As for washing your tips, boiling water with Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and a hint of vinegar does the trick. Place your tips in a larger sauce pan filled 1/2 way. Boil for 5 full minutes. Rinse thoroughly. You will have grease free tips and did not stand over the sink scrub each individual aggravating tip with your little tiny tip brush.
You may also do this in the microwave. As long as the tips are totally submerged in water, the metal does not effect the microwave at all. I do this in a larger glass measuring cup. It will boil over if it is too small.