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Removing Strong Ghosts from a Pipe

(27 posts)
  1. matchstickman

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    Whenever I buy an estate pipe, I always give it the standard salt and alcohol treatments to leech out any of the old tars and flavors from the wood. Now normally, I let the treatment sit for 24 hours and if the salt is really brown, I repeat the process until the salt is clean at the end of the process. However, I have a couple of pipes that I have given multiple S&A treatments, but a strong ghost still remains in the pipe. One has a lakeland flavor, and the other one has a ghost that I am afraid is...*gulp*...MIXTURE 79! Bleh! Does anyone know of any way that I can remove the ghosts from these pipes? I have also reamed the cake back to a minimum but left a proper amount in as I like a well broken in pipe. Any thoughts or techniques would be appreciated.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  2. nsfisher

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    may have to ream it all the way back to the wood. salt an alochol an rebreak it in again. Only way to go

    If at first you don't succeed, have another bowl.
    Posted 7 years ago #
  3. tobakenist

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    You Should look into using the Retort method, I purchaced a kit from a guy in the USA and it works great http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PIPE-CLEANING-RETORT-/270888125765?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f1230c545

    Regards Ken,
    I am not young enough to know everything.
    Posted 7 years ago #
  4. matchstickman

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    I have seen little demos on how to use a retort, and seeing what is involved in that, I would not trust myself to perform such an operation. I would probably wind up charring half my face off and wind up with a cameo in the new Batman movie.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  5. tobakenist

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    It's a lot easier than it looks, I built a little rig to hold the pipe and leave hands free to handle the retort, the best thing about this system is it can make a 50yr old pipe smoke like a new one, before I got mine I use to put Alcohol in the bowl and boil it in a oven, not as bad as it sounds because alcohol boils at a low temp, the retort method is much safer and easy to use, you just have to remember that alcohol boils at a safe-ish temp.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  6. bbauer

    bbauer

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    I just bought a few (probably more than i should have) estate pipes on ebay over the last few weeks. most of the pipes cleaned up well by me just doing to salt and alcohol treatment. 2 of them however were a lot more difficult. i ended up completely removing the whole cake and then i let the alcohol treatment sit for a little bit longer just to be safe. now ive only smoked one of the two difficult pipes, however it smoked great. there were no unwanted flavors remaining just the tobacco i was smoking

    “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.”
    -Albert Einstein, 1950
    Posted 7 years ago #
  7. ssjones

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    I get a bad one every once in a while that the salt/everclear soak doesn't resolve. I just smoke through it, it takes maybe 5-6 bowls to diminish (burley blend used) than by bowls 8-10, it is gone. My little Comoys pot had some stubborn ghosts, but I smoked them out. I should probably invest in a retort.

    Al

    Posted 7 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I have read on other forums that white vinegar is also an alternative to the salt and alcohol treatment for stubborn ghosts.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  9. unclearthur

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    I like to use a retort on all the new estates I get in . Seems to kill the ghosts very well. For the lakeland flavored one . Dedicate it to Lakelands. That is one strong flavor to try to get rid of.

    If at first you don't succeed you are running about average.
    Posted 7 years ago #
  10. matchstickman

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    For the lakeland flavored one . Dedicate it to Lakelands.

    This may seem like a heresy to some but I dont really smoke Lakeland blends. That flavor just really hasn't grabbed hold of me yet.

    I read on another forum a little bit ago that strong burley blends help to remove ghosts. Maybe I will give that a whirl and see what happens. Thanks for the input everyone!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  11. olderthandirt

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    I'm pretty well convinced that the majority of leftover "ghosting" resides in the airway, shank and stem, more so than in the bowl.
    So I make a point to really focus on the shank, the stem is usually pretty simple.

    Using whatever combination of shank brushes, doubled over pipe cleaners, rolled up paper towels and alcohol I work towards getting the airway as absolutely spotless as possible.
    Lot of time and pipe cleaners but this has worked well for me.

    I will procure a retort some day though. Save on the pipe cleaners!

    Snus, snuff and briar.
    Not much more required in a day.
    Brian from Oregon USA
    Posted 7 years ago #
  12. deleon

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    I bought the cleaning retort kit from the gentleman on ebay. You can even contact him over the phone and he'll explain everything you need to know on setting up the kit to work properly. He's a nice man even has a few pipe stories to share with you.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  13. unclearthur

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    On a lot of ghosted pipes running through a few bowls of PA or Five Brothers is a simple cure.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  14. matchstickman

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    I'm pretty well convinced that the majority of leftover "ghosting" resides in the airway, shank and stem, more so than in the bowl.
    So I make a point to really focus on the shank, the stem is usually pretty simple

    I didn't really consider this option, so I might give that a whirl. I am sure I cleaned out the shank and stem fairly throroughly but can't remember. In any case, it is worth a shot.

    On a lot of ghosted pipes running through a few bowls of PA or Five Brothers is a simple cure.

    I have a packet of PA sitting around, might have to give that a whirl. MacBarens Golden Extra has also been a recent fave that I could try to use for getting a ghost out. Thanks for all the advice everyone!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  15. hawke

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    My first attempt at making a retort was less than successful. A flame ensued! Well the test tube was too big for one, aprox 1 in diameter and the brass tube was 1/4 inch. It took too much heat to get it to run up the tubing. I ordered some 1/2 in test tubes and used a smaller 1/8 inch aluminum tube into a rubber stopper I drilled out to match. I had to put a couple layers of electrical heat shrink so it would fit my surgical tubing.

    I just got a meerschaum lined small bore pipe I intend for smoking flakes however after through cleaning and even the salt treatment I could not get the "perfume taste" out of it. I like Latakia but I found that taste reminded me of some Pirate Kake that had a bit too much of this "perfume taste" which I despised. Well the retort did the trick! I ran two sets of alcohol through it and while it wasn't perfectly clear after that, the ghost is gone!.

    So thumbs up on a retort cleaning by me.

    Are those Tobacco Brownies?
    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. huntertrw

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    I have found that a thorough cleaning of bowl, shank, and stem followed by filling the bowl with dry baking soda and letting it sit undisturbed for up to 30-days works wonders in exorcising even the most stubborn ghosts of stinky-smokes-past. Just dump the baking soda into the sink at the end of the period, and you should be able to enjoy a clean, fresh pipe.

    Love Me, Love My Pipe
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    ozone in worst case scenarios, but I've had Lakeland ghosts somewhat resist ozone as well. Ozone treatment and then smoke straight Burley through it til it comes around is my method.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    Lakeland essence is a quantum material. It exists or does not exist depending on how much the perceiver detests it.

    For me, soaking overnight in vodka has cleared the stubborn ghosts, but sometimes when I am way out in an empty field, the ghost of Lakeland visits me. I can hear her cackle, like an ancient curse come to life...

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. okiescout

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    On estates I follow the advice of a number of the old timers and use a retort between two salt & Everclear treatments. Ain't much going to get past that

    "Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow."
    Benjamin Franklin
    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. mso489

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    Someone might make good supplemental income as a pipe exorcist. The motto could be No Ghost Remains. Who ya gonna call?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. ssjones

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    @cakeandottle - I've always kept your ozone experience in the back of my mind should I acquire a severely ghosted pipe. To this point, on the few I've had problems with I've been able to smoke through the ghost and build my own cake.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. disinformatique

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    G.L Pease chronicled in one of his blogs to use activated charcoal and leaving the pipe in an oven sans the stem of course to cook for a longer period of time after all his other efforts failed to remove the ghost from one of his pipes.

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. arno665

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    I prefer the exorcism method to remove the ghost.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. okiescout

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    Never was a fan of pea soup though!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. pcr1

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    Let us know how things turn out.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. andrew

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    G.L Pease chronicled in one of his blogs to use activated charcoal and leaving the pipe in an oven sans the stem of course to cook for a longer period of time after all his other efforts failed to remove the ghost from one of his pipes.

    This method was quite successful based on an earlier thread of experiences using this technique.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    reviving this old thread....but I have to say that the "Strong-Burleys kills ghosting"-Thing mentioned before really worked.

    I have a nice Aldo Morelli (partially) sandblasted, that was only used for Sam Gawiths Chocolate Flake. Which has a distinctive chocolate- and a very strong latakia taste. I smoked about 25+ bowls with the blend, and you could taste even the blend when drawing on a empty pipe.

    As I don't smoke that many Lat's and I want to use this pipe more often, I decided "try Old Dark Fired, or Bold Kentucky - that stuff will kill the Latakia!"

    AND....it really does! Well, I'm gonna use it for my beloved Kentucky Blends (like ODF, Bold Kentucky, 3 Nuns etc.), I guess the pipe wouldn't taste good with any aromatics or Virginias in there - no matter how much ODF or BK you smoke in it, because those blends give the pipe woody, tangy taste to it.

    But Kentucky (or maybe even stronger Burleys) will acutally work to kill Latakia and prepare it for Kentucky/Burley Blends to use.

    + Old Dark fire tates damn good, with a mild cocoa note in the back, I was almost wishing the ghosting would go
    Just go through those 1-2 max. 3 bowls required, to get rid of the Ghosting.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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