Originally Posted by Tall
When you say Citric acid, are you referring to lemon juice or Orange juice?
Neither, the citric acid in fruit juices is the same, but the concentration is weaker. I bought pure citric acid powder from Amazon. I think I paid approx. $20 for 5 lbs. a year ago.
It's enough to last me till I die, but I'm 72 years old.
It's exactly the same acid as in any fruit. What Amazon has is the pure stuff.
I actually tried generic Real Lemon juice to see how it works. I was shocked at how well it worked. Once mixed, it needs to be refrigerated or it will begin to spoil. In powder form it will not spoil.
You can actually make lemonade with this stuff, but it won't have any color
For me I discovered, 30 minutes is enough time to do most of what it needs to do.
However, I allowed it to set with brass in it for approx. 15-16 hours & discovered primer residue cleaned off much easier. I also noticed, carbon residue on the neck of my fired brass was also much easier to remove.
The carbon residue on the case neck was very slightly oily for some reason. Perhaps using a paper towel wasn't completely cleaning of the Imperial sizing die wax.
Tarnish is oxidized brass & all the citric acid does is to return the tarnish back to it's original state. Then it becomes passive & does nothing else. I've considered putting a little dish soap in the solution, to see if that makes it more effective on the carbon on the case necks.
If you buy this stuff in small quantities, it becomes a bit expensive.
If you want to try it out first, do like I did.... Buy some Real Lemon concentrate or generic concentrate. It made me more comfortable to make the purchase of this powder at Amazon.
The solution gets weaker with each use which in turn increases the time it takes to work. But the concentration isn't critical. I use 2-3 tablespoons per quart. I also heat it up in a microwave after removing it from the refrigerator. A warm solution works a little faster than a cold solution. I've never made a solution so strong as to where it didn't still work well.
Do some research on the Internet, it will allow you to use it with complete confidence it will not damage your brass. It'll clean cooper also, but if you have tarnished bullets with exposed lead tips, it will turn the lead black. This doesn't seem to affect performance of the bullet.
This stuff cleans calcium deposits out of coffee pots also. It has a lot of uses. If you're married, your wife may start using it faster than you do.