How do you treat kama before and after use? How do you do kiome (purification) ?
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After use place it on the kettle stand [open square stand] on the mizuya bottom shelf.
Pour cold water over the kettle then take off and dry lid.
Empty kama into a basin preferably something like a wooden bath bucket. Then invert the kama on the stand and using the brush lightly brush the bottom while pouring the hot kama water over it. Reserve the remaining hot water for other cleaning purposes. You may pat dry [do not rub] the kettle and leave upside down. Remove all charcoal larger than an azuki bean. Return kama to ro or furo to complete drying at least overnight. Do not use a towel on the inside.
This is the basics but modify as circumstances require.
Be very careful if using electricity on an iron kama. Charcoal removes much of the oxygen from the kama vicinity and will not overheat the kama.
Non-iron kama do not require such care.
To clean a kama before first use:
If a kama is not rusty, fill it with cold water, bring to a boil and pour out the water. Then fill it again and bring to a boil, this time with a bag of bancha tea leaves and/or some ginger in the water. This removes any smells or strange tastes. Repeat several times if necessary. End by boiling water only in the kama once more (or several times if necessary).
If the kama is rusty, my teacher told me several methods to get rid of the rust:
According to a kama-maker: boil water in the kama and prepare some bancha tea in a separate tea pot. When the water in the kama comes to a boil, add the bancha tea and boil for one more minute. The water will become black. Let cool and leave overnight. Repeat if needed. Finish the process by boiling water only in the kama several times.
According to koyamaen: fill the kama for 2/3 with water and add one table spoon of baking soda. Leave for half a day. Finish by boiling water only in the kama.
Another way: boil water with cornstarch in the kama.
As for cleaning the kama after use, John Leon Larissou’s answer describes it very well.
Over time a white coating may form on the inside of the kama. This is a good thing. According to http://hojotea.com/categ_e/tetsubin.htm: “This is a layer of natural minerals, such as calcium carbonate, that is built up from use. Never try to remove it as this layer also contributes in improving the taste of water and will help to prevent rust. From my observation, the old tetsubin that is kept in good condition always has a layer of white scale as thick as snow. “
Personally I do not do anything prior to using it, I just pour hot water into it and over it then put it on the heat.
After use I empty it out and place it back on the heat to dry of.
Every now and then I wipe it inside with a towel or clean the outside with a brush.
Since I’m using electric heat this works nice. The only fire that is close to my Kama is the byakudan.
When using charcoal and ash formation you should clean the outside after every use by pouring water over it and cleaning with a brush.
My first kama had some sort of coating on the inside. I’m not entirely sure what it was, but my sensei suggested that I boil water in it several times. When I did boil water in it there was a distinct “pitchy” (tar like) smell, so I would boil water in it an throw it out until the smell disappeared, an there was no longer any visible “coating”. I don’t remember how many times I needed to do this. However subsequent kama’s that I have purchased did not have the same coating, and were fine straight away. Most were used, but my one brand new kama didn’t have this issue either. So I guess the short answer is that it depends on the state of the kama at the time of purchase.
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