Monday, May 21, 2007

Smoking a pipe is a bit of an art form. When you can have a good smoke, its one of life's sublime, meditative pleasures. When you have a bad smoke, its an exercise in masochism that puts you off your pipe for months.

Recently, due to lack of a place where I could buy pipe-cleaners, my pipe had become clogged with tar, which was totally ruining the whole proposition -- but recently Ive found a method to clean it decently, and tonight I had a wonderful half-bowl that really elevated the evening.

1. Wait until the pipe is cool and disassemble it, wiping out the remains with a tissue.
2. Draw a thimble of dark rum (I hear scotch will also do), and grab a couple q-tips.
3. Dip the clean cotton end in the rum and swab the inside of the bowl and stem. The alcohol should act as a solvent to clean out the tar, but leave the desirable layer of carbon (cake) intact.
4. When the pipe is clean (about 3 q-tips), turn the pipe upside down an let the flame of your match dry the inside out. This should also carbonize the sugars in the rum to add to the clean layer of cake.
5. Rinse out your mouth with the remaining rum. After all, those same tars are left in your mouth as well.

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