Welcome to the Third Installment of Basics for Brown Leaf Seedlings (BBLS)
Cleaning Oxidized StemsYou've chosen your smoking pipe, you've perfected keeping it lit and it has served you well but you left it out in the sun turning it hershey brown. Perhaps you purchased an estate pipe that has all the goods but the black stem has faded to puce through the years. This bothers you, as it should. The immortal sage wisdom of The Brown Leaf Godfather JWhite was dispensed with such largesse in the original maintenance thread. Alas, this is yet another guide to help you restore the aesthetics of your favorite pipes. Also, in compliance with the unwritten BL rule... it has pictures
This is a simple cleaning process that I have devised (only one I can afford) to keep my stems looking nice and shiny. If I can get these in Boondocks, Japan, I doubt any of you will have any issues.
The items used in this thread*
3.Non-toxic dish soap
4.Old T-shirt/microfiber cloth
*1.Many brothers of the leaf use Oxiclean instead of baking soda. I just couldn't find any here. 2.It doesn't have to be a magic eraser as any knockoff will work. 3.Dish soap is not necessary but it helps get a little extra shine out of the stems. 4.If you don't have Paragon Wax (although you should) olive oil or chapstick will also work in a pinch.
Two of these stems were for my pipes and I recently sold one on the BST and wanted to clean it up for the buyer. They all had some decent oxidation.
I fill a tupperware container with hot water (not boiling) and drop a generous table spoon into the water. If you have worse oxidation you might want to increase the amount of baking soda. Stir the baking soda around till you don't see anymore white clubs. Attention: To preserve manufacturer markings on the stem, cover that area with some petroleum jelly so that it isn't removed during this process.
Drop your stems in the container and enjoy the smell of burnt tires. Fret not, this means you're doing it right! You'll see the stems begin to fizzle and bubble and the water will turn a murky brown. Stir lightly to see the wonder of science work its magic.
Look all that stinky brown goodness just begging to be rubbed off. It's time to get your magic eraser.