Modifying "Ed's Red" bore cleaner


October 14, 2006, 01:39 PM
I mixed up a batch of Ed's Red without the lanolin. I use it for general gun cleaning and I like it very much. This batch has Equal parts ATF, Kerosene, Mineral Spirits & Acetone. I also mixed up the compatible gun oil of 4oz ATF & 4oz Kerosene.

I now want to make a less agressive version of Ed's Red that I could use as a sort of "lighter" cleaner & protectant for guns. I don't want to use the Acetone to prevent possible plastic and wood problems it might cause. Also, some of my firearms don't see any use for up to a year or so so I want it to act as a protectant as well.

For this new batch, I thought I'd leave out the Acetone and put in the lanolin. Should I just use a quart of each: ATF, Kerosene, Mineral spirits and add in the 1lb. of lanolin? Or, should I boost up to a full gallon (1.33 quarts of each)? Should I boost the mineral sprits only in order to keep the 1lb. lanolin disolved?

Suggestions please & thank you.

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October 14, 2006, 01:49 PM
You use alcohol, tobacco and firearms to clean your bore?

October 14, 2006, 02:01 PM
ATF...automatic transmission fluid.

October 14, 2006, 03:45 PM
I sometimes have a beer and a smoke while cleaning guns...;)

October 14, 2006, 07:46 PM
Leaving out the acetone will lose some cleaning ability, you could clean with another cleaner then the acetone free Ed's Red. You can test it by following up cleaning with the acetone containing Ed's Red.

I would suspect you will lose some ability to clean out carbon.

Also from the instructions
I recommend diverting a small quantity, up to 4 ozs. per quart of the 50-50 ATF/kerosene mix for optional use as an "ER-compatible" gun oil. This can be done without impairing the effectiveness of the remaining mix.

October 14, 2006, 11:07 PM
I substituted power steering fluid for the atf and left out the lanolin.

I can't stand the smell of atf.

Works great.

October 14, 2006, 11:08 PM
I use the regular to clean, then lube with ATF/kerosene 1/2 and 1/2 mix.
I have used it for years with excellent results.

October 15, 2006, 02:23 AM
My understanding is that the lanolin is there to make the stuff a little easier on the hands. I used it in my first batch some years back. However it was a little hard to find, somewhat expensive, and all in all didn't seem to be worth the extra trouble. Ever since I have deleted that ingredient and am happy with the stuff (and the price).

I don't rely on it for protecting the metal against rust or corrosion, though. for that I use a good quality light oil (some old Navy stuff I got for 50 cents a gallon) or for long term use, RIG.

Dr. Dickie
October 15, 2006, 04:27 AM
Way back when (early '70s) I was an auto mechanic (Oldsmoblile). We used to clean our hands with ATF at the end of the day. It would dry yours hands out, but it sure cut through the grease and grime.
While acetone is a great cleaner (tape residue comes off like nothing in acetone), there is a concern with plastic (although not the nylon used for some parts on pistols--chlorinated compounds would be a concern for them). I feel that for most common cleaning, acetone is simply not needed (I clean after every range session).
I have had great success with simple ATF put in a spray bottle: spray some on, toothbrush, flush with WD-40, blow clean, then CLP, blow and wipe down.
I suspect that adding some kerosene (similar to WD-40) would help with the viscosity of the ATF and make is easier to remove, but really most of your cleaning power in Ed's Red can be had with just the ATF.

Jerry Morris
October 15, 2006, 10:54 AM
As time passes, the mix loses the acetone. It seems to leech out of any container. And I use metal cans for Ed's Red. You are not going to find a more effective, milder cleaner.


October 15, 2006, 07:05 PM
My usual mix is equal parts Kerosene/Mineral Sprits/ATF.

I normally mix up 1 1/2 gallon batches and keep it in a plastic bucket with a lid.

Works great!!


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