All about Gun Cleaning

How to Clean Bullets




how to clean bullets


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How to clean bullets is an article I would normally not think about writing. However, I noticed on the internet that the question comes up a number of times. Therefore, I thought I should cover this subject, as well.

How to Clean Your Brass Bullets

Many people enjoy the hobby of shooting, and some take it a step further by reloading their own ammunition. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, knowing how to clean brass bullets is an important part of the reloading process.

Cleaning brass bullets is relatively simple and only requires a few supplies that you likely already have around the house. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps of cleaning brass bullets so that you can keep your ammunition in top condition.

Supplies Needed:

  • Empty coffee can or similar container
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Paper towels or old rag
  • Toothpick (optional)
  • Wax (optional)

Brass Bullets Step 1:

Add water and vinegar to the coffee can until it’s about half full. The vinegar will help break down any built-up residue on the brass.

Brass Bullets Step 2:

Drop in the brass bullet and let it soak for 15 minutes.

Brass Bullets Step 3:

After 15 minutes, remove the brass from the vinegar solution and scrub it with the cleaning brush to remove any dirt or debris. If there is built-up residue that’s tough to remove, you can make a paste out of baking soda and water and use that to scrub the brass.

Brass Bullets Step 4:

Rinse the brass under running water and dry it off with a paper towel or old rag. Inspect the brass for any missed spots and use a toothpick to clean them out if necessary.

Brass Bullets Step 5:

Once the brass is completely dry, you can optionally coat it with wax to help prevent tarnishing in the future. Be sure to store your clean brass in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use it.

Following these steps will ensure that your brass bullets are clean and ready to be reloaded. Cleaning your brass regularly will also help extend its lifespan so that you can enjoy shooting for years to come.

How to Clean Your Lead Bullets

Over time, lead bullets can become corroded and dull. If you want to keep your lead bullets in good condition, it’s important to clean them on a regular basis. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean lead bullets.

What You’ll Need:

  • A container for the lead bullets (jar, coffee can, or Tupperware)
  • White vinegar
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft Cloth
  • Dry place to store the lead bullets

Lead Bullets Step 1:

Gather Your Supplies – Before you start cleaning your lead bullets, make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need. Once you have everything, you’re ready to move on to step two.

Lead Bullets Step 2:

Fill the Container with Vinegar – Pour vinegar into the container until it covers the bottom. You don’t need to use a lot of vinegar—just enough to wet the bottom of the container.

Lead Bullets Step 3:

Add the Lead Bullets – Carefully add the lead bullets to the container of vinegar. Make sure that each bullet is completely submerged in the liquid.

Lead Bullets Step 4:

Let Them Soak – Let the lead bullets soak in the vinegar for at least 24 hours. This will give them plenty of time to dissolve any corrosion that may have built up on their surface.

Lead Bullets Step 5:

Remove the Lead Bullets from Vinegar – After 24 hours have passed, remove the lead bullets from the vinegar and discard the liquid. Be careful when handling them—vinegar can be corrosive, so you don’t want it coming into contact with your skin for too long.

Lead Bullets Step 6:

Brush Away Any Remaining Corrosion – Use an old toothbrush to brush away any remaining corrosion on the surface of the lead bullet. If necessary, you can also use a soft cloth to wipe away any residue.

Lead Bullets Step 7:

Store Them in a Dry Place – Finally, find a dry place to store your cleaned lead bullets. Proper storage is important if you want to prevent further corrosion from occurring. And that’s it! By following these simple steps, you can keep your lead bullets clean and free from corrosion.

How to Clean Your Copper Bullets

As any experienced hunter will tell you, a clean gun is a happy gun. And part of keeping your gun happy is making sure your bullets are clean. Copper bullets, in particular, require a bit of special care to keep them in top condition. Here’s a quick guide on how to properly clean your copper bullets.

Copper Bullets Step 1:

You’ll need to gather the following materials: a bowl, distilled vinegar, white vinegar, a toothbrush, and some cotton swabs.

Copper Bullets Step 2:

Fill the bowl with equal parts of both types of vinegar.

Copper Bullets Step 3:

Soak the bullets in the mixture for about 15 minutes. This will help loosen any dirt or grime that may be clinging to them.

Copper Bullets Step 4:

After 15 minutes have passed, use the toothbrush to gently scrub the bullets. Be careful not to be too rough—you don’t want to damage the delicate copper surface.

Copper Bullets Step 5:

Once you’ve given them a good scrubbing, rinse the bullets off with clean water.

Copper Bullets Step 6:

Use the cotton swabs to remove any lingering vinegar residue.

There you have it! A quick and easy way to get your copper bullets nice and clean. Copper bullets require a bit of extra care, but with this quick and easy guide, you’ll have them shining like new in no time! Here is an example of a place to buy bullets: Midway USA.


Thanks for reading! We hope this blog post was helpful in teaching you how to clean your lead, brass, or copper bullets. If you have any questions or would like to share your own tips, please leave us a comment below!

Don’t forget that cleaning your bullets is only one part! You will need to Clean Your Brass Casings, too!


Should I clean my bullets?

Cleaning individual bullets is unnecessary and not recommended. It is essential to keep the cartridge’s overall integrity intact for reliable performance.

Can you clean dirty ammo?

Cleaning loaded ammunition is not recommended as it can compromise its safety and performance. Ammunition should be stored properly to prevent contamination.

Can you clean tarnished bullets?

Tarnished bullets can be cleaned using a dry cloth or mild cleaning solution. However, avoid altering the bullet’s surface or affecting its integrity.

Are bullets ruined if they get wet?

If bullets get wet but are dried promptly and thoroughly, they can still function. However, submerged or severely water-damaged ammunition should not be used.

Do ammo go bad?

Ammunition can degrade over time, potentially affecting its reliability and accuracy. Proper storage conditions can prolong its lifespan.

How long does it take for ammo to go bad?

The shelf life of ammunition depends on storage conditions and the type of cartridge. In ideal conditions, ammo can remain usable for decades or longer.

Is 25-year-old ammo still good?

Ammunition that is 25 years old can still be safe and functional if stored correctly. However, it’s essential to inspect for signs of damage or corrosion.

Can bullets be too old to use?

Bullets can become too old to use if they show signs of corrosion, damage, or deformation. Always inspect and test older ammunition before use.

How do you know if a bullet is bad?

Inspect bullets for visible signs of corrosion, discoloration, or deformation. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and seek professional evaluation.

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2 responses to “How to Clean Bullets”

  1. Dean Avatar

    The information for cleaning lead bullets DOES NOT WORK!!!!! I know, I tried it!

    1. Les Waller Avatar
      Les Waller

      Thanks for the feedback!
      Have you found a method that does work?

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