Meerschaum Cleaning and Moisture Question

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blackop555

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Dec 31, 2017
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I searched for a couple hours can't find much on the subject as follows.
I have a tall meerschaum so it holds allot so the bottom gets quite full of aromatic tobacco moisture after a two hour smoke. I clean the dottle out. The pipe cleaner doesn't touch bottom of bowl so it doesn't get the moisture out. I usually don't wipe out bowl for a couple hours. The question is should i wipe it out sooner to soak up the moisture or letting it soak in for a little won't hurt. Also should i leave pipe cleaner in for a while i usually have been pulling it out after a couple minutes. Thanks in advance.
*There's never a puddle of water just the bottom quarter of bowl all around us visibly shiny because of the mousture/juices it's light brown.

 

jeffro

Member
Jul 18, 2017
155
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blackop555, Yes you can leave a pipe cleaner in your pipe to soak up the excess moisture.

Or you could try some "Nording Key Stones"

little clay pellets that you place in the bowl before you smoke the pipe. these will soak up the moisture.

I have a very deep bowl meersham that gurrgles from aromatic tobaccos somtimes.

I just leave it to dry naturally in the pipe.

I feel that that very same moisture that tends to be bothersome is also helping me color the pipe faster.

 

warren

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Sep 13, 2013
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Keep in mind that the "moisture" you are taking out is the same residue which colors the meerschaum. Admittedly, the pipe needs to be cleaned now and then. I smoke meers exclusively in the evening for the experience and the coloring. I do not worry about the "dottle" except to dump it in the ashtray before reloading for a second or third bowl.

 

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metalheadycigarguy

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Apr 26, 2012
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Meerschaum is one of the most naturally porous materials available. The fact that meerschaum soaks up moisture makes meerschaum ideal for pipe smoking. It's perfectly fine that the pipe has moisture in the bottom of the bowl after a smoke. Like Warren stated, that moisture is what color's your pipe. I suggest that after you run the pipe cleaner through the pipe, and dump out the dottle; just let the pipe sit and the pipe will do the rest from there.

 

d4k23

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2018
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Texas
Following up on coloring the meeerschaum, the moisture from the inside of the bowl is what colors the outside? Seeping completely through over time?

 

warren

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The outer coating has soaked into the shell from the outside a bit and prohibits the residues from getting to the outside of the bowl.

 

cortezattic

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Nov 19, 2009
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Fred Bass discusses meerschaum coloring in this article:

http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/slave-to-the-white-goddess/

 

warren

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Sep 13, 2013
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Cortez has indeed steered you in the right direction. I disagree a wee bit with some of his, points but, Bass has written a grand overview of the coloring of the meerschaum pipe.

 

bluegrasspipe

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Jan 13, 2017
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I will wipe out the bottom of my Tekin with a paper towel when I am done sometimes. Mostly because I don't want a cake buildup. I don't think this will effect the coloring patina of the bowl much.

As I was told with my first meer, don't overthink just enjoy the wonders of the white goddess.

 

d4k23

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2018
381
386
Texas
That blog from Fred Bass was a good read, crazy to think the coloring could last more than lifetime! Do those of you who smoke them on the regular (or even occasionally) keep the beeswax around?
I also wanted to share my cleaning experience of my Viking Meer. When I first got the pipe, I did the smoke twice a day for a week and then let rest, and used a pipe cleaner after every smoke. Well I let it sit for a month (with no oils or residue, which I will now let sit to absorb) and then went to smoke it again.
Well the smoke was sour and I remembered I didn't do a deep clean. So I followed the internet tutorial and removed the mortise. I was very surprised to see how dirty it was, but cleaned it well with alcohol. Then when I removed the tenon, I found a small wad of cotton...remnants of my pipe cleaners. That took me by surprise! I couldn't believe I could even pass a cleaner at all. I cleaned it up and haven't smoked it again yet. Its packed and ready to go for today!
How often do you all remove the tenon to clean behind it?

 

warren

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I've got five meers accumulated over fifty years, the newest is thirty years in my possession. I went through the bee's wax stage early on and haven't felt the need to rewax for many years. I've never had the original coating removed through use and simply adding wax over wax ceased to make sense. Some seem to enjoy adding wax for the additional color the wax itself adds. My preference is to color from the inside out, naturally and live with the result. Some do not have the patience for that. I understand that, early on I couldn't wait either.
I pick out a meer in the early evening and smoke three or four bowls. Meers don't need to rest or dry so, the same pipe might get used two or three evenings in a row. If I'm home working on photo files all day, I might smoke as many as eight bowls, one after the other, in the same meer. I simply dump the dottle, pipe cleaner if required, reload and light up. Meers thrive on such smoking.
I have a meer, full bent, which won't pass a cleaner with the bit in place. I simply unscrew it, when necessary, and ream. All of my meerschaums are screw tenons.

 

d4k23

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2018
381
386
Texas
Thanks @warren for your insight. Sounds like I have a long journey ahead with my meer. I'll enjoy it and see what happens with the color, but mainly enjoy the tobacco in it. I definitely notice different flavors when smoking with it verse my briars.

 

jeffro

Member
Jul 18, 2017
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d4k23 I agree with you on the meerschaum pipe and different flavors!

Last night I decided to try Orlik golded sliced tobacco in one of my meerschaum pipes.

I have smoked this tobacco in my briar pipes for a while and always taste the Virginia and Burley tobacco but hardly the Perique .

With the Meerschaum pipe the Perique really stands out and I can taste all the flavors of the three components in this blend. :)

 
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