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Sweetening A Sour Pipe

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    pipeude28

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    I have been using the salt/ever clear method to de sour a pipe. But I think I'm doing something wrong. Am I supposed to let the alcohol completely evaporate till there isn't any left??? About how many days should I leave the salt/alcohol mixture in the pipe?? Thanks

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    If the salt is pretty dry, it's time. I then rinse the chamber and airway with very hot water, towel dry, and smoke it right away in most cases.

    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 2 years ago #
  3. randelli

    randelli

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    Middleton's cherry should sweeten it right up!

    "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way" - Mark Twain

    KG5QDZ
    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    I did this salt trick'leaving the pipe sitting overnight and morning come emptying salt out of bowl

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. tabriar

    TAB

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    Let the alcohol evaporate completely. 2-3 days should do it. You can also use cotton balls. Do not rinse with hot water. It's unnecessary and could crack your pipe. If salt remains after dumping, swab with an alcohol soaked pipe cleaner.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    On nothing more substantial than a hunch, I quit doing the salt & alcohol treatment
    and began thoroughly cleaning only the shank with alcohol-soaked pipe cleaners.
    This clears the acrid and sour tastes so effectively that I think the fetid stuff resides
    mainly in the shank -- not the bowl.

    The only attention I give to the bowl is to scrape it with a pipe knife after every smoke,
    followed by swabbing it with a folded pipe cleaner, and occasionally reaming it with a wad
    of crushed printer paper.

    I find that this is a much easier, yet very effective regimen.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Do not rinse with hot water. It's unnecessary and could crack your pipe. If salt remains after dumping, swab with an alcohol soaked pipe cleaner.

    That's simply not true. Hot water will no more crack a pipe than hot tobacco. Less so, in fact. A hot water rinse has many benefits. Please don't spread old wive's tales.

    cortez says- true; sometimes the problem is purely in the mortise, which should get cleaned periodically. The end of a pipe tool blade- the blunt kind- can be used for hardened gunk; otherwise Q-tips or folded cleaners do fine.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. cortezattic

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    IMO, water is not incompatible with a briar pipe. It happens all the time in condensation. Of course, excessive exposure would eventually ruin the wood. So don't leave the pipe submerged for any length of time.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    I was going to comment that for the salt/alcohol treatment to work, make sure the airway is clean first, but Cortez beat me to it. Sweetening the bowl won't help if the shank is still skunky.

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

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    "Do not rinse with hot water. It's unnecessary and could crack your pipe."

    Furthermore, alcohol also contains water. Ex., 70% isopropyl is 30% water. You'd be hard pressed in finding an alcohol, consumable or otherwise, at 100%. Like John stated, a hot water rinse will in no way damage a pipe.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Actually, using hot water will cause the pipe to melt. If controlled properly, using hot water judiciously will enable the carver to bend and twist the shank for expressive purposes. The French had known about this for decades but jealously guarded the secret.

    Alfred Dunhill learned this secret while smoking in the tub. Blissfully reading the Times while relaxing in the steaming water, he became aware that the weight of the bowl was causing the shank to bend. Realizing the enormous implications, Dunhill is reported to have leapt out of the perfumed water, sagging pipe in hand, yelling, "Egad! So that's how those damned Frenchies do it!". Thus was born the famous 120 "swans neck", well known to have been copied from a Genod design.

    True story.

    Oh, and hot water won't hurt a pipe. That's an old wives tale.

    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 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Most of my good ideas are followed by leaping out of perfumed water, sagging pipe in hand.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Most of my good ideas are followed by leaping out of perfumed water, sagging pipe in hand.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. sasquatch

    sasquatch

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    I agree with Cortez. I have never actually done a Salt/alc treatment in 20 years, and have no "sour" pipes. Pipecleaner with a little rum here and there. Easy as pie.

    Pipes can taste awful if the mouthpiece is oxydized too. But the bowl? Barely even worth looking at imho.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. aquadoc

    aquadoc

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    Aldecaker,

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. tabriar

    TAB

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    Goodness. My point is that hot water is totally unnecessary. Water is not a (very good) solvent of the rancid tars and oils you're trying to remove. If it's excess salt you're trying to remove, a dry pipe cleaner will do it. Alcohol if it seems stubborn. But water is unneeded. If a lot of salt is sticking, you're not letting it dry long enough. But no need to lecture about old wives tales. Do what works for you, just make sure there is logic behind it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    "Do what works for you, just make sure there is logic behind it."

    Logic (and experience) tells me that to occasionally flush out a pipe in hot running water does it far more good than bad.

    Once treated with quality high proof alcohol and allowed to dry a damned good water flush brings forth much of the grot that the (cold) alcohol did not.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    On nothing more substantial than a hunch, I quit doing the salt & alcohol treatment
    and began thoroughly cleaning only the shank with alcohol-soaked pipe cleaners.
    This clears the acrid and sour tastes so effectively that I think the fetid stuff resides
    mainly in the shank -- not the bowl.

    ^^^This^^^^


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. alialansari

    Ali Alansari

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    The only attention I give to the bowl is to scrape it with a pipe knife after every smoke,
    followed by swabbing it with a folded pipe cleaner, and occasionally reaming it with a wad
    of crushed printer paper.

    I admit that I have used the salt and alcohol treatment once and to no avail. Like you, Cortez, I simply stick to maintaining the pipe in a clean condition.

    However, I was wondering whether or not wiping the chamber walls with alcohol is a good idea to slightly wear thin the layer of cake and somewhat refresh the pipe.

    Also, I have once read on a forum that Coke may be used as a solvent to clean and sweeten pipes. Can anyone confirm that?

    Thanks.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    I have never used Coke, so I can't say from personal experience, but my gut tells me it may leave behind a sticky residue that you wouldn't want.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Sablebrush52-

    Are you referring to naughty French secrets when you mention "bending and twisting the shank for expressive purposes"? Something outside the realm of a smoking pipe?

    I do find, perfumed bath or regular, that the shaft is, if not bent or twisted, in a relaxed and pliable state.

    Honni Soit Qui Mal Y Pense!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Ali-

    Sugar drinks will leave a thin coating of....sugar! - which will carbonize during the next smoke. But the other ingredients of colas and other soft drinks might not be so beneficial.

    As to wiping the bowl with alcohol, I'd use a damp paper towel if you don't rinse with hot water. This removes most ash, and helps keep cake build up in check.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    sumusfumus

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    Hello Forum Members:

    Very first posting....joined the forum just minutes ago. Started smoking a pipe when I was 13 years old back in 1963 w/ "Mixture No. 79" which smelled good and tasted like, never mind. But, I didn't give up, alltough smoking pipes has been a mixed experience for me, ranging from enjoyment, to indifference.....and recently, I just gave up smoking a pipe. But still, the urge to start puffing on the old briars overtakes me when the brisk Autumn weather hits.

    Never had a "sour" pipe problem. When I put a pipe away for any length of time, I would just thoroughly clean out the bowl and using a paper towel dipped in Rum Extract including the stem which I would NOT remove the stem from the pipe. Just run an abrasive/scrubbing pipe cleaner through the stem after dipping in the Rum Extract. The alcohol dissolves all the tars and gunky saliva deposits out of the stem and smoke hole. Then, I would take a fresh paper towel/tissue, put a few drops of Rum Extract on the towel, and force it gently into the bowl, and then store the pipe. The towel plug will just pull right out of the bowl, and the pipe will smoke fresh - and will have little or no taste of the Rum Extract. The Rum Extract can be bought in any supermarket, in the baking/spice aisle.

    Hope this helps.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    Hi Sumus, welcome to the forum. I wonder, might you define exactly what 'Rum Extract' is? You saying it can be bought in the baking department of a supermarket suggests (to me at least) you are referring to rum essence or flavouring. If this is the case then there is no alcohol in the product, it is purely a flavouring.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. cortezattic

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    Welcome to the forums, Sumus.
    Jay, I believe most baking "flavor extracts" do contain some alcohol as a vehicle for the oils or other organics in the mix. The info in this link implies that the alcohol in rum extract is reduced, not eliminated.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. saintpeter

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    I tried 4 ounces of rum, with a three fingered "pinch" of dried spearmint leaves and let it sit for a month. I then cleaned 1 (one) pipe with it. All I can say is DON'T DO THAT! The pipe becomes ornamental only.

    Carter Hall...when you care enough to burn the best.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Most of my good ideas are followed by leaping out of perfumed water, sagging pipe in hand.

    On a re-read, I see that this post, taken out of context, could be very misleading. Love it!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Welcome, Sumusfumus! Lots of things work on cleaning. The mortise is where things can get funky, but varies hugely pipe to pipe on how often or if ever.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    sumusfumus

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    Jay, et al....

    I did some checking. The brand of Rum Extract that I used, for years is McCormick's ans can be found in the USA in the baking section of most major supermarkets. I called McCormicks and was told the alcohol content varies between 21-29%...42-58 proof. I only used a few drops of the Rum extract on a paper towel/tissue when refreshing my pipe bowls, and just dipped the pipe cleaner's tip into this stuff and ran the cleaner through the pipe stem. Never had a bit of trouble when using extracts, and NEVER would use water to wash out a pipe bowl. The amount of water in the extracts evaporates very quickly and doesn't really have a chance to soak into the briar, and thus practically eliminates the potential for a cracked/checked bowl.

    Hope this helps.

    PS: BTW.....if you have any broken, terra cotta clay flower pots - do this: Take a hammer and break up the pot shards into small 1/4" pieces. Discard dust and very small bits. Stick a few of the flattest of these chips down in the bottom of your pipe bowl before you fill it with tobacco. The clay pieces should be a little larger than the smoke hole diameter at the bottom of the bowl. When pipe is lit, any steam/moisture/saliva will be absorbed by these porous, clay chips, and that dreaded, burnt tar flavor will not ruin your smoke. The chips will virtually eliminate gurgling when drawing smoke. The clay chips fall out with the burnt tobacco, and "wet heels" will be gone....unless you are a juicy smoker.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. hobie1dog

    hobie1dog

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    Funny to watch different people that are staunch in their methods go back and forth with others of different ideas. Good topic though, interesting to read.

    " I'm talking about the kind of sound you can feel. When it comes to great stereo you can't beat big speakers, I'm talking about big speakers with big woofers."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. cortezattic

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    Thanks for the tip on using clay chips, Sumus!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Terra cotta chips, meer chips, stones, etc. are extra work and completely unnecessary. If the tobacco is dry enough and you smoke medium to slow, you'll have few if any problems with condensation, wet dottle or a wet heel when you finish a bowl.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. pipesmokingtom

    pipesmokingtom

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    I certainly don't need to add even MORE apparatus to the equation in the way of chips for my pipe, but I can see the appeal if someone is a "wet" smoker.

    "We have an unspoken, mutual understanding to ignore the things we hate about each other so we can continue to enjoy the things we love about each other."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    Smoking a few bowls of Prince Albert, then a good vigorous rubdown of the bowl with whisky, seems to work here... that and giving it a few days to dry out.

    "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 2 years ago #
  35. cortezattic

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    The clay chips would be handy if you had an otherwise good-smoking pipe that was drilled too high. The fact that they absorb moisture is just a plus.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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