Cleaning Spent Hulls

Dear Technoid:

What is the best procedure for cleaning spent hulls before reloading?


Dear Mark:

You tumble the hulls in a vibratory or a rotary tumbling machine filled with ground corn husks or ground walnut shells.

The shaking of the vibratory type of cleaning machine, tumbles the spent cases within the cleaning media. The ground material physically rubs the powder residue off the brass. Some reloaders add some brass polish to the mix and the result is a bright polished finish, one that is brighter and more reflective than never fired brass.

Though it may be customary in centerfire rifle and pistol reloading to clean brass prior to reloading, it isn’t common practice in shotshell reloading, but I see no reason why the same cannot be done to fired shotshells.

Roland Leong,

Manging Editor

This entry was posted in Shotgun related and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Cleaning Spent Hulls

  1. poly1man says:

    Don’t put in washer if their fiber base inside the hull cause they will swell and be junk then. Just do this process for all plastic base hulls.


  2. Charles Roth says:

    A much, much better way is to put the hulls in a net mesh bag and toss into your Maytag home washer with the rest of your cleaning. Dry them in the same bag with the rest of your cleaning. That is all there is to it. Free. No labor involved. Shells come out clean inside and out. Metal base is polished in the cleaning. (The bag just keeps them together.) Do not bother to deprime first. Deprime after cleaning and drying.

    Have done this for years as have others. Do not need media or tumbler. My bag is big enough so I wash 150 at a time. Free. Easy. No down side. If you know how to operate your washer/dryer this is the easiest and best way to get clean hulls for reloading. Try it with just 4 or 5 shells thrown in with the laundry, w/o the bag. Make sure they get into the dryer next.


  3. D. Chinn says:

    The reason you don’t tumble them is because the media sticks in the hulls due to static electricity (been there, done that). Plus you don’t need to clean them in the first place unless there is dirt/mud on the metal head. A quick swipe with a rag dampened with Simple Green takes care of that problem.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.