Neat Vinegar for cleaning shell cases???

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

  1. robbobsam

    robbobsam Well-Known Member

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    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

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    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

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    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 benchrest.com 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

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    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.