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Case cleaning with home chemicals

bambambambambambam Member Posts: 4,810 ✭✭✭
I found some one fired factory brass that had sat in the machine shed for about a year and a half. It was baddly tarnished from sitting so long. I wouldn't say it was oxidized because there wasn't that green crud on it but they were dark in color.

I have been using the wifes"throw away" plastic bowls she buys to pack my lunch in for trays and bowls to soak stuff in. I used a 6x9x2" deep bowl to soak this brass in. I covered them in straight white vinegar and added a few splashes of 10% janitoral strength ammonia in as well. I was careful not to spill because it stunk.[xx(] I placed it onto the stove and turned the exhaust fan on high.

In seconds I could start to see shiny brass in the bowl!![:0] I couldn't believe how well it worked. I've heard alot of diffrent people say how they clean cases with diffrent methods. If this is going to work like this all the time i'm sure i'll never buy a tumbler. An ultrasonic cleaner,however, could be a furture consideration.

Comments

  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,202 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That sir is a very, very bad idea.

    Abstract
    Brass is liable to failure under the combined influence of stress, certain corrosion media, and time, a phenomenon commonly termed season cracking or stress-corrosion cracking. The consequences of this are serious in applications of brass generally, including the important field of cartridge cases. Cartridge cases (70 Cu:3o Zn) that fail from this cause may allow the escape of gas from the gun breech, a hazard to the shooter, and may not eject, thus temporarily putting the gun out of action. In loaded cartridge cases, the stress present is partly residual from the drawing and necking operations and partly applied by the insertion of the projectile. Ammonia, present as a decomposition product of smokeless powder, air and moisture constitute corrosive media.

    The ammonia being heated increases the chemical reaction of hardening the brass.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Try just the white vinegar in a 50/50 water solution and let soak for a bit, then rinse with clean water.

    Or try citric acid powder.

    The acid in the vinegar or powder won't damage the brass (in fact some chemical gurus say it makes it stronger without hardening it) and won't damage it like the ammonia will (nor give off dangerous fumes).
  • 243winxb243winxb Member Posts: 264 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    vinegar and/or ammonia should never come in contact with cartridge brass. Look up dezincification & Stress corrosion cracking. Instead, put 2 tablespoons of "Realemon" in 1 pint of water, shake 5 minutes, rinse 2 times. Brass will not be super clean, but its much safer if you expect to use your brass over & over again.
    [url] https://saami.org [/url]
  • partisanpartisan Member Posts: 6,414
    edited November -1
    I've tried about 100 home remedies and none have really worked. They get clean, but stay ugly. Hope some of these answers will help me![8D]
  • Alan RushingAlan Rushing Member Posts: 9,002 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    bambambam

    You really, really do NOT want to combine ammonia and vinegar ... it creates a chemical reaction ... that IF it did a great job cleaning brass, would be harmful to the brass, and harmful to any and all of God's living creatures.

    I can think of only one or two things that might cause the ammonia to be more harmful ... !

    1) heat it ... it will cause a faster reaction ... produce chlorine gas more quickly ... increase the potential for harm to you, your family, someone else, to pets or some innocent unfortunate critter exposed to the deadly fumes.

    2) the mixing of ammonia with bleach which will initiate a chemical reaction which will go even further into producing chlorine gas.

    It is also possible to cause explosions I understand. Most probably removing tarnish from the brass could well be of lesser concern!



    Health effects NFPA 704
    030OX

    Chlorine is a toxic gas that irritates the respiratory system. Because it is heavier than air, it tends to accumulate at the bottom of poorly ventilated spaces. Chlorine gas is a strong oxidizer, which may react with flammable materials.[33]

    Chlorine is detectable in concentrations of as low as 0.2 ppm. Coughing and vomiting may occur at 30 ppm and lung damage at 60 ppm . About 1000 ppm can be fatal after a few deep breaths of the gas.

    Breathing lower concentrations can aggravate the respiratory system, and exposure to the gas can irritate the eyes. The toxicity of chlorine comes from its oxidizing power.

    When chlorine is inhaled at concentrations above 30 ppm, it begins to react with water and cells, which change it into hydrochloric acid (HCl) and hypochlorous acid (HClO).

    When used at specified levels for water disinfection, the reaction of chlorine with water is not a major concern for human health. However, other materials present in the water may generate disinfection by-products that can damage human health.

    Germany first used chlorine gas on the Allied troops during WW I. After it's initial use both sides used chlorine gas against one another ... until they developed more efficient chemical weapons.

    Apparently Japan used chlorine gas against China in 1941 also.


    * * * Please do not create any more chlorine gas! * * *

    (( just a couple of references ))

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_gas_in_World_War_I
  • bambambambambambam Member Posts: 4,810 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Good thing you guys knew better. I read the label on the ammonia and it said it could be used to clean all types of jewlry. Never new it would harden the brass or make chemical reation. I did wonder about mixing with the vinegar and used very little because I sure if it would be ok or not. The fluid turned blue after I took the brass out?
  • JustCJustC Member Posts: 16,055 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    when in doubt, throw the brass away. Brass is cheaper than plastic surgery.
  • Alan RushingAlan Rushing Member Posts: 9,002 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by bambambam
    Good thing you guys knew better. I read the label on the ammonia and it said it could be used to clean all types of jewlry. Never new it would harden the brass or make chemical reation. I did wonder about mixing with the vinegar and used very little because I sure if it would be ok or not. The fluid turned blue after I took the brass out?
    Live and learn, just remember ... gotta keep living ... can't be learning much if you're pushing the daisies . . . [;)]
  • badlandsbutchbadlandsbutch Member Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
  • Alan RushingAlan Rushing Member Posts: 9,002 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by badlandsbutch
    Try Kaboom
    Yep! Mixing ammonia with bleach is worse and putting it on the stove would no one and nothing any favors.
    Locally a landlord directed one of her cleaning ladies to mix them and clean ... last thing that lady ever did do, but die and get buried. Pretty bad all the way around. Our cleaners and solvents can do some good, or a lot of harm. Mixsing will usually delve out some harm.

    ( PS: I'm speaking from personal experience ... but that's another story! )
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