Well, I read further and got the picture. And I gave it a try on several pipes I recently smoked. I find it works well !! Its adept at taking the canaubu wax off the bowls, but that is easily buffed back on. Tried it with stem on and off. I didn't find any difference. When I clean my shanks with Everclear and a small thistle brush I usually apply a small dab of bees wax using a candle to grease the tenon. I did that too after the water treatment. I NEVER thought about H2O as an acceptable cleaner, but so far I like it and will use it regularly. Tar and oils are an enemy of a sweet smoke. Thanks for posting this.I usually use warm to hot water. Personal choice. I always leave the stem on. Hold bowl under the stream of water from the faucet, let it run through and out the stem. Pretty simple.