I just replaced the head on my 96 XJ with a one from a 97 zj. Took it to a machine shop where I paid about $100 for a complete milling and test of it... Very worth it. I didn't want to do all the work of pulling the head, having the exhaust off etc only for it not to work. Do all the freeze plugs while you're at it, too. It's cheap, easy, quick, and you might as eel do it now.
And I clean everything with break cleaner. Also, is your jeep sitting outside or in a temp controlled environment while you have everything taken off of it? Make sure you are aware of the moisture that will accumulate, and if surface rust happens, I use a little ATF to polish it clean.
Hope that helps some.
I forgot, the only tool I did not have that I needed was a torque wrench, but borrowed one from a neighbor. I should prob buy one seeing as I've done the head on my XJ twice now