pipe care

Pipe care

For that the pipe serves long and thus give «the maximum return» to its owner, a number of accessories , skills of their use and as knowledge of some processes are needed, many of which have not found till now wide showing in the specialized literature (as, for example, the definition technique of necessary time for “rest” of a pipe between smoking).

As it is easy to guess, service of wooden pipes made from unheather breeds of a tree (a pear, a cherry etc.) is carried out by a care principle of heather pipes, and therefore in this article it is not especially accented.
Probably, it is advisably to begin directly with pipe cleaning as it is necessary to clean a pipe literally after each smoking. Thus it is necessary to understand that cleaning of heather and meerschaum pipes, is the same as cleaning of heather pipes with already available snuff or without it (in a meerschaum the snuff presence is simply inadmissible) naturally differs.

The process of cleaning itself of a pipe consists of two stages. The first one begins even during the pipe smoking (at the very end of smoking if to speak about heather pipes); the second begins already after pipe cooling (to assort a pipe for cleaning is possible only in an hour after its cooling).

Some words are needed here about initial cleaning of meerschaum pipes even during smoking. As in meerschaum pipes (unlike heather) snuff presence is inadmissible, during the smoking of meerschaum pipes, trampling down ashes in a pipe, it is necessary with edges of tamper scrape carefully the forming snuff on internal walls of a cup. In heather pipes the process of ashes tampering is carried out extremely cautiously, only under the weight of a tamper , watching that the tamper did not touch the cup walls (especially at a stage of snuff formation in a pipe). On the smoking termination, it is necessary to mix carefully ashes and the rests of tobacco at the bottom of a cup (it has to absorb surpluses of a moisture from a cup bottom) and to remove it immediately. Thus the pipe is usually simply “puffed out” on a palm or a cork insert in a pipe ashtray and is blown through a mouthpiece (without assorting a tube!).

Thus it is necessary to remember that if a pipe is in the process of snuff formation it is impossible to blow it through (ashes on pipe walls should remain, as it forms a basis of the future snuff which is formed not only during direct pipe smoking, but also during its cooling). If the snuff in a heather pipe was not formed yet, the usage of batner is inadmissible. In other cases, right after removal of the tobacco rests from a pipe cup it is necessary to use a batner for removal of the stuck tobacco parts from walls of a pipe cup, for an alignment and snuff consolidation in heather pipes or full removal a begun to be formed snuff from cup walls of meerschaum pipes. Then the pipe is beaten out and blown through again, then lied out for definitive cooling.

It is necessary to begin the second stage of pipe cleaning not less than an hour later after its cooling to a cold condition. For this purpose the pipe is taken to pieces (the mouthpiece “is unscrewed” from it). Thus it is necessary to remember that the mouthpiece is necessary for taking out from a pipe only by a rotary motion, as though unscrewing it clockwise. I underline that for taking out or inserting a mouthpiece it is necessary to “unscrew or “screw in” ONLY CLOCKWISE! It is caused by that in the process of hole manufacturing in the heather pipe for a mouthpiece nest, the drill leaves inside fibers “smoothed” from left to right and if to try to screw a mouthpiece in an opposite direction or to take out and insert it without rotating (of alternating motion) the nest of mouthpiece fastening will become loose very quickly (in meerschaum pipes necessity to unscrew-screw in a mouthpiece only clockwise is dictated by design features of mouthpiece fastening to a pipe). After the pipe taking to pieces we start its stage-by-stage cleaning.

The mouthpieces (any kinds of pipes) are necessary for cleaning from within with pipe cleaners with application of a special liquid for cleaning of pipes, for example ” DENICOOL “, spirit solutions for removal of adjournment of tobacco pitches and aromatization (simply moisten with alcohol a tip of a pipe cleaner, and then repeat cleaning with absolutely dry pipe cleaner already for removal of surpluses of alcohol). Most often for these purposes is used rum, cognac or whisky. I usually use for these purposes rum of dark sorts and, seldom, cognac. There are special spirit solutions for pipe cleaning, so-called «sweetener» which are expedient for using not often, than once a week (basically because of their costs, much more cheaply is to use something from the aforesaid for daily cleaning), though on them is written that they need to be used after each smoking. In case of «sweetener» absence (which itself is the mix of pure spirit with an ester and aromatic additives) it is possible to replace it with pure medical spirit (those of its sorts from which internal use do not grow blind and do not died) and to use weekly for fuller removal of the collected tobacco pitches in a pipe.

After mouthpiece cleaning from within it is necessary to clean its external surface that is basically done with special polish for mouthpiece cleaning or simply with pure napkin. It is necessary to remember that it is impossible to use for cleaning of external pipe surfaces any solutions with the spirit maintenance, it concerns all kinds of pipes. The external surface of a hard rubber mouthpiece during daily cleaning should be processed, besides usual rubbing by a pure napkin, by special pastes on hard rubber care; it is possible to use the polish for mouthpiece cleaning “DENICOOL “. If these pastes are not available, it is possible to replace them with special “guitar oil” which is sold in musical shops as for surface care of a finger board of bow instruments (not to confuse with polishing liquids for wood of the body of guitars!).

I use personally for care of hard rubber mouthpieces traditionally simply a drop of the refined (flavorless) vegetable oil (I wipe with a tip of a napkin with a drop of oil a mouthpiece surface, then I wipe dry all surface with the dry napkin and it constantly shines as new!): by the way, with the same oil I wipe also external surfaces of the majority of the pipes (naturally not meerschaum!) and all of them look constantly as if they are just from the shop.

Having finished cleaning a pipe mouthpiece, we go for cleaning the pipe. The internal surface of the heather pipes shank is processed in the same way, as well as the channel of a mouthpiece with application of special polishes of type “DENICOOL” only for cup cleaning. However, it is necessary to remember that for cleaning of meerschaum pipes shank (and also the combined pipes with meerschaum inserts) the usage of any kinds of liquids (especially alcohol-containing) is absolutely inadmissible.

Also it is necessary to remember that for better cleaning the pipe cleaner should make inside of shank back and forth motions (as the bucket in the cylinder), instead of turning about axis. Thus it is necessary to be the extremely cautious as awkward cleaning of a pipe is most frequent reason of its burning out. The matter is that the pipe cleaner is covered outside only by velvet material, and end faces of its tips are like a naked steel, enough sharp. Often the beginners, moving the pipe cleaner backwards-forward inside of the shank, beat with an end face of the pipe cleaner in an internal wall of a pipe cup; there forms the original cavity which serves as a basis of pipes burning-out at the subsequent smoking. To notice this cavity is difficult enough as its diameter exceeds seldom one millimeter. Therefore it is necessary to watch constantly that during pipe cleaning the pipe cleaner passes slightly in a cup through the shank channel.

The external surface of heather pipes is cleaned by a usual napkin and processed by special pastes for heather care (I usually use, as it is already told above, vegetable oil daily and pastes off and on, two-three times a year, and not often). For cleaning an external surface of meerschaum pipes it is necessary to use only pure napkin moistened with a small amount of clear water (at the end it is possible to process with special wax structure for meerschaum, but it already foppery, it is necessary to use these pastes not often, than once in some months).

The care for meerschaum pipes includes a number of essential differences which are necessary for remembering. First of all, for cleaning meerschaum pipes any kinds of liquids, especially alcohol-containing solutions, are absolutely inadmissible. It is caused by that the meerschaum is extremely porous material and alcohol, having absorbed in a meerschaum, enters in reaction with the absorbed tobacco pitches (which actually provides coloring change of meerschaum pipes) and is capable to destroy meerschaum structure from within. Besides, if alcohol gets in a cup of meerschaum pipes there is a partial dissolution of tobacco pitches on walls of a cup and corking of meerschaum pores. As a result the meerschaum loses hygroscopic property, and there are irreversible changes of filtering abilities of a meerschaum.

The pipe starts to be smoked much damper and gets bad flavor. Similar pipes are not subject to restoration and are irrevocably spoilt. To clean a meerschaum from within it is possible only with a batner or with a coarse-grained skin after pipe cooling (to delete an arising snuff instead of to smear it on cup walls). Thus it is necessary to understand that the internal surface of a meerschaum pipe cup will be never purely white color as color of a meerschaum starts to vary strongly on an absorption measure of burning tobacco pitches. In an ideal the color of a cup internal surface of purely cleaned meerschaum pipes is dark brown, almost black. I underline once again the absolute inadmissibility of the usage of any kind of liquids for meerschaum cleaning. All it fully concerns to the cleaning of meerschaum pipe shank or the combined pipes with meerschaum inserts. The moisture from the shank of these pipes is removed by blowing off a pipe in the end of smoking, and all the rest is removed only with dry pipe cleaner during cleaning.

The essential differences on the pipe service extend as well on earthen pipes. First of all, it is necessary to notice that earthen pipes are a unique version of pipes by which cleaning the usage of batner is absolutely inadmissible! These pipes are very fragile and the usage of batner almost for certain will lead to their breakage.

Structurally similar pipes are made basically in a monolithic kind (the mouthpiece is the continuation of shank and it is inseparable from a pipe). The pipes demand very much care. It is necessary to watch that during filling a pipe with tobacco and its cleaning to hold a pipe only for a pipe cup; otherwise a mouthpiece can break off very easily. These pipes cannot be knocked out, and the ashes and tobacco rests are simply picked out with an owl of a tee or with a pipe knife. The earthen pipes are very water-absorbing (more than even meerschaum one), but unlike a meerschaum they are not afraid of some water and any kinds of liquids up to alcohol solutions or even acetone.

The pipes are very simple in service as they become very slowly and hardly soiled. The regular cleaning after each smoking is more than sufficient in most cases for pipe maintenance in an optimum condition very long time. However there is a method of “fire cleaning” which almost completely restores an earthen pipe to standard of absolutely new pipe. For this purpose the pipe needs to burn approximately a half an hour or in the special furnace for burning of porcelain products, or in burning coals (barbeque, the forge furnace or simply fire coals). After similar burning the pipe becomes primeval pure, ideally white color. Usually in these pipes the mouthpiece of a holder is covered by special glaze that lips do not stick (like tongue sticking to metal on the frost). As a result this glaze burns out . It is possible to manage without a covering (after two or three times of smoking the effect of sticking passes), and it is possible to take advantage of special structures let out for this purpose by the industry or simply to cover a mouthpiece tip with colorless nail polish. Besides aforesaid, the earthen pipes can be cleaned also by boiling in clear or salty water, and also in alcohol solution (uniqueness of earthen pipes consists also that is a unique version of pipes which can be dried in an artificial way, for example with usage of an oven or simply hair dryer), but fire cleaning is most effective in terms of restoration of a pipe to a new condition.

It is necessary to tell some words about the service of corn pipes. These pipes are very unpretentious in service and do not require special care. An application of any kinds of liquids for their cleaning, the same as in a case with a meerschaum, is absolutely inadmissible, apart of cleaning of pipe mouthpieces. The usage of batner in them is not obviously possible too, as the tobacco chamber, as a rule, in these pipes is too tight. Therefore, for removing from them the tobacco rests you need a pipe knife. It is necessary to clean walls of an internal cup of corn pipes carefully to prevent snuff formation in them which simply tights an hatchway of a pipe cup and strongly worsens its flavoring qualities. It is not necessary to knock out these pipes, as constructively they are not so strong and they can be damaged.

At observance of these advices you never should face a problem of treatment of the “soured” pipe.

Pipe service means daily care of it so that smoking properties and appearance of a pipe remained at invariably high level throughout all time of pipe |

Pipe Care & Maintenance

If you follow these tips to proper care and maintenance, your pipe can last many years.

• Most importantly, use pipe cleaners as you smoke. It will help keep the pipe dry and smelling sweet.

• Never leave your pipe in the sun or heat. Direct sunlight will change the color of the pipe, and the heat can change the flavor of your pipe.

• If you have to stop smoking and are not going to smoke again in the next 10 or 20 minutes, empty your pipe. Never leave tobacco, smoked or unsmoked, in your pipe. It clogs the flow of air necessary to help dry the pipe and adds moisture to an already moist pipe.

• When emptying your pipe, never bang it on anything except the palm of your hand. Use a pipe tool to loosen the tobacco and empty it carefully.

• The last thing you should do to your pipe, after you have emptied the bowl of tobacco, is run a pipe cleaner though the stem and shank. This will clean and dry out your pipe. Don’t remove your bit from the shank unless doing a major cleaning.

• Rotate your pipes. Never smoke a hot pipe; try to wait at least one to two hours before re-smoking the same pipe.

• Try to keep your pipes in the open; never keep them in a closed box, drawer or bag. Pipes kept in closed containers will become smelly. Pipe racks are the best; they are open, which allows the air to flow though the pipes. Also, most racks keep the pipe in the best storage position, with the stem facing up and the bowl on the bottom.

• If the pipe becomes a little smelly and not as sweet as before, try dipping your pipe cleaners in drinking alcohol (vodka or rum). Run the alcohol dipped pipe cleaner though the stem and shank until it comes out clear; then let your pipe “rest” for a couple of weeks.

• If the outside of your pipe bits become dirty or start to turn color, try using toothpaste on a rag. Use it only on the pipe bit and not on the shank. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive; it will clean the bit without harming it.

We offer a variety of Pipe Cleaning Accessories such as Pipe Cleaners, Tools and Reamers.

We also carry many types of Tobacco Pouches that can be used to store pipes, tobacco and accessories.

And we have a large selection of Pipe Stands that hold as little as 1 or as many as 6 pipes.

Pipe Care & Maintenance If you follow these tips to proper care and maintenance, your pipe can last many years. • Most importantly, use pipe cleaners as you smoke. It will help keep the pipe ]]>