pipes well done, please.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    You could always buy it and send it off to be restored, if you aren't comfortable doing the restoration yourself. There are many places that will bring a pipe back to newish cond. for a small fee.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    +1 Roth

    I've bought 4 pipes off of ebay and wished I had just bought 1 already restored by a reputable dealer. I don't have the time to really refinish a pipe back to it's original glory. That being said, I soak the stem in 1 part bleach to 10 parts warm water for 1 hour. That will kill any germs.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    smokertruck

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    OK - Thanks, yes this is a reputable dealer just spoke with them & they do the process so it might be in the cards unless it goes while i procrastinate.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    If I buy an unrestored pipe it goes to Walker Pipe Repair for a visit to the Ozone chamber.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. voorhees

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    I've refinished a few estate pipes and I do salt and alcohol bowl treatments, oxyclean and high proof alcohol baths for the stems. After that, I am not afraid to smoke them..restaurant utensils are less clean than that.

    Jason
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I know some use bleach, but it worries me, so I don't use bleach at all.

    Grain alcohol is much more efficient in both cleaning and sanitizing, leaves no odor, dries fastest, plus it's potable.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. bobpnm

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    .restaurant utensils are less clean than that

    I know that's true Voorhees! I clean every stem (new or estate) before I put it in my mouth for the first time. I use Everclear. If I need too, I will also scrub the heck out of the pipe with shank brushes and Everclear. I have to say that I'm more in Roth's camp here though. I don't like doing it. I would rather pay a few bucks more for a pipe that someone else has done all that restoration work on.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. allan

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    I guess I fall between Roth and those that buy totally funked out old pipes. Doing a total restore is not my cup of tea.

    The ones I've bought from ebay have been totally restored; I can usually tell from the pics shown on the seller's site and so far have not been disappointed.

    True, the ones I've purchased have not really been 'bargains', usually about 50 percent or so off the suggested retail price when sold new. To me, I'd rather have 2 'estate' pipes than one new one.

    Allan
    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. zekest

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    I must respectfully disagree with Roth, Everclear is only "potable" if you are a really "hard core" drinker.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I must respectfully disagree with Roth, Everclear is only "potable" if you are a really "hard core" drinker.

    LOL, I hear you! But hey, it's a lot more potable than bleach

    I will say that it makes great Limoncello. Bradley (The Old Cajun) grows his own lemons and makes Limoncello using Everclear that's to die for. Limoncello is a digestif -- designed to be served ice cold in a one shot glass after a good meal; I keep it in the freezer. It's terrific, but one shot is enough

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. captainsousie

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    I personally use an alcohol retort to clean and "sanitize" an estate pipe that I, or whoever I sell the pipe to, will be smoking. True, 91% alcohol (what I use both in the retort and with shank brushes and pipe cleaners) is not actually that great at killing some of the hardcore nasties that might live in the stem/shank but I feel better with the addition of heat to the party. If you're really worried, clean one up, get it all nice and shiny and then send it for an ozone treatment at Walker.

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. numbersix

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    Has anyone worried about anything left on the bit being a health issue?

    It's funny but when I first began this hobby, the very thought of an estate pipe gave me the heebie jeebies. But it's really all a mind game. As far as a health issue, I think if a proper cleaning is done, you have no more worries (actually fewer) than using a restaurant spoon (as someone else has mentioned).

    I've bought used estates that have needed cleaning and personally I don't find it to be *that* much work; however, I don't buy seriously gunked up pipes. In fact I just bought a 1940s Grabow which will be my next project:

    If you read up on restoring, you may find that it's not that much work.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Bradley (The Old Cajun) grows his own lemons and makes Limoncello using Everclear that's to die for. Limoncello is a digestif -- designed to be served ice cold in a one shot glass after a good meal; I keep it in the freezer.

    I've had a lot of limoncello but never made with ever clear. That would certainly cure what ails ya. Sounds like the perfect end to a hot summer day.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. mso489

    mso489

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    I don't just want a pipe to be hygienic, I want it to be appetizing. I'm not sure a bit chewed up (a little) by someone else
    fills the bill. I think the hazard of picking up a communicable disease from a used pipe is remote but not impossible.
    For example, a text on mortuary science loaned to a friend by a student of the subject, noted the longevity of the TB
    bacillus in dried blood that can live dormant in cracks between tiles, etc. There may be other bacteria and virus that
    can do this, but I understand the potential is infinitely remote. A new stem would probably allay my objections.
    Estate pipes make a whole upper level of pipes available to pipers of ordinary means. But for now, I like my one-owner
    estate pipes (bought by me, new, years ago). Hate to be squeamish, but like to be content.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Having a pipe spend some time in the Ozone chanber and a total renovation including fixing tooth marks on the stem runs $28 at Walker's. I wouldn't even waste my time trying to clean an estate because nothing will kill all the internal bacteria or remove foul odors like the ozone chamber. IIR they say the Ozone is 50x more effective at killing nasties than chlorine and vastly better than alcohol.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    pipinho

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    Alchol and bleach... Same things that hospitals use

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Hospitals do not sanitize pipes. They sanitize metal instruments. The clear difference being that briar is porous. IMO it's essential to sanitize more than just the surface of a pipe unlike a SS instrument.
    I'm happy to use alcohol on my own pipes but not for sanitizing an estate from an unknown source.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Alcohol, salt treatment and bleach. Beyond that if it bothers me too much I don't smoke it. I suppose I could get hard core and snipe the little germs when they sneak out, but it dings the finish when you miss.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. voorhees

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    Good one saintpeter....

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    instymp

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    How do you make Limoncello? Never heard of it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I never use bleach on the stems. When I first read about that practice, I contacted a couple of pipe repairmen for an opinion. Both said that it ruins vulcanite. I've since heard that from several other restorers, and if you don't believe me, here's what Walker Briar has to say on the subject: http://www.walkerbriarworks.com/html/vulcanite_info_.html. Every restorer I've spoken with over the years says the same thing. Never put your vulcanite stems in bleach. Never, never, never.
    As far as oxidation removal goes, besides the method mentioned on the Walker Briar site, micromesh pads can do the job if you don't want to use a buffer. Once you have removed the oxidation, seal the surface with polish, clean your stem with each smoke, renew the polish every month or so, and NEVER leave your pipes in direct sunlight.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Love the briar

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    Oxi clean soak for the stems and salt alcohol treatment for the inside of the bowl. You can use a good pipe cleaner to scrub away inside the stems with oxi clean too. I have never had a problem with these methods.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. heffeweisse

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    Some years ago, I purchased a "sunrise featherweight" pipe at a renaissance fair, for fairly cheap. At that time, I did not know anything about pipes, nor do I know much today for that matter.

    As I was browsing through the forum topics, I came upon this one in particular, and it caught my attention because it dealt with a used pipe.

    Unfortunately, I cannot tell whether my pipe was restored or not. However, I remember filling it with tobacco from "nat sherman", and smoking away.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. cmdrmcbragg

    cmdrmcbragg

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    My first real pipes were estates. Bought a six-pipe lot off eBay and some of them required some real work (gunked up stems) and a couple were beyond redemption (chewed shut stems) and since I didn't care for either anyways I chucked them. I just went to town with a LOT of pipe cleaners, Everclear, Magic Erasers, varying sandpaper grits and wax to bring them back to life. Reamed a couple pretty good (cake build up wasn't too bad). I didn't mind the process, it was interesting and rewarding, but I'm in no hurry to clean any hardcore estate pipes anytime soon.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. drwatson

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    I use everclear,salt in the bowl. And scrub the crap out of the stem with bristle cleaners and Everclear. I tried the bleach once, and never would again. Took to long to clean back up and didn't see the improvement.

    John
    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. heffeweisse

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    The folks in here seem to have prepared a grand restoration and ample effort. I ask, but why? Were the "estate" pipes that used? If so, is it recommended to smoke a heavily used pipe?

    All I did (when bought my sunrise featherweight briar)was: disinfect the stem, clean the bowl and stem with pipe cleaner. Did I miss something in this process?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. cmdrmcbragg

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    I could've done more to them in making them shine, but I decided not to invest that much time, money and effort into it. I cleaned and disinfected, sanded down teeth chatter and hit the entire pipe up with some Burt's Bees to give it some shine and bring the color of the briar back out.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    As a hobby, there is huge satisfaction in restoring an estate pipe to somewhere near its former glory.

    I have had some fairly disgusting specimens pass through my hands, but never one that has been irredeemable.

    As for catching "communicable diseases" dearie me, do you imagine these can live on pipe stems indefinitely? After treating with alcohol and boiling water if necessary? If you are that squeamish, use a proprietary sterilising solution like the ones available for baby bottles and teats.

    Or better still stay away and leave all those classic, but dirty pipes to the rest of us.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. dread

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    Bacteria, diseases. Someone show me a documented case where pathogen a passed from a pipe disinfected by any one of the many described methods to a human being and caused some sort of disease. There are enough people doing this, that have been doing this for quite some time, that if it were the case we would know about it. If you think it is "icky" then you think it is icky so don't do it. Otherwise don't sweat it, learn how to do it and enjoy it.

    ". . . I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul."
    - INVICTUS
    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. robertsonpoblete

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    How about putting in into a microwave oven?

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    I wouldn't recommend directly into a microwave oven! But if you place a stem in a jug of water and boil/steam it in the microwave, that should be a fairly effective way of sterilising it. There are contraptions for sterilising baby bottles in a microwave, if it is deemed a safe process for infants than it should be OK for pipe smokers!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  34. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I've restored dozens of estate pipes and actually enjoy the process. I never use bleach. Every restorer I've dealt with in the past says the same thing, bleach destroys vulcanite. Go onto the Walker Briar site and see what they say: bleach destroys vulcanite.
    Depending on the condition of the pipe I will use a variety of treatments. For really filthy pipes, I'll ream out the old cake, then sand out down the chamber to a thin veil above the wood. The airway in the shank gets cleaned out, starting with a drill bit if necessary, then scrubbing with a wire brush, followed by wire pipe cleaners until there is no stain on the cleaner. The stem gets scrubbed out with alcohol soaked bristle cleaners. The exterior of the stem gets sanded down to get rid of the mouth crud and oxidation and is then polished with successive micromesh pads. Next the pipe gets a salt and alcohol treatment, occasionally several. Following that I use a retort to flush the interior with boiling alcohol if the salt treatment doesn't do the job. The exterior of the pipe gets cleaned to remove grime and old wax. Once the pipe is thoroughly cleaned I give it a coating of either Paragon or Halcyon wax which is rubbed to a brilliant shine in the palms of my hands. I can easily spend a few hours on a pipe, but I find it a relaxing change from life's hurly-burly. Once a pipe is clean I maintain it so that I can enjoy it without a lot of work.
    I don't always do all of the above. It really depends on how bad the pipe is. But a thorough cleaning with alcohol and "crud" removal is part of every restoration.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I've restored dozens of estate pipes and actually enjoy the process. I never use bleach. Every restorer I've dealt with in the past says the same thing, bleach destroys vulcanite. Go onto the Walker Briar site and see what they say: bleach destroys vulcanite.
    Depending on the condition of the pipe I will use a variety of treatments. For really filthy pipes, I'll ream out the old cake, then sand out down the chamber to a thin veil above the wood. The airway in the shank gets cleaned out, starting with a drill bit if necessary, then scrubbing with an alcohol soaked wire brush, followed by alcohol soaked bristle pipe cleaners until there is no stain on the cleaner. The stem gets scrubbed out with alcohol soaked bristle cleaners. The exterior of the stem gets sanded down to get rid of the mouth crud and oxidation and is then polished with successive micromesh pads. Next the pipe gets a salt and alcohol treatment, occasionally several. Following that I use a retort to flush the interior with boiling alcohol if the salt treatment doesn't do the job. The exterior of the pipe gets cleaned to remove grime and old wax. Once the pipe is thoroughly cleaned I give it a coating of either Paragon or Halcyon wax which is rubbed to a brilliant shine in the palms of my hands. I can easily spend a few hours on a pipe, but I find it a relaxing change from life's hurly-burly. Once a pipe is clean I maintain it so that I can enjoy it without a lot of work.
    I don't always do all of the above. It really depends on how bad the pipe is. But a thorough cleaning with alcohol and "crud" removal is part of every restoration.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Great post sablebrush. I'm with you on the relaxing bit, I find scrubbing up an old pipe to be very therapeutic and treat it very much as a hobby in that way.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  37. timely

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    I have cleaned many estate pipes and I basically do the same as other members have done.
    I also find it relaxing.
    I am a bit of a fanatic about my pipes being clean, so the procedure I go through is quite long.
    Before I put the stems in Oxy Clean I go at it with a brush and scrub out as much gunk as I can, I also take the magic eraser to the stem.
    Then I will put Vaseline on the markings and soak the stem or stems overnight.
    I put at least 2 scoops of Oxy in my measuring cup at the 2 1/2 cup mark.
    Next day, I take them out scrub again with the brush inside, and scrub the outside again with magic eraser.
    If any, and I do mean any dirt is still inside the stem I will repeat the above .
    I have had some estate pipes where the stems were so dirty it took 3 days to get them spotless.
    Next I take a 1500 Micro Mesh Pad wet and scrub, till I do not see anymore brown.
    Than I work my way through the Micro Mesh Pads from 1500, 2400, 3600, are wet sanding.
    Than I use Meguiar's X2.0 Scratch, and finish up polishing up with 6000, 8000, 12000, dry sanding.
    I will put pipe cleaners through with rum 151 several times through out.
    At this point the stems are gleaming, sterilized and look great.
    I figure if I am going to smoke through this, it better be spotless and sterilized.
    The Pipe Bowls get reamed and if I am going to remove the old stain, I will soak them in ISO 99% if needed overnight.
    If the rims are badly gunked up I will carefully sand it down a bit with fine sandpaper in the figure 8 motion on a flat surface.
    I will do the alcohol bath with Rum 151 ( strongest I can get legally ) I will use cotton balls or Kosher salt and they are left overnight.
    I do have a Retort, but it just seems like a bloody science project on the videos I have watched.
    What I do in cleaning my estate pipes sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't.
    I have rescued many sad looking pipes.
    The only time I have sent a pipe out to be worked on was when I got my first Dunhill Pipe.
    Ed, made the Dunhill Pipe look like it was new. Great work.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  38. drwatson

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    NEVER!!!!boil a stem, you will kill its shape! Same thing with NUKEING it! never. Cleaning an old estateis really not rocket science. Ususally about 20-30 minutes total working time if that (not counting any soak time).

    Posted 5 years ago #
  39. timely

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    Agree with drwatson, Never, Ever bowl a stem.
    I have encountered more than a few stems that were so dirty, they did take more time.
    I just cannot understand anyone letting their pipes get so filthy, let alone wondering
    how they could even smoke it, with a stem/bowl totally clogged.
    I have bought some estate pipes from Ebay with the seller claiming that they have cleaned the pipe
    and it was ready to smoke. NOT. !!!!
    I have had a few that looked nice and clean even with putting a dry pipe cleaner through.
    That is until I put the Rum 151 on a pipe cleaner and run it through the stem, yuk.!!!!
    Unless the pipe is new, I am more comfortable cleaning it myself so I know it is clean.
    Even if the seller has cleaned it, or said they have cleaned it.
    Lots of good info on this board about pipe cleaning.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  40. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Regardless of the source, even with a brand new pipe, I will always clean and disinfect the stem and bit. Ebay sellers from whom I've bought estate pipes, except Coopersark whose pipes have been immaculate, do a quick job of cleaning when they bother to clean at all. One sniff tells the story.
    Personally I'd rather buy an uncleaned estate pipe than one that has been messed with by someone who doesn't know how to clean a pipe.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  41. timely

    timely

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    sablebrush52, I agree with you.
    I did neglect to mention the cleaning of the stem and bit if it is a new pipe.
    I will also clean and disinfect it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  42. badgercat

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    I enjoy cleaning up estate pipes and have a great source just a few miles down the road. I understand it might not be part of the hobby that everyone enjoys.

    I have a little moonshine I clean the stem inside and out with. I cant imagine anything living after a good soak in this stuff. Sea salt and more shine for the bowl.

    I prefer to clean as oppossed to restore. I want to respect the pipe I choose and let its age, character, and even its flaws shine through. I rarely if ever buff a pipe. A new shine on an old pipe just doesnt look right to me.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  43. timely

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    I have left some of the estate pipes natural that I had cleaned and sterilized.
    I had put some into ISO 99% as the stain was chipping off anyway.
    On a few, the briar was in amazing condition with lovely grain, so I just sanded them lightly, and put Paragon Wax on them and buffed the pipe by hand, they looked quite nice.
    Some had some minor dings that I left as is, leaving the character of the pipe intact.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Is there anyway to sanitize a new pipe with a vulcanite stem? Alcohol doesn't work very well as it could oxidize the stem, is there any other method?

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Worst that's ever happened from smoking a just-arrived estate (after reaming & gross crud removal from bite zone when necessary) has been the occasional sore throat. Big whoop. That "try smoke" determines what it's ghosted with, and whether it'll smoke out of it over time or it needs to go off to the ozone facility.

    Over-thinking just complicates what's pretty simple.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    If you are responding to my query, I wasn't asking about your personal hygienic practices (which sound questionable best)

    You are taking a survey.

    Your question was whether anyone worried about it.

    My answer was "no."

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Na I just posted in old thread that I didn't even bother to read like an idiot sorry

    Posted 3 years ago #
  48. jpmcwjr

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    Completely unnecessary. Unless you take your own silverware to restaurants.

    However, a pipe cleaner dipped in alcohol run through the stem may clear other detritus from the airway; a reasonable step.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  49. stvalentine

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    The mentioned methods are all nice and well and I like a clean pipe as every other guy but the least you will have to worry about in estate pipes is disinfection! Nicotene is one of the strongest toxins known to man. Germs will have a hard time living in such an enviroment. A little cleaning with alcohol never hurts. But microwaves? Boiling water? Bleach? Puh-leeze, common sense!

    "Ride it like you stole it!"

    The Old Swede
    Posted 3 years ago #
  50. tennsmoker

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    +1 stvalentine.

    Yeah, I just run a little Everclear through the stem, shank, bowl. Fill 'er up with a good Va/per after an hour or so of drying time, and there you are!


    The past is never dead. It's not even past--Requiem for a Nun
    Posted 3 years ago #
  51. tuold

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    Whenever I go to a restaurant, I first dump my food into a clean plastic bag while scrub my dish and utensils with a wash of bleach followed by boiling alcohol. That way I'm sure all the e coli, TB, hepatitis, mouse droppings and bug parts will be limited to what's already on my food.

    The pipe is an instrument of civilization.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  52. mayfair70

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    scarface - Personal attacks are uncalled for. Rude behavior by ONE member, lowers the respectability of the entire forum. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

    The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. -Groucho Marx
    Mouse-catcher on The Black Frigate
    Posted 3 years ago #
  53. mcitinner1

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    scarface - Personal attacks are uncalled for. Rude behavior by ONE member, lowers the respectability of the entire forum. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

    Copy that.

    Stan
    Godfrey Daniels!!
    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 3 years ago #
  54. User has not uploaded an avatar

    username

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    If grain alcohol doesn't kill it I am pretty sure nothing will.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    don't worry mayfair I think the respectability of this forum is already pretty low

    Posted 3 years ago #
  56. mayfair70

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    the respectability of this forum is already pretty low

    If I really thought so, I would not be here. YOU may want to reconsider though. This isn't YouTube.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  57. fordm60

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    Hello gentleman,

    Please remember personal attacks are not allowed. Violation of this rule can and has gotten members banned.

    Thank you,
    Robert.

    No Rudeness or Personal Attacks

    10. While we honor passionate and informed discussion we will not tolerate rudeness, insulting posts, personal attacks or purposeless inflammatory posts.

    'Rudeness' means deliberately discourteous comments directed at another member. 'Insulting posts' are those that treat another member with deliberate rudeness and contempt. 'Purposeless inflammatory posts' are posts that are designed purely to provoke a reaction and cause an unpleasant argument.

    Such behaviour is not tolerated here.

    We take a very firm line on these forums regarding personal attacks, so it is important for all members to understand the difference between disagreeing with the content of another member's posts, and making a personal attack on someone.

    Our definition of a 'personal attack' includes:

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    Disagreeing with comments made in another member's post does not constitute a personal attack. Members are allowed to refute the comments of other members and provide reasons why they don't agree. A member may also choose to contradict a comment and provide very little evidence to support their comments, and this does not count as a personal attack either. When a member chooses to attack the author of a post rather than the content of the post, that is a personal attack. Please keep your focus on the facts of the topic under discussion - not on the person with whom you disagree.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  58. mayfair70

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    (edited)

    Scrubbing the outside stem and button with a soapy old toothbrush will lift dirt and germs from the surface, suspending them in an emulsion, which is then cleared away by rinsing in water. Applying alcohol internally with a pipe cleaner and externally to the button area (sparingly on vulcanite) is a good extra step to kill germs, remove tars and neutralize some ghosting. I generally wash the whole pipe externally with soapy water and washrag then rinse and towel dry. I scrape the inside of the bowl to remove cake then give a light sanding leaving a layer of carbon. Pipe cleaners and alcohol do the rest.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Listerine? Otherwise, how about cetylpyridium chloride as in a mouthwash (many of which also contain denaturants for its ethanol...never use methanol which is toxic). I would not put this in the bowl but cetylpyridium chloride (or benzalkonium chloride) are cationic detergents that (usually) you see combs at barbershops floating in. Granted, Vulcanite is not stainless steel but plastic combs are closer in molecular makeup and surface properties.

    I believe the USP says that ethanol concentrations above 16 percent (it depends very much on pH) is required for ethanol to be a PRESERVATIVE. I don't know how that translates into being a SPOROCIDAL (spores are real hard to kill).

    BTW, after Hurricane Sandy the news told us not to use pure bleach but dilute 1:10...it was more effective antimicrobial when diluted. Just wanted to through that out there. More is not better.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    briarbuda48

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    Walker Pipe Repair is great and do most of my work. I own over 100 pipes, 90 of them estates and many cleaned up myself, I only use Everclear to disinfect, Murphy’s oil soap and a tooth brush to clean the outside and Zymol detail to polish it up.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  61. chasingembers

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    Moonshine on the chamber, airway, and mortise. Soap and water on the stem. Alcohol can cause microfractures in acrylic stems.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 year ago #
  62. pipesticks

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    If you do choose to use bleach, keep in mind that bleach has an expiration date. It will still work for keeping your undergarments white, but forget about it for disinfecting purposes such as purifying water, killing bacteria, etc.

    And boiling stems is also not a great idea unless you want your bent stem to turn back into a straight stem. Works great for softening stems to rebend them though. I do it all the time. I hate the radical bends on cob stems, so I buy the straight replacement stems and bend them the way I want it. You can also change the bend of a bent cob stem but that is trickier and you risk pinching off the airway unless done with care.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  63. pipesticks

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    The problem I have with bleach is, sure, it will deoxidize a stem, but it also pits it if soaked too long. Try Oxyclean for the soak....works great....no pitting and saves a lot of elbow grease sanding.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  64. dottiewarden

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    Fill and spark is my method, soon I ghost it with my own particular taste in tobacco selection. As for health issues, I guess it's a risk I'm willing to take, as all pipe smokers are refined gentlemen. Keep in mind, I don't always use condoms either.

    Dot
    Posted 1 year ago #
  65. chasingembers

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    all pipe smokers are refined gentlemen

    Okay, I'm offended.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  66. dottiewarden

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    Are you suggesting I'm sadly mistaken?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  67. chasingembers

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    Heavens no.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  68. uperepik

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    I could not imagine using bleach, I used oxyclean a few times but I swear I can still smell it on those pipes long after, now I just get on with the sanding and forgo the soak. I cannot believe I have never thought of a drill bit (thanks sable), that would definitely make initial airway crude cleaning quicker.

    -
    "A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth."
    C.S Lewis
    Posted 1 year ago #

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