Question About Using Everclear

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May 2, 2018
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24,901
I got tired of waiting on Pipemaster’s Clean & Cure back orders to be filled, so I bought a bottle of Everclear (190 proof) for pipe cleaning. At this strength, would I risk damaging my pipes if I were to use it for quick stem cleanings after every smoke?
Use “inside the stem” , shank, mortise, and chamber is permitted. Be careful not to expose alcohol to the exterior of your briar…it will mess up the stain/varnish. Also, try not to expose outside of stem as well. ?☕
 
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fightnhampster

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 14, 2019
825
2,215
Indiana
Just used some with coarse salt my workhorse for a cleaning. I've had the pipe for about a decade and have dine this type of cleaning with it twice.

+1 in beware of how it removes the finish
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
2,250
5,229
Humansville Missouri
I got tired of waiting on Pipemaster’s Clean & Cure back orders to be filled, so I bought a bottle of Everclear (190 proof) for pipe cleaning. At this strength, would I risk damaging my pipes if I were to use it for quick stem cleanings after every smoke?
It’s been almost fifty years since I bought my first bottle of “Pipe Sweetner” at a big drug store in Springfield. No doubt it was alcohol and water with some proprietary sweeteners and flavorings added.

Later I switched to cheap vodka and for the last ten or so years I’ve used straight 190 proof Everclear.

I could as easily use hot water, instead.

The fact is the residue left over from burning tobacco gets old, rank, and stinks if you don’t use a solvent of some kind to regularly keep it removed.

Which food grade solvent used I don’t think matters much.

I use 95% ethanol alcohol because it seems to work faster and it certainly evaporates quicker than water or lower proof booze. Alcohol has no adverse effect on stems or briar I’ve ever seen.

One consideration though, if you have teenaged kids or grandkids around they are going to help themselves to your Everclear, and due to their age and lack of judgement they can easily drink too much of it too quickly, with tragic results.

Some jurisdictions forbid the sale of booze over 150 proof, and there Everclear markets a complaint proof product.

I go out of town to buy about two fifths of Everclear a year to keep my pipes clean. It’s less than $20 a fifth.

The clerk gives me a sideways look, probably figuring that gray haired guy is making up an excuse to hit the really hard stuff, saying it’s for cleaning pipes.

BOTTOM OF THE BOTTLE

 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
22,550
22,030
Carmel Valley, CA
The thing to cheer up folks who don't have a ready supply of high-octane alcohol is: You don't need any of it. At least for most cleaning jobs.
Hot water is less stressful for the briar and bit and it's a good thing to use the least harsh methods first.
 
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pantsBoots

Lifer
Jul 21, 2020
1,930
6,592
S-so are all the rouges and polishes that are used to create the stem (and briar). You also wouldn't want to drink any of the stains used. What is your point?

Point is isopropyl is not food safe and everclear is.
 

pantsBoots

Lifer
Jul 21, 2020
1,930
6,592
The isopropyl will evaporate very quickly and you can then water rise to to remove any residue. They do make "food grade" iso for cleaning in breweries, etc. I moonlight at a brewery and we use it all the time.

Interesting. Never have seen food grade isopropyl. I wonder if it's as affordable as a handle of 190 proof grain alcohol.
 

jaygreen55

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 29, 2015
168
172
Also cut a hole a watermelon then stick the bottle in the hole. Let sit for a while then eat the slices.
When I was in college we used to get large animal hypodermics from the vet school and inject the watermelons with 190 proof grain alcohol ( a BBQ meat injector also works) and then invite the sorority girls out for a picnic. A good time was had by all
 

jaygreen55

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 29, 2015
168
172