Neat Vinegar for cleaning shell cases???

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by robbobsam, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. robbobsam

    robbobsam Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Is it safe to clean shell cases in neat vinegar.

    I have just used some on a single case for 1 hour and it came up mint.

    I cleaned it out thoroughly afterwards to clean off the residue but I am a little uncertain about the effects of the acid.

    Anyone have any first hand experiences or professional knowledge?
  2. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    For a while I was cleaning cases with vinegar, salt, and some dawn mixed in. I would mix it with some hot water and let them sit for a few hours and they seemed to come out okay. I always rinsed them well after soaking them and I never had any issues with case weakness. The brass cases have an oxide layer that forms (gives them a dull color), and that is what the acid will react with. It doesn't (a weak acid) react with the brass itself.

    I broke down and bought a Hornady tumbler with some corn cob media. Now my brass is really shiny, and I don't have to annoy my wife by drying the brass all over the place!
  3. out front

    out front Active Member

    Apr 17, 2009
    I've used vinegar in my ultrasonic cleaner for the last year and have not noticed any weak brass. I don't know if it matters much, but after the cycle in vinegar I run a cycle with water and baking soda to neutralize any residue and ensure there is no long term exposure to the brass.

    6mm has a great article on brass cleaning

    try a search on this site and you'll get a variety of opinions as well
  4. Joaquin B

    Joaquin B Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    I use vinegar or diluted CLR to clean really dirty cases-mostly handgun. I then rinse the cases with tap water very well and after drying, I tumble the cases in corn cob media to make sure any salt/minearl deposits are removed. The cases end-up looking as good as new.