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Thread: Is it worth buying a crockpot for cleaning brass in citric acid solution?

  1. #1

    Is it worth buying a crockpot for cleaning brass in citric acid solution?

    I've done it in plastic tubs and it worked okay. I was wondering if it would be worth it to get a small, cheap crockpot (about $10 new) to cook the brass in citric acid. What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Not worth it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    LUBEDUDE's Avatar
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    I would think that agitation would be better than just heat.

    But for a $10 experiment, let us know how it went.
    TEAM HOLLYWOOD

    NRA- LIFE TSRA-LIFE SASS-LIFE

  4. #4
    Boolit Master ACrowe25's Avatar
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    Never really needed heat when I tried. But got sick of the "work" and gave up on getting them spotless. I've found they don't shoot better when clean on the inside/primer pocket (which inthe only benefit IMO for vib vs wet). So I took my money and picked up a lyman tumbler and never looked back (like$30-40 maybe)

    Mind you these are my personal experiences. 90% target handgun loads as small about of bench shooting.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I jsut use plastic tubs for wet cleaning with lemi shine dawn dish soap. Let it soak for 45 mins or so in hot water. I use the mr coffe for the hot water. Then set out to dry and a little time in the vibraator polisher and they come out beter than new.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    You might find a one quart pyrex sauce pan and warm the solution with a hot plate or a hair dryer.
    EDG

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    I've had good luck using very hot water for the citric acid, and have an old crock pot that I was allowed to "liberate."
    I used a plastic container inside, surrounded with water, so that I could easily remove the brass or clean out the acid.
    Worked alright.

    I had hoped to get the mix boiling, and have the agitation help mechanically loosen the crud, but citric acid doesn't boil until
    590 įF so even in my weak solution it raised the boiling point higher than the crock pot could produce. Going by memory, but I think the crockpot is 150 Watts.

    I had a batch of brass in solution heating in the pot for about an hour, trying to get it to boil. It was maybe a touch cleaner then brass sitting in very hot(just boiled) water and citric acid for 10 minutes. The only noticeable difference was the longer soak time loosen primer pocket grunge enough that it would wipe out with a piece of paper towel on a pocket brush.

    As I still had to use the brush, I don't see as big an advantage as there would be with stainless pins, but the brass sure was clean. Just another excuse to play mad scientist.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    I just ran a batch through the Crock Pot citric acid bath and then through the vibratory tumbler with Lizard Litter and a bit of Iosso case brite. The cases weren't quite as clean as the ones I have seen done in SS media, but they came close. I like using the crock pot because the solution stays hot. I stir a couple of times with a slotted spoon. This even gets those real nasty looking pieces of range brass bright and shiny.

    Is it necessary? I really don't know. But you can pick up a crock pot at a yard sale or thrift store for next to nothing.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Just like any reloading equipment/tool if you think you will like it (it makes you happy), or if it makes your brass processing easier, do it! Personal preference is the deciding factor in a whole lot of reloading, casting, brass processing practices. I don't use citric acid. Not because I don't think it'll work, but my preferred method for cleaning brass is walnut shells in an old rotary tumbler. Just like my preference for mixed brass vs. sorted by headstamp, primer pocket cleaning, and primer pocket crimp removal will differ from a lot of reloaders. Crock pot for liquid brass cleaning? Do it!
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Ed_Shot's Avatar
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    I buy the lowest price w/free shipping food-grade citric acid powder on ebay. $10 worth lasts me over a year. Use about a t-spoon in 2 qts hot tap water in a mop bucket. I soak for 20 min and maybe agitate with my hand twice. I use the same solution for several different calibers of brass one after the other on a given day. Rinse thoroughly and dry in the sun on a screen wire rack. Works like a charm and plenty shiny for me.

  11. #11
    On Heaven's Range

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    Went to an estate sale last week and bought a box of household/garage chemicals for 5 bucks...lo and behold in the box was 2 one pound containers of RX grade citric acid. Should last awhile.

    Mr. Ed
    The only good cast boolit is the one that hits the target

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold kjohn's Avatar
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    My wife gave me a brand new little crock pot to use. I've done one small batch of rifle shell with about 30 .45acp cases. They were dull, but not range pickup dirty. After citric treatment, I dried them and gave them about 40 minutes +-in the FA vibrator. Came out really nice.
    I hope there is a gun range in heaven, otherwise I'm going to hell!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I think a cheap ultrasonic cleaner would be money better spent.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    Short answer is no!! Plastic tub or bucket is fine
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    To test this you need a control. Make three piles of dirty brass, apply different treatments, observe results.

    I suspect that citric acid helps just a little with cleaning and a lot with removing oxidation, making the brass sparkle more for the same amount of clean.

    I tumble with pins but have been thinking about a tall tank built from 12” pvc with forced air to keep the brass moving. Probably not gonna work, but I like the idea of hitting a button and having it run, drain, rinse, drain, and be done.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Sam Casey's Avatar
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    Brass no! Chili yes!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    If your reloading projects haven't been banned from the kitchen like mine--
    Get a $2 pot from Goodwill and use the stove.


    I used to use the oven to dry soap & water washed brass.
    After the 2nd live .45ACP got in there and cooked off---
    all ammunition related stuff was banned from the kitchen.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 11-12-2019 at 10:14 PM.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

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  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    ^^^^^ +1 ^^^^^

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Just use the stove. If you donít want to do that get a Colman stove. Use outside in a open garage. Every body should have one. I have all electric and every 10 years or so the power goes out but I can still cook. Just use the kitchen stove in a big stainless pot from good will. Use a slotted spoon and stir every once in awhile. Dump in a colander in the sink and rinse and done

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy


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    Shinny brass ALWAYS shoots better!

    Or is it just me

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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