How long do you use dry media for?


Nov 7, 2016
I have an RCBS dry tumbler. I notice that when I put "fresh" lizard Walnut media in the hopper the brass seems to come out cleaner than when I used the old stuff.

I probably use it for too long, maybe a year, before replacing it. I might clean a few thousand every month. I never actually kept track of it.

Do any of you have a policy on how long you use the media for before replacing it?
The media cleans because there are very small sharp ridges on the media pieces. To keep it clean throw in a USED dryer sheet in strips and your medical will last longer.

When the media is fresh it will usually take 1.5 hours to clean a full load. As the media gets older the times stretch out. When the times double from when fresh it's time to dump the old and in with the new.

Remember, the dryer sheets will keep the media clean and it will also limit the dust because the sheets will catch it and it's thrown away with the sheets. Change the sheets after every batch.

I hope this helps...
Mine probably doesn't last as long as some.
I use it for brass before resizing, and after
resizing to remove any case lube used.
I take a goodly amount of time inspecting
cases and preparing them. Many do not
these days. Each person has to figure
out their own regimen
No set time or number of cases. Just whenever I think its dirty enough. The dryer sheet works well for dust control. I usually put a cap full of liquid polish and a cap full of mineral spirits in mine and run it long enough to get them mixed in.

I wet tumble mostly and use the dry method for things like removing case lube.
I figure as long as it is capable of cleaning smokeless cases in about 2 hours, it is still working. BP cases can take longer depending how I want them to look. They don't really need to be tumbled since they are washed but I like the look of shiny brass. I am about to change mine out and it has been about 8 months but that of course is based on how I have used the media. If it took 4 hours to clean brass then I guess it still works and has utility. It lasts a long time and longer if you do the dryer sheets.
When it takes too long to clean.
Usually, if 4 hours doesn't have range pick up brass looking new, I change it. Some has gone 3 years before changing.
Just add a dab of Nu-Finish every 3-4 batches.
I change media (corn cob blast media 14-20) whenever it seems to take longer to achieve the cleanliness I'm looking for. I don't time my tumbler, don't even bother to guess as I run it while I'm doing something else in my shop. Most times load it and turn it on. Turn it off when I leave the shop. Turn it on when I come back in (next day, next week). Check the cases whenever I think about it and if they look good to me, I'll remove and sift. The only brass I tumble to a shine is my 45 ACP and 30-06 Garand brass, 'cause it is easier to find shiny brass in the dirt, rocks, trash at the "range"...
"How long do you use dry media..."…?

Until it doesn't make to the brass shiny any longer.

Sorry if that sounds dismissive but walnut (or corn) media starts to lose its ability to shine brass after the first tumbling. The question is, "At what point has the media stopped cleaning the brass during a tumbling session.