Does Oxidation Occur on the Inside of the Stem?

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tombraider

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Feb 21, 2013
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I just picked up an estate Peretti pipe on ebay. It looked pretty clean but had a funky sort of musty/dusty smell to it. I think it might have been the stem oxidation because that is what I smelled when rubbing the Magic Eraser on it (I was rubbing the stem with the eraser dry before I read that I should wet it). Anyway, after the Salt & Alcohol treatment to the bowl, the oxiclean and magic eraser treatment to the stem, several retorts with 91% rubbing alcohol through stem and bowl, and a bunch of pipe cleaners dipped in the same 91%, I think I've gotten rid of the smell. Does oxidation occur on the inside of the stem? Is there any other way to do a thorough cleaning of the inside of the stem?

 

gmwolford

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Jul 26, 2012
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I had never thought about that either. Since light exposure causes most oxidation I doubt it does (much anyway). I have used the bristle pipe cleaners with good results and for when they get a bit funky, usually happen on cheaper acrylic stems (cobs, Grabows sometimes) I soak them in white vinegar/water over night. Vinegar does wonders on taking odors out of all kinds of plastics, by the way.

 

loseth

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Dec 31, 2012
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I'm glad you asked, I was just wondering that a couple days ago when I boiled one of my stems and made it oxidize, it doesn't taste quite the same. I hope someone has a good answer, cause I'd really like to know too.

 

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hfearly

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Oct 11, 2012
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Tombraider: Soaking in Oxyclean, or for tough cases, soak in bleach. After the soaking make sure to run plenty of warm water through the insides, and I use pipe cleaners to scrub the inside under warm water. You will notice that they'll come out brown (that's the oxidization). Scrub until white. Then I use put plastic polish on a pipe cleaner and run them through the insides (either plastic buffing component, or Macguire's Scratch X 2 works fine). If you hold them up to the light, you will see if they are sparkly smooth or not.

 

dragonslayer

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Dec 28, 2012
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lols Spartan. If you have'nt cleaned your pipe in so long that it oxydizes in the airway, I think that makes you a non-smoker with an estate pipe.

 

gmwolford

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Jul 26, 2012
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You will notice that they'll come out brown (that's the oxidization).
Interesting; I always assumed that was tar/oil buildup. I do know what you're talking a out though, as you can clearly see it pour out of the stems when you take them out of the OxyClean bath many times. I usually don't do plastic polish, personally, unless its a clear/translucent stem that you can see stains/cloudiness in. May be worth revisiting that though. Thanks for the info, Nic.

 

spartan

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Aug 14, 2011
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@DRAGONSLAYER (A name like that should always be capitalized)
And... I don't own a pipe with a vulcanite stem yet. So I get to laugh at something like this, because I posed the question when I first got here, but never got such a great answer as hfearly gave.
I imagine no one puts the protective coat of oil on the inside of the stem which is also rubber and oxidizes...
Or do they?

 

hfearly

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Oct 11, 2012
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Greg: I just really love a well-polished stem inside. To me it makes quite a noticeable difference in terms of a dry smoke. Rough stem-insides just appear to be much more prone to smoking wetly (I guess due to the increase condensation of the tobacco smoke).

 
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