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How best to clean up dirty dies?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CoRoMo, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    I got some used dies that are pretty filthy :barf: and have got to be cleaned.
    What works best to get all the dirt and oil off inside and out?
  2. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    Copper bristle brush, GM engine top cleaner, or a gun powder solvent. I am using GI bore cleaner because it does not eat up copper bristle brushes.

    There is nothing mysterious about cleaning dies. They are metal, and what they are fouled with is wax, powder residue, and maybe some lead. Soap and water will remove the organic stuff, more aggressive solvents, like engine top cleaner or bore cleaners will remove the stuff faster. You will need a mechanical means, a brush or something to scrub out the packed in metals.

    I do not recommend nasty chemicals like brake cleaner, carb cleaner. Not because they won't remove the organics, but because that stuff is nasty for humans. Those things will eat up your skin, probably your lung tissue, and once in the blood, who knows what the long term consequences are.

    P.S. Wear nitrile or thicker gloves when using bore cleaners. You can get them from Harbor Freight Tools,

  3. 308win

    308win Well-Known Member

    If you disassemble the dies; let them soak in some tpe of parts cleaner (carb cleaner, brake cleaner, whatever) for a while; run a proper size brush through them and rinse in something more benign - I don't see any danger.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Once done with the solvents and such, be sure and lightly oil them again so they don't rust in storage.

  5. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    Soak in mineral spirits for a while then clean with a bore brush. I then wipe mine down with CLP to prevent rust.

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