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Old January 24, 2013, 07:11 PM   #24
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Join Date: March 1, 2009
Posts: 1,020
^^^^ whaaaa... um I don't know... the reason I'm not using my ultra sonic, is because soaking for 2 hours in there wasn't cleaning 25 cases... I'll save that one for my nickel cases...


hounddawg - You have any idea of the mix ratio of water to lemon juice? Have you tried vinegar instead of lemon juice?

I'd really be interested in the solution pH

you have an actual ratio of stuff you used ???

I honestly dont measure. I bought a big bottle of that concentrated lemon juice and use maybe 1/8 - 1/4 cup and we buy the costco dish detergent in bulk and dispense it out of a kitchen squeeze bottle so I give it a good squirt. Just enough to work up some suds.

cleaning procedure is as follows

Hot tap water with detergent and juice. Agitate by hand by just reaching in and pulling handfuls out and dropping them back in for 30 seconds or so, let it sit for maybe an hour or two and reagitate whenever I walk by it or feel the urge, maybe two or three times in a cleaning. If it is evening I may let them sit overnight but really see no difference after the first hour or two

Dump the soapy water and fill with clear a couple of times, dump into a old kitchen strainer to get most of water out. On large loads I might do this in a couple of batches. Roll em around in a towel to help dry further. Then into the mesh laundry bag, hang it off dryer door, thanks to whoever it was that suggested that BTW. After depriming you might want to dry them again for a few minutes before priming. Sometimes a drop of water might be trapped in the pocket. You can do a second wash if you want and about half the pockets will clean up.

You can clean as many or as few cases as you want in a three hours. Just don't expect 100% clean primers and seems as some powder residue are harder to get out of the interior than others. I would say though that 90% plus of the insides are clean as a whistle.

Also like I said in my earlier post , if the cases are corroded black, the citric will eat off the black copper oxide but leave the pink cuprous oxide. Polish those in a dry medium tumbler if that bothers you and inspect for brass pitting. I just toss em if they look iffy or cull out the really nasty ones before cleaning. Most of the range brass I get is reasonably new, I don't think brass survives more than a day or so at my club before someone harvests it.

been working on this method for about a year now after I sold my lathe and could not use my home made tumbler. So far I started with boiling and went to just really hot water and changed from vinegar to concentrated lemon juice. Supposedly the citric acid leaves a coating which prevents re-tarnishing but I ain't too sure about that. See thumbnail at bottom of post.

Anyway this method won't impress people like a Ultrasonic or a three hundred dollar wet tumbling set up but it gets the crud off and out of my cases. I save the money, rocket science and OCD nitpicking for the actual loading of my rounds. To me a clean case is a clean case but if I start harvesting brass at the public ranges I might get a cheap dry tumbler for the extra cruddy ones and the cuprous oxide issue

45's 9's and 223's done using same method,as you can see after a week or so the shine starts goes away but they are still clean. Maybe the dry tumbler with a bit of car wax after depriming and the shine would stay? If shiny is important to you of course.

“Only accurate rifles are interesting,” - Col. Townsend Whelen

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. - Ronald Reagan

Last edited by hounddawg; January 24, 2013 at 08:31 PM.
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