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Pipe Sweetener

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    rjs338

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    OK.... as a relative neophite to this hobby I've seen adds for all kinds of pipe accessories etc. but can some one tell me just what "pipe sweetener" is, what it is made of & why I need to use it?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    I use a pipe cleaner dipped in extra dry gin to clean my pipes after about 30 or 40 smokes -- or whenever I think the pipe isn't delivering as well as it could. I don't actually know what commercial fluids contain; but I'll guess that it's some form of alcohol with a sweetener like honey, or maybe even sugar and food color.

    Why use it? When a pipe goes sour, or foul, you'll understand. The alcohol dissolves the tars and gunk very efficiently, and restores the good taste.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. cobsandclays

    cobsandclays

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    When you're ready, grasshopper....

    Pipe Cleaning Video by Bob Tate

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    I think we all have our own favorites, and most B&M's sell a "pipe sweetener".
    The over the shelf "sweetener" is alcohol based and has to have some sort of "denaturing" in them, so I wouldn't use them.

    I prefer Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey used in the same manner as Cotezattic. I will use it to clean the stem, then using a paper towel moistened with Ezra Brooks "kind of" stuffed and screwed into the bowl, then twist until the cake is smoothed out. Be careful to not soak the cake. Then let the pipe dry completely.
    This removes any ghosts that may haunt your smoke.


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    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. jonesing

    jonesing

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    I use Everclear and like Cortez just every once in awhile when it seems time for a deep cleaning.

    I've found the most important thing is a "dry" post smoke cleaning. Run a pipe cleaner through the pipe and then fold the cleaner in half and stick it and your finger down in the bowl and swab it out. A paper towel works even better.

    I don't know this for a fact but I suspect what causes a pipe to "sour" is left over moisture and debris which sort ferments of "spoils".

    I won't see any communication directed to me here. I'm no longer active at this forum.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. jcsoldit

    JC

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    Ditto... except you can't purchase Everclear here in Ohio so I use Vodka.

    As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. cobsandclays

    cobsandclays

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    I just did a deep cleaning on my pipe that's supposed to be used with a filter (I don't), more or less following the demo in Bob's video. I used rubbing alcohol and was pretty sloppy about it because I wanted to strip the dulled finish off the pipe. It was never lacquered so I wasn't concerned about any long term damage/problems. I think it worked pretty well- it looks clean inside and a lot of old tar and gunk came out. Smells like it hasn't been smoked, but the cake is still there. I used olive oil on the bowl and a hair dryer to warm it all up so as to open the pores of the wood. I'll give it a smoke in a few days.

    Another thing I tried a few weeks ago was to warm the oven in the kitchen to about 200deg and put the pipe in there for an hour. Then I took it out and filled the bowl with activated charcoal (can be found wherever aquarium supplies are sold) then I put it back in the oven for a couple hours. That worked to absorb the nastiness that had accumulated in the bowl.

    I've also stopped storing my pipes with a pipe cleaner in them. I run the cleaner through to grab whatever moisture is there and that's it. I'm inclined to agree with Jonesing that there's some kind of fermentation going on and I think leaving a cleaner in there makes things worse... but maybe that's a separate thread.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. jonesing

    jonesing

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    I started a post about the pipe cleaner in the pipe thing awhile ago and then got distracted and never posted it. Glad you brought it up.

    A fairly well accepted convention of pipe smoking seems to be to leave a cleaner in the pipe.

    Seems to defy logic a bit. Air is the best thing for moisture and to dry down and kill all the icky things.(sorry for the technical terms). So to me leaving a cleaner in the pipe is counter to the cause.

    What am I missing?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. cortezattic

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    I like to leave the fresh end of a used pipe cleaner in the pipe for a few hours. It always seems to pick up some extra gunk. But for longer storage/resting I keep the stem clear for the reasons Rick mentions. I've seen both approaches advocated in print -- not that being in print makes it any more credible. Like Rick said above:

    the most important thing is a "dry" post smoke cleaning

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. python

    Bob

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    Cobsandclays Said:
    Another thing I tried a few weeks ago was to warm the oven in the kitchen to about 200deg and put the pipe in there for an hour. Then I took it out and filled the bowl with activated charcoal (can be found wherever aquarium supplies are sold) then I put it back in the oven for a couple hours. That worked to absorb the nastiness that had accumulated in the bowl.

    Did you remove the stem from the bowl before putting it in the oven?

    "When the Government Fears the People, There is Liberty;
    When the People Fear the Government, There is Tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson
    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. cobsandclays

    cobsandclays

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    Good question- I did remove the stem. Since it came out so fresh smelling (and tasting), I think with this pipe I can safely say whatever was nasty was in the bowl. I stole the idea from the pipe wiki, if anyone wants to review my source for this.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. python

    Bob

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    I assumed that you did remove the stem, but I wanted to make sure.

    Just an FYI for the newbies who might think about trying the procedure.
    If you leave the stem on, the heat will return the stem material to its prior state which is straight. It could also melt it.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    pbgoldwing55

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    to be safe i would just use the everclear or burbon or vodka to clean the pipe
    most of them are way to expensive to be bakeing in the oven gentlemen.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. hauntedmyst

    hauntedmyst

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    I used to use Pipe Sweetener until I discovered the M80 method. Just take an M80, light it, put the bowl upside down on the sidewalk and then stand on it until the cracker goes off, blowing all the sour taste out the shank. Bingo! Pipe is sweetened.

    A tattoo on a beautiful woman is like graffiti on a Ferrari.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. admin

    Kevin

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    LOL hauntedmyst!

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    Posted 4 years ago #
  16. cortezattic

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    You could have put Cherry Bomb in the pipe too!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  17. fred

    fred

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    I'm another advocate for using Everclear. It's a food grade solvent that leaves no residue, taste or odor. The purity standards it has to meet make it preferable to other alcohol solvents, and it's relatively cheap, if you look at the price of a fluid ounce. It's anhydrous, so it actually helps to pull the moisture out of my Pipes. It works for me.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  18. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    I still like Ezra Brooks, after all it makes the pipe taste great, and you can drink what you don't use.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  19. cortezattic

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    Fred, excellent point on the properties of Everclear. I'm putting it on the shopping list today.

    Posted 4 years ago #

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