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Old June 19, 2013, 10:11 PM   #1
101combatvet
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Liquid Media Case Cleaner?

I usually use RCBS Sidewinder Liquid Media Case Cleaner but like everything the price has jumped. Anyone have any homebrews that work as well?
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Old June 20, 2013, 10:14 AM   #2
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I like to use a 50/50 vinegar/water mixture with a small shot of dish soap.
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Old June 20, 2013, 10:33 AM   #3
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5% citric acid solution (add 7 ounces to a gallon of water) is an old arsenal formula from before neck annealing (1920's). It leaves the surface much less activated than even vinegar does. I've had vinegar cleaned case turn purples and greens if left exposed to air long enough without polishing, which colors tended to camouflage case whereabout when policing brass in grass. Citric acid cleaning rapidly removes oxides but leaves the metal fairly yellow and doesn't etch it very much. 5%-10% solutions are used in conservation of recovered heavier brass objects from shipwrecks for this reason. It stays yellow, though the yellow does darken some over time.

You can use a lot less citric acid if you intend to dispose of and not reuse the solution. You can buy ten pounds for $27, postpaid, from this outfit. I usually add a squirt of dishwashing liquid to the citric acid solution to help suspend dirt and dissolve oils.
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Old June 20, 2013, 10:43 AM   #4
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UncleNick, thanks for that - I am aware that citric acid is a better cleaning chemical than vinegar but have never found a reasonably priced supplier before.

Edit: Ha! that's the same guy I have bought heat exchanges from in the past (I'm a homebrewer).
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Old June 20, 2013, 10:46 AM   #5
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Also, whatever compounds you use will work better if you mix them with R/O, deionized or distilled water. I happen to own an R/O filter so use that.
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Old June 20, 2013, 11:44 AM   #6
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How about 5 pounds of citric acid from Amazon for $18? No shipping, if you order at least $25 worth of stuff at a time.
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Old June 20, 2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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The source I gave will send you 5 lbs for $18.90 postpaid and no other purchases required, so if that's the quantity I wanted, it would depend for me on whether I was going to buy something else at Amazon anyway, or not, so I could save the $0.90. The 10 lb price from Duda gets you the second 5 lbs for just $8.09, postpaid, and I have trouble resisting that kind of bargain. Duda had my order to me in under a week, if that matters to someone reading this.

I also ran into a food wholesaler recently who had even lower prices, but I don't believe the shipping was free. Same with this soap making supply site. Price is great, but it looks like shipping will take it past Duda's price.

One interesting point on the soap supply site is the claim citric acid will lose potency in a few months if not stored in airtight containers. That's not been my observation. All the other data I've seen suggests cool and dry storage only to prevent caking, because the citric acid is slightly hygroscopic and will pick up about ½% water in high humidity. Commercial brass cleaning solutions that use citric acid have indefinite shelf life, AFAIK. So as far as deterioration goes, I believe it is very stable. It made me wonder if the soap site warning was taken from ascorbic acid, which oxidizes gradually when moist.

Anyway, if you have doubts, get a pick pickle jar with seal and keep it in there.
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Old June 20, 2013, 01:40 PM   #8
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I've been using water, Lemoshine (sp?), and dish soap.
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Old June 21, 2013, 12:48 AM   #9
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All the messing around ordering stuff, mixing this, that, and the other thing is not my idea of fun.

I'll let somebody that's a lot smarter than I am make something that I can buy and be done with it. CASE IN POINT;

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/711...n-32-oz-liquid

The Hornady one shot US cleaner works great. It mixes 40-1 with water and lasts a long time, cleans a lot of brass. For $20.49 it's cheap.
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