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 How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?

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MisterE
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:06 pm

The ubiquitous pipe cleaner. Something you take for granted until you don't have any left!!

Where I live (Mexico City) we havenīt any decent B&Mīs. Simple things like pipe cleaners are virtually nonexistent. What is to be had is often exorbinantly expensive. A package of 25 pipe cleaners will go for approximately $28 pesos. That is about 10 cents per pipe cleaner!!

I order ten packs of the various types from etailers in the US: bristly, regular, extra absorbent. etc. It is far more economical that way.

Today I was thinking how many I'll go through on any given day. I often don't throw them out until they're well used on both ends, and several times each. Lately as I grab a new bundle from my box of cleaners I've thought how quickly I've gone through almost 1000 cleaners.

I guess the lack of availability makes me cherish them more.

How do you guys go about using pipe cleaners? Are you economical and thrifty, or do you use one side once and discard?
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:21 pm

Depends...some pipes/tobacco smoke dirtier. Especially on the estates, which seem to have the haunting demons of dirt far more often.

I find myself pretty economical, if there's a LOT of filth, I'll use three or four, both ends, then use the cleanest one I've used once and keep scrubbing for good measure. The cleanest of the dirty bunch I also use to whisk out excess ash from the inside of the bowl.

Then I bend them into little, filthy figurines and keep them on my desk. Actually, I do not do that.
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Lestrade

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Age : 50
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-10-09

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:45 pm

Even though my pipes are all dry smokers, I found by using cleaners during and after every smoke, truly needed or not, I end up using less of them that letting a pipe go. This pretty much allows me to cut the "soiled" ends off when they get to be so and use a cleaner again on a pipe with a shorter stem/shank setup.
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tiltjlp

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Age : 72
Location : Cheviot Ohio
Registration date : 2009-01-14

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:25 pm

I use a lot of pipe cleaners, since I clean each pipe with isopropyl after each use. I also use them as needed during each smoke. I use each cleaner at least 3 times, if not more, except for the bristle ones, which I use with the isopropyl. That said, I find them worth the cost, since I believe a perfectly clean pipe tastes better. If they were as expensive as they are for you, I'm not sure how often I would use them.
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Harlock999

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Location : Los Angeles
Registration date : 2010-10-22

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:28 pm

I confess to being on the stingy side when it comes to pipe cleaners. I definitely try to get as much mileage as I can out of every cleaner, but I still go through quite a few. As mentioned above, regular, preventative maintenance does help cut down on having to use a bunch to clean just one pipe.
As I begin to run low, I'll order 5 bundles each of the regular, fluffy and bristled.
Ah, what we pipe weenies have to endure... Rolling Eyes
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Hermit

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Age : 65
Location : Ascension Parish
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:46 pm

I use two after every bowl.
First a scruffy then a fluffy.
I buy em by the case.
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Tim_Haggerty

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Age : 58
Location : Pittsburgh
Registration date : 2010-06-11

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:32 pm

I'm with Hermit. I buy a box at a time and use as many as the cleaning requires.
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flytyer

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Age : 52
Location : N E Pa.
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:40 pm

I know one thing I use way to many. I would say 3 or 4 cleaners for every bowl smoked. That inlcudes cleaners used during the smoke, and whats used cleaning the bowl out after smoking. I use both ends of the cleaners...then I have top secret ways of bending then to clean out the pipe and get it ready for the next bowl. All jokeing aside maybe I should be more conservative in my use if pipe cleaners...Im buying and useing these things like toilet paper. The only excuse I can come up with for my flagrant use of pipe cleaners is my local B&M, the shop is run by an elderly widow and the only tobacco available is bulk aromatics , the pipe selection is ok but nothing usually interests me. As a pipe smoker I feel the need to support the shop...so about ounce a month or so I stop buy and buy bunches of cleaners and other items like rubber pipe bits and czech tools. I know my use of them is excessive, but its contributing in some small way to the local economy.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:02 pm

Harlock999 wrote:

Ah, what we pipe weenies have to endure... Rolling Eyes

Yes, but like most labours of love, they do tend to weed out the wannabes and brings closer those of us that know why it's worth it! Very Happy
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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 38
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:59 am

I use three with each smoke - one during, one after and then I leave the third in there overnight. When I do a thorough cleaning I use one of the wire brush cleaner dealies and alcohol.

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R.A.

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Location : Raleigh NC
Registration date : 2011-02-09

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:10 pm

Yea I use them without much thought, I buy them in bulk, I have saved alot of bristle types by using the little twist wire stem nylon bristle brushes for the hard cleaning.

The little wire/nylon brushes work great where sometime the pipe cleaners jam and bend.

Also get some natural yarn (cut in 2-3 foot length) use a hair wire leader pull through the stem damp with spirits and tie or clamp to the work bench hold the other end and slide the stem up and down the yarn for a scrubbing.

The 2-3 foot of yard gives a lot of clean material to extract tars using the spirits as a solvent.
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flytyer

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Age : 52
Location : N E Pa.
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:02 pm

[quote="R.A."]
Also get some natural yarn (cut in 2-3 foot length) use a hair wire leader pull through the stem damp with spirits and tie or clamp to the work bench hold the other end and slide the stem up and down the yarn for a scrubbing.

This sounds like a good idea for estate stems.
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Dutch

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Age : 53
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:32 pm

I use a lot more of the standard pipe cleaners than the ones with the bristles. I also use q-tips dipped in Jim Beam to clean my pipe bowls, so that saves a lot on pipe cleaners.

I've also learned to just tap the pipe button on my jeans to clear the condensation, and that usually saves me a pipe cleaner now and then. What can I say, I might save enough at the end of the year to buy an extra pipe. Laughing
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 45
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:49 pm

I guess i've been slacking all of these years. I clean my pipes and change balsa filters (where appropriate) every 5 or 6 smokes. Sure, it takes a few cleaners, but not too bad.

Never though of using one or two each smoke - whether it be during, after, or overnight in the stem.

I don't have a problem with my method, but by the 5th or 6th smoke, I can tell that it's time to clean. Maybe i'll start cleaning my pipes (and changing balsa filters if needed) every 3 smokes. Pipe cleaners aren't that expensive here, so i'll give it a shot and compare the results to what i've been doing thus far.
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Hermit

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Age : 65
Location : Ascension Parish
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:09 pm

I like to clean my pipes while they're still warm,
if convenient, before the gunk has a chance to harden.
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deepbass9

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Age : 47
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-02-21

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:08 pm

I use them during the smoke, up to 3-4 if it's a wet ride. Then I use as many as needed afterwards, until the last one comes out fairly clean. I always use both ends, clean up while still warm (except for the occasional over night sitting), and double one or two over to clean the bowl.

Thankfully they're cheap enough in bulk, and I view it as the cost of the hobby. I'd never think of reusing one...I don't really even like touching them after they're all soggy...ewww, it stinks. No
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forsooth

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Registration date : 2011-01-12

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:24 am

I smoke mainly standard system Petersons, meaning that there is a well for moisture and the bowl remains very dry.

After a pipe, I remove the stem and run a cleaner into it and "turn" it using the still-exposed end of the cleaner as a "crank." Then I remove the cleaner and set it aside. It hardly looks used at all.

Next I use a Q-tip to remove the moisture from the well in the briar, and I use a ream tool to lightly ream out the bowl and remove any loose ashes.

Finally, using a dropper, I squirt some bourbon into the stem to keep it "fresh."

Done.

I smoke 3 pipes a day, and I use the same pipe cleaner for each of the 3. After the last pipe, I dispose of it.
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hobie1dog

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Age : 62
Location : Cornelius, NC
Registration date : 2010-06-21

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:37 pm

use it, then toss it.
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Stackle2

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Age : 38
Location : Alum Creek, WV
Registration date : 2011-11-03

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:10 am

Where I work, we use a lot of pipe cleaners, & sometimes large boxes of them make their way back home with me. So I'm a use them & toss them kind of guy
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smokey422



Age : 66
Location : gilliam, MO USA
Registration date : 2007-12-21

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:02 pm

I buy my cleaners in bulk to get the best price. I only use them once, although sometimes I'll use both ends. Like Hermit, I like to clean my pipes while they are still warm.

Smokey
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Wayne_Teipen

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Location : Indiana
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:10 pm

I think you guys clean your pipes too much. You're removing all the good seasoning. Wink I will often get several uses out of each pipe cleaner if they're not too soiled. If you set them aside for a few hours to dry they are good to go. It's not necessary to clean your pipes thoroughly after every smoke. It's more important to remove excess moisture from the airway where it has a more difficult time evaporating between smokes. That's my philosophy anyway, YMMV.
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williamcharles

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Age : 67
Location : Indiana
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:23 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Depends...some pipes/tobacco smoke dirtier. Especially on the estates, which seem to have the haunting demons of dirt far more often.

I find myself pretty economical, if there's a LOT of filth, I'll use three or four, both ends, then use the cleanest one I've used once and keep scrubbing for good measure. The cleanest of the dirty bunch I also use to whisk out excess ash from the inside of the bowl.


The above is the method I find myself using most often. I also make use of a shank brush in order to cut down on pipe cleaner usage when cleaning a really dirty pipe.
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Megaluddite

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Age : 60
Location : Charlotte, NC
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Howfrugal can you get   Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:18 pm

I probably milk more use out of pipe cleaners than most folks do. I prefer to think of myself as frugal or fiscally challenged. My friends are more likely to call me a freaking cheap old bugger.

I use a pipe cleaner several times before tossing. I keep a paper towel in my cardigan pocket. After I use a cleaner I give it a thorough wipe with the paper towel to clean and dry it as best I can. I then give the cleaner a good fluff, leave to dry a bit in the air, and use it again later. I only toss the cleaner when it is so dirty and matted that it cannot be readily restored with the paper towel.

I'm really not destitute or anything. It just seems wasteful when I see the trash can filling up with gajillions of barely used pipe cleaners. The landfill may not be filling up with pipe cleaners. But why take chances.
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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:09 pm

I use each pipe cleaner once and only one end. If it comes out reasonably clean and dry, I may consider using the other end, but only if I think it won't get my fingers dirty and/or smelling bad.
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s.ireland



Age : 30
Location : South Carolina
Registration date : 2010-08-14

PostSubject: Re: How much mileage do you get from a pipe cleaner?   Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:26 pm

Wayne_Teipen wrote:
I think you guys clean your pipes too much. You're removing all the good seasoning. Wink

Thank you!!! Wayne, I couldn't agree more. I've said it before but I just run a cleaner through after each smoke, with some alcohol when possible, then I run the other end through and leave it for a bit to soak up moisture. If the cleaner is not filthy, I will most likely use it again. I hardly ever scrub and I never really mess with the chamber unless it needs a reaming. I keep my pipes cleaner than what I would consider disgusting but too clean feels like I'm breaking it in all over again.

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