What Is The Best Way To Clean And Sanitize An Estate Pipe

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pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
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Depends on your definition of "sanitized". There a lots of opinions about the matter....personally, I love reborn pipes site. He gives lots of different ways to go about cleaning and restoring a pipe, but also gives less abrasive options as well.

As to your question, yes, high proof alcohol (everclear or similar) is what I use, along with regular, bristled, and fluffy cleaners. Stem work is another topic in itself, particularly vulcanite/ebonite stems. If you're buying from a source that cleans and sanitizes before shipping, then it shouldn't need too much more work. YMMV.
 

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BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
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I sanitize the stem with 91% iso alcohol... then polish etc.
The inside of the chamber and shank I wash out with very hot water and brushes/bristled cleaners.
I do not use alcohol inside the wood.
 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
16,126
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Monterey Peninsula
Can you post a picture of a retort used for pipe cleaning, please?

And have you ever used steam or hot water to similarly clean a pipe?
 

BROBS

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seems like a finnicky method..
I'd probably get hot alcohol all over the pipe and ruin the finish.
 
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Kilgore Trout

Member
Nov 5, 2019
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As far as I’m concerned a Retort is the only way. The other methods are not remotely good as a Retort. :sher: puffy
Agreed.

I'll soak the stem in Oxyclean. While that's happening I ream the bowl, if necessary & do a salt/Everclear treatment to the bowl. Once that's done I flush the bowl with very hot water and let everything dry. Then, unless the stem is acrylic, i'll do and alcohol retort. You'd be shocked at how much crap comes out even after a good salt/alcohol treatment. Then polish the inside of the stem with non-bleach soft scrub on some pipe cleaners. Not really sure if it does much but it makes my OCD feel better. Then buff out the stem and finally wax the while thing. Probably not the best method, but it works reasonably well for me.

Edit: oh, I also scrub out the mortise with some bristled pipe cleaners & everclear & then regular pipe cleaners until everything is clean.
 

wintergarden

Member
May 12, 2019
183
197
GERMAPHOBE TREATMENT(Will Clean and Kill anything):Ozone is a given on unknown estates; You can buy a small Ozone generator and place the pipe in a container with or send it out to Michigan and Mike Myers can do it. It definitely works. Otherwise, if you don't care about the pipes looks or will refinish afterwards, buy some chlorine dioxide tablets/solution and soak it in a bucket of water with it. Then dry for a week(all Chlorine will evaporate with the water) then do a salt alcohol treatment and dry for another 4 days. Also feel free to do a retort and soak the stems in oxyclean or Chlorine Dioxide.
 
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jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
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Monterey Peninsula
I'm a fan of the least intrusive method first, then moving up to harsher ones only if needed. Chlorine is something I've never needed on estates.

How often have you done that?
 
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wintergarden

Member
May 12, 2019
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I'm a fan of the least intrusive method first, then moving up to harsher ones only if needed. Chlorine is something I've never needed on estates.

How often have you done that?
I've done this once or twice; very good. Not bleach - Chlorine Dioxide water purification treatments
 

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