This is what we think is best method to clean brass
Can you guess which is brand new brass and which is cleaned, used brass?  We used 2 different methods and show you the results:

Method #1:  5 lbs Steel pins, 1 lb 2.0 MM ball bearings
Method #2: 2.5 lbs Steel pins, 1 lb 2.0 MM ball bearings, 2.5 lbs Southern Shine Media

Same exact doses of cleaner products used in both, and tumble time was exactly the same.
Which one is brand new?
Right side shot 3x and cleaned.  Looks better than brand new...
Which are brand new?
Right side shot 3x and cleaned.  Looks better than brand new..
Which is brand new?
Top shot 3x and cleaned.  Looks better than brand new..  See how the top piece that was cleaned has a smoother, brighter sheen to it? 
What do I need to clean brass like above?
You need this...
You need all this in the tumbler, and then you should tumble it for ~2-3 hours.
These 3..together
Shine Brite - Deep cleaner...leaves sheen on brass, very bright.  JEwelers use this instead of dish soap.
Lemi Shine - removes hard water stains
Dish Liquid - cleaner..removes grime
Southern Shine Media + Ball bearings (2.0 MM) + Steel pins
The sharper edges of the Souther Shine Media seem to clean the primer pockets "faster" in less time than the steel pins alone.
Steel media
2.0 MM Stainless steel balls
Steel Pins
Both combined is better for that "even polished" look.
(Rock) Tumbler
Of course, this is the most expensive cleaning method (up front cost)
$200 Good rock tumbler
$40 5lbs Steel media/balls/stick OR Southern Shine Media (Stainless steel bits & pieces) for ~$27 5lbs
$20 Lemi Shine/Dawn/Shinebright

However, the steel pins and balls last pretty much forever, and the tumbler is very reliable electric motor.  So you don't need to buy more corn/walnut, or whatever media all the time.  So in the long run, this is probably cheaper.

But this website isn't about what is cheapest really, its about what is the best.  We think this is the best.

However, for the money Southern Shine Media is the "best" value we have found and it does the job with very similar to same result as the steel pins, in perhaps slightly less tumbler time.  We learned this after tumbling about 10 batches with and without it.  It cleans slightly faster we think, but its hard to say precisely how much because each brass is different level of dirty somewhat.

Here is where to find Southern Shine Media:
https://www.facebook.com/southernshinetumblers
rachelgale54@gmail.com

Tell her Natoreloading sent you.  We paid full price for our 5 lbs, it was not free, and Southern Shine Media does not pay us or give us anything, we have no relationship with them. Its simply the best value we found for tumbler media.
Steel pins or Southern Shine Media?   Or both?

STEEL PINS + bearings
Used, cleaned brass
One Nickel, one Brass.
Look at the detail..

STEEL PINS + bearings + Southern Shine Media
Used, cleaned brass
One Nickel, one Brass.
Look at the detail..

STEEL PINS + bearings
Used, cleaned brass
The primer pockets are very clean

STEEL PINS + bearings + Southern Shine Media
Used, cleaned brass
The primer pockets are very clean

STEEL PINS + bearings
Which one is brand new?
Only the case on the bottom is brand new...you can tell by the annealing "line" in the top portion..

STEEL PINS + bearings + Southern Shine Media
Used, cleaned brass
Only the case on the bottom is brand new...you can tell by the annealing "line" in the top portion..

Different Detergent
LA Totally AWesome on right, versus on left the Dawn/Lemishine/ShineBright.   The LA Totally Awesome cleans just fine, but its not as lusterous bright as the left meda that clearly shines brighter.

STEEL PINS + Ball Bearings
Up closer...
The used, cleaned brass is brighter and has more consistent surface texture than brand new..
Brand new brass is the bottom piece only..you can see the annealing line..
STEEL PINS + BALL BEARINGS + 1/3 Southern Shine Media (Dawn + Lemishine + Shinebright)
The lighting is different than without, but as you can see from deep inside the cases of the 9MM, its spotless.  The top piece of brass was shot more than 5x, and had quite a few nicks in it.  It cleaned up better than I thought.

https://www.facebook.com/southernshinetumblers/
STEEL PINS + BALL BEARINGS + 1/3 Southern Shine Media
(LA's AWesome ORANGE degreaser/cleaner + Lemishine + Shinebright)
The only difference is we uses LA AWesome ORANGE degreaser/Cleaner instead of DAWN dish liquid.
STEEL PINS + Ball Bearings
Up closer...
look at that Nickel plated case in middle left side..you can see ITS CRACKED at the top...a hair split from shooting 1400+ FPS, 124 Grain 9MM Major test trials. 

Is it possible to clean brass brighter and cleaner than this?  It is possible, but we have to say it would be incredibly diminishing returns.  This has to be as near close to as good as it gets for the money and time invested. 

After you tumble your brass, you put it in seperator...and then you lay out your brass in a small bucket and dry it using a combination of paper towel and a hair dryer.  It takes about 5 minutes only. 
STEEL PINS + BALL BEARINGS + 1/3 Southern Shine Media
Again, lighting is brighter.  The shine is not brighter than the steel pins + ball bearings alone, its about the same.  Its hard to tell which one is cleaner or brighter, its very similar.  Perhaps, under magnifying glass, the Southern Shine Media pieces came out with a "smoother" look, while the steel pins and ball bearings alone came out with a slight "bead blasted shine, or ball peened look thats really shiny"

https://www.facebook.com/southernshinetumblers/
LA's Totally Awesome (normal)
Lighting here is much brighter...but the brass is not.  You can buy this at Dollar Tree for $1.  We used 20-1 Water solution.  Of course, we added in teaspoon of lemishine too.

It cleaned the brass just fine, but its not as shiny as the above 2 recipes for cleaning.

We used the same mix of Southern Shine Media, 2.0 MM Ball bearings, and Stainless Steel pins.   

The Dawn/ShineBright/Lemishine combo so far is unbeatable in how shiny and polished look the brass has.  But we just wanted to show LA Totally Awesome cleaner since its so inexpensive and cleans pretty much everything except leather and a few other things... 
LA's Totally Awesome ORANGE degreaser/cleaner + Lemishine +Shinebright
not bad..
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