How to clean and lubricate my polymer gun without any brand name products?


February 24, 2009, 02:48 PM

Where I live, we don't have any gun specific products for cleaning. People use all kinds of things like Diesel, Gasoline, etc to clean the gun and then lubricate it with something supposedly made to lubricate the gun, this has worked fine for my AK and Makarov.

My main carry gun is a Sig Pro 2022, which is a polymer gun, I usually clean it with a cloth and qtips after every time I go shooting, I'm worried about using diesel or anything like that on it cause of the polymer part. I am forced though to use the lubricant that is regularly used here.

I wanted to know what everybody here recommends I use, bare in mind we don't have any brand name cleaning products.

So I'd like to know what can I confidently use to clean my Sig, then lubricate it.

thank you,

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February 24, 2009, 02:52 PM
Can you order something from the U.S.?

February 24, 2009, 03:31 PM
For lube...mix,
one pint of STP, one quart of Marvel Mystery Oil,
one quart of Automatic Transmission fluid, and
one and half quart Detergent Motor oil (any weight will do, I usually use 10-30).
Vary the STP proportion to allow for temperature changes and your preferred viscosity of the mix.

To clean, the classic Ed's Red...
1 part Dexron II, IIe or III ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
1 part Kerosene - deodorized, K1
1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec. TT-T-2981F, CAS #64741-49-9, or substitute "Stoddard Solvent", CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent, (aka "Varsol")
1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
(Optional up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, OK to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)

I've never bothered with the lanolin. This stuff is as good as Hoppe's #9, doesn't do much for copper.

February 24, 2009, 07:30 PM
Canuck-IL shares good advice.

Many Military manuals share using Automatic Transmission to clean, and using motor oil to lube.

Lamp oil works for cleaning and if you have some light machine oil, such as Singer Sewing machine oil that will work as well.

Lighter fluid, such as Zippo, or Ronsonal has never affected my Kel-Tec P-11 when used with cotton swabs, or pipe cleaners, to clean.
Yes I have used Singer Sewing Machine oil, Super Lube Light machine oil,
I never have been a fan of 3-in-One, but yes I have used it as well. I just prefer Super Lube.

Turbine oil is very very good, so if you can obtain some from a airport, consider that.

What about Military Surplus?

I wish I had some RBC (rifle bore cleaner) though I do not know how safe it would be on Polymer.

LSA (lubricant small arms) is very good and that is what my Kel-Tec P-11 is lubed with.

[I really need some of that LSA that is floating around for $5 a quart].

Lamp oil and Singer's is one combo I know others have used in far-a-way places, going back many decades.


February 24, 2009, 08:05 PM
Mobil 1 ATF; automatic transmission fluid

February 24, 2009, 08:24 PM
for lube that is easy, go to napa, wal mart , anywhere that sells it. look for high temp grease. it is about $2.5 for a 1lb tub, that will last you a long long long time.

February 24, 2009, 08:32 PM
the substitutes noted here are all good, but since i read your other Topic about the prices of western firearms, you might want to consider importing a real gunlube/cleaner combi product, just to be sure.

you could make a group buy, Gunlube is not a restricted item in any country i know, shiping should not be a problem.

if you get ~20 people and each of you buy ~5liters of a Cleaner/lube combi and use a import/export company that ships that stuff by Sea, the shiping cost for each person will be very low.

airmail for a single 100ml or 500ml Can would probably be more expensive then the product it self.

February 24, 2009, 09:15 PM
Be cautious.

I once cleaned a polymer firearm with some Rem Oil, an actual gun specific product and it temporarily softened some of the polymer enough that the recoil spring cut right into it when it was reinstalled.
Surprised I removed the spring and was able to dent the affected area with my fingernail. It was softened significantly from the solvent in the spray.
I let it sit for awhile and it returned to normal. Though it kept that permanent minor cut from the spring. It was no big deal because there was metal reinforcement in the polymer frame right at that point, which was then visible.
It was clear the liquid had also disolved a little polymer as there was a black liquid than could be wiped up at the touch near the gummy polymer surface.
The firearm never had any problems and fired thousands of rounds while I had it after that point. It was merely an internal and very light cosmetic thing, but one I won't forget.

I had never read any similar stories so didn't think much of it prior to use and figured with the wide number of polymer parts a gun specific oil would not be harmful. I am assuming it was the carrier solvent in the product which is meant to evaporate and not the coating itself.
Since then I do not even trust gun products, nevermind random solvents with polymers.

You also do not want to dry it out causing it to crack over time with harsh detergents or soaps. I have not seen that with polymer firearms, but I have seen it with other nylon and similar polymer recipes after years of weathering especialy when combined with UV exposure.

Just remove the barrel and slide and clean them seperately with the solvent mixtures. Most of the actual polymer parts of the firearm can be wiped clean with cloth or papertowels dampened with oil and then dried. They won't suffer from light amounts of oil or high temp grease alone, but be careful of oil/solvent combination products or recipes. Such recipes are common for metal firearms.
If you use corrosive ammo a light cleaning product is a good idea. Then it is best to remove any and all residue with a safe cleaning product.
Such ammo is rare in the US.

February 25, 2009, 09:49 AM
Thank you so much for all the great advice,

I'll try and follow Canuck's recipe, but as someone mentioned that since western pistols cost a fortune here, it wouldn't hurt to pay a little more to have some of the more designated cleaners shipped over to here.

I'll definitely check out all options,

thanks again,

February 25, 2009, 10:12 AM
I've never encountered anything that windex wouldn't clean.

Or duct tape wouldn't fix.

Sam Adams
February 25, 2009, 01:14 PM

This stuff works, and it is easy to get the ingredients and mix it up.

May 4, 2009, 09:51 AM
I resurrected this thread to add the link below that I 'rediscovered' while browsing ... lots of good formulae.

May 4, 2009, 11:19 AM
All good ideas. Hot soapy water works well to clean about anything and is pretty much guaranteed not to damage a firearm. I've used dish washing detergent in the past as it has grease cutters in the formula. Not very sexy but it works. Just got to be sure to get all the moisture out and lube well afterward. FWIW when you can't get "brand names".

May 4, 2009, 12:37 PM
One thing about Automatic Transmission Fluid and plastic/polymers is to try to limit the amount. I've had a bad experience where pure ATF rendered some plastic I was trying to strip some paint off of into a brittle, crumbly mess.

May 4, 2009, 12:38 PM
For lots of years, a few drops of Momma's sewing machine oil was used to lube guns. They were'nt cleaned or lubricated very often though.

Dang near anything was used as external protection, including canning parafin, beeswax, coal oil, lard, etc.

I was a kid and don't remember a bunch. I do remember coal oil, lard, and snuff spit having near magical qualities.


Kind of Blued
May 4, 2009, 11:49 PM
I use higher viscosity motor oil for lubrication, even though I have access to any and all gun-specific lubes.

I've had great results.

May 5, 2009, 01:18 AM
Mar Haban :)

Gun Slinger
May 5, 2009, 01:36 AM
Keeping this as simple as possible and considering your situation wherein you can only obtain the "absolute minimal essentials"; I'd go with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (also known as "rubbing alcohol") as a cleaner and degreaser since this is what most of the commercially available "polymer safe" gun-specific degreaser formulations use with a CO2 propellant.

Try to obtain the 91% in preference to the more common 70% concentration since less water is always desirable when it comes to avoiding rust and corrosion. The polyamide material that composes the frame of the SigPro 2022 should be chemically stable enough to tolerate the isopropyl alcohol although you might wish to test it out in a small inconspicuous spot just to be "extra sure".

Lubrication can be best accomplished by using any available fully synthetic automotive oil like Mobil 1, Amsoil, RedLine, Eneos or Royal Purple followed by a semi-synthetic blend or if nothing else is available plain old minerally derived ("Dino") motor oil. Go with something in the 10w40 to 15w50 weight range for increased viscosity and reduced migration (less oozing) in warmer climates. Apply in the smallest possible quantities to avoid unnecessary messes.

If you have a phosphor-bronze bore brush and cleaning rod available, you can also mechanically remove the vast majority of any copper fouling by using kerosene, diesel fuel or even motor oil as a "cleaner" with the bore brush. Its "mechanical action" won't remove all of the copper fouling from the bore, but it should remove enough of it to alleviate any deleterious effects that its accumulation might cause.

Good luck.

May 5, 2009, 01:38 AM
3 in one oil.. works well for me when I run out of break free...

May 5, 2009, 02:09 AM
Folks, please note that SmA SiG is in is located in the Arabian peninsula just south of Saudi Arabia. I doubt that there are any Napa auto stores or Walmarts handy...

In your situation, I would imagine that any good quality motor oil would work as a lubricant. I don't know how much dust and sand you may have, but white lithium grease may be applied sparingly to moving parts with any excess wiped off. As long as you use a thin application of grease and clean your pistol often, it should function.

I would also imagine any gun oil manufactured for your AK should work.

May 5, 2009, 02:13 AM
ebay some stuff called Lucas Oil Red N Tacky. It is high temp dry lubricant. I use ballistol myself because I live in GA, where the humidity is 100% sometimes, which means I walk out of my house and beads literally start forming on my skin. :uhoh:
Off topic- I know people who live around there. There are stores that have dry lube.

May 5, 2009, 05:35 PM
for lube that is easy, go to napa, wal mart

I didn't realize that NAPA and Walmart were in Yemen. :D

Or are they?

May 5, 2009, 05:43 PM
sMa SiG, you've got two of the world's most reliable guns already-why bother with the Sig, if you're gonna have to worry about keeping it clean? :)

*Dons flame suit*

The Lone Haranguer
May 5, 2009, 07:15 PM
Diesel fuel is not going to harm the gun's frame. While better than nothing, the ultra-low-sulfur fuel in the US and Europe has poor lubricating qualities.

May 5, 2009, 07:34 PM
keep it simple stupid"

Just go to NAPA and bjy for $2.50 the can of 3m high pressure non cholorinated brake cleaner. I have used it for years. IT WILL NOT HARM POLYMER.

It is very powerful out ofthe can and it will clean anything on ur gun and it will dry instantly to. It is in their black can also. This stuff is better and a 1/3rd of the price of gun scrubber.

You must lubricate after using this sutff as it will clean right down to the metal, but takes no finish off anywhere. Just super stuff.

Ihave 19,800 rounds through my kahr PM9 and I have never takenthe slide totally apart to cleanit. The kahrs have a small hole (like alot of semi's do) on the bottom of the slide. I just insert the spray nozzle in that hole and spray away and fluids comes out of both ends of the slide. walla, it is cleaned. You don't lubricate the striker channel on semi's so you have cleaned the upper portion in a whiz bang.

I'm telling you this stuff is super and much much cheaper than gun scrubber . I bought 4 cans of it today at NAPA for $9.60 and that includes sales tax in Indiana (7%)

Gun Slinger
May 5, 2009, 07:48 PM
Um, as has been mentioned before, the OP lives in Yemen.

He may not have a NAPA store available to him.

Doesn't anyone read threads anymore? ;)

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