Turkish Meerschaum Pipe Care
All fine smoking pipes need regular care. Meerschaum is no exception. Here are a few suggestions
that will add to your smoking enjoyment and prolong the life of your meerschaum pipe:
- Fill the bowl to the top. The bowl is seasoned by the tobacco itself and gives the truest taste of your tobacco blend.
- Condition the beeswax finish. Hold the pipe by the stem for the first ten bowls smoked. This allows the
excess beeswax from the initial application to be reabsorbed. Feel free to handle the bowl with clean hands
after that time. Hand soil and smudges can be wiped off with a soft cloth moistened with water. Should the
bowl become dull or chalky, it is time to apply a new layer of beeswax. Ask SMS for their suggestions.
Wipe with a soft cloth to clean
- Prevent cake build-up. Unlike briar, meerschaum needs no protective carbon cake to prevent burn-out. Bend a non-bristle pipe cleaner in half and wipe out the inside of the bowl. Should reaming become necessary, seek the advice of a trusted tobacconist.
- Smoking frequency increases the degree of coloring. Best results are achieved by smoking two
bowls a day back to back. Smoking a minimum of five bowls per week continues the coloring process.
- Rotate your pipes. The threads in the mortise can weaken if they become too moist. Let a meerschaum
air dry in a rack or open case between smokes. Inserting a dry pipe cleaner in the stem overnight
will also help absorb moisture in the shank.
- Use lots of pipe cleaners. Ample use of non-bristle pipe cleaners keeps a meerschaum sweet.
Avoid regular use of bristle pipe cleaners. They can be used occasionally to remove fuzz and
gunk that might accumulate over time. Never use liquid pipe sweetener or any other briar pipe
product on meerschaum.
Caution: inserting the pipe cleaner too far into the bowl may cause damage. Clean stem and bowl often
- Turn the stem clockwise to remove and reattach. All SMS Meerschaums have a two piece stem fitting.
To remove the stem, hold the bowl and shank firmly with one hand. Grasp the stem with the other hand
and slowly rotate it clockwise pulling as you turn. To reattach the stem, follow the same procedure
only pushing in as you rotate the stem clockwise.
Two-piece stem fitting
Removing the stem
- Clean the stem periodically. Remove the tenon from the stem to clean out residue that collects above it.
Protect the tenon with piece of heavy cloth. Grasp the tenon gently with pliers and unscrew
counter-clockwise. Swab the inside with a pipe cleaner bent in half.
Carefully remove the tenon with fine pliers
- Remove the mortise with caution. Keeping the mortise in place will prevent damage to the threads that
hold the mortise tight. CAUTION! Remove the mortise from the shank ONLY if visibly damaged or cracked.
Replacement fittings are available from your tobacconist.
Carefully remove the mortise with a small knife or pliers. Use extreme caution to avoid shank damage.
- Watch rapid temperature changes and car dashboards. A blast of sub-zero winter weather on a warm pipe
might cause it to crack. Leaving a meerschaum pipe on a car dashboard in the hot sun can straighten
its stem and destroy the wax. Keeping your meerschaum in its custom fitted case not only protects
the finish but also maintains its original stem angle.
Our Video "The Turkish Block Meerschaum Pipe", shows the complete care and cleaning of a
meerschaum pipe. Add a copy to your shopping cart when you check out!