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The ghost won't go! Salt&Alc.-Method Question

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    Anonymous

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    Hey fellow pipe smokers.

    I have a Aldo Morelli 781 sandblasted, which is my favorite (looking) pipe atm. I used to smoke exclusively "Samuel Gawith Chocolate Flake" in it (2 tins in a row, alsmost daily), until I the 2nd tin was finished and I had a "Latakia-Overkill". Means, I can't stand smoking Lat. anymore, at the moment at least.

    I decided "kill the ghost with heavy Burleys and Kentuckys" - well it helped temporarly. When smoking Bold Kentucky, or Irish Flake the ghosting wasn't present anymore. Smoking anything, that was not as heavy as BK or IF I instantly got turned off by a musty, Latakia + Chocolate taste, that ruins every tobacco I put in this pipe.

    So I decided to try the Salt&Alcohol Method. Got "Sea-Salt" (like Cosher salt, it's salt from the sea, hope thats the right term).

    Filled the bowl, dripped Isopropyl Alc. in it and let it lest for 24hrs. After that I dumped the salt, which was near black and also A LOT(!!) of greasy, black tar, which I suppose was the "cake" and ashes/leftovers. (there was not much of a cake in the bowl) Afterwards I scraped the bowl down to the carbon layer, so there would be nothing left of tars,ashes and other leftovers.

    Let it air out for 24hrs more, and tried to sip on it, without any tobacco in it - .....annnnnd still the EXACT same, nasty taste in the pipe. It's like nothing had changed, besides the bowl being very clean inside.

    What to do now? It's a sour-ish, latakia-ish, chocolaty taste, that just won't go away.
    I decided to do a 2nd Salt&Alc. treatment, so the pipe is now sitting on my table with salt & alcohol filled for the next 24 hours.

    Is it possible the first treatment just cleaned the leftovers, but the taste is "burnt" in the bowl so deep, that it needs a 2nd S&A treatment? Is there any other way to get completly rid of this smell and taste?
    I'd be very sad if I can't get this pipe to work proper, as I love it so much. I'm planning to smoke Kentuckys & Burleys in it only.

    I'm thankful for any help and suggestions!

    Regards,

    Deniz

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. chasingembers

    chasingembers

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    Put damp, used coffee grounds in the bowl and allow them to dry.

    I like coffee exceedingly.
    - H. P. Lovecraft
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. cranseiron

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    Do a hot water rinse of the pipe as advocated by jpm (John). Take stem out and run hot water in the bowl to get as much gunk out as possible. Immediately dry with a paper towel and set aside for a bit. Greg Pease favors activated carbon, the kind you buy for aquarium filters, putting this in the bowl and then placing the pipe in your oven on the lowest setting (150-170 fahrenheit) for several hours. I've used both the rinse and carbon method to good effect.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. samcoffeeman

    samcoffeeman

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    I use cotton balls and alcohol. Probably the shank is gunked up as well. I take some pipe cleaners, soak them and get them in the airwai and fold a couple over to fot in the mortise. I use a small screwdriver to gently scrape the inside of the mortise afterwards. Scrape the cake all the way out down to wood.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. pappymac

    pappymac

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    I'm with Sam, you have to clean the shank also. Cleaning the bowl will get most of the ghost out but if you don't clean the shank you will still get some of it.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    Retort is the only way.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Sometimes the only way to deal with a pipe that has had a Lakeland smoked in it is to just crush that sucker under the heal of your boot. Live and learn. I have had one that I even scraped out the insides of the chamber and the stem, but still tasted rose geranium oils in the pipe.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Thanks for all those good responses!

    I forgot to mention, that I cleaned the shank too! I took a bunch of pipe cleaners, dipped them in the alcohol and swiped through the whole shank. Right now I have a soaking wet Alcohol pipe cleaner in it. By times I take a new cleaner, soak it and put that new one in, as the alcohol goes away pretty quick. Is that enough? I take both normal, and bristle pipe cleaners.

    Do I have to only have to drp alc. on the salt once, or do I have to drip some more on it after a few hours, as it? The salt is a bit brown and black, but mainly at the borders. Even tho it seems pretty clean, it tastes real bad, even without having the mouthpiece on and making a puff without tobacco in it.

    Let's hope it will be tamed, after the 2nd treatment, otherwise I'll have to consider some of the other methods mentioned above. I'll let you guys know, how it worked out.

    @Cosmic - please....don't say that, I'll be crying like a baby, this is my finest, best smoking and most comfortable pipe (30€, new ), I'll go to the last resort with that pipe. Is Choco Flake whats considerd a Lakelan I never knew what that really means.

    Regards

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. bonanzadriver

    bonanzadriver

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    I've read about and watched videos on the Retort method but have yet to gear up and try it.

    What I did do, though, on a particularly nasty Bulldog earlier this year was this.

    1. Initial reaming
    2. Kosher salt and everclear soak with a squished up squeezy ear plug as a stopper in the shank. (applied more everclear as needed.
    3. Next day dumped salt and used isopropyl alcohol soaked paper towlels to clean out bowl
    4. Bristle brushes and pipe cleaners to clean shank

    It still had a pretty strong ghost

    So I took sand paper, rough grit, and wrapped it around my finger and thouroughly sanded the interior of the bowl to the point that most of the black staining was now revealing briar.

    Then I repeated the salt and everclear. This time I let it soak for 48 hours.

    Finally the pipe smelled great. Ghost gone.

    ymmv

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. pitchfork

    pitchfork

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    A warm water rinse will help. And don't neglect the stem -- lots of times the ghost is in the stem as well as the bowl.

    In place of salt, I've also used ordinary baking soda for the alcohol treatment. This, together with a warm water rinse, should help.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    instymp

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    Most of the above & load what you like & smoke it until it taste like you want it to.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Scrub out the stem, shank, and mortise until the pipe cleaners come out clean. You may want to pick up a shank brush for this. Clean the shank airway and mortise down to the wood. Cotton balls with alcohol work very well. Add a few drops of alcohol from time to time to keep the leeching process going longer and then let it dry out. You may have to repeat the S&A treatment a couple of times, that's not unusual. If the ghost still persists, use a retort, try coffee grounds,or the charcoal method. If after all of this, the pipe still ghosts, just smoke something else in it and after a few bowls, the new blend will dominate over the old.

    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 #
  13. deathmetal

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    Sometimes the only way to deal with a pipe that has had a Lakeland smoked in it is to just crush that sucker under the heal of your boot.

    Is it time to start referring to ghost removal as exorcism? With the Lakeland Ghost, one probably needs a team of priests like in The Exorcist.

    I have gotten so traumatized by the Lakeland Ghost that I avoid little old ladies entirely. I am liable to start pouring salt and whisky on them while chanting verses from the Bible in Latin.

    "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 #
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    Anonymous

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    I think I got it guys!
    After I dumped cleaned the stem again with swiping a few alc. dipped cleaners and letting one soaking wet rest in it the stem is almost like new. No sourish taste anymore. Dumped the salt and took a puff without tobacco on only the bowl without stem it tastet pretty neutral. Also when I assembeled the pipe and took a dry puff no Chocoflake to taste!

    Thanks again for all your efforts, I learned a lot that may become handy one day!
    Bold experience & knowlegde in this community, it's a pleasure to be here.

    Regards

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. lightmybriar

    lightmybriar

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    I'm glad to hear you probably got the ghost!

    One thing I'll add that works for me (and I have not had any negative experiences with the following method, but if it is not a good idea, please feel free to say so!) is to swab the entire inside of the bowl with alcohol, light it, and let it all burn off. I do that two or three times (after sanding most of the cake away), letting the alcohol burn in the chamber until it's all burned off. It seems to burn up any scents and leave a clean, evaporated alcohol scent behind, until it air dries a few minutes, and then it tastes almost totally neutral.

    I will mention that I used to use isopropyl alcohol, but I switched to 151 Vodka, because I was getting a sour off taste after the Iso. I don't even use salt anymore with this method, although I understand Lakeland scents are typically much stronger and long-lasting than other tobacco smells.

    Don't know if that is a viable method or not, but it works for me! Just wanted to share in case it helps anyone else out.

    On a pipe adventure
    Steve
    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. jamesrsmithjr

    jamesrsmithjr

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    Salt and Vinegar is not just for tater chips

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Okay guys, seems like the beast is tamed! Just after the treatment, the pipe had a slightly sour note, which I guess came from the Alchohol. After a few days of airing out the bad taste is gone, as well as the sour note I noticed before.

    Any suggestions on how to break the pipe in after this treatment? I'm planning to smoke Kentucky & Burley Blends in it (Bold Kentucky, ODF, Three Nuns, and maybe some of which I'll purchase tomorrow at the pipe show in Lohmar)
    The bowl is completly reamed to the carbon layer.

    Thank you all!
    Regards

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    It's unbelievable, really!
    I just broke in the pipe, with TAK (Motzek) 16/5 (VA,df.VA,BU,PER) and still, every now and then a whiff of Latakia scent comes up. It's acceptable and I guess a few bowls with tame the rest of the ghost, but still. Incredible how hard a Latakia ghost is to get rid off..

    Thanks again for all the help!

    Regards

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Good good good, then I can put my boots back in the closet.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. didimauw

    didimauw

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    Are those boots even still good? I figured after all the Carter Hall filled cobs you would have wore a hole in them....

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 2 years ago #

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