Cleaning the inside of model rockets

Yesterday was a wonderful day for launching rockets around here. So my brother and I set out to launch the only built and non-damaged rocket I
have on hand - Estes' Snapshot. We did two launches and the second, which was this rocket's fourth launch, proved to be too much for the adhesive Estes used to secure the fin/motor mount assembly to the body tube. This provided me with a direct view into the bowels of the rocket. I wasn't at all surprised to find it caked with engine residue from the four launches, but this did bring to the forefront of my mind the issue of cleaning the rocket out every once in a while.
Is this a good idea, or is the engine residue buildup a non-issue? How would you go about actually doing it? I'm not really finding much on long-term rocket care.
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With Estes type rockets residue build up is rare but it can be a minor, unseen problem. Many people never have a problem with it because they lose, crash or retire their rockets before crud causes a problem. If your rocket lasts more than a few launches, residue build up will increase as motor size increases. On a marginally stable or under powered rocket, crud build up may cause several potential problems including reduced rod speed, instability due to build up on one side, which can cause severe arching and internal fire after ejection. It may also keep engines from seating properly.
After each day of flying I like to use a bottle brush to clean the tubes, especially if it's a cluster rocket. You can pick up bottle brushes at Wal-Mart for about $1 each. Make sure you get long handles. You want to use a brush that's slightly larger than the bt. Rotating it as you push it in and out will clear any minor crud from the bt.
Randy http://vernarockets.com /
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I like to give the BT end a wipe out after each flight. I've found that the NC or coupler becomes a tight fit from the residue after a few launches.
At the end of the day I give the whole rocket a good cleaning.
Cheers...

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There is a very minor chance of fire after a large number of flights, though I've only seen this happen with Aerotech wire mesh baffles.
Another thing that happens on humid days is that as the crud cools, moisture condenses in it, and keeps the inside of the rocket moist. This leads to slight molding (another eventual ignition factor), or worse, delamination of the body tube, leading to weakness and deformations. This is especially a problem with stuffer tubes in bigger rockets like Saturn V's, Super Big Berthas/Broadswords, where the deformations can get so bad that the tube closes up like a clogged artery.
It's rare that I think about it, but occasionally I will go through my rockets and brush them out.

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cleaning the rocket out every once in a while.

I actually paint a layer of shellac on the inside of the bt (after I build) This does add a "bit" more strength to the bt , but, it makes it a lot easier to clean.....
Bill
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