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OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
6,181
33,524
71
Sydney, Australia
Vodka is supposed to be good as a general cleaner. Anybody ever try it in a pipe? Additionally, have a little bottle of pipe cleaner. Nobody mentioned pipe cleaner. I take it everclear is the standard?
I use a clear high proof peach brandy to clean my pipes. Why ? I have lots of it. ?
It leaves a very pleasant aroma which goes after 1-2 smokes.
Unflavoured vodka should work as well.
I have tried gin and whisky, but was not so keen on the residual aroma.

There is a recent post on pipe cleaning liquid. I have no experience using this as I'm more than happy with my current cleaning regime.
 
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Laurent

Lifer
Dec 25, 2021
1,497
16,426
44
Michigan
Vodka is supposed to be good as a general cleaner. Anybody ever try it in a pipe? Additionally, have a little bottle of pipe cleaner. Nobody mentioned pipe cleaner. I take it everclear is the standard?
As long as it’s high proof which everclear is, it’s basically rubbing alcohol
 
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clynch

Can't Leave
Feb 3, 2013
368
881
Pensacola Florida
OK, let me be doubly clear and use some common sense. I can use a bowl of soapy water. Disassemble the pipe, Rinse it out in soapy water, and then dry it and use pipe cleaners? Of course, no disgusting soap that would taste awful and NO prolonged soaking in water or it will warp. When it comes to everclear I can fill the bowl and let it soak in for an hour without issue, then clean. These things won't bother the cake? I do understand if I use a degreaser dish soap I will probably lose my Wax shine. I'll have to rewax.
 
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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,346
28,568
Carmel Valley, CA
I haven't needed to use alcohol for cleaning in several years, and am glad for that.

I don't use soapy water, nor soak a pipe (except in the past to show it doesn't harm the briar) in anything now; just hot tap water used as a flush or rinse. My pipes have never appeared to warp even if mistreated by long soaking or running through a dishwasher.

As to cake, either can soften cake, but only the crumbly, soft cake will be disturbed in my experience.
 
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Gavrin

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 1, 2021
130
207
Idaho
Well it turns out my Estate Grabow I recently bought had a bit of Ghost to it, I thought I could smoke out, didn’t work.

So I put in a cotton ball and filled it with Everclear 151, I’ll let it sit over night.

I’ve read a bit about this, seems as though a lot of people have gone the cotton ball route instead of salt, saying it worked and less messy.

I’ll report back how it turns out.

View attachment 120960
patiently, sort of, waiting on the report back!
 

Gavrin

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 1, 2021
130
207
Idaho
Thanks, I'll go with flush and some type of booze.
So having read a ton of stuff here about cleaning out a bowl after smoking I decided to do this: Normal smoke, then lightly wetted down a paper towel with with -years old Bourbon whiskey. I don't drink as I can not tolerate the taste of alcohol. But this smelled fantastic so I wiped out my bowl and man, did that smell great. I went around for the next few days just smelling that pipe-it was nirvana!
 
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monty55

Lifer
Apr 16, 2014
1,725
3,572
65
Bryan, Texas
Well it turns out my Estate Grabow I recently bought had a bit of Ghost to it, I thought I could smoke out, didn’t work.

So I put in a cotton ball and filled it with Everclear 151, I’ll let it sit over night.

I’ve read a bit about this, seems as though a lot of people have gone the cotton ball route instead of salt, saying it worked and less messy.

I’ll report back how it turns out.

View attachment 120960
I like to use course kosher salt. It does a great job for me. Also, if you want to do several pipes at once, buy a bag of dried navy beans, pour them into a shallow container about 3" deep. You can place all your pipes in there at once and they sit however you like... just push down on them a bit to seat them and bob's your uncle. Nevertheless, let us know how it turns out!
 

monty55

Lifer
Apr 16, 2014
1,725
3,572
65
Bryan, Texas
OK, let me be doubly clear and use some common sense. I can use a bowl of soapy water. Disassemble the pipe, Rinse it out in soapy water, and then dry it and use pipe cleaners? Of course, no disgusting soap that would taste awful and NO prolonged soaking in water or it will warp. When it comes to everclear I can fill the bowl and let it soak in for an hour without issue, then clean. These things won't bother the cake? I do understand if I use a degreaser dish soap I will probably lose my Wax shine. I'll have to rewax.
I wouldn't "soak" my pipe in anything. Just a wash/scrub and a rinse. Personally, I don't use soap or water, just Everclear, and only with a paper towel inside the bowl, or a salt treatment, but if I did, I'd darn sure use a completely non-scented soap. I think Sablebrush knows a brand that works.
 
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PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,646
28,308
Hawaii
The cotton ball method seemed to work nice. But there was a bit of tar still left over in the chamber, so I wiped it with qtips and paper towels using Everclear.

Then I realized there were a few spots in different areas with carbon build up, so I decided to sand the chamber down.

After the 24 hours sitting with the cotton ball and Everclear, I spent a few hours then with the Everclear chamber wipe down and sanding,

I think now I will have a good smoker.

I’ll let it dry out for a few days and give it a smoke, this weekend Saturday or Sunday.

Cotton ball dark after the 24 hour soak.

933A6FB5-E7F4-4C16-9F4D-91B6C86C3763.jpeg

Chamber sanded...

BD3D7F98-6881-4B5E-90A8-38DBFD2462E9.jpeg
 

Eastmon

Might Stick Around
Jan 9, 2022
90
202
Vancouver, BC
Cheers for all the replies, definitely a wealth of knowledge around here!

Another question, how much carbon cake are you guys removing? Just a light scrape, or you letting it build thicker than a snicker?
 

Jacob74

Lifer
Dec 22, 2019
1,266
6,822
Killeen, TX
Cheers for all the replies, definitely a wealth of knowledge around here!

Another question, how much carbon cake are you guys removing? Just a light scrape, or you letting it build thicker than a snicker?
I don't ever let more than a very light layer of cake build up. I prefer "seasoned like a wok" to "space shuttle heat shield". Some folks really dig the carbon cake, but it kind of grosses me out.
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,646
28,308
Hawaii
Cheers for all the replies, definitely a wealth of knowledge around here!

Another question, how much carbon cake are you guys removing? Just a light scrape, or you letting it build thicker than a snicker?

Maybe 1mm or less, just as thin as possible.

I wipe the chambers out with a paper towel, also I’m not sure I’ve seen this talked about, but after smoking or the following day, I’ll put my index finger in the chamber, while it’s still tacky/sticky, not dried out yet, and if I see some lumpy tar build up, I’ll rub with pressure and rub it out, smooth it down.

Using my finger, I always get a nice even layer, I’ll never need a reamer doing it like this... LOL ?
 
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