Do Meers Really Not Ghost?

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seanv

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Mar 22, 2018
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I'll add some fuel to this fire.... puffy

Do Turkish and African meers ghost to the same ratebor does one of them resist the ghost longer?👻👻👻
 

badbeard

Member
Sep 9, 2017
169
107
Oregon, USA
I'll add some fuel to this fire.... puffy

Do Turkish and African meers ghost to the same ratebor does one of them resist the ghost longer?👻👻👻

African meerschaum is usually noticeably harder and as such seems to be slightly less absorbent than Turkish. This, in theory, should make ghosting happen less.. but in practice there is really no difference. They both ghost and any advantage of one over the other in that regard is so slight that it is negligible.
 

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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Thanks for this discussion everyone. I have only one Meer, gifted by the late great fish'n'banjo, and I really enjoy its clarity and definition with flavor, so I will be mindful of residual flavor. I don't smoke Lakeland aromatics, but the other blends mentioned are worth noting, especially since I am pretty free and easy about not designating pipes.
 

hawky454

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Feb 11, 2016
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They do not ghost. At all. Having said that, if you do not clean them (warm water under the tap and then allow to dry) you might get residual crud.

That’s not a ghost, that’s laziness
Okay, so you do the warm water rinse on Meers? I was wondering if this could be done on a Meer without any negative effects. I might have to give this a try.
 

shanez

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Jul 10, 2018
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Okay, so you do the warm water rinse on Meers? I was wondering if this could be done on a Meer without any negative effects. I might have to give this a try.
I've never had any issues with this method. Also, I've dropped several of my meers in my hot tub while lit without any issues. One I even re-lit and smoked a few hours after dropping it in the tub, with fresh tobacco of course.
 
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badbeard

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Sep 9, 2017
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Oregon, USA
Okay, so you do the warm water rinse on Meers? I was wondering if this could be done on a Meer without any negative effects. I might have to give this a try.

Just remember that meerschaum has a tendency to soften with exposure to high levels of moisture.. Soaking in water is part of the process to make it easier to carve. Don't go scraping away inside your pipe after directly exposing it to water. I know there is a subset of folks in this forum that like to hose out their pipes, but I've personally seen it cause fills to soften, finishes dull, and in the case of meerschaums, delicate lattice work has softened enough to collapse. I wouldn't put it anywhere near a meer unless I was desperate.. Which is exactly what I did and my latticed billiard payed the price. Pretty sure I posted in a thread somewhere with pics proving that hosing a pipe out with water isn't particularly effective at cleaning either.
 
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unadoptedlamp

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Mar 19, 2014
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I know there is a subset of folks in this forum that like to hose out their pipes

I have an IMP reverse calabash apple meerschaum and an I. Baglan figural meerschaum, which is an intricate work of an eagle claw holding a very detailed egg. Baglan does great work, by the way.

I regularly wash both of these with soap and water. Water splashes on the outside, but the soap (and water) is concentrated to the bowl and the shank, using a shank brush.

Meerschaum does soften with water. Even cleaning a pipe with a pipe cleaner after you're done smoking can cause a divot in the heel of the bowl if you're not careful.

But... I don't know how long you would have to soak it to destroy the work. I'm pretty efficient with my cleaning, I guess. Maybe it was a poor quality piece of meerschaum? Not saying the detail was poor quality. Hell, I'm not even saying the block was poor.

Just a little odd that we have very different experiences.

I use a pipe cloth on my meerschaum to polish them. They shine as new, even after who knows how many "baths" they've had.

About once a year, I plug the bowl and the shank with a cork and "boil" my meerschaums in beeswax. This lasts for a few minutes, then I let it sit in there for a few more. Pull it out while still liquid wax and buff it up. Careful though... I make sure to have a pinhole in the cork because I had one pop out once under pressure and it made a mess of things.

I'm just quite careful around the heel of the bowl. I ruined a decent meerschaum before I ever began washing my pipes by creating a large divot in the bottom of the bowl. I was cleaning it with too much vigour right after a smoke, when the bowl was moist from regular use. Essentially just carving the pipe with a cleaner.

I use a shank brush with soap and water. I clean the inside of the bowl and the shank with that. This has been going on for years now, with no ill effect other than a very clean pipe.
 
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condorlover1

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Dec 22, 2013
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All my pipes are ghosted. When I am gone whoever gets my collection after Weezell will be stuck with both of us as constant companions. Now that is a definition of 'The Haunting!' rotf
 
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jhowell

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2019
303
440
Any ghosting of a meer is due to volatile substances. Volatile being the key. Heat will "out gas" any volatile. I have exorcised many a ghost from a meer by placing the stripped strummel in a 225 degree oven (with the oven door ajar) for 24 to 48 hours. The heat drives out any volatiles. The only caveat is to leave the strummel in the oven afterwards until it completely cools.
 

jhowell

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2019
303
440
Okay, so you do the warm water rinse on Meers? I was wondering if this could be done on a Meer without any negative effects. I might have to give this a try.
I do it frequently. Just be sure it is dry afterword. I leave it in a dish drainer for 48 - 73 hours before putting it back in the case.
 
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hawky454

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Feb 11, 2016
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Just remember that meerschaum has a tendency to soften with exposure to high levels of moisture.. Soaking in water is part of the process to make it easier to carve. Don't go scraping away inside your pipe after directly exposing it to water. I know there is a subset of folks in this forum that like to hose out their pipes, but I've personally seen it cause fills to soften, finishes dull, and in the case of meerschaums, delicate lattice work has softened enough to collapse. I wouldn't put it anywhere near a meer unless I was desperate.. Which is exactly what I did and my latticed billiard payed the price. Pretty sure I posted in a thread somewhere with pics proving that hosing a pipe out with water isn't particularly effective at cleaning either.
Good advice. I’ve noticed it dull the finish on several of my briar pipes so I stopped doing it on briar. I was actually about to do it to my Meer just a few hours ago and I decided not to, not worth it!
 

badbeard

Member
Sep 9, 2017
169
107
Oregon, USA
I have an IMP reverse calabash apple meerschaum and an I. Baglan figural meerschaum, which is an intricate work of an eagle claw holding a very detailed egg. Baglan does great work, by the way.

I regularly wash both of these with soap and water. Water splashes on the outside, but the soap (and water) is concentrated to the bowl and the shank, using a shank brush.

Meerschaum does soften with water. Even cleaning a pipe with a pipe cleaner after you're done smoking can cause a divot in the heel of the bowl if you're not careful.

But... I don't know how long you would have to soak it to destroy the work. I'm pretty efficient with my cleaning, I guess. Maybe it was a poor quality piece of meerschaum? Not saying the detail was poor quality. Hell, I'm not even saying the block was poor.

Just a little odd that we have very different experiences.

I use a pipe cloth on my meerschaum to polish them. They shine as new, even after who knows how many "baths" they've had.

About once a year, I plug the bowl and the shank with a cork and "boil" my meerschaums in beeswax. This lasts for a few minutes, then I let it sit in there for a few more. Pull it out while still liquid wax and buff it up. Careful though... I make sure to have a pinhole in the cork because I had one pop out once under pressure and it made a mess of things.

I'm just quite careful around the heel of the bowl. I ruined a decent meerschaum before I ever began washing my pipes by creating a large divot in the bottom of the bowl. I was cleaning it with too much vigour right after a smoke, when the bowl was moist from regular use. Essentially just carving the pipe with a cleaner.

I use a shank brush with soap and water. I clean the inside of the bowl and the shank with that. This has been going on for years now, with no ill effect other than a very clean pipe.

I am saying that getting the lattice wet was enough to soften it to a point where it simply collapsed from finger pressure. Was it a low quality pipe? It was an SMS, so I don't know.. Maybe?
Lattice work tends to wick moisture back into its little holes and doesn't let it go, and so that might have made the issue worse? And the lattice was thin and intricate.. The point is that it wouldn't have been an issue if the meer wasn't softened with water.
To each their own on the cleaning thing, I am just putting it out there that 1. Water isn't a good solvent for tobacco tar which is primarily oil based, and 2. It can and does soften meerschaum, as you just stated above.
 

sothron

Preferred Member
Sep 20, 2011
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Soak your meer in warm water overnight and it will not ghost.

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NO, do not do this...
 
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hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
4,262
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Austin, TX
I am saying that getting the lattice wet was enough to soften it to a point where it simply collapsed from finger pressure. Was it a low quality pipe? It was an SMS, so I don't know.. Maybe?
Lattice work tends to wick moisture back into its little holes and doesn't let it go, and so that might have made the issue worse? And the lattice was thin and intricate.. The point is that it wouldn't have been an issue if the meer wasn't softened with water.
To each their own on the cleaning thing, I am just putting it out there that 1. Water isn't a good solvent for tobacco tar which is primarily oil based, and 2. It can and does soften meerschaum, as you just stated above.
Based off experience with briar, I agree with this, it’s not worth that extra step for me but more power to those of you who find it beneficial. I gave it a fair go, it’s just not for me.
 
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unadoptedlamp

Preferred Member
Mar 19, 2014
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I am saying that getting the lattice wet was enough to soften it to a point where it simply collapsed from finger pressure
That's interesting. SMS makes good pipes, so I would assume it is quality. Mine wasn't lattice though.

I agree that water alone doesn't work the best. It is good, and better than nothing, but with soap, it completely made the difference for me.

But I'm fairly quick with a clean. I soap up the shank brush, stick it in the shank for a good quick scrub, then a little 'how's your father' to the bowl and flush quick with water. All told, less than a minute.

It hasn't been enough time to cause any trouble with my pipes. But they're not lattice. The eagle claw has, well, claws, but those are thicker than lattice.

But, the situation is that I'm not getting much water at all on the outside of the pipe. Maybe that's the difference. Never occurred to me to wash the outside.
 
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jhowell

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2019
303
440
I am saying that getting the lattice wet was enough to soften it to a point where it simply collapsed from finger pressure. Was it a low quality pipe? It was an SMS, so I don't know.. Maybe?
Lattice work tends to wick moisture back into its little holes and doesn't let it go, and so that might have made the issue worse? And the lattice was thin and intricate.. The point is that it wouldn't have been an issue if the meer wasn't softened with water.
To each their own on the cleaning thing, I am just putting it out there that 1. Water isn't a good solvent for tobacco tar which is primarily oil based, and 2. It can and does soften meerschaum, as you just stated above.
Excellent point on the lattice - I hadn't ever considered thia...
 
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