Do It Yourself – Cleaning Plumbers Pipe


I love plumbers pipe.  It’s industrial look mixes so when with farmhouse decor.  It is easy to use and super versatile.  The two things that stress me out the most though when I am considering it for a project are:

  1. It is so expensive!
  2. It is so dirty!

I can’t do anything about the price, but I was bound and determined to figure out how to clean it faster.  I google and searched – not much on the internet except for ways to clean CLOGGED plumbers pipe (totally not was I was going for) . I recently had a client hire me for a large build FULL of plumbers pipe – I needed to figure out this cleaning thing fast.

I guess I should have thought a little harder about it – but thankfully my wonderful friends at The Home Depot introduced me to ACETONE!  Yippee!!  Super similar to what our little girlies use to clean their fingernail polish off with.  Smelly – totally.  Effective – completely!

As always I have a 60 second DIY Tutorial to fast track you through the process.

Continue reading for lots of good details and tricks!

This is why plumbers pipe gives me heartburn – because EVERY SINGLE piece has a sticker on it that is wrapped in packing tape.  They must be super worried the price is going to fall off so they take extra precautions (he he he).  Additionally, it is rubbed with a light coating of oil – making it extremely dirty.  If you are ever doing a plumbers pipe build for yourself or someone else, always take into consideration the time it takes to clean the pipes.


This is after handling them for only a few minutes!


Are you ready to clean this stuff?!  Here we go –


  • Any pipe you are cleaning
  • Acetone (I buy in bulk at The Home Depot)
  • Kitchen knife (I keep some for only DIY’s)
  • Plastic covering for your area (I use Glad Press’n Seal)
  • Cotton swabs
  • You will get your clothes dirty as well if the pipes rub against so I would recommend wearing an apron.
Cotton Swabs
Plastic protection


Step One:

Peel off as much of the sticker and tape as you can.  Use your kitchen knife to help lift off the tape.


Step Two:

Pour Acetone onto you cotton swabs.  CAUTION: You should only use Acetone in a well ventilated area.  It is super smelly!


Step Three:

Rub the sticky residue over and over – the Acetone will cut through it pretty quick.  It will also start taking off all the grease.


Step Four:

Use the dull side of the knife to help scrub off any more sticky residue from the tape.


Step Five:

Do a final clean with a fresh Acetone Cotton Swab to make sure your pipe is sparkling.


All Done!  So easy!  Let us know what you choose to build with your clean pipe – we would love to hear from you!




PS – Ironically, after all my work and practice trying to figure this out, I found a Youtube video tutorial by one of my favorite teachers of DIY projects (in particular Plumbers Pipe projects) – Ben Uyeda.  He is amazing and has such a great tutorial here, including resources for sealing your plumbers pipe that I was not aware and now and so grateful. If you haven’t checked out his blog you are missing out.  Follow along with him here.

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