Recommendations for Ultrasonic brass cleaner

6x6 elk

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I have seen DIY solutions using water, Dawn dish soap, and Lemon Shine dish washer powder, due to the Citric Acid in it. I see that citric Acid is something that both the Hornady and Lymans cleaner has in it. Any one try this, and if you have,do you need to do anything to neutralize the brass after soaking in the solution? Thanks.
 

mtang45

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I have seen DIY solutions using water, Dawn dish soap, and Lemon Shine dish washer powder, due to the Citric Acid in it. I see that citric Acid is something that both the Hornady and Lymans cleaner has in it. Any one try this, and if you have,do you need to do anything to neutralize the brass after soaking in the solution? Thanks.

I use Dawn and Lemi Shine in my tumbler and rinse it off with fresh water until the suds are minimal. Not 100% rinsed but never have seen any adverse effects of leaving too much Lemi Shine/Dawn. Brass looks new.
 

phorwath

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I have seen DIY solutions using water, Dawn dish soap, and Lemon Shine dish washer powder, due to the Citric Acid in it. I see that citric Acid is something that both the Hornady and Lymans cleaner has in it. Any one try this, and if you have, do you need to do anything to neutralize the brass after soaking in the solution? Thanks.

Citric acid is the only active ingredient I add to water when ultrasonic cleaning my brass. If you research the internet, you'll find that citric acid imparts a corrosion resistance to the brass, in addition to cleaning. The citric acid I purchased is food 100% citric acid. Came packaged as a fine dry powder. It wasn't readily available when I was looking to purchase some. I only purchased the food grade because it wasn't all that expensive compared to non-food grade, and that's what I found available on Amazon.com Prime with free shipping to Alaska.

A citric acid solution is a very effective brass cleaner - no doubt why Hornady and Lyman use it in their products. I rinse my cleaned cases in warm/hot tap water, and then dry the cases with a hair dryer if I'm impatient. Or allow them to air dry at room temperature for 24 hrs on a bath towel if I'm in no hurry.

I reuse the citric acid solution. After I've finished with the ultrasonic cleaning, I let the black dirt/crud settle to the bottom of my beaker overnight. I then slowly pour the clean solution (tinted green) into a glass jar with a sealing lid. I periodically add a little citric acid and water to my solution to maintain strength. In this manner, my 1lb container of citric acid powder ($9.95) cleans a lot of brass. I've only used about 4 oz in the past 4 years. Of course that depends on how much you shoot, but I've easily cleaned 2000 cases. A lot of field pickups on .223. And many other cartridge cases also.
 

jrock

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I've used a few drops of dawn and vinegar with great results. I would neutralize it with baking soda but stopped doing that and just rinsed real well. I pre soak range brass in soapy water first which really helps knock all that dirt off before using the ultrasonic cleaner.
 

waspocrew

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I put Citric acid in when I use my Hornady ultrasonic cleaner. The brass turns out great. I just give it a little bit of a rinse following a cycle.
 

6x6 elk

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I tried the Lemi-Shine with Dawn dish soap, and was really impressed on how clean the primer pockets were. When I run out I found a wine making supply store that carries the citric acid powder for $5 a pound.
 

Dosh

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All informative posts, I've been using the IOSSO solution, but the citric sounds good and saves my $$$, thanks.
 

greyman

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OK so in what mix ratios are you guys using these at? Primarily the Dawn and citric acid solutions. I have both the Lyman and Hornady solutions, but have only used the Lymans so far. With that said I switched powders in my .223 AR from Hodgdon 335 the CFE223. The 335 cleaned up pretty good with the Lyman solution but cleaning my cases after using the CFE223 they are not as clean in fact I have gone to cleaning twice with marginal success. I hear the CFE223 is pretty dirty.
 

phorwath

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I copied and pasted this from another web site. I don't think I use a 10% by weight solution. I think I use about 5% citric acid by weight. I don't do the alcohol rinse. I rinse the cases in a bucket of hot water, drain/shake the excess water out of them, lay them on a bath towel on a countertop, and warm them up with a hair/blow dryer to dry them off. I'll search a little more...

From this link: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=577348

"If you are reloading the best way to clean brass to a almost mirror polish is in citric acid at about 10% using distilled water (no I am not taking about lemon juice but pure citric acid) heated to about 110 degrees F. Put the brass into the plastic basket primer hole side toward the bottom and placing as much brass as can fit being slightly loose (this is the only time parts can touch since they are all rounded parts with no edges contacting each other). Pour the solution into the ultrasonic, cleaner making sure all the cases have solution in them (it is important to shake them to get air bubbles out), so at least 1/2 inch of solution covers the top of the cases. After 10 to 15 minutes rinse in distilled water then dump them into 91% alcohol (find it in any pharmacy) swirl for a bit so the water gets out of the cases then place the cases neck down to dry (best way is a hard foam block with toothpicks stuck into it). The citric acid "passivates" the brass so you will notice they will not tarnish as fast and the alcohol displaces the water so your brass will not tarnish or spot when drying. I have brass I cleaned almost 2 years ago in a zip lock bag and they still look like they were just polished on a buffing machine."

Yup, I'm seeing 5% solutions referenced by others, and I believe that's what I use.

"The old NRA book, Handloading (out of print) referenced an arsenal brass cleaning formula that was 5% citric acid and nothing else. I, too, have bought the citric acid through DudaDiesel, asks only $27 for 10 lbs, postpaid, compared to $3 for a two ounce packet from the wine making supply place. I put 7 ounces in a gallon of water for close to a 5% solution (by weight).

I've also added Dawn to help suspend dirt, but citric acid softens water on its own, so I'm not clear that it's really necessary. Unlike acetic acid (vinegar) and salt (the old NRA formula), the brass cleaned in citric acid does not seem to oxidize to purples and greens over time. It darkens a little, but that's about it.

BTW, if you have stainless steel that gets rust spots, you can passivate it in a 10% solution of citric acid. You have to degrease it first, then let it sit for about half an hour in the citric acid at about 140°F-150°. No more rust spots.
"

Like I said, I reuse the liquid solution. Add a little more citric acid if to the solution if it seems to not be cleaning the brass well. Let the scuz settle overnight. Decant the clear greenish tinted liquid into a jar with a sealed lid. Reuse the next time.
 

6x6 elk

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I have a small ultrasonic cleaner. I use about 20 oz of hot tap water, 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish liquid, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemi-shine (citric acid). 20 minutes later the brass is clean. I thoroughly rinse in hot water, put the brass on t towel, and roll them back and forth to get the excess water off. I turn them upside down in a plastic case holder to let what's inside the case to drain out and dry (for a day). And if I'm in a hurry, I run them through the tumbler for 10 minutes. Just starting out at this process but working well so far.
 

LR65Pb

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Mar 9, 2015
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I've been using the Hornady Ultrasonic cleaner but after taking them out of the basket, I towel dry them. I then stand them up, base down, on an electric heater that has a steel mesh above the heating elements. I can easily put 50 or 60 on it and I'm not sure if it's good or not, but they're so hot, you can't pick them up bare handed. It dries them out very quickly while I get ready for the next process. The heater is just a standard floor type electric heater, but I've also used the top of my wood burning stove that's in my shop.

They don't get hot enough to be annealing the brass, by the way.
http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html
 
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