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Have you tried blowing bubbles with a real pipe? I just made a weak dish-soap/water mix, dipped an old briar pipe in it, and it did OK. It could have been better, but then, I don’t think I had a very good soap to water ratio. Granted, it’s been quite a while since I used a toy bubble pipe, but do they have anything special about ’em? I thought they were pretty much just like smoking pipes — a reservoir/bowl attached to a stem, just used in reverse. Mind you, the wood will be more absorbant than the plastic of a toy pipe, and might not stand up to heavy daily use.

Do not do this with a pipe that anyone will ever want to smoke from again. and indeed, you’re probably best off buying a new pipe, so that there’s less of a tarry foul mud produced in the bowl. But, nothing says verisimilitude like the thing itself.
posted by mumkin at 11:45 PM on November 23, 2009

Ask MetaFilter Have you tried blowing bubbles with a real pipe? I just made a weak dish-soap/water mix, dipped an old briar pipe in it, and it did OK. It could have been better, but then, I

How to Convert a Pipe Into a Bubble Pipe

Bubble pipes are plastic toys used for blowing soap bubbles. However, for a more unique and attractive toy or costume piece, you can convert a regular tobacco pipe into a bubble pipe. In fact, in the 17th, 18th and 19th century, clay tobacco pipes were commonly used by children for blowing bubbles. In the 1950s, clay pipes dwindled in popularity and were replaced with plastic bubble pipes and bubble wands. While clay pipes are relatively difficult to find today, you easily convert a corncob pipe into a bubble blowing device.

Go to your local tobacco shop and purchase a clay or corncob pipe. Clay pipes will be difficult to find and also expensive; however, corncob pipes are relatively cheap.

Go to your local toy store and purchase bubble solution. If you prefer, you can also make your own bubble solution at home using soap and water. Combine 15 parts water with one part dish detergent to make your own solution.

Carefully fill the bowl of the pipe with the bubble solution. Do not overfill the pipe or allow the bowl to overflow.

Place your mouth on the mouthpiece of the pipe and gently blow. Watch as bubbles rise from the bowl of the pipe. Never suck in through the mouthpiece, as you will end up with a mouth full of soapy bubble solution. Add more bubble solution to the pipe as needed 1.

Clean out the pipe when you are finished blowing bubbles. Thoroughly rinse the pipe, flushing it out with warm water. Set the pipe aside and allow it to fully dry between uses.

Always use a clean, new pipe for blowing bubbles. Never use a pipe that was previously used for smoking tobacco.

Warnings

Bubble pipes made from real pipes may send the wrong message to children about smoking tobacco. For this reason, reserve converted bubble pipes for practical jokes and adult themed costumes.

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