Unorthodox Gun Cleaning Methods


February 23, 2009, 01:34 PM
A guy I know is a big time Glock fan and we were chewing fat(talking aimlessly) and we got onto how often we clean our guns. I admitted I clean my guns after every trip to the range on my pool deck using gun scrubber aerosol and scrubbing out the innards and barrel with a brush that is caliber appropriate, then using a lube and preservative which gets applied to in the innards and barrel cleaner and preservative which gets applied to barrel.

He says, "With my Glocks I just keep a tub of Diesel, some dishwashing gloves, and dunk that sucker, work the slide and drop the mag and the gunk comes running out, then I just put it through the dishwasher with a dirty load of dishes" or to some such extent. I know Glocks are sturdy guns, but I'd be afraid of not properly cleaning out the gun and the deposits in the gun that may occur because of the dishwashing detergent.

I've also heard of folks using gasoline, Kerosene, Diesel, to clean out Cosmoline on surplus guns but to clean out regular guns, polymer guns no less(risk of dissolbing the polymer) for fouling and unburnt gun powder, is that right, wouldn't there be some long term worries about damage to the steel, finish, or blueing.

Does anyone have any experience with using Kerosene, Gasoline, or Diesel to clean guns on a regular basis, wouldn't this not be dangerous because of fumes exposure but also wouldn't it damage the guns. I'm not up to trying it, even the Ruger P90 I've had for three years that gets fifty rounds through it a month still looks like the day my Uncle gave it to me because of my anal retentive cleaning habits.

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February 23, 2009, 01:37 PM
Using anything caustic on a polymer gun is just a bad idea, particularly dunking the gun itself. It can get into areas that are hard or impossible to remove, and degrade the material over the course of months or years.

February 23, 2009, 03:10 PM
Diesel is commonly used to clean not just handguns, but also rifles, machinegun parts and even artillery parts. Diesel is not explosive, it has a very low flash point and does not burn very hot.

While people do put their Glocks in the dishwasher, I do not think it wise to deposit cleaning solvents, dissolved lead, etc. from the gun onto your dinnerware.

February 23, 2009, 03:40 PM
I'd do the diesel thing with gloves, but I certainly wouldn't put it in the dishwasher afterward, as mentioned above, diesel, lead, sulfur and carbon do not belong anywhere near my dishes.

If I wanted to get it as clean as possible without taking it apart, I'd do a diesel dunk, maybe even a soak, then spray it out with brake-cleaner or gunscrubber, then drench it in Hoppes...and dry off all the outside surfaces.

There's no shortcut for cleaning the barrel though.

February 23, 2009, 03:44 PM
i saw a few years ago product called poly dunk at guns and ammo Tv (i think) from the outdoor chanel. They say you can chuck the glock or any polymer guns in there. I haven't heard about it since.

February 23, 2009, 04:27 PM
I also saw a device at a gun show that supposedly uses vibration and soundwaves by submerging it in some cleaning liquid in a stainless steel tub.

February 23, 2009, 04:32 PM
Some of the guys on a forum I hang out at have been using homemade electrolytic gun cleaners, with pretty amazing results. With photos! (

February 23, 2009, 06:42 PM
Ok, how about warm water and soap? (Confession time) I used it for my M16 when I was in the Corps and never had a problem. You have to rinse and dry thoroughly and oil. Anyone else ever tried this?

February 23, 2009, 06:43 PM
I keep one of those $50 ultrasonic jewelry scrubbers filled with CLP. I just drop my gun of choice in that, set it for an hour and come back. Works great. Barrel does still need to be manually brushed, but I am also a believer that certain level of fowling is good for accuracy.

The Lone Haranguer
February 23, 2009, 06:55 PM
I've used lens tissues as cleaning patches. Being an alcohol-soaked paper towelette, they worked quite well. They also work on optics lenses.

Karl Hungus
February 23, 2009, 06:59 PM
I just use a ShamWow on all my firearms.

February 23, 2009, 07:09 PM
Is diswasher safe, or so it is claimed.

Personally, I've had two lids melt in the DW. I forgot to set the cycle for Glock mode.:banghead:

February 23, 2009, 07:09 PM
This is the second time I've heard of a guy cleaning his gun in the dishwasher. I have to admit I cringe when I heard this, but when he told me he did it to his glock it made it a little bit better :X

February 23, 2009, 07:13 PM
I hand my gun to my son and say "show me again how I'm supposed to clean this thing..."

I'm not sure how much longer this method will work.

February 23, 2009, 07:15 PM
Set the washing machine on perm press.

February 23, 2009, 07:31 PM
Oh, those guys were talking about using a dishwasher! The clothes washer seems to do a pretty good job though, but the tumble dryer sure is noisy, especially if I'm doing two guns at a time!

February 23, 2009, 07:43 PM
Lightninstrike we did the same thing in the Army.

February 23, 2009, 08:04 PM
No kerosene swirlers around?

February 23, 2009, 08:18 PM
I get some quiet satisfaction out of using my Otis set, a can of beer, and some nice music. Makes me feel like I am doing a great gob of cleaning.

February 23, 2009, 08:23 PM
I've used kerosese in a Kitty Litter bucket with a parts cleaning brush for years. Then a quick sprsy with compressed air. Then relube and a wipe down with an oiley piece of Sham-Wow.

Kerosese and Diesel fuel are essentially the same as far as using them for cleaning.

February 23, 2009, 08:42 PM
My brother is an avid Gulf Coast fisherman, and he cooks his flounder in a dishwasher.

Flounder is by nature a thin fish, and it is apt to overcooking in the oven. Dishwasher cooking is the perfect solution.

Please do not put your Glock and your flounder in the same dishwasher. Thank you.

February 23, 2009, 09:09 PM
Nice! Then after your gun is clean you can bust a few caps at the ShamWow guy.

February 23, 2009, 09:20 PM
I raid my wife's cosmetic kit and grab those tiny pointed "Q-tip-like" doohickies to clean my handguns! Of course, when I use them all up, then I have to go buy new ones. The gal at the check-out counter just looks at me and smirks...


February 23, 2009, 09:34 PM
Did the same hot water thing with my M16. The Army tends to have Industrial Strength hot water; much hotter than commonly found in homes.

The dishwasher also works nicely with salmon, I've had a few surprised dates when using that method. Nice ice breaker as well when they think you Must be pitiful if you use a dishwasher instead of knowing how to use an oven to cook.

February 23, 2009, 09:41 PM
Ok, how about warm water and soap? (Confession time) I used it for my M16 when I was in the Corps and never had a problem. You have to rinse and dry thoroughly and oil. Anyone else ever tried this?
Soapy water doesn't dissolve carbon fouling all that well, unfortunately. It probably works well for getting rid of the salts from corrosive ammo, though.

For me, foaming bore cleaner, a bore snake, and a Q-tip with a little Hoppes #9/Rem Oil/CLP is a lot quicker and less messy than dunking it in something as smelly and messy as diesel fuel.

February 23, 2009, 10:25 PM
I have a paint can (purchased new, empty, and clean) that contains a cleaned out soup can that I perforated. In the paint can is a solution of 2/3 odorless minieral spirits and 1/3 Breakfree CLP. My AR bolts (disassembled) always go in there for a 20 minute soak. They come out really clean!

February 23, 2009, 11:01 PM
James Yeager of Tactical Response swears by non-chlorinated brake cleaner (cheaper version of gun scrubber) and then lubing with wheel-bearing grease. Basically shopping at the automotive store. Makes sense - haven't tried it yet but going to try it this weekend.

The Wiry Irishman
February 23, 2009, 11:24 PM
My friend just told me he picked up a 70 dollar ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor Freight, and it did an amazing job with just warm water. The FFL I do all my transfers though uses an ultrasonic cleaner, too, but with watered down Ballistol.

February 23, 2009, 11:39 PM
Just me,

1. New folks I am assisting do the inspect and maintain, and cleaning if need.
Mentors had me do this, so I pass forward as passed to me.

2. Let gun smith do the inspect, maintain, clean if need and while they do that, I drink their coffee, eat donuts, mess with the dawg, and go shoot some gun they have with their ammo.
(or customer's gun and ammo to assist gun smith by me shooting and seeing if anything was overlooked, or just to give feedback).

3. Most folks over clean, and/or use improper methods no matter what cleaning kit they have.

If they ever quit making pipe cleaners, and toothbrushes, I am in a world of hurt.

February 23, 2009, 11:46 PM
<snip>but I am also a believer that certain level of fowling is good for accuracy. . . . and also good exercise.

Flame Red
February 24, 2009, 03:06 PM
I use Ed's Red (Google it) in a auto parts washer. Great for everything except black powder.

February 24, 2009, 03:13 PM
I bought a cheap parts washer at harbor freight and filled it up with kerosene.

I can rinse a handgun pretty quickly, and set it on a shop towel to dry out.
Sometimes I field strip it, other times just remove the grips.

Stubborn spots get the overnight kerosene soak treatment.

I have heard of the dishwasher treatment. Never tried it myself.

February 24, 2009, 03:13 PM
Gun scrubber, oil, toothbrush, Q tips (a lot), and something for the bore and I can clean the hell out of any firearm. I agree with something someone said on here, and that I enjoy cleaning my firearm after a trip to the range and it helps familiarize yourself with your weapon.

February 24, 2009, 03:28 PM
Something I've been meaning to do now that I got my bench built, was to build a diesel tube for cleaning. Basically a PVC tube that is capped and glued closed at one end w/ a brass fitting, that runs to a fuel filter and then a fuel pump. The pump then runs to another PVC cap w/ a fitting that goes on top. Drop in part, cover w/ diesel, cap the top, turn on the pump. Come back in an hour or two. After looking around I've got an old racing fuel pump that moves a stupidly large amount of fuel, that should be perfect for basically flushing the parts out.

From there, with all the gunk off, just wipe down with hoppes, and use an air compressor to dry.

Think I'll build that this coming weekend finally.


February 24, 2009, 03:43 PM
I got pissed one day cleaning the barrel of the 10/22 and installed one end of the cleaning rod onto my electric drill.

February 24, 2009, 03:49 PM
I clean my .22 lr's with brake cleaner. Give the action a few good blasts, blast the barrel, let dry, and hit it with a spray oil, wipe out and shoot. The BP guns get windex mixed 50/50 with warm water.

February 25, 2009, 11:53 AM
I use tampons and diesel fuel to clean the shotguns :):D

Kind of Blued
February 25, 2009, 03:34 PM
1) Buy an anteater.

2) Disassemble gun.

3) Slather all surface areas in peanut butter (creamy variety).

4) Put in dog's bowl.

5) Remove barrel from bowl.

6) Throw barrel in anthill. Leave overnight.

7) Retrieve barrel and supply it to anteater to clean out the bore.

8) Assure bore is free of ants and peanut butter (it will be).

9) Lubricate and re-assemble.

February 25, 2009, 04:00 PM
I use brake parts cleaner for everything, a can of it can be bought at any car parts store and has a little nosel to get into those tight places. It works on getting rid of all the gunk that builds up and drys very quickly. Since it is used on plactic material as well I don't see it affecting the new materials coming out in the guns now days. I then use high temp wheel bearing grease to lube everything up. Can buy that stuff a Walmart for 2.99 for a 1 lbs tub.

February 25, 2009, 04:01 PM
OK, to Karl Hungus - I have to admit it. The Sham Wow comment made me laugh out loud. But then again, my sense of humor is a little off sometimes.

February 25, 2009, 11:59 PM
Am I the only one who uses dental tools to clean guns?!?

I picked up some dental tools at a army surplus store after I got out of basic training, they work great not just on your AR but any gun, kind of like a tooth brush, feel kind of stupid having it in your gun cleaning kit till you use it.

I also use Lucas gun oil which is a thin red oil and Karo oil which comes in a orange can that looks a little fatter than one of those old prince albert cans and smells like some kind of candy.

I have been thinking about using the parts washer with Hoppes I have a bunch of the quart bottles.

Hoppes in a hand pump bottle - I know I am a rebel

Oh and the "show me how to clean this again," comment, thanks now I know where my dad get it from.

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