How to Clean a Gun with Household Items – Beginners Guide

how to clean a gun with household itemsWhether you need it for your job or for personal protection, it is not unusual for people to own some kind of firearm.

Regardless of the reason, if you own a firearm, you need to maintain them properly in order for them to function well.

In addition to collecting dust and debris, your gun may also start to rust. For this reason, exactly, there are many ultrasonic gun cleaner available in the market, and you may also go to a service center.

However, none of that is truly necessary as you can easily clean them yourself at home! Keep reading to know how.

What You Will Need

Before you start the cleaning process, make sure you have these things:

  • Paper towels or cleaning cloths
  • Scissors or a knife
  • A rod or stick that is thin enough to fit into the gun’s barrel
  • Gun oil or any other lubricants

You may also want to invest in a rifle cleaning mat in order to protect the table or surface you will be working on. Designed specifically for cleaning guns, these are leak-proof and easy to clean. The mats are big and spacious for all your gun components and cleaning solvents.

Household Cleaning Solvents

One of the obvious choices is using any lubricant oil. These are commonly used for vehicles in order for them to run smoothly.

Apart from that, some of the other household items that can be used for cleaning solvents may be:

cleaning gun with vinegarTransmission Oil: Gearboxes need transmission oil for functioning, and they have the same impurities as a gun. Therefore, it works as a great cleaning agent for your guns.

Kerosene: Kerosene that is regularly used around the house, is also another great option. You might want to opt for 1-k Kerosene due to the lower amount of sulphur present, or Red kerosene, which is the purest form.

Any other cheap mineral spirits.

Vinegar: Vinegar is acidic and has de-oxidizing properties that help to fix and melt rust.

You can either use the liquids on their own or make a combination of transmission oil, kerosene, and any other mineral spirits. Just make sure to give it a good mix before use.

If you are not comfortable using vinegar, then don’t. However, don’t try to substitute any of the solutions mentioned above with ammonia.

How to Clean a Gun

While the cleaning process itself  isn’t time-consuming, you need to make sure that you do so very carefully. Remove all potential distractions before you start the process of cleaning your gun.

Step 1: Prepare the area before you start by taking the rifle cleaning mat and setting it on your table.

Step 2: Make sure your gun is unloaded and bullet free before you continue.

Step 3: Completely disassemble the gun and separate all the parts so that you can take a closer look and clean them easily. Clean the bolt, chamber, and barrel thoroughly.

Step 4: Take the cleaning cloth and cut them into pieces small enough to fit into the barrel.

Step 5: From the remaining cloth, clean the other components with either gun oil/lubricant, or any of the cleaning solvents mentioned above.

Step 6:  Taking the cloth containing the cleaning solution, wipe the barrel until it is sparkly clean. Keep wiping until all the dirt and residue is gone.

Step 7: Soak the smaller pieces of cloth you cut earlier with the cleaning solution and insert them into the chamber with a thin rod or stick. Take them out with the rod as well. Continue this process until all the dirt comes off, and the cloth comes out clean.

Step 8: You might find some residue from the oil or cleaning solution on both the interior and exterior. Wipe it away with a clean cloth.

Step 9: By now, all the components should be looking good as new. Take time to assemble the gun correctly and check to see it functions as it should while unloaded.

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Some Precautions to Take

While the process is pretty easy and straightforward, there are some precautions you must take before cleaning your gun with household items.

  • Do not use oil that is meant for regular use. Such as cooking or hair oil.
  • When cutting the cloth, make sure the pieces aren’t too small; otherwise, they might get stuck.
  • Don’t rush the cleaning process. Take your time and be careful with your cleaning. The time of the whole process might depend on how long it has been since the last time you cleaned it.
  • Always make sure that your gun works the way it should before you put it away.

Final Words

This was a very simple and easy-to-follow process for cleaning your gun. On the off chance that you have none of these at home, getting them is not a chore. Granted that this process requires a little time and effort on your part, but it is a lot cheaper than the alternatives.

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox writes on a variety of topics ranging from reloading ammunition to gun cleaning. He has been featured on various publications like thetruthaboutguns, Sofrep & many more. Joseph is also the founder of Gunloading, where he reviews different types of reloading & firearm products available on the market.