Dirty Stainless Steel Shot

I am having trouble with keeping the stainless steel shot clean
during rotary tumbling. I am using a Lortone rubber barrel tumbler,
capacity is 1 quart (very small). I searched the archives and found it
was recommended to use lye in cleaning stainless steel shot. I tried
that. Left it in for ten minutes while tumbling just the shot. It
caused a film on the rubber barrel and did not seem to clean the shot.
It was also recommended in polishing, to use a “pinch” of dishwashing
powder and 1 to 2 oz of ammonia. I tried that. Wonder how much a
"pinch" is in my very small tumbler? It has not cleaned the shot very
much. I had been using Rio descaler and after about 2 weeks the
different castings began to look dull like gun metal. If anyone has any
suggestions I would appreciate it very much. If you have proportions
you use please give me the size of your polishing machine so I can
calculate down to my size. There are better machines to polish with
but this is what I have and can afford at this point. Thank you for
your suggestions on other questions I have had lately. They are much

Hi All Your main problem is the rubber barrel, you should use a
plastic one. The sulpure that is used in making the rubber will effect
the silver castings. To clean up the shot .barrel shot with fine beach
pebbels and soft soap & water for about one hour. If you have any more
problems E-mail me.

David Sheard

Use Coca Cola to clean stainless steel shot. Susan Chastain

Believe it or not, I got this household hint from Orchid and it
worked! If your steel shot starts to look nasty , get a can of Coca
Cola Classic, let the fizz go flat and then pour it into your
tumbler to about an inch or so above the level of the shot. Tumble
as usual for about half an hour. Drain and rinse. If the shot is
still discolored, repeat the process with another batch of Coke .If
necessary run it longer.When you start seeing results, take clear
water and your regular burnishing powder or liquid and run the
tumbler for about fifteen minutes. Drain and rinse . (I didn’t believe
this suggestion when I first read it but with a bottle of shot gone
rusty and a Lortone loaded with gray discolored shot, I figured what
the heck. By gosh, it did the job on both! ) I don’t know if other
cola preparations will work as well, but this one sure did.

Following along this thread:

    Use Coca Cola to clean stainless steel shot.  Susan Chastain 

I believe that the active ingredient is phosphoric acid. I think that
a product called CLR could work for the same reason. I used to add
phosphoric acid to the water used to cool the an electron microscope
I operated. Phosphoric acid inhibited the formation of rust.

David in Victoria, where given the amount of rain we are having the
Pillsbury doughboy looks tanned.