What do you clean your dies with??


December 25, 2002, 12:30 AM
I've posted this on numerous forums and have had mixed messages. I figure, why not post here. I have a:

Redding Titanium Carbide Sizer
Redding Expander
Redding Competition Seater
Lee Factory Carbide Crimp

Thanks guys.

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December 25, 2002, 12:51 AM
I've only used a clean shop rag. I use Dillon dies so I just pull the clip off the seating and crimp dies, run the rag through, verify die is clean and put them back. The powder and sizer dies get cleaned every 5000 rounds or so just to be on the safe side. Same way, wipe off with a clean shop rag.

December 25, 2002, 01:02 AM
I use the silicone gun clothes that I use for everything in the gun area. For getting the filth out of the dies, I use a Q-tip and some isopropyl alchohol. This is also good for the lube buildup that come with cast bullets. For SPG and the other soft lubes, I just use a stream of really hot water and then the Q-tip. The deep sink in the shop area is immediately down pipe from the water heater so it's as hot as it'll get. S/F...Ken M

December 25, 2002, 01:14 AM
I use good old Hoppes #9 to clean all of my dies and to maintain cleanliness around the presses. I ensure that they are wiped dry after cleaning, so nothing runs or drips into my loads.

December 25, 2002, 01:35 AM
If they were cast bullets being seated with lots of waxy lube, then the dies get swabbed out using Q-Tips saturated with copious amounts of Ed's Red.

Jacketed bullet loads? The dies get a quick run-thru with Q-Tips saturated with ethanol or rubbing alcohol.

December 25, 2002, 09:39 AM
Or, you can run it thru the dishwasher when the wife is out shopping. :o

December 25, 2002, 10:01 AM
I use Acetone to de-lube and clean then lightly oil them with Rem oil....it works for me.

Wayyyyyyyyy back when I used to use gasoline and oil em with 3 in 1 oil LOL!

I never did a die in the dishwasher but my replica Colt blackpowder guns get that treatment.....................when the wife is at the mall! It cleans all the gunk off of them and dries all the lil parts. I made a lil basket out of hardware cloth to hole the parts.

December 25, 2002, 10:08 AM
Ah, the joys of modern life! What did they do before they had all the modern conveniences? Barbarism, I tell you. :eek:

Mike Irwin
December 25, 2002, 11:34 AM
Spray them out with brake cleaner occasionally and store them in their factory boxes in a large ammo can. In the summer I add some mothballs to keep moisture out of the can.

December 25, 2002, 11:39 AM
I used to use Hoppes but have been using Simple Green of late. Cuts right through the lube.

H&K Fan
December 25, 2002, 01:56 PM
Catch Midway when they have their large Q-tip looking cleaning devices on sale and buy at least 100 of them. Swab out the die with your favorite gun cleaning solution and follow that up with a clean dry cleaning swab. If the die(s) are to be stored for more than a few weeks, lightly oil the interior of the die. A clean swab can then be used to get rid of the oil when you want to use the die again. Mothballs as mentioned or the little dessicant chips which Midway and other outfits sell are added to the box holding the dies. Repeat as necessary.

Swamp Yankee
December 25, 2002, 03:49 PM
Hoppes works well as does brake cleaner. Lately I've been taking them to work when they need a going over and throwing them in the benchtop ultrasonic degreaser. Gotta figure out how to justify one of those for home.
Take Care

December 25, 2002, 04:36 PM
Hoppes, Shooters Choice, etc.,

December 25, 2002, 04:46 PM
Wow!!, merry christmas to me!! Thanks for all the great replies all. More are welcome, but this is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. Merry Christmas!!

December 25, 2002, 05:15 PM
Recently realized that my .30-06 sizing die was filthy. I cleaned it as best I could with #9 and cleaned that out with brake cleaner, and did some work pushing patches around the inside.

Guy at my range says that he uses carb cleaner with good results.

I've been reluctant to oil my dies for fear of contaminating the powder, but based on what I've read here, clearly I need to do so.

Lightly, ever lightly.


December 25, 2002, 07:23 PM
I battle light rusting due to moisture and salt air. I have cleaned TiN coated dies with Flitz several times without apparent damage, but this can't be good.

December 25, 2002, 09:49 PM
Usually Hoppes & a Q-tip or brake cleaner. I also use Hoppes on the ram on my press followed by a light coat of gun oil.

December 26, 2002, 12:13 AM
I use brake cleaner & compressed air,then spray with case sizing lube.Works for me.

December 26, 2002, 05:22 PM
Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrub, every couple thousand rounds. It leaves no residue and blasts out all the nooks and crannies!

December 26, 2002, 06:15 PM
Depends on the die and how dirty it is. Realy grungy decapping dies get disassembled and brushed down with Hoppe's. Others, like the seating dies get a blast of brake cleaner so I don't have to reset the depth.

Bottom Gun
December 27, 2002, 03:51 PM
Gun Scrubber or carb cleaner. Whichever I happen to have handy.

December 27, 2002, 05:02 PM
Carb cleaner, and or WD$). THey both cut the gunk. WD 40 is best in the cold when I'm cooped up inside. Carb cleaner is definitely an outdoor proposition.

Alan Smithiee
December 28, 2002, 12:18 AM
Carb Cleaner is BAD for you. you DON'T want to breath it. Brake Cleaner and BC Gun Scrub is the same thing (and brake cleaner is 1/3 the cost)

January 1, 2003, 12:17 AM
You're supposed to clean them? ;)

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