Clean pipe without pipe cleaner

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darklanov

New member
Jan 14, 2019
2
0
Hello everyone,
I live in Tunis. I decided to try pipe smoking and bought a pipe and a pouch of tobacco. Pipe smoking is not popular at all in Tunisia so I only found three tobacconists who have pipe nooks in their shops. The problem is, pipe cleaners are nowhere to be found locally, and, for economic reasons, Tunisians cannot shop online so we are limited to the local merchants. The bowl and the shank are easy to clean with q-tips, unlike the stem, for the q-tips cannot fit. I had about 5 bowls so far and now the taste became bitter. I assume it is because of a dirty stem. Do you have any ideas how to clean without pipe cleaners? Thanks

 
Nov 27, 2018
270
2
Try a long sewing needle with some coarse or absorbent thread of the right thickness, knitting yarn would be best. The needle is just to get the thread or yarn all the way through, then you can use the thread as a pipe cleaner. If you can't find a needle long enough to get through the stem, use a straightened paper clip with a very small bend to hook onto the yarn. Just make sure the needle and the yarn are long enough to pull out from either direction to avoid getting stuck inside your stem. If the stem is hard to clean you could also try removing the stem and soaking it in alcohol, then use the needle and thread method to remove anything left over.

 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,489
674
Before pipe cleaners were a thing, people used feathers, such as the tail feather from a chicken, turkey, duck, etc. as long as the quill would fit.

 

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jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
16,126
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Monterey Peninsula
While unpopular with a few, running hot tap water through the chamber and out the stem works fine for me. Drying overnight will give you a sweeter pipe in the morning.

 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
4,784
5,293
I use both cleaners and lukewarm soap and water washing and rinsing for the stems. If it's vulcanite, then I use cool water. I never wash the bowl with water.
Now, since you have no access to pipe cleaners, I was thinking if you could by some electrical wire, say caliber 14 (the thicker the better), cut it to the size of a regular cleaner or a wee bit longer than the length of your pipe, slice it open, separate a filament of the many the cable is made of, and wrap a thread of knitting yarn around it. Now you have a pipe cleaner.
The copper filament should be pliable enough to bend easily inside the stem with less risk of scratching it than you'd have with a paper clip.

 

darklanov

New member
Jan 14, 2019
2
0
Guys thank you so much for your advice. You gave me very good ideas, I will try them and keep you posted. Cheers and happy puffs!

 

jaytex969

Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
5,752
9,553
Here
They may not be of the finest quality, but craft stores often have "pipe cleaners" for artistic usage. You may try to find some there. Pay attention to the material. Any natural fiber should be preferable to synthetic.
Welcome to the forum and good luck!


 

puffthemagicpiper

New member
Jan 7, 2019
46
0
OP, I’ve been thinking on this one a bit. For the chamber I’d likely use a few Q tips with a light touch soon after the smoke and of course after you’ve got your ideal cake set. Another idea I had was some soft wadded up toilet tissue. You’re covered for the shank as well with those Q tips. Can you get your hands on a small plastic bristle brush for scrubbing the draft hole? It’d work for the stem also. I’m guessing you can get ahold of alcohol?
On the other hand jpmcwjr’s water method may solve most of your cleaning issues, though I’ve been reticent to try it myself. He’s got a great thread here on it. Still, I’d want to be able to scrub the draft hole with a bristle brush on occasion.
Water cleaning pipe thread

 

puffthemagicpiper

New member
Jan 7, 2019
46
0
Sorry about that; I saw that you’ve got the chamber and shank covered - so strike that from my post. I was thinking over the entire clean from step one :)
But yeah, I’d try the water metod and see if you can obtain a small plastic bristle brush.

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,561
482
While unpopular with a few, running hot tap water through the chamber and out the stem works fine for me. Drying overnight will give you a sweeter pipe in the morning.
Given the circumstance I think you are better off using this method. I like the feather suggestion too, but if the pipe is really bent ... you may have to chase some birds around in order to find the right feather.

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
5,254
2,787
Are pipe cleaners not allowed into Tunisia? This is the first time I've felt Canadian regulations weren't overly restrictive!
If I had to, definitely a piece of rope or string with one end out the bowl and one out the stem and kind of work it back and forth.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
15,151
7,595
Chicago, IL
How do they clean hookah mouthpieces and shisha pipes in the Mediterranean area?

I don't quite understand why ordering online is a problem. Tunisia has trade agreements with the E.U.

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,561
482
lucky695 I aplaude your initiative. Come to think of it I should follow your suit .. I being in Europe snail mail shipping to Tunisia can't be a fortune. OP I will try to send some your way myself, please provide address in private message.

 

laniromee

Junior Member
Jul 31, 2018
80
64
Since here in Brazil pipe cleaners are somewhat expensive, what I usually do is I rip a tape out of paper towel and then twist it up tightly, then I pass it through the stem before passing a pipe cleaner. That way, the bulk of the gunk is removed by the paper towel and then I can kinda reuse the pipe cleaner for the next pipe.
If this sounds disgusting than I dare you to pay 10 dollars for a pack of 100 pipe cleaners without getting creative!

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
918
421
Canada
I've used a long piece of twist tie to work through the stem once. I imagine you could twist a heavy piece of yarn around one end and work everything through the stem. The twist tie worked great on a curved stem.

 

rayadientes

New member
Apr 19, 2019
1
0
No idea where you can find them in Tunis. Here they are quite common and I suppose every single smoker in the web got one at least.
I have seen them over here around 20 bucks, so its not really expensive, and if you want one, just pm and I ask to my main shops
Cachimba y Shisha

 

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