Ultrasonic cleaner/bath, case prep

I'm thinking of getting an ultrasonic bath for cleaning my 243 brass and was wondering on people opinions on the use of sonic baths for case prep and whether it is worth it?

I don't have a tumbler either.


Well-Known Member
Cleans them well but doesn't make them shiny:) I decap mine and pop them in the sonic bath for 30mins...once they've been dried in the aga I then size before tumbling....I like them shiny and like new! Is it worth it.....yes, but don't spend a fortune on one...tumbling media lasts for ages and I know that there's no crud entering my dies but you are turning a single stage process into two unless you don't mind dull brass....


Well-Known Member
You don't need to buy one with a shooting brand on it, the same thing can be bought for less un branded and do the same job. De prime small drop of washing up liquid 30 min then quick rinse in warm water and put on a tray in the airing cupboard till dry job done.

Fosbery Holster

Active Member
There’s a guy on the Full Bore forum who’s extolling the virtues of a Deep Fat frier he uses, ok I know what you’re thinking, no he uses it with water and a drop of fairy liquid, if you don’t believe me just check it out !
He said it cost £8.00 off flea bay.
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Well-Known Member
I put my cases into 2 x large glass peanut butter jars with a dash of Sea Foam, fill with warm water to cover, and then stand them in the ultrasonic bath. I'd rather rinse the jars out than have to drain and clean the bath after each use.


Well-Known Member
I bought a Chinese 10 litre stainless steel one from eBay for £130 ish. They do smaller ones for much less. Big tank was for Briggs and Stratton carburettors.

For case cleaning I keep plain water in the tank and then use a couple of honey jars which hold just over twenty .308 cases with washing up liquid and a teaspoonful of Citric acid. This means I just pour away the dirty water from the jars and don’t have to clean the tank each time. It doesn’t mirror polish them but the acid takes off the tarnish. You could use a splash of vinegar to do the same thing. You will need to kill the acid with a rinse of soda bicarbonate.

There are less expensive processes. Primer pocket cleaner and a Lee Collet Neck Sizer and a wipe with an Autosol cloth is much quicker. Someone talked about tying them up in a pillow case and putting through the washing machine!



Well-Known Member
Squeaky non-shine clean is what you'll get with the ultrasonic.

I no longer bother with tumbling but if you go that way too be prepared for ill-informed comments at the range suggesting your case prep regime is lacking in rigor!



Well-Known Member

got one of these and I could do 200 cases at a time, I now don't use it,

well chuffed

ps: I also have a 3 ltr ultrasonic cleaner as well. and I use it all the time, who cares if the case does not look like new,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the targets will never know you used just a US cleaned case.


Well-Known Member
I have a James Ultra sonic bath and used James Sea Green until it ran out. Now fill bath with warm water and put cases in glass rectangular pyrex dish, add warm water, fairy and a dash of clear vinegar. Takes about 10 mins. Drain through sieve, rinse in tap water, dry, rinse in distilled water and dry in low oven or on log burner. If I wamt the necks shiny I use fine wire wool after I chamfer the necks.



Well-Known Member
i ultrasonic clean and the only down side is the necks might be to squeeky clean. i tend to use graphite just to ease the bullets in when seating. you are increasing neck tension through grip.as above i don't bother to tumble but if i did the dust residue would probably do the job of neck lube.


Well-Known Member
I dipped my toe in the water, so to speak, with a tiny little cleaner from Lidl, which did a good job of cleaning spectacles, watch straps, and jewellery, for which it was designed, but I soon found was not up to the job for even very small quantities of brass. It would only run for a few minutes, and took repeated goes to get a result, though it did get there eventually, until I think the transducer or electronics just wore out or overheated.

So that was a failure. But I'm still tempted to get a bigger one and give it another go.

I did get my best results using cheap diet cola with a drop of washing up liquid. It's dilute phosphoric acid, so I think similar principle to using e.g. citric, which is less readily obtainable. Tried the Sea Green, but found it ineffective.

Dull brass doesn't bother me, it may even have some advantages.

Since bought a Lyman turbo tumbler, but in retrospect I think I would have been better spending the money on a decent ultrasonic device. My cases are certainly shiney, but I doubt particularly clean inside, nor the primer pockets, nor the inside of the necks, if that really matters. The wet rotary process using SS media has it's attractions, but that's not an investment that I want to get into, nevermind the faffing about.

I think that just dunking into the US, 30 minutes later rinse in bicarb solution to neutralise, rinse again, put in airing cupboard in e.g. a bra net bag to dry overnight, might work for me. Using a low oven to dry is unlikely to be allowed by my girlfriend, and neither do I think that it's a good idea to share brass prep. with food prep.

The tumbler runs in the garage, but it is a dirty dusty process, all that stuff that does get removed ends up in the media, and it's not very nice for the health, once you look into it.

With US, it gets flushed down the drain, no worries about breathing it in, or the dust contaminating your workspace.
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Well-Known Member

I've had one of these now for 2 years, and I can't fault it, used with Seaclean cases come out really good.

Very similar to mine £70 from ebay and its still going strong, it holds 200 20 tac and 50 6mmbr cases no bother it has a mesh insert that means that i can just lift the cases out of the dirty water solution rinse and dry, the mesh is about 5 mm from the base so the dirt falls from the brass,


night stalker

Well-Known Member
I used to use one but went for a 3 kg stainless tumbler of eBay when it died. It fits 100x 222/223 or 50x 22-250/25-06/30-06 but you can get bigger ones. I went for this one as it was only £50 posted.

On top of buying it you need 1kg of 1.5mm x8mm crosscut stainless pins which I got from props on amazon for £20, some citric acid crystals and some normal washing up liquid. I found results to be miles better than with an ultrasonic cleaner for a very similar price



Well-Known Member

I've had one of these now for 2 years, and I can't fault it, used with Seaclean cases come out really good.
Last week I bought exactly the same one. I had been doing cases 15/20 at a time in a small unit, just fancied saving a bit of effort, and I have tools and parts outside of shooting that can benefit also.

I use seaclean, and have never had reason to complain.

I will be selling the little one, no need for it now. :)


Well-Known Member
My USC has just started playing up annoyingly. It has been used a great deal though but suddenly you cannot select the time you want it to operate for. You can only have 3 minutes which is annoying as I tend to give it 2 x 8min bursts, so now I am getting up every 3 mins to switch the bloody thing back on.

Anyhow, apart from that they are superb if you get a decent one that works at the correct frequency.

Mine happily does 50 x .243/.308 sized cases or 100 x .222cases and basically 15mins of zapping in a solution made up of roughly 1 part distilled white vinegar, 2 parts hot water (if your heater has also gone on the blink like mine has) and a dash off fairy liquid, will see the cases absolutely cleaned, primer pockets back to clean brass and good to go.

I never give them any longer than that and give them a real thorough rinse and then put them in bi-carb solution to neutralise any left over vinegar just to be sure. Then bung em in the oven on approx 115 deg for 10mins or so and crack on.

Not shiny like wet tumbling with SS pins but I shoot my ammo rather than taking them to a beauty pageant.