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Estate Pipe Ghost

As I have mentioned in a few recent posts I am cleaning up my first estate pipes.

I got a Peterson, a Kaywoodie and a GBD. I believe all three may have belonged to the shop owner's father. This was a general store until a few decades ago in ever decreasing rural farm country. Now it is an antique shop.

All of these pipes were well taken care of, I would say lovingly. The exteriors are in very good condition. The interiors had some cake but not excessive.

After a salt / Everclear soak and cleaning all three have a similar ghost. Perfume like. I have smelled this before but not sure with what tobacco. Is this remnants of the Everclear soak? Or the same tobacco smoked in them? Could that be Lakeland ghost? Not unpleasant per se. But I hope it goes away.

I had posted this find in the PSF. I will try to find that and re-post here.


Driving the Bandwagon
Old Ted Award Winner
I had posted this find in the PSF. I will try to find that and re-post here.
Sadly, PSF is gone, so you won’t be able to find it.

I’ve had a couple of old pipes that had that even after multiple cleanings. Almost like someone had stored it in a drawer somewhere for too long and it gathered an “old people’s home” smell, for lack of a better term.


Well-known member
It is the ghost of tobacco and not the Everclear. Make sure you reem to the briar and then repeat. Make sure you are cleaning the shank out well. When I started restoring I neglected many shanks. Never bit me in the rear but I learned it is equally as important as the bowl. Since then I have gone over any estates previously done and my own personal estate pipes. Never had a ghost I couldn't get rid of and I have had some really old and well loved (couldn't put a pinky in the bowl because of the cake) estate pipes.


Shameless Rubber of Flake
+1 on the shank ... ESPECIALLY on the Kaywoodie !!!
A stinger requires a MUCH larger shank drill than normal draft holes which seems to collect much more nastiness !!!
A while back I restored a Kaywoodie and was AMAZED at how much crud came out of the shank.
Also, try to just "smoke through" the ghost ... It may just disappear after a few bowls.


Well-known member
You might be experiencing the ghost of Lakeland's past. Lakeland essence tastes just like perfume. I tried it exactly once. It tasked like kissing my wife on the neck. I think Gawith and Hoggarth puts it in their blends.

Check the following link about ozone treatment. I have not used it but it has been recommended before.


I believe they offer this for a reasonable cost.


Well-known member
I have cleaned many old estate pipes with pretty much success. I have only found a few that could not have the ghost removed. I ream out the cake and give the salt and alcohol treatment, sometimes more than once. I pay special attention in cleaning the shank and don't spare the pipe cleaners. I then smoke a bowl or two of Five Brothers. This usualy takes care of the problem. Lakelands can be a bear to remove and sometimes rear their head much later though greatly diminished and temporary. My personal nemesis is Mixture 79. A pipe smoked for years with this blend is beyond redemption in the ones I have tried to salvage,
I performed 2 more salt/Everclear soaks on the Kaywoodie. I am hesitant to let it soak for too long unattended so each soak was about 3 hours. And a bit of reaming after each soak.

I smoked a bowl of Chatham Manor in it and did not detect any perfume ghost. Multiple soaks seems to have worked.

Thanks for all the input. Any further wisdom is always welcomed.


Nuclear Moderator
Staff member
I am hesitant to let it soak for too long unattended
I would not worry about this -- the salt absorbs the dissolved tars from the pipe, and then the alcohol evaporates.

Most references I have found recommend leaving the pipe overnight (or at least until the alcohol is completely evaporated), and that's what I've always done.

The GBD got an overnight Everclear soak. I had thought it was fairly clean from the first soak but this morning I was surprised to see the amount of gunk I pulled out.

Most surprising was the amount of gunk that continued to come out of the mortise. A wood dowel pulled out gobs. A little measuring showed that the mortise is a bit deeper than the tenon so there is a hollow area that collected quite a bit of deposits, gunk or whatever it is called.

I believe all of the big deposits are now out but it is now soaking again.

The Peterson is now soaking again as well.

These are estate pipes that someone else smoked and cared for but this is a wakeup call to me to be more diligent at cleaning more frequently and thoroughly.


Well-known member
I have bought a good number of estate pipes and I do the same thing with every one. I clean them thoroughly and then with the stem removed I plug the shank with a wad of plastic wrap, tightly enough to not leak. Then I fill the bowl with rock salt and set it in an upright position. I then fill it with vodka...Everclear is better but I never have that...and let it sit for 24 to 48 hours. I drain it and, if it needs it, I carefully use a pipe reamer. If I think it needs more cleaning I repeat the soaking process and other steps. I then touroughly wipe the bowl clean and clean the shank completely until pipe cleaners are as white as snow and then I I let it air dry for several days and it is ready to go. That process has never failed to exorcise the ghost within an old pipe.


Well-known member
It's often a good sign when you have a super cruddy estate. That means someone really liked it 😊
It's the ones that look like they were only smoked six times that you have to watch out for.
Also, the cruddier the pipe, the greater the satisfaction when you bring it back to life and make it shiny and clean.
After 3 Everclear soaks for each of the three pipes I believe there was a 66% success.

The Kaywoodie is ghost free after two bowls.

The Peterson had maybe a slight hint of ghost at the beginning of the bowl but that seems to have gone away by the end of the bowl.

The GBD still had just a little ghost in the first bowl. I will give it a few more bowls before deciding if any further soaks are needed.

I am quite pleased at this point.