Simple, Cheap Natural Ways to Clean Guns


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Falcon78
February 10, 2010, 08:11 PM
Like most here, I've got a can of CLP and a handful of bore brushes and cleaning patches. But the stuff doesn't smell too great, and it's probably not the best stuff to breathe in.

I've seen some speak highly of Mobil V-Twin 20/50, as a long term gun oil, and that got me thinking about alternatives.

Lemon juice is cheap and acidic enough to be a solvent. Vinegar is also a safe and inexpensive cleaner. I doubt either of these two substances is going to eat through metal any more than the solvent in CLP. Nothing I see says to avoid either these two substances in combination with chrome, though I have seen both recommended to clean it. And, I would lubricate with regular oil so this mix wouldn't be sitting undiluted for too long. Thoughts?

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geigersd
February 10, 2010, 08:26 PM
Acid and brass don't mix well together. Some reloaders that use it to clean brass cartridges also use baking soda to neutralize it.

I doubt that trace amounts in cylinder bores would affect ammo to any measurable degree though.

hso
February 10, 2010, 08:27 PM
I doubt either of these two substances is going to eat through metal any more than the solvent in CLP.

They're acids, not solvents and have nothing in common with the solvents in CLP. Lemon juice has citric acid while vinegar is acetic acid.

They will corrode metal where solvent will not.

If you're curious about them get a file and put one end in lemon juice for a day and then the other in CLP. Note the difference. Try another file in vinegar. You'll see that the lemon juice and the vinegar will cause corrosion while the CLP won't.

If you want cheap alternatives to commercial gun cleaners look up Ed's Red, a mixture based on automatic transmission fluid.

oneounceload
February 10, 2010, 08:31 PM
You can always ask the makers for their MSDS sheets. Simple Green can work, but in the long run, gun-specific cleaning agents aren't that expensive. If you find them that expensive, perhaps you need to rethink this hobby

Ghost Walker
February 10, 2010, 08:32 PM
I use Wal-Mart's pharmaceutical grade mineral oil. Costs $1.65 a bottle and is available in the drug store area. Vinegar is interesting; but I think I'd be limiting exposure to no more than a few minutes and flushing the bore with warm water after use, and before a final oiling.

Oh, yeah, certain bore cleaners like, 'Sweet's 7.62' are, indeed, acidic. I use this product no more than once or twice a year on any particular gun. (You've got to read and follow the directions, though!)

Falcon78
February 10, 2010, 09:21 PM
Yeah, I figured those two substances would be a little more harsh, but I wasn't planning on letting them sit for very long. Good info though.

Mineral oil is interesting. Does it leave a residue? Does it get rid of lead and copper?

John Wayne
February 10, 2010, 09:30 PM
Have you thought about an ultrasonic cleaner? Hornady has one out for under $150. This particular model is designed to clean casings but will also work for gun parts.

I know they recommend their own brand of solvent, but I have heard of others using Simple Green, Orange Clean, and other inexpensive household solvents with ultrasonic cleaners. The chemicals don't have to be as agressive given the nature of the ultrasonic cleaner.

Ghost Walker
February 10, 2010, 09:38 PM
Mineral oil is interesting. Does it leave a residue? Does it get rid of lead and copper?

No, but it does get rid of powder fouling. As for residue? Well, it hasn't gummed anything up during the past 9 months that I've been using it. Don't think I'd try mineral oil for an extended period-of-time on any of the, 'safe queens' though.

I clean my Glock EDC, at least, once a week. Benefits I've noticed so far? Mineral oil stays on the gun well; and doesn't easily contaminate primers or powder - Not even with really crappy and poorly sealed cartridges like WWB or Blazer. It, also, puts an excellent shine on the polymer frame, (Which seems to love the stuff!) and is very gentle on your skin and hands.

Yes, at first, it's a little messy; and I do pat my pistol dry with Kleenex before slipping it into the holster. One other thing: Leather seems to like mineral oil, too. ;)

navyretired 1
February 10, 2010, 09:47 PM
I've been doing some thing unusual for many years, On my stainless handguns, I pull the grips, lock open action and run them thru diswasher pots and pans cycle. Gets them as clean as new except cylinder face and it just wipes clean when still warm.
I then spray with oil and then use compressed air to blow the majority of oil off just leaving light film.

jimmyraythomason
February 10, 2010, 09:50 PM
HoT water with Dawn Dishwashing liquid is my all time favorite cleaner. I've found NOTHING cheaper or better.

fireman 9731
February 10, 2010, 10:13 PM
Mirachem is pretty good stuff, especially for being completely non-hazardous.

You can get a decent sized bottle for free on their website.

http://www.ct1w.mirachem.com/topics/products/commercial/0015/0015-100.htm

Oyeboten
February 10, 2010, 10:14 PM
Yup...Hot Soapy Water...various small Brushes and Bore Brushes...Hot Air dry...Oil 'em up...BP or Smokeless, either way...

kingmt
February 10, 2010, 10:30 PM
I was going to say take it in the shower but I like the dishwasher idea to. I don't think I could get my dishwasher to agree to clean my guns though. I don't guess it would hurt to bud to ask her though.

Isn't vinegar used to remove blueing? I know Grease Lighting & Supper Clean will eat aluminum away so don't use it if your gun is anodized.

twofifty
February 11, 2010, 02:00 AM
You saying brake and carb cleaner isn't 'green'?

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