This last range day was snowy, wet, and the range was a mud bog mixed with slush. It was a great day but at the end when it came to cleanup the brass from the soupy mud mixture I thought that a good amount of it could corrode before I saved it. Getting brass dry can be a tricky circumstance in the best of conditions, but bringing home a pile of brass mixed with mud was going to be a bit more of a challenge.
Later in the evening when I was able to tend to the brass it was still wet and covered in mud. Simply washing it off wasn't working out very well, and still left me with the issue of letting it dry before I was able to clean it. So while I knew it would be overkill for non-match grade brass, I broke out the tumbler, my stainless tumbling media, and proceeded to load it into the tumbling drum with the brass.
As a side note when I was in College for Goldsmithing, (yes I have an arts degree and now I'm in the firearms industry, but I digress that's another story) I learned of a solution for tumbling media that leaves metals such as brass incredibly shiny for a fraction of the cost of commercial solutions; a bar of soap. Simply shave off some chips of soap into the stainless media and brass, you don't need much, add water, and tumble for 1 to 2 hours.
Since the brass I was attempting to clean was already going to be incredibly time consuming I didn't have much to lose. About an hour and a half later I opened the tumbling drum to see the soapy solution had worked wonders! Other than having the obvious wear of being ran through my semi-automatic Colt Canada Integrated Upper Receiver C8 rifle the brass looked and shone as good as new. This may have been overkill, but it saved time and the brass looks very shiny.
So remember, if you're cleaning your brass by tumbling with stainless media a money saving alternative to a polishing compound is a simple bar of soap.