Ultrasonic Cleaning of Brass Rocks!

Posted on: 2010-03-16 19:40:11

After reading "Jason Baney's article on ultrasonic brass cleaning":http://www.6mmbr.com/ultrasonic.html, it's hard not to try it out. Cabela's cheapest "brass tumbler kit":http://www.cabelas.com/p-0012554212869a.shtml costs $63. I was able to find <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Foffer-listing%2FB001DKDAVW%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref_%3Ddp%5Folp%5Fnew%26qid%3D1268540550%26sr%3D8-1-catcorr%26condition%3Dnew&tag=nickvaha-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957">an inexpensive ultrasonic jewelry cleaner<img src="https://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=nickvaha-20&l=ur2&o=1" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> on Amazon for under $30.

I'll be honest, it's not the best little thing. It only runs for 3 minutes at a time (so you have to keep pressing the button) but luckily I don't need it to run that long and since I'm mainly doing 9mm and .380 at the moment, I can fit a lot more brass in a much smaller container.

In his article, Baney cleaned 8x fired brass cases. I'm pretty sure mine are only 1x or 2x fired. After about 9 minutes in the first cycle, the first batch was done. I skipped the tap and distilled water cycles, too, opting instead to just rinse them under the tap. The results are below:

h3. Before


h3. After

!/sites/nickvahalik.com/files/brass_cleaned.jpg! !/sites/nickvahalik.com/files/brass_cleaned_2.jpg!

Needless to say, my results were exactly in line with his! Many, many thanks to Mr. Baney for his wonderful article and the time it took him to research and test it all.

Now to scour eBay for a larger (or at least time-programmable) ultrasonic cleaner!

Update: I wanted to add that after cleaning a few more rounds that the results are not always as amazing as the ones I took pictures of. The first batch was small (~38 rounds) and with larger batches not all of the brass looks this pretty after 9 minutes of the vinegar bath and 6 minutes of the baking-soda + water bath. The outsides still look very clean, but the insides are still little dirty around the flash hole. However, it's not dirty enough to warrant cleaning them again.