How to Clean Brass with a Brass Tumbler

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If you are a reloader, you know that you don’t use the brass just once. And if you plan to reuse the brass casings, you must clean them. The cleaning process of these casings varies from person to person.

Today, we will talk about how to clean brass with a brass tumbler. Check out the next steps so that you can do it yourself!

Short Idea about Brass Tumbling

How to Clean Brass with a Brass TumblerWhen you settle for tumbling, the motion helps in loosening up the debris. And as a result, it provides you with a thorough cleaning.

However, we always recommend you using tumblers right after you fire. If you leave the residue unattended on the brass, it will get harder to remove them.

Also, the tumbling process will require a more extended period. In the home tumblers, you can clean 50-100 brass casings together. In some cases, you can use it for 500 casings too.

The tumbling required 1 hour to 5 hours depending on the method, number of the casing, and the media type. The negative aspects of tumbling are extreme dust and loud noise.

Types of Tumbler

For cleaning brass casing, there are two different types of tumblers available in the market. They are:

  • Rotary Tumblers
  • Vibratory Tumblers

There are fundamental differences between the cleaning method of these tumblers. However, both of them work excellently when it comes to the perfect cleaning. Find the best brass tumbler in the market now.

How to Clean Brass with a Brass Tumbler

Rotary Tumbler

Rotary Tumbler is also known as Rotary Wet Media Tumbler. If you plan to get an idea about cleaning your brass in a very minimal time, you can entirely rely on this one.

This idea is excellent if you are dealing with a large number of brass casings. Now, let us know how to clean the brass casings in a Rotary Tumbler.

  • Get a Rotary tumbler, and inside it, load your brass carefully. Along with the brass, you have to add some liquid bath.
  • For cleaning it properly, don’t forget to add steel pins. While choosing pins, keep in mind that you have to pick up the stainless steel pins. The work of the stainless steel pins is to get inside the brass cases to clean the inside portion of the brass. For cleaning the primer pockets, this method can be beneficial.
  • Start the machine and wait for a few hours to do its job. You will get your brass cleaned and perfect after you are done with the process.

Media: In Rotary tumbler, you can use Corn Cob or Walnut. But, as the machine is watertight, you can use water too.

There are several premade cleaning packets available in the market for cleaning brass. These can be helpful for you and also can save you time.

However, you can also rely on your homemade soap and water for cleaning the brass casings.

Vibratory Tumblers

Vibratory Tumblers are popular as dry media tumblers in the marker. According to the reloaders, this is the most used brass cleaning method so far.

In the process of this tumbler, there is a plastic tub added on top of the electric motor. The electric motor’s work is to vibrate, which is why it is named after vibratory tumbler.

  • We will tell you how you can clean your brass casings with a vibratory tumbler without putting too much effort into the cleaning process.
  • First of all, you have to make the machine ready for work first. Now, place the spent casings inside the top tub. Remember that this is a dry media method, and so you don’t need any additional water for the process.
  • After you switch on the tumbler, you will see that the motor will start buzzing. As a result, the bin or the tub will begin vibrating too. Let it shake for some time.
  • Within this time, the dry media will get inside every cranny and nook. Consequently, it will clean and polish all your brass cases without you using your hands. You have to wait a few hours to clean the ammo casings thoroughly. In the middle, you can also shift the contents for better results.

Media: As you are using dry media, you have to be very careful about which element you choose.

Mostly, the experienced reloaders use corn cob for the process. This is considered to be fantastic for the brass as it doesn’t do much tarnishing.

Also, it requires less polishing. On the contrary, you can also get your hands on the walnut. But only settle for walnut if you have more tarnished brass casings with a dirty outlook.

Dry Media Types

There are two dry media available in the market for cleaning brass casings. They are treated-dry-media and untreated-dry-media.

If you want to control the cleaning process and have different preferences for polishing, you can get the untreated media.

But it is wise to use the treated media because it provides better polish than the previous one. Never go for too much polishing; otherwise, you will see your brass with corrosion soon!

Wrap Up

Now that you have learnt how to clean brass with a brass tumbler, you can go for any of the methods we have mentioned above.

Also, don’t forget to comment below about the tumbling method you use. Please share your worst experience with tumblers so that we can know.

Related post:

How to remove rust from a gun without damaging bluing


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Author - Hans Wimberly
Hans-Wimberly - the owner of Gearsadviser
When I`m not spending time with my beautiful wife and great 3 children, you will find me reloading ammo!
Doing sport shooting, or talking with my friends about (oh, yeah!) guns.

Read more about me here.

At Gearsadviser, I`m committed to ensuring that you have the best possible reloading experience. I conduct thorough research, testing, and evaluation of reloading gear, offering impartial and informative reviews to assist you in making informed purchasing decisions. My reviews are based on hands-on testing, research, and analysis of customer feedback. I regularly update my reviews to reflect changes in product availability and new information, so you can be confident that you're receiving the most current recommendations.

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5 thoughts on “How to Clean Brass with a Brass Tumbler”

  1. When I use my Hornady ultra sonic cleaner the brass looks great right out of the tub but then after it dries for a few hours the cases have greenish tarnish and don’t look shiny any more. Does anyone know what I’m doing wrong? I’m using a mixture of 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar, with a little dish soap and salt added too.

  2. Unless you are going to make jewelry out of the used brass, the vibratory Tumbler is more than sufficient.
    Make yourself a mixture of 50/50 new finish car polish/mineral spirits and add a few squirts to your dry tumbler media just before turning it on. Your brass will come out shiny.
    Tear three or four small squares from a USED dryer sheet. Throw them into the mix and they will pick up a lot of dust.

  3. Unless you are going to make jewelry out of the used brass, the vibratory Tumbler is more than sufficient.
    Make yourself a mixture of 50/50 new finish car polish/mineral spirits and add a few squirts to your dry tumbler media just before turning it on. Your brass will come out shiny.
    Tear three or four small squares from a USED dryer sheet. Throw them into the mix and they will pick up a lot of dust.

  4. I deprime and size my cases, then clean them in my sonic cleaner, I dry them then put them in my tumbler to polish them off, they come out like Factory new inside and out ! It only takes me about an hour and a half for a batch of 50.

  5. Wet tumbling with regular dawn dish soap and a tiny bit of lemishine is what I’ve been doing for several years. I gave up on dry tumbling because of the lead dust hazard and because it doesn’t clean the inside of the cases as well as wet tumbling.

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