Cleaning cosmoline


Slick Pilot
March 23, 2009, 02:13 PM
Got a buddy that has a new pistol that was packed in cosmoline. Any recommendations on how to get it clean?


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March 23, 2009, 02:15 PM
elbow grease and a rag

March 23, 2009, 02:19 PM
Kerosene and the local car wash.

March 23, 2009, 02:20 PM
i've heard mineral spirits too

March 23, 2009, 02:20 PM
Lots of good solvents: mineral spirits is the cheapest. Acetone works too. These solvents will degrease thoroughly so be sure to protect against rust afterwards.

March 23, 2009, 02:21 PM
I thought hot (like boiled on the stove hot) pots of water poured all over and through did a great job on my SKS. Might be able to fit the whole pistol in a pot even?


March 23, 2009, 02:22 PM
Odorless mineral spirits melts cosmolene on contact.

March 23, 2009, 02:23 PM
Get a thing of a mineral spirits. You should be able to find it at any hardware type store.

Find a piece of tupperware (that you won't regret using for this purpose) large enough to fit the largest parts. Fill it with the mineral spirits and drop the parts into it and let it sit for a minute or two and clean with a rag or any ragged out T-shirts you might have. Get a pack of Q-Tips as well, they will come in handy. The spirits will eat the cosmo right off the parts.

Woot, #500. :D

March 23, 2009, 02:57 PM
It depends a little bit on the gun. If it is a finish and gun which can withstand the abuse, (AK/SKS,) I would get a couple of cans of brake/carb cleaner. If it was a gun which actually has a significant amount of value, and I don't want to hurt it, I would steam it over a hot pot. (My wife has never let me do this in the kitchen.)

March 23, 2009, 04:10 PM
Low odor mineral spirits is so effective and easy, i don't know why people still any other method. It dissolves cosmoline on contact and gets in all the nooks and crannies for most effective removal, doesn't harm metal or bluing, evaporates with no trace, is easy to work with (no odor, doesn't burn skin), doesn't cause rust and is fairly cheap.

Hot water does soften cosmoline but does not remove all traces since oil and water still don't mix and must be followed up with another solvent to really clean the remaining residue. Plus you need to make sure you get all the water off preferably with yet another solvent or else you risk rust formation.

March 23, 2009, 04:25 PM
Just don't use liquid polyurethane. Ask me how I know. :banghead:

Odorless mineral spirits work great.

March 23, 2009, 04:48 PM
The idea with hot water/steam isn't to dissolve cosmoline, it's to melt it. It does that very well. Hot cosmoline comes off a lot easier than cold.

March 23, 2009, 06:00 PM
I would advise against the more volatile solvents such as acetone or laquer thinner until you verify that no paint or plastic parts are involved.

March 23, 2009, 06:05 PM
I use a hand held steamer to melt off the Cosmo. I just cleaned a Chicom SKS last night, works great to get in the nooks of the trigger group without dissasembling it.

I follow with some WD-40 and then spray gun oil.


chris in va
March 23, 2009, 06:36 PM
Take the plastic bits off, boil it in water.

March 23, 2009, 06:48 PM
I use Gasoline and a brush ==OUT back where there is no fisk of fire.Its great and dries with no residue, its the cheepest thing to use also . dont worry you wont blow up unless you smoke at the same time . A qt will do a pistol a gal will do a K-98 thats really bad .

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