*Bug Juice Brass Cleaner*
By serger

15 July 2003

Another Use for Koolaid

I shoot a lot and as a result I have a goodly amount of ammunition in various states of construction. And since the people here in Podunk have more money than sense they leave lots of once fired shell cases at the range. I pick the stuff up and bring it home.

I try and tumble the brass casings for the most part to remove corrosion and mud, whatever, but you still need to clean the polishing media off to save wear on your reloading equipment. So in the past I rinsed the polished brass and then placed it on a cookie sheet and warmed it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes then I turned off the oven and let the brass cool to room temperature. That dries the brass and makes it safe to reload.

Well, to make a long story short about a month ago in the weapons section of the Rubicon I got a link to home brewed gun stuff. As I read the recipes I saw one that had came out of Frankford Arsenal for a brass cleaner/polisher that had been used by the Army. The primary ingredient of this recipe was citric acid.

"Citric Acid"? I had heard that before somewhere and vaguely remembered it was a food thing or something like that. Well last week I finally remembered where I had heard that name. The primary ingredient in those little packets of Koolaid you make up for a childrenís drink is citric acid. SO, last weekend I put a bunch of range pickup .223 (5.56mm Nato) range brass in a glass bowl of concentrated Koolaid. (I think it was a quart of hot water.) I let it soak for about a half an hour and the stuff came clean and sorta shiny. But I didnít have to tumble it or all that other stuff.


In the above pictures I have the brass (this time .30 Carbine) in lemon lime Koolaid in the top picture and hereís the shiny cleaned brass after I rinsed the Koolaid out of the shell casings. Now I have to just load the stuff up once I get it dried out.

And where did I get the term "Bug Juice"? Well anyone who has spent any time in the military and had to drink treated water has drunk bug juice. The service does this to make the strange tastes of treated water not be so strange. The chemicals they use for flavorings come from generic Koolaid AKA Bug Juice.

As a side note, we cleaned deck plates with the stuff and I remember one of our Engineering Laboratory Technicians pulling a PH reading on a bucket and it had a PH of 3.9. He told me that was right on the ballpark of battery electrolyte but thatís another story.

Thanks for the read.


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