Before I found the need for a tumbler (I reloaded prolly 10 years w/o one) I would just wipe each case with a rag lightly dampend w/mineral spirits. I inspected/wiped each case before any other steps done. I had no scratches or gouges in my dies from grit 'cause each case was clean enough to use. Maybe not bright shiny, brass, but well serviceable. BTW; way back when, you could tell if a guy was a reloader by his brass. Usually it was NOT bright-shiny right from the factory looking, but usually dull, but clean, and he picked every one up before he left...
My Anchor is holding fast!