saturnineoptimism asked: Hey, man. I'm relatively new to the pipe tobacco world, and I was wondering if you had any tips on proper pipe maintainace. I've found all sorts of guides and "suggested cleaning regiment" sorts of things, but I was curious if you had any suggestions which bear repeating. I've two briar pipes now, one of which I paid a bit for, so I'd really like to see after it properly. Thanks! Joey
When it comes to full cleaning I probably don’t have anything new to offer you. I use the salt and alcohol treatment whenever I pick up an estate (even when the seller claims it has been sanitised), though I’ve heard arguments for using a retort and sweetening. Personally the idea of boiling alcohol scares the buggery out of me so I’ve never used a retort.
I duuno, as I said I probably have very little to offer you that hasn’t been said before.
Me, I just make sure I clean as I go. Once I’ve finished with a pipe I’ll tap out the dottle, give the chamber a wipe down with a tissue and put a pipe cleaner in the stem until it’s cool enough to ‘break’ without damaging the mortise or tenon. Once it is cool enough I usually break it, clean the stem and draught hole with the widest pipe cleaner that’ll fit, then double that cleaner and give the chamber walls a light scrub.
Between that and leaving my cobs in the sun (sans stems) for a day every now and then I never really need to do a deeper clean on my pipes.
I hope this helps in some way and I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more use.
Ah yes, Exotique, what a wonderful blend. Probably my go-to favorite, it certainly improves my pipemaking!
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Attempting to teach myself the ukulele as somewhat of a distraction.
MacBaren Scottish Mixture in a Missouri Meerschaum Diplomat.