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How does everyone clean their brass before reloading? When I used to reload (back in the 1990s) we used to run them through the washing machine (put them in an old nylon or a delecates bag), at least that is how some of the people I know taught me to do it.
 

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For really dirty and tarnished brass, I use food grade Citric acid in hot water, does a great job of cleaning in a short period of time. I dry the brass in my wife's oven. For light cleaning, I use my Lyman tumbler and corn cob media with a dash of Nu Finish cleaner car wax.
 

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I've done the citric acid thing in boiling water then dried them in the oven with good results, the only issue i had was the brass had a certain "patina" to them ... not real shiny. Now i just tumble with corn media sans the wax ...
 

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Dash of Lemi-shine, small squeeze of Dawn and a couple hours in the wet tumbler (after de-priming all cases) with 5 lbs of SS pins, then a couple hours under the ceiling fan and they are ready to go!
 

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A half an hour of dry walnut tumbling. I’m not about pretty, just clean. Plus I like carbon in the neck.
 

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Have not jumped into wet cleaning yet. Generally use corn cob or walnut media with a paper towl on top to capture more dust.
 

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An ultrasonic cleaner (Hornady) with the recommended Hornady solution (40 to 1). Cleans outside, inside, primer pockets, etc. Simple rinse, then dry. What could be easier? About two or three steps shorter than a tumbler. And less elapsed time.
 

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Dash of Lemi-shine, small squeeze of Dawn and a couple hours in the wet tumbler (after de-priming all cases) with 5 lbs of SS pins, then a couple hours under the ceiling fan and they are ready to go!

Perfect ... the only thing I’ve added has been a squirt of auto wash/wax ... really helps keep the shine.
 

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I usually de-prime, then chuck up each case (cordless drill) and use a cutter/gauge or camfer tool to at least square things up. Since in the drill anyway, easy to hit the brass with a light abrasive polish cloth. Un-chuck and a quick twist of primer pocket tool, and done. Takes just a few seconds per case. Of course, most of my reloading is small batches using a single stage press - and I'm not in a hurry.
 

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I had used a rock tumbler and punch card chad. You may be too young but in the 60s-80s computers got their data or programs via punched 4x7” cards. The holes were little rectangles that accumulated in a waste bin as rows of clerks typed away. Well anyway, these tiny bits of paper were the perfect size and strength to act as polish for brass. The paper absorbed any grease. I put a few hundred cases into the rock tumbler’s drum added the card board pieces and let it go overnight. As you can guess the era of punch cards vanished and the currently popular media came in, corn cobs and/or walnut shells ground up.
Yea then manufacturers came out with the vibrating bowl type cleaning machines. Life is grand: I use 3/4 corn with 1/4 walnut in a Dillon 750 overnight. The brass is a nice luster. My vibration tumbler lasted 7 years before it passed on. Not bad for about 100,000 cases cleaned.


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battery drill with 308 case set in load locker and turned with a right rub of fine steel wool

the inner neck gets a hone of brass barrel brush spun in the drill
 

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Mostly use either corn cob or walnut media with a touch of media cleaner and a Lyman case cleaner vibrator. Works for high 90% of cases shot using smokless powder. For cases that are really dirty for some reason or those used for black powder shooting, I always toss em in a empty 5 qt. ice cream pail, add hot water and some liquid dish detergent. Let soak, swish around a bit, rinse, and dry, then use media and vibrator. I have used various case cleaning solvents over the years and am currently trying one for black powder cases (which get nasty dirty) called Brass Monkey. It's a powder mixed with hot water. The half dozen times I've used it, it works well, followed by regular media/vibrator.

A cleaner that I read about probably 30 yrs ago and is found in most kitchens and every grocery type store is Potassium Bitartrate. It contains a organic acid called Tartaric Acid which is found in such things as grapes and other fruits. If your looking for it on a store shelf or the in Mrs's kitchen, it's called 'Cream of Tartar', a baking additive. Works pretty darn good, just add some in hot water, soak, swish around, and rinse well. First time I tired it, I 'appropriated' a can out of the Mrs. spice rack. Used it up, intending to replace, but forgot. Heard about that. I have bought Cream of Tartar just for the purpose of case cleaning, but haven't for some time, but the stuff does work. Just letting ya know in case you have a nasty batch of brass that needs just that extra bit of TLC to clean em up. If ya 'appropriate it from the kitchen, make sure though ya return or replace to avoid any unwanted domestic situation. Been there, done that.::eek::D
 

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Washing machine and mesh bag , throw in with a load of towels , that will clean them .

To polish I use a Midway vibrating polisher and Midway's treated nut shell polishing media... puts the shiney on them .

Tried wet tumbler , dry tumbler and like the vibrating method best .

Gary
 

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Go Big

My family shoots AR's a lot, with kids and spouses along with grand kids. Being able to process large loads of 556/223/ and 308 brass was my goal. Time spent doing one large load vs 10 small loads is a real time saver. So one of my boys and I came up with this, using mostly shop treasures my wife calls junk.
 

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This is kind of an old post but I would like to show you guys that there is no need to get crazy with lemi-shine or citric acid when cleaning brass. The two sets of photos are before and after of rifle and pistol brass cleaned in a wet tumbler with only the stainless media, dawn and water for 2 hours.
brass1.jpg
brass2.jpg
brass3.jpg
brass4.jpg
 
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