How Often do You Clean Your Pipes?
I know there are a million answers to any question of personal practice or opinion, but that's exactly what I would like to know.
How often do you clean your pipes.
I'm still not very certain on my own schedule. When I started smoking pipes I almost immediately got stricken with pad and had a 7 day rotation very shortly. I was cleaning once a week after reading a cleaning should be done after about 6 or 7 smokes somewhere, but then I realized if I have a different pipe every day of the week, then I was cleaning after every bowl, so of course I stopped and its been a little while since I've done a full cleaning, but even then I'd say I haven't smoked a single pipe more than 7 times since because my collection keeps growing, and my 7 day set has never been the same more than 2 weeks.
So what do you gentlemen do? How often do you clean your pipes?
"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G. K. Chesterton
Whenever it starts to taste sour.
Its really that simple.
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." - Claire Wolfe
I'll smoke a particular pipe throughout the course of a day. I then clean it using a Q-tip to swab out the shank and then run a couple of pipe cleaners through it and put it up to rest while I smoke another.
Smoking a pipe is true relaxation...everything else is too much like work.
I try and smoke a certain pipe only once in a day, stick a pipe cleaner down the steam to get out any moisture and let it sit till the next time. Do a full on alcohol and salt treatment when it tastes sour or feel like it could use it.
I like to run an alcohol soaked pipe cleaner after each smoke then a few dry ones till they come out looking clean. After about a dozen smokes I use a shank brush soaked on alcohol or some bristled cleaners. It might be overkill, but to me a nice clean pipe ensures a sweet smoke.
Personally, fter break-in, I let my pipes rest for at least 7 days between smokes, using only a few pipe cleaners after each smoke. After 5-7 smokes, I disassemble and deep clean with alcohol, and do any needed exterior maintenance. I usually batch up a small group to deep clean all together.
I feel like this is conservative, but it keeps my pipes sweet and dry. Plus, it kind of forces me to use more pipes more frequently.
I smoke anywhere from 5-10 bowls per day, runa pipe cleaner through after each smoke or 2 then give it a good cleaning at the end of the day and let it sit for 4-5 days for my rotation. I also pretty much smoke only cobs.
Pipe cleaner after each smoke, paper towel to the shank if I'm smoking a Peterson System, paper towel and/or bottle brush to the bowl after each smoke. Shank cleaning with Q-tip at the end of the day. Alcohol to the stem and shank as needed. Rest at least 24 hours. Trim the cake as needed, about every couple months. No more than 3 bowls out of one pipe per day. I have 15 pipes and 2 cobs.
I clean mine after every smoke. 1-3 pipe cleaners, scrape gently with dull pipe knife, ream bowl with paper towel.
Full cleanings about one a week (151 rum, shank brush, pipe cleaners, paper towels, Obsidian Oil, and maybe some mineral oil, some silver polish and/or some of Dave Wolff's vulcanite stem cleaner if needed).
Hi, I'm new at this. You actually clean with rum vice alcohol? Sounds interesting.
After every smoke I let the pipe rest, once cooled I remove the stem and run alcohol soaked pipe cleaners through it till clean. Then I take a shank brush soaked in alcohol and clean the shank. If the brush doesn't fit, then I use a bristled pipe cleaner that I bend in half.
As long as I got a pipe full of baccy and a nose full of snuff, I'm a happy camper
Cigarettes are an addiction, cigars are a hobby, pipes are a religion
I let my pipes go 10 smokes without an alcohol cleaning. I still ran a dry pipe cleaner through them to collect any excess moisture after every smoke.
It was pretty gross lol
I'm an advocate of a small/basic cleaning after every smoke. That way you can do a deep cleaning every 6 months or so.
Just like the dentist.
"I was born to lose. So I'll die to win." -Breaking Benjamin
I use pipe cleaners and wipe out the bowl with a paper towel after every bowl smoked.
A smile will always keep them guessing.
I use pipe cleaners at night when my day is over. I smell the bowl and stem. If it smells? (bad) I go father in the cleaning. If I don't do a good cleaning, it ruin's the next bowls flavor.
If I use any alcohol, I let the pipe rest for a week before smoking it again. When I go out for the day, I always have 4 to 5 clean pipes with me in the truck. I change off tobacco's as the day goes on. I enjoy the experience more when I do this. I save the cleaning for when I get home and I'm done smoking my pipes for the day. I enjoy the cleaning as much as I enjoy the smoking. You take care of your stuff, ya know?
Probably not as often as I should.
+1 mlaug, run pipe cleaners at the end of day till clean. (2-3)
There is really a lot of variation. That is one of the great things about the love of pipes. Its always different according to the personality of the one who smokes. We can be as obsessive or relaxed as we want, and aside from actually destroying the pipe in the process there is not really a right way or a wrong way.
I'm still developing my rhythm. I use a pipe cleaner in the stem and bowl after I've smoked a bowl. And since I probably do not smoke the same pipe but once a week (or less), I'll probably go with a quarterly deep clean.
Great posting - I'm just beginning (again) and have two new to me pipes. So this was very helpful.
I run a pipe cleaner through the stem and then double it over and go around the inside of the bowl with it after every smoke. About every 1 1/2 to 2 months I do a more in-depth cleaning with bourbon whiskey.
Hey gang, where can I get a brush for the pipe to clean it? This is all new stuff to me. I probably need to give my Briar a good cleaning now that I'm reading this. I usually run a few cleaners through it and around the bowl after each smoke, and then let it rest for at least 48 hours.
Any help is much-obliged! Thanks as always!
@ bryanharvey =
This is a five pack, $6. Five shank brushes is a lot; I wash mine with dish detergent and hot water after I'm done with the shank brush and I've been using the same brush for many months.
E. A. Carey sells them in a two-pack, $2.46.
These are on eBay, 2 brushes for $4.51 w/free shipping.
4 Noggins sells shank brushes too, $2.29 each.
Rothnh - THANK YOU! Awesome stuff.
I see a lot of people suggesting that they clean with alcohol. I have a few questions:
1) What type of alcohol?
2) Do you do this instead of Pipe Sweetener and or addition
I clean a pipe after every smoke, when the pipe is cool. I run a pipe cleaner through tipped with Everclear and then run the dry end through. If you keep your pipes clean, 1 pipe cleaner will usually do the trick. I usually leave the inside of the bowl alone (calabash/meerschaum pipes are the exception) unless it is time to ream some cake. I wipe the outside of the pipe with a slightly moistened cloth and wipe the stem with a sanitary wipe. A clean pipe smokes best!
“Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting.”
― Samwise Gamgee
It took me about 4 months to get around to cleaning all the pipes, I take them apart use a brush on the shank and a bristle cleaner and sweetener on the stem. I smoke with a cleaner at hand but I only us it to remove a bit of tobacco if a clog happens, after the smoke when the bowl is empty I give a blow into the stem to get rid of any bits then rack the pipe.
I've been running a couple of pipe cleaners through after each smoke. When breaking in a new pipe (briar), how vigorously should I be cleaning the bowl after a smoke.? I don't want to interfere with the caking process.
To me the chamber is sacred ground, I don't go there except to scrape out a bit of stubborn tobacco.
Now keep in mind I smoke cobs almost exclusively, I love the flavor. I run a pipe cleaner we through mine every time I use it until the cleaners come out white. I do a thorough cleaning about every 5-10 bowls, or if I know it's going to be a long time before I smoke that pipe again. I have to say sometimes I clean my pipes just because I love the taste that the alcohol leaves in a blend, especially if I'm going to smoke a weak flavored blend like an Aro.
I use 5-6 pipe cleaners after every smoke. Maybe 2-3 times a year I do a "deep" clean with rum, bristle brushes, stem polish and olive oil on the briar.
~Slow and steady wins the taste.
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