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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of you guys know if there's any harm to brass if using acetone to wipe off sizing lube?

I've been using it recently to wipe off the exterior and inside the case mouth before tumbling. After awhile, the lube starts to infect the tumbling media which then transfers it back to tumbled cases later. I know I want to clean it off before tumbling, but today I was wondering if maybe the acetone might not have an effect on the brass later on.
 

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I don't know for sure but I doubt that it would. A simple test would involve a spent 22lr case and a thimble full of acetone.

Cheezywan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suppose I could try that. But I'm wondering more about long-term and internal damage, such as the metal properties changing composition or something. I don;t know, it's too scientific to me. I really like using acetone for cleaning though, it's powerful, yet not too hazardous, and it dries quickly without leaving a residue.
 

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I have been using it for years with no issues...but I prefer 90% isopropyl it has less vapor pressure and does the job. Acetone does a number on my hands.
 

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Many different cleaners will work but maybe you should look up the MSDS sheets and after reading the various sections of each decide which is the best to use. Some cleaners have unwanted properties which will affect us humans in the long run. Why just look at all the cancer causing items the state of California considers bad.
 

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Both will dry and crack your skin pretty bad... I don't like them, I prefer a blue shop towel to wipe them off. I only use Imperial now, so there is very little lube to begin with.
 

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Acetone does not adversely affect the metal. It will have more effect on your brain, not unlike alcohol. And, like gasoline and ether, the vapors mixed with air are explosive. Its high evaporation rate makes that mixing happen fast if you have much of it over an exposed surface area that isn't outdoors. The fast evaporation also means it cools the metal as it dries, so in humid air it easily causes water condensation to form.

The safest method is to use a water-based degreaser. I find the citrus cleaners work quite well at removing cooking oil films from kitchen surfaces. The most economical one around here is Zep Citrus Cleaner, which you can get by the gallon at Home Depot. Mix for a sprayer and just hose the cases down or dip them, as you prefer. Let that sit for five minutes, then rinse. Shake the water out by dumping the cases into an old pillow case and literally shaking them a bit. Let them dry overnight before tumbling.

If you insist on non-aqueous solvents, odorless mineral spirits are going to make less of a stink or explosion hazard than acetone. They take longer to dry off, but will. Dip and swirl and later shake off the excess and dry. All the solvents should be used outdoors.
 

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Listen to Unclenick,s advice
Your liver and kidneys and brain cells will thank you.
Yes, this is free professional advice-I play doctor in real life-the risk of hepatocellular damage from solvent is real.

Gary
 

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Better edit that. We have women members and none of them is more than six degrees removed from your wife, girlfriend, mother, or mother in law. It WILL come back on you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok fellows, I guess it's back to cleaning brass with gasoline on a rag.



Just kidding! Advice well-given and taken. I've got some Simple Green that I use around the shop. I don;t know why I didn;t try that on lubed brass. Whatever will work, with my goal being to keep the cleaning media "sharp" longer for better results.
 

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Ok fellows, I guess it's back to cleaning brass with gasoline on a rag.



Just kidding! Advice well-given and taken. I've got some Simple Green that I use around the shop. I don;t know why I didn;t try that on lubed brass. Whatever will work, with my goal being to keep the cleaning media "sharp" longer for better results.
Try Ultra Sonic....it works not only on the outside but gets the carbon out of the inside that's bad for barrels and it doesn't use dangerous chemicals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've looked at them, Taildrag, but they're expensive. I'm just trying to get the extra lube off the brass that, over time, contaminates the tumbler media. Once the media becomes sufficiently contaminated, it eventually ends up transferring grime to the brass.
 

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"Do any of you guys know if there's any harm to brass if using acetone to wipe off sizing lube?"

No such solvent has any harmful effect on metal.

I prefer mineral spirits/oderless paint thinner because works as well, it's less harmfull to skin and it doesn't evaporate so quickly. Cheaper too.
 

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I use the wax and then just tumble. I hate wiping off brass. A small quantity of the wax sized brass isnt too bad, no solvent needed. Acetone wont hurt the brass. I tried all kinds of solvents but the wax and tumble is the best IMHO.
 

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Ever wonder why the first rule in oxyacetylene torch setup? Don't lay the acetylene on its side the ACETONE will rot the lines and diaphram in your pressure regulator it has no drop tube like a propane tank and can squirt out the top. The tank itself usually has a filler in it to wick off the gas, even if done it takes a long time of exposure and missuse even laying on it's side to destroy the equipt, it's made to resist it.

While an occasional exposure is rare to say the least, but using it as a cleaner in a controlled atmosphere is rare and now days you have nail polish remover that is non acetone. Stuff might be on your ladies shelf right now as if you can borrow a dab on a cotton ball. When I was in bench comp we took pretty good care of our match brass and as a habit that went into all reloading. Used a cotton rag and Hoppes with a set of dishwashing gloves, stank but worked. Now days just inspect them as I put them in the box after firing, resize, tumble clean em.
 

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Guys, changing your tumbler media is a LOT cheaper than going to the Doc to find you have killed your liver or kidneys using any sort of solvent. Gasoline included. Had a good friend die of liver cancer a year and a half ago. It wasnt a good way to go and he was one of the unlucky ones who did everything right.

A wise man once told me, "Save your kidneys for the hard drinking, kid".
Makes lots more sense to me to use them for filtering Scotch instead of acetone.
 

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Chemicals

Acetone is some really nasty stuff looking at a msds. I like the alcohole idea, mineral spirts will leave an oil residue. In fact all of the above will leave a residue. When I worked in a machine shop, I remember an old time tell me about leaving residues on the metals. His favorite was LPS super cleaner/degreaser. We used it on bearings alot leaving no residue. Chemicals/haz. can have a leathcy period to cause damage (asbestos takes 10 to 40 years), I like the guys idea about checking the MSDS and following it, This way your health is protected (acetone could takes years before you see bad effects it has on you).
 

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I worked in the aerospace biz for many years. Most of the solvents that we used were slowly phased out untill we ended up with alchohol and acetone, acetone being the most used. It is considerd one of the more safer solvents but is used with care. The government is mostly concerned about air polution due to evaporation.
 

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I always deprime brass then tumble then size osing wax.
I have nice clean cases for the sizer die and the lube never gets into the tumbler
 
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