Can I use Break Free instead of Solvents?


July 1, 2010, 01:15 PM
I don't have a huge house, so using my hoppes #9 indoors can be overwhelming at times. I don't like cleaning outside because of the heat and humidity. So, I am wondering whether I some break free would clean the bores of my guns just as well so that I can keep from inhaling to many noxious fumes. I intend to try it next time I shoot, but since I don't have any break free at the moment I thought I'd ask ahead of time.

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July 1, 2010, 01:17 PM

Try and find some M-Pro7 cleaners and gun oil.. absolutely no smell and it's an excellent product among many others..

But, no smell


July 1, 2010, 01:33 PM
I use break free and even when living in apartments I clean right in my living room and it's really not that bad at all. My girlfriend would complain for sure if it was stinky haha. I actually kind of like the smell of clp makes a gun smell like a gun :)

July 1, 2010, 01:35 PM
For heavily copper-fouled barrels you'll want a real solvent. But for routine cleaning CLP is fine IMO.

July 1, 2010, 01:42 PM
I don't use Hoppes OR Break Free.

I use Shooter's Choice powder solvent and ClenzOil. I'm not bothered by the smell of Shooter's Choice at all, and find that it cleans better than Hoppes.

July 1, 2010, 01:52 PM
I have been using some stuff called EEZOX. It works well and actually has almost a perfume like smell to it.

July 1, 2010, 01:57 PM

July 1, 2010, 02:05 PM
I use Outers Foaming Bore Cleaner. No odor whatsoever, and seems to me to do a better job cleaning bores than any traditional solvent I've ever tried. It has the consistency of shaving cream and fills the bore instead of just running to the bottom.

I've found that filling the barrel with foaming bore cleaner, letting it sit for 10 or 15 minutes, and then running a Bore Snake through it will take care of most fouling with no smell and no fuss. I use either Hoppes, CLP, or Rem Oil for detail cleaning, and use a cleaning rod occasionally to oil the bore after.

July 1, 2010, 04:06 PM
I have used CLP since it was introduced on everything. As said it won't dissolve copper fouling but it will cut everything else. Let it set on the crud for a few minutes before scrubbing. If you can wipe some on at the range while the gun is still hot when you get home most of the fouling will wipe off with a rag.

July 1, 2010, 04:26 PM
I use Hoppe's #9 every six months or so in a heavily-used gun. Otherwise, I clean the bores with CLP and it works great for me.

Otherwise, CLP on everything. And applying it directly after shooting and waiting till you get home to clean it breaks most of it up and can be gotten rid of with a rag.

July 1, 2010, 04:30 PM
I started using Break-Free on active duty in the early 80's. I haven't used anything else for routine cleaning since then.


July 1, 2010, 05:00 PM
Careful with that on plastics (it melted a CZ grip of mine) and on wood finishes (it removed the finished on the wood of my Mosin Nagant).

July 1, 2010, 05:03 PM
I use Slip 2000 and love it because it is very low odor. CLP was my previous favorite.

July 1, 2010, 05:17 PM
I love the smell of Hoppe's!!!!!

July 1, 2010, 05:25 PM
I began using Break Free CLP not long ago after reading so many good reviews on THR. I've been very pleased with the results. When used with a bronze brush it seems to clean more crud out of my pistol barrels than any of the specialty bore cleaners I was using before.

July 1, 2010, 08:14 PM
If you want major stink that will chase a crowd out of the house, try Birchwood Casey Borre Scrubber... I only use it for the nastiest bores.

I use CLP a lot, but think it stinks to...

I kepp the Hoppes in the bathroom right next to the Old Spice :)

July 1, 2010, 08:19 PM
I love the smell of Hoppe's!!!!!

Me too. :) While it may not be practical for some, I enjoy my home smelling like Hoppe's. The fact that it tends to annoy the girlfriend has nothing to do with it. ;)

July 1, 2010, 09:18 PM
BreakFree, Clenzoil, Ezzox are the three that we use in out shop for cleaning and lubriction. We also use Shooters Choice for real heavy leading or copper fouling. I like to use the Clenzoil for top end rifles and shoguns, use Ezzox for concealed care firearms and BreakFree for everything else.

July 1, 2010, 11:22 PM
Hoppes smells like bananas and anger to me. Not entirely sure what the draw is regarding its scent...

July 2, 2010, 01:56 AM
It sounds like it will at least properly clean the carbon fouling, with the aid of my bronze brushes, which is all I would expect it to do. I know if I want copper or other metallic fouling out I'll need something more chemically hardcore. Sweet, I'm not going to dread my next gun cleaning experience. :)

July 2, 2010, 09:32 AM
I have also used Breakfree for decades as a general cleaner and lube but also use Kroil oil for the heavier needs. This product is made to get under copper so it can be brush loose and cleaned out.

July 2, 2010, 09:54 AM
Ben86 -

I had a similar dilemma regarding #9.

MPro-7 and Hoppe's Elite gun cleaners are the same product manufactured under different names. I have been using the Elite for almost a year now, and it has very little odor. My wife says that my hands and clothes no longer retain the odor of gun cleaning for days (which previously was the case).

I do not shoot large amounts of ammo at this point, but it seems to work well for my purposes.

Hope this helps -


Blue .45
July 3, 2010, 12:32 AM
I've had pretty good results with Gunzilla. It smells a little funky, but it isn't toxic.

You can read about it here.

July 3, 2010, 12:42 AM
+ 1 for Mpro7 I use it for all of my cleaning. It is nontoxic and has almost no smell but is a solvent unlike CLP. I use it even when I clean my M16 when on duty.

July 3, 2010, 12:54 AM
When it comes to 'odor control', BreakFree Foaming Bore Cleaner is my "go-to" option.

No smell to it at all, dissolves copper fouling "quick as wink" and eliminates the endless scrubbing that seems to accompany many of the other solvents.


July 3, 2010, 01:10 AM
I have been using some stuff called EEZOX. It works well and actually has almost a perfume like smell to it.


Love EEZOX, great stuff, and is "addictive".. (open window-advised) for the 3yrs I have been using it, and M-Pro7.. exclusively


July 3, 2010, 01:34 AM
My business office is not that large, so if I spill a bottle of #9 - not only will my entire place smell of it, but the air conditioner will spread it across the adjacent two offices. CLP does decent work in a pinch with low odor.

July 4, 2010, 02:27 AM
Wasn't there some issue with Breakfree CLP containing teflon/ptfe which is something you do not want in the bore? I'd love to use that stuff instead of the smelly Hoppes#9 solvent.

July 4, 2010, 03:37 AM
I've been using mostly CLP and Break Free with teflon for about 30 years now, and never had a problem. I do use other solvent on copper fouling though, but right now at 330 am, I can't remember what it is! :D

July 4, 2010, 09:01 AM
I use a lot of CLP, but I recently got this Miltec spray on cleaner. I forget the name but it seems safe on most finish's and it doesn't smell. You can use it in a small room without killing yourself.

July 6, 2010, 07:59 PM
I ditched my Hoppe's 9 and got some break free and mpro7 copper solvent. They work great and don't make me feel like I'm going to commit solventicide. I also discovered that my rem oil actually works just as well as my old, stinky solvent! All this time! Oh well, now I know.

July 6, 2010, 08:52 PM
Can I use Break Free instead of Solvents?
By definition, Break Free is a solvent...

But to answer the question directly...yes.
Break Free or any equivalent CLP is pretty effective.
I am another Eezox advocate.

July 7, 2010, 07:23 PM
If it's not really bad dirty, I just use Simple Green. If it IS really dirty, then I use the foam. Simple Green smells great!

July 9, 2010, 03:26 PM
If it's not really bad dirty, I just use Simple Green. If it IS really dirty, then I use the foam. Simple Green smells great!
Simple green brings me back to my Army days every single time I smell it. They used that stuff for every freaking thing while I was in the military and basic training was the very first time I ever even heard about the stuff. We used it to strip wax off the floors to cleaning toilets and our rifles. I'm pretty sure they buy that stuff by the 55 gallon drum haha.

July 9, 2010, 03:39 PM
Hoppes smells like bananas and anger to me.

I lol'd at this.

Shooter's Choice is probably my favored solvent though. Smell is very unobtrusive, and smells very gun-like. I was raised using Shooter's Choice and Ballistol.

The bore foam is good stuff! I used it when I shot jacketed bullets, but I no longer use it since I pretty much shoot lead exclusively.

FWIW, the best smelling gun oil to me is FP-10.

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