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Ultrasonic case Cleaning

This is a discussion on Ultrasonic case Cleaning within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I was in Harbor Freight yesterday evening looking at a parts washer to use for my Mustang restoration and looked at their tumblers for use ...


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Old August 3rd, 2013, 07:36 AM   #1
 
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Ultrasonic case Cleaning

I was in Harbor Freight yesterday evening looking at a parts washer to use for my Mustang restoration and looked at their tumblers for use in reloading while I was there. I also noticed a small ultrasonic unit, which got me thinking about a larger unit as an option for both, my car project in the short term and for use in reloading long term…. To those of you who use ultrasonic cleaners for your brass, I have a couple of questions:
  • What kind of solution do you use?
  • Do you use the “heated” function of your cleaner (if it has one)?
  • How do you dry the cases after cleaning?

Thanks in advance for your help!



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Old August 3rd, 2013, 10:32 AM   #2
 
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I use a small ultrasonic cleaner. I can get 100 pistol rounds in it at a time. I still use the walnut shell tumbler first and then the ultrasonic cleaner. Maybe a little overkill, but the brass looks like it was just purchased new. Mine is not heated so I cannot speak to that, but using the two methods, I really like the results. I bought some special brass cleaner solution that is made for my sonic cleaner. You only need a spoon full or so. And they suggest using distilled water for the best results. I lay the brass out on a towel after cleaning and dry them with a hair dryer. Some people put them in the oven at a low temp for a short time, but the hair dryer works for me. Then I let them lay out overnight and they are ready to go to the next step.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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My walnut and rudge cleaner works great and will polish the brass to a bright luster. The secret is not trying to clean a billion rounds out of one load of cleaner. I have two cleaners. The first one takes most of the crude off and the second one polishes it. When the first cleaner gets too contaminated I pour it out and dump the second cleaner into the first cleaner and fresh cleaner into the second one.

But an ultrasonic cleaner would be nice because many things can be cleaned in one.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 11:54 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSideScubaSteve View Post
I was in Harbor Freight yesterday evening looking at a parts washer to use for my Mustang restoration and looked at their tumblers for use in reloading while I was there. I also noticed a small ultrasonic unit, which got me thinking about a larger unit as an option for both, my car project in the short term and for use in reloading long term…. To those of you who use ultrasonic cleaners for your brass, I have a couple of questions:
  • What kind of solution do you use?
  • Do you use the “heated” function of your cleaner (if it has one)?
  • How do you dry the cases after cleaning?

Thanks in advance for your help!
1. I use Citranox. One gallon of this stuff will last an extremely long time. I purchased a gallon jug about three years ago, and I have only used about half of it, and I clean a lot of brass
2. I use the heater on my ultrasonic. It is essential that you heat the solution for best cleaning. I also decap my brass before cleaning them in the ultrasonic. This way, you can get the primer pockets cleaned too.
3. I use a Test tube drying rack to dry my rifle brass. For pistol, I just place the cleaned and de-primed cases upside down on a paper towel to dry.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:03 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krwada View Post
1. I use Citranox. One gallon of this stuff will last an extremely long time. I purchased a gallon jug about three years ago, and I have only used about half of it, and I clean a lot of brass
2. I use the heater on my ultrasonic. It is essential that you heat the solution for best cleaning. I also decap my brass before cleaning them in the ultrasonic. This way, you can get the primer pockets cleaned too.
3. I use a Test tube drying rack to dry my rifle brass. For pistol, I just place the cleaned and de-primed cases upside down on a paper towel to dry.
Thansk for the tips!! (great idea on the test tube rack!)
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:04 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 303lithgow View Post
My walnut and rudge cleaner works great and will polish the brass to a bright luster. The secret is not trying to clean a billion rounds out of one load of cleaner. I have two cleaners. The first one takes most of the crude off and the second one polishes it. When the first cleaner gets too contaminated I pour it out and dump the second cleaner into the first cleaner and fresh cleaner into the second one.

But an ultrasonic cleaner would be nice because many things can be cleaned in one.
The "Walnut & Rouge" a mixture for a tumbler, corect??
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:05 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislind2 View Post
I use a small ultrasonic cleaner. I can get 100 pistol rounds in it at a time. I still use the walnut shell tumbler first and then the ultrasonic cleaner. Maybe a little overkill, but the brass looks like it was just purchased new. Mine is not heated so I cannot speak to that, but using the two methods, I really like the results. I bought some special brass cleaner solution that is made for my sonic cleaner. You only need a spoon full or so. And they suggest using distilled water for the best results. I lay the brass out on a towel after cleaning and dry them with a hair dryer. Some people put them in the oven at a low temp for a short time, but the hair dryer works for me. Then I let them lay out overnight and they are ready to go to the next step.
Do you de-prime first??
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:49 PM   #8
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Hi Steve. I deprime my brass first, then I wash the brass in a heating ultrasonic cleaner. If the brass is stained or discolored, I run a cycle or two through the tumbler to polish the brass.

In my opinion, washing the brass first cleans the brass faster removing burnt powder, range dirt or anything other than brass and cleaning the primer pocket. Most time, the brass is fine with a wash and drying.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSideScubaSteve View Post
The "Walnut & Rouge" a mixture for a tumbler, corect??
Correct.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 12:58 PM   #10
 
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I use mine for anything from handgun's to brass, blue and stainless
I use Simple Green and Purple Power. Which ever I have at the time.
I do not put aluminum in the Purple Power.
I use the heater.
I usually let my brass stand over night and if I want to use it the next day I will probably have to put the heat gun or hair dryer on them. I use mine a lot.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 01:19 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargeezer View Post
Hi Steve. I deprime my brass first, then I wash the brass in a heating ultrasonic cleaner. If the brass is stained or discolored, I run a cycle or two through the tumbler to polish the brass.
Yup.

Jeff
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 01:25 PM   #12
 
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I use the Lyman ulta sonic cleaner with the Lyman case cleaner and load them in a case cover to dry them with a fan. Yes I use the heat function for cleaning and rinsing.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 03:27 PM   #13
 
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The solution I use in my ultrasonic cleaner is 50% distilled water, 40% white vinegar and 10% simple green. I have had pretty good results with this but mine are water spotted because i just dump them in a wire mesh basket and let the warm air out of my basement dehumidifier blow on the basket until the next night. The dry air off of the dehumidifier really does pretty quick work, but i dont want to risk anything. If i am in a hurry, i will blow each case out with my air compressor before loading them up and that has never given me a problem either. I just make sure to drain the tank before i use it.
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