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Author: Subject: What solvent is good for dissolving animal fats?
Darth-Vang
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[*] posted on 8-6-2022 at 03:02
What solvent is good for dissolving animal fats?


Hey all! So I am having issues with cleaning the castor oil and anhydrous lanolin lube mix off of my swaged lead(Pb) cores and the brass casings for my reloading purposes. The lead core has to be squeaky clean. I was told that animal fats are insoluble in water. I use a wet tumbler water mix with dish soap and citric acid and with stainless steel media to clean the lube off but it seems the lube still sticks on to the media and the cores still it seems. I need help with what to use to get the castor oil and the lanolin off of the lead cores and brass jackets without chemically destroying them but yet remove the castor oil and lanolin lube mix off of them.
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B(a)P
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[*] posted on 8-6-2022 at 03:25


I imagine acetone would achieve this.
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[*] posted on 8-6-2022 at 09:34


Try paint thinner.



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[*] posted on 8-6-2022 at 10:12


Saturated baking soda wash is a good start. If that doesn't work then boiling the wash or use lye(NaOH). Soft tumbling helps.
Any base will break the oil/fat down into soap. Stronger the base, less time needed and more tarnish on the brass.
Bullets will be good at this point. But the brash will tarnish fast. To keep it lookin good you need to rinse then polish. But any tarnish will not effect performance. Then sort and measure. Happy hunting




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clearly_not_atara
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[*] posted on 8-6-2022 at 12:16


I would consider dimethyl carbonate, which may be available as a new low-VOC solvent - it's an ester, and less polar than acetone, which should be good for dissolving fats.



[Edited on 04-20-1969 by clearly_not_atara]
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 9-6-2022 at 03:13


Ammonia water ?



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[*] posted on 9-6-2022 at 04:24


Quote: Originally posted by Darth-Vang  
Hey all! So I am having issues with cleaning the castor oil and anhydrous lanolin lube mix off of my swaged lead(Pb) cores and the brass casings for my reloading purposes. The lead core has to be squeaky clean. I was told that animal fats are insoluble in water. I use a wet tumbler water mix with dish soap and citric acid and with stainless steel media to clean the lube off but it seems the lube still sticks on to the media and the cores still it seems. I need help with what to use to get the castor oil and the lanolin off of the lead cores and brass jackets without chemically destroying them but yet remove the castor oil and lanolin lube mix off of them.


I never had issues with simply wiping down with a bit of solvent then pressing the load.

The shells I run through the ultrasonic cleaner with lenny shine, few drips dish soap, a bit of isopropel, at 50c for 30m

they come out pretty clean.
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clearly_not_atara
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[*] posted on 9-6-2022 at 09:44


Quote: Originally posted by Herr Haber  
Ammonia water ?
Ammonia damages brass. I am also perplexed at the member who recommended alkali. Nonpolar solvents are obviously less reactive with metals, and brass in particular is vulnerable to dezincification.



[Edited on 04-20-1969 by clearly_not_atara]
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Endo
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[*] posted on 9-6-2022 at 09:54


Go to the parts store and by the cheapest brake cleaner you can find. If you are powder coating the bullet after the cleaning step this has always been good enough in my experience.

If you are jacketing a cast bullet we have never had any issues even with lube left on, are you pressing in cannelures through the jacket of bullet into the core to lock the jacket to the core?

[Edited on 9-6-2022 by Endo]
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Darth-Vang
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[*] posted on 9-6-2022 at 16:37


Thanks for the response guys. It seems google is saying that bar soap might do the trick too but haven't really test it out yet. Ammonia is a big no, read it was really good for removing copper fouling from gun barrels, using that on brass would be a pretty bad idea. Read up on some more stuff on google, acetone is consider a polar solvent, so it might not work removing the lube from the cores and brass. I do have baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) at home haven't try that either. Hey Endo, I'm swaging the bullets in to the brass jackets. The cores have to be really clean or the cores will be bouncing around the jackets upon firing.(or at least that's what the die manufacturer are saying) I have "Simple Green" at home that I use it to degrease the stainless pins. It doesn't say if it's good for brass or not? Not sure if anyone knows what's in Simple Green?
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[*] posted on 9-6-2022 at 16:55


If you're going to dedicate enough time and effort to this you could get a parts cleaning station. They sell them that use aqueous cleaners and ones that use solvent cleaners but they seem like they would be a good fit for what you are describing.



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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 9-6-2022 at 17:23


Quote: Originally posted by clearly_not_atara  
Quote: Originally posted by Herr Haber  
Ammonia water ?
Ammonia damages brass.


Ooops didnt think about the brass...
Works great on my comb and just thought "animal fat" :)




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[*] posted on 10-6-2022 at 03:22


Quote: Originally posted by Darth-Vang  
Thanks for the response guys. It seems google is saying that bar soap might do the trick too but haven't really test it out yet. Ammonia is a big no, read it was really good for removing copper fouling from gun barrels, using that on brass would be a pretty bad idea. Read up on some more stuff on google, acetone is consider a polar solvent, so it might not work removing the lube from the cores and brass. I do have baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) at home haven't try that either. Hey Endo, I'm swaging the bullets in to the brass jackets. The cores have to be really clean or the cores will be bouncing around the jackets upon firing.(or at least that's what the die manufacturer are saying) I have "Simple Green" at home that I use it to degrease the stainless pins. It doesn't say if it's good for brass or not? Not sure if anyone knows what's in Simple Green?


Could I get a link to the die sellers as I was thinking about pressed vs cast, I'd like to be able to press both jacket and core
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clearly_not_atara
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[*] posted on 10-6-2022 at 07:19


Simple Green should be safe on brass. It's based on glycol ethers. I wouldn't soak with it but wiping should be fine.

It used to just be 2-butoxyethanol:

https://web.archive.org/web/20200811002747/https://simplegre...

There was a media furor over this chemical (despite the fact that it is much safer than chlorine bleach) but it really isn't dangerous, certainly not in low concentration aqueous solution. Anyway they changed the formula and now it contains a bunch of non-volatile stuff that can be left behind if you don't rinse with water. Still works fine for cleaning the floor.




[Edited on 04-20-1969 by clearly_not_atara]
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Lionel Spanner
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[*] posted on 10-6-2022 at 11:58


In my experience, white spirit/petroleum ether is very good at removing oils and fats from surfaces.



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bluamine
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[*] posted on 6-7-2022 at 16:32


I think the best solvent is carbon disulfide
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[*] posted on 7-7-2022 at 10:29


Quote: Originally posted by bluamine  
I think the best solvent is carbon disulfide


Carcinogenic, flammable, expensive........




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[*] posted on 7-7-2022 at 10:38


A little late to the party but... neither lanolin not castor oil are animal fats.
It's not just a technicality. Castor oil doesn't mix well with mineral oil.
Xylene thinners or some such should work.
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[*] posted on 8-7-2022 at 08:45


I'm glad someone asked this question b/c I will need to do the same thing as I was told that lanolin & castor oil were very good for this process.

On a side note, IIRC I ended up buying some biodiesel to use as a lube for things that needed to be easier to clean and it worked pretty well. It is more slippery than normal diesel as well. If the smell is not tolerable I've been told that people have used some of the orange based products like GooGone & added it to the biodiesel & it hides the smell fairly well. It also has a very nice lubrication properties.

I've found that high % IPA works very well for cleaning the biodiesel and even seemed to clean the castor oil & lanolin though it might have only been a superficial clean (removing the excess on the surface but leaving a layer on the metal), IDK. I've also tried ethanol & methanol at various higher % as well as things like hand sanitizers. They all seemed to do a relatively good job on removing the oils but you have to do it by hand (wiping with rag/towel) as IDK if it will work at all by submersion or something similar.
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[*] posted on 9-7-2022 at 07:11


Quote: Originally posted by arkoma  

Carcinogenic, flammable, expensive........

Sure..
Well I think the part of being flammable, carcinogenic isn't what makes it very hard to work with, but the part of being expensive..
Although you can actually try to make it out of its elements, that process is still comfusing me..
Btw, can chloroform or benzene dissolve fats? I think I've read this somewhere in one of my textbooks..

[Edited on 9-7-2022 by bluamine]
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[*] posted on 9-7-2022 at 13:33


Quote: Originally posted by arkoma  
Quote: Originally posted by bluamine  
I think the best solvent is carbon disulfide


Carcinogenic, flammable, expensive........


You missed out "really really stinky".
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[*] posted on 9-7-2022 at 20:50


Wd40
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[*] posted on 9-7-2022 at 21:58


I GUESS that gasoline would be an economical solvent of fats



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[*] posted on 10-7-2022 at 04:19


What about chloroform, benzene, or even carbon tetrachloride?
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