Preparing a pipe is almost as enjoyable a task as smoking tobacco through it. The meticulous nature of the job allows for significant care and consideration. A quality pipe can last for a very long time when the owner takes great care of it. The pipe tobacco smoking medium can be considered a long term investment when looked after properly. Here are a few tips for caring for a pipe to ensure that it lives a long and prosperous life.
As the stem is the part of the pipe that enters the mouth, it is vitally important that it is completely clean. It is completely unhygienic to put dirty products into your mouth and entirely undesirable. Run a pipe cleaner through the stem after every smoked bowl. This will serve to remove any excess tar and soot from the mouthpiece. Then, once a month, dip a pipe cleaner in alcohol and run it through the stem. Using cognac will sweeten the innards of the stem when dry.
Clean the exterior of the stems with a dry cloth to polish.
Many people like to accumulate a layer of tobacco leaves in the bowl of their pipe. This is considered to help the pipe burn cooler. The bowl may feel cooler in the hand because of the additional lining but the tobacco will still burn the same. This build-up is referred to as cake. Retaining a little cake is a positive thing as it will protect the bowl against burning. Too much cake could cause the bowl to crack however.
Use a penknife to cut away the majority of the cake. Lay the blade in the bowl so both edges contact the cake, then simply rotate the bowl so the cake is shaved down. Do not press too hard as the blade may shave the actual pipe. Use the butt of your palm to gently knock away the shavings.
Always handle the pipe with care to avoid superficial damage. Furthermore, take care never to drop the pipe or allow untrustworthy hands to handle it. Children or grandchildren may be fascinated by the pipe but do not allow them to touch it. If you keep the pipe in a trouser pocket, take care not to snap or crack it when sitting down. Always be aware of the pipes positioning on your person and readjust it if at risk. Treat your pipe well and it will look after you for many years.