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Old February 19, 2009, 10:01 PM   #1
rangewarrior
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Dawn Dish Soap for case cleaning

Any issues using the standard Dawn dish soap to clean bottle neck cases picked up from the range... heard some rumors that it contains ammonia but have no proof either way.

I've been using the soap and water method for about a year with no problems that I can detect... if there were a problem would it have surfaced yet?
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Old February 19, 2009, 10:05 PM   #2
roy reali
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Bird Safe

I don't know if it is brass safe, but saw their commercial about using this product for cleaning seabirds that had been drenched with crude oil. If Dawn Dish soap doesn't harm seagulls I would assume brass would be ok.
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Old February 19, 2009, 11:56 PM   #3
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I believe it does contain ammonia. The reason why I say this is that I mixed some with bleach once and it about bowled me over. THEN I read the warning not to mix with bleach... Joy is another that may contain ammonia. Ivory would probably work. I think it's pure soap.

As you've probably read, ammonia can cause brass to become brittle.
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Old February 20, 2009, 01:02 AM   #4
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I don't believe Dawn contains ammonia. If it did it should be on the Materials Safety Data Sheet for the product and it isn't - I checked.

It's not safe to add chlorinated bleach to many things including ammonia. Perhaps the surfactants in the Dawn released gaseous ammonia which would bowl over anyone who smelled it. Their suggestion to not add bleach isn't stated as a warning, and there is no waning on the bottle about it.

Why not give it a try on one case? Soak it in some diluted Dawn for a day or so and see what happens. That would be a much harsher test than washing the cases for a short time and then rinsing off the detergent.
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Old February 20, 2009, 01:21 AM   #5
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Okay... Test one with Dawn... But how do you test for brittleness in brass at home? I already thought that through before my last post. It would be easier to avoid the risk completely rather than looking at a case to determine if it's become brittle or not. Safety first, avoid what you can't check out 100%. My opinion.
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Old February 20, 2009, 01:44 AM   #6
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I did my last batch with automatic dish washer detergent and a near boil. It worked good. jd
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Old February 20, 2009, 02:47 AM   #7
rangewarrior
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it would suck if it did because I have about 5K pieces of 223 brass that i cleaned that way. Alot of my brass has been fired 4 times by me with no issues yet but who knows. does ammonia discolor brass? maybee if I do the one case thing I can tell by looking at it if the soap has ammonia.
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Old February 20, 2009, 09:43 AM   #8
rangewarrior
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Called Proctor & Gamble to find out if Dawn has ammonia...

First guy I spoke with said that he had no information but there was a note not to use Dawn to clean decorative brass because it can harm the laquer finish.

I wasn't really satisfied with his answer so I spoke with a supervisor. A really nice woman and while trying to discretely explain what I was doing she said, "oh you reload, been doing that since I was six", . She said that she searched a different file and saw no mention of ammonia or ammonium in any of the Dawn products and that I should be good to go. She said the reason there is a warning about mixing with bleach is that the results have not been tested with P&G.
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Old February 20, 2009, 02:47 PM   #9
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Go look at the MSDS.

http://www.pg.com/company/our_commit...c_home.shtml#3

And you will see that Dawn is a soap!

No ammonia in it at all.
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Old February 20, 2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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I've been washing brass for years with Dawn and no problems with brittleness that has shown itself in anyway noticable.
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Old February 20, 2009, 09:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector3711
Okay... Test one with Dawn... But how do you test for brittleness in brass at home? I already thought that through before my last post. It would be easier to avoid the risk completely rather than looking at a case to determine if it's become brittle or not. Safety first, avoid what you can't check out 100%. My opinion.
I understand your voice of concern. It's sound practice to not use any products that has the possibility of containing ammonia for brass. However, IIRC in the past few years manufacturers of products have been required to disclose any and all chemicals in their products. The MSDS has been a pretty darn reliable source to find out what's in products. If ammonia isn't listed for the makeup of Dawn and no significant negative reports have been sited, I'd trust using it.
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Old February 20, 2009, 10:53 PM   #12
rangewarrior
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I think I am okay with the dawn soap, used it for a while with no problem...

Now I think I did use another type (I think Palmolive) a few weeks back to clean out about 1K cases I picked up at the range. It looks like it contains "Ammonium C12-15" which I think is ammonia. This brass ended up mixed in with all of my other brass and I have no idea what is what. None of the cases look discolored in anyway but I am wondering if I should toss my 5,000 cases of 223 and start new...

at best i used it to clean out the 2.5 gallon buckets I had prior to dumping my brass in there, at worst I used it to actually soak the brass.
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:03 PM   #13
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If your tossing them, send em to me. I can send you my addy.
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:13 PM   #14
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I wouldn't toss them they're probably just fine. One cleaning with that soap and being diluted with water IMO it'd be tough to weaken the brass like that unless it sat in the solution for days. I've never personally tested it but I can tell you if that were my brass I'd use it without giving it a second thought. Rinse everything again real well if it makes you sleep better.
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:15 PM   #15
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Hush Horseydude, I got 5K of perfectly good 223 brass coming my way.
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:18 PM   #16
rangewarrior
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Well I do tend to use an ass load of soap. So do you guys really think I will be okay shooting it?

Serioulsy, since I am out of work and have had nothing but time on my hands I completely processed about 1K of commercial brass that I am willing to sell. 75 bucks shipped for 1000.

I load with about 25gr of H335

Last edited by rangewarrior; February 20, 2009 at 11:31 PM.
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:42 PM   #17
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Then to quote Cheech, "fire it up Holmes"
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:50 PM   #18
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Several tidbits to throw out. All ammonium compounds are not the same as ammonia gas dissolved in water, which is just one such compound (ammonium hydroxide). I don't see any reason they should all react with brass, or at leas not all quickly. I doubt ammonium chloride or ammonium carbonate would do much to it within a reasonable time period.

Lots of people not only use Dawn or other dishwashing liquids to clean cases (the old NRA formula has a teaspoon of the stuff in it, IIRC), but many have recommended coating brass with straight dishwashing liquid and letting it dry out a bit to serve as the case lube for sizing. I've not heard of any ill effects. Keep in mind that most specialty greases, like lithium or aluminum based wheel bearing greases are soaps.

If you have doubt about a product, keep a few odd .22 rimfire cases around for testing. Let them soak in the unknown product for for a week. If there is no green or blue and if the surface of the brass doesn't appear roughened by etching, you are likely good to go.
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Old February 20, 2009, 11:51 PM   #19
rangewarrior
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Quote:
Then to quote Cheech, "fire it up Holmes"
sorry dude I am slow, what you saying?
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Old September 21, 2011, 11:34 PM   #20
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Dawn Hand Renewal contains ammonia...

"Go look at the MSDS.
http://www.pg.com/company/our_commit...c_home.shtml#3
And you will see that Dawn is a soap!
No ammonia in it at all. "

The following are a couple of ingredients from P&G's ingredients list (found at http://www.pg.com/productsafety/sear...tart=21&num=10) which are made utilizing ammonia:

alkyl dimethyl amine oxide
cyclohexanediamine


Dimethyl Amine specifically is made using ammonia salts such as Ammonia Nitrate.

Also keep in mind that an amine is NH2 (its an anion). It will collect another H from water to form ammonia.

As those of you who have taken chemistry, you are aware that when in an aqueous solution, everything will continually change (at varying rates) into various components (parents and daughters) until equilibrium has been reached (when a stability is reached where chemicals change from one form to the other and back again without disturbing the balance). Thus the soap will and does release ammonia when mixed into water.

My room mate was so kind as to demonstrate this with my fish tank and my dawn dish soap. Petco even did water tests... I was responsible and got the water checked first before making judgement call (it smelled like my dish soap and was sudsing, but I still got it tested). In any event, the majority of readings were within the normal-ish range considering, but the amount of nitrates due to the ammonia was extremely high. He had to have dumped half a cup into the tank. *sighs* In any event, very bad for the fish, but good for this posting.
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Old September 22, 2011, 01:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
February 21, 2009
Older thread.
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Old September 22, 2011, 01:13 PM   #22
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Recipe:

200 rds dirty range brass
2 qts water in a stainless pot
10 drops of Ivory dish soap

Rinse range brass with clean tap water. Add water, Ivory, and range brass to to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Stir it a bit. After 5 minutes drain into a collander. Dry the brass thoroughly and use as directed.

We use Ivory for two reasons. First, the wife prefers it. Second, brass has no oily feathers requiring Dawn - the recommended detergent for cleaning birds contaminated by oil spillage.
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Old September 22, 2011, 04:56 PM   #23
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Noob thread necromancy.

FWIW, avoid Simple Green, or it's less successful competitor, Complex Teal. They will tarnish your brass.
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Old September 24, 2011, 11:17 AM   #24
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Quote:
We use Ivory for two reasons. First, the wife prefers it. Second, brass has no oily feathers requiring Dawn
Cast bullet shooters have a real reason to want to use Dawn, especially those that enjoy experimenting with making their own bullet lubes. Sometimes the cases can be a greasy mess if you're trying a formula with a bit too much grease/oil and not enough wax.
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Old September 24, 2011, 06:18 PM   #25
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I consider this a thread update, and I learned something about amines.
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