I do tumble my rifle and pistol brass, but I never clean the hulls. I have heard of people doing it, but I never personally knew any that did. The soot does not hurt anything. If you notice most reloaders do not buy light colored shooting vests.
I place a towel on the bench behind the reloader. The finished shells fall onto the towel. If I think the shells are dirty, I spray a little windex, soapy water, etc onto the hulls and roll them around the towel a bit before I box them up. Cleans them right up - but towel gets dirty. ALOT easier that what I used to do - wipe each hull down, 1 by 1, with a damp cloth.
I recently was going through a million old hulls, and found some dusty original AA's. I used a rag with some Armor-All and they ended up looking like new, (though the crispy ones were still crispy), I made sure they got batched together and they went in boxes for the Gold to dispose of for me at the next Sporting Clays tournament.
I don't clean hulls. But i did put 150 of these AA hulls in a clean 5g bucket with hot water and dawn dish detergent.
( not very much ) steard the hulls by hand. The water turned black (red dot powder ) flushed them 2 times with clean water. U can see the difference.
Years ago, I cleaned hulls. As a loader for precision Rifle, I was and am pretty serious about how my ammo performs.
These days, I make sure hulls are fresh, no stuff inside or mud outside, and load them up. I still tumble Bottlenecks twice. Before I process them, and after they are sized, to remove lube. Straight walled pistol ammo is tumbled before I load them.
Duh! They say cleanliness is next to Godliness. And that is why I always use clean shells. You just never know when you're going to meet your maker and when I do, I want him to see me with clean shells.
I have a dishwasher and I figured out early that each one of those tines you can sit a shell on and run'em through the wash.
Works for me!
But, don't take my word for it, The Lit and Tron turned me onto this gem.
The bigger the dishwasher, the more tines you have and the more shells you can wash.
No need to thank me for this tidbit.
Instead, you could/should thank The Lit and Tron for this tidbit originating from "Hints from Heloise" item.
I hear they are frequent contributors to her column.
Dirty Hulls?????????????? I suppose they get that way from either shooting several times or picking them up after they hit the ground. I just wear gloves and try not to give myself something else to worry about. I have enough trouble trying to break the bird let alone wondering if my hulls are dirty! I think you should inspect hulls that you buy or someone gives to you for crap that might have gotten inside and would cause you grief but dirty hulls ain't on my top ten list of problems to check. JMHO..........
I have been laid up the past month and am bored to death. I might start cleaning my hulls for something to do. A couple of questions for you guys. What cycle do you use in the washer? What type of detergent in the washer? If I used heated dry, can I put a load of wads in to get the petals to open up? I may be on to something here.
For the OP. You can wash two hands or hundreds of hulls, your choice.