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what cleaning chemicals is everyone using?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by BlackNet, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

    Title pretty much says it all. I am looking for good cleaners that does a quick job of the nasty. I just finished a bottle of ole thunder and working on some black solve bottles now. I figured I may try to roll my own next and some other products and see how that goes.
  2. .22-5-40

    .22-5-40 Well-Known Member

    Hello, BlackNet. I have just gotten back into black powder shooting. I used Black solve & Birchwood Casey solvent then..as welll as hot soapy water. Took out a little Ballard in .25-25 Stevens..dreaded the thought of clean-up in that small bore..First time with Butch's Black Powder solvent..3 wet patches..3rd. came out muzzle looking as it did when it went in breech!
  3. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Warm water with a dash of liquid dish soap for washing out the fouling and then wiped down and bore and chambers patched dry and double dried with a hair dryer. Once all dry and warm the metal is all wiped or patched with Ballistol as a lube and rust preventer.

    Buying anything but the dish soap is simply not needed. The metal all comes up squeaky clean just fine with the soapy water. Hell, a few of the cheaper sorts around here don't even go with the added expense of using the dash of detergent! ! !
  4. Busyhands94

    Busyhands94 Well-Known Member

    Whiskey heads work good. Or just plain ol' water.
  5. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Well-Known Member

    Water with a squirt of dish soap.
    Dry patch.
  6. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Well-Known Member

    The question might be how quick do you need it to be? BP because of it's nature is going to take more time than smokeless. There is more fouling and that fouling causes rust. ;) Unlike a modern firearm where you can give them a quick pass through, a wipe down, and a coating of spray, or dunk the entire handgun in a bucket of solvent, remove and let it drain.

    Water, a brush, some patches, followed by a rust inhibitor will work fine.

    Some folks like warm water, some add dishwashing soap. Now if you use petroleum based lubes, or a grease made from something like a food grade oil or fat, you very much may want some dish soap, perhaps even Dawn brand, the same stuff they use to get the petroleum based stuff off of animals in an ocean oil spill.

    Some folks have reported they used generic windshield wash fluid intended for use in a car, or Windex to also clean barrels, followed by a clean water rinse.

    Some folks use a mixture of equal parts of Murphy's Oil Soap, hydrogen peroxide, and rubbing alcohol, again followed by a clean water rinse.

    If you are shooting a cap-n-ball revolver, using grease on the chamber mouths to prevent a cook-off, remember too that you are going to need to remove the nipples when cleaning in most cases. (actually any gun using a nipple with a cap, or even most inline using a primer should have that portion thoroughly cleaned.) You will need to clean the threaded portion where the nipples are held with cotton swabs and again apply rust inhibitor before replacing the nipples. Revolver cylinders can be tedious to clean..., but I have never been able to avoid rust around the nipples unless they were removed and the threaded sockets also cleaned. Others may have had more success.

    Just remember that final good coating of rust inhibitor when you are done, and check the gun 24 hours later for rust to be sure you didn't miss a spot or two.

  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Hot soap and water. Read the MSDS for your chemicals. You may go back to hot soapy water.
  8. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Well-Known Member

    I use hot water and Dawn dish soap. I made a trough from a piece of plastic rain gutter, fill it with the hot soapy solution, immerse the barrel (removed from the stock of course) for about 5 minutes, then lift the open end so the hot water shoots out through the ignition port several times, and swab it with a bore swab with the breech under water until the water coming from the igniition port is clean. Dry it off, I use a rag and compressed air, and rub it down both inside and out with your lube of choice. I have not had a problem with either real black or Pyrodex when they are cleaned within a few hours of shooting.
  9. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    It's been a few seasons, darn it. But when I was shooting ML: Water with dishwashing liquid, or Windex. Plain hot water. Dry patches. Patches with bore butter while the barrel is still warm.
  10. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Well-Known Member

    Just cold water for me. Boy the things some people put in their guns!! Most all
    Of our pistols are of the 800.00 custom target variety .Revolver is 800.00 also.
    Believe me you won't catch me putting stuff like ammonia ,peroxide , cleaning
    Chemicals, soap,or hot water in any of mine. My guns are spotless and stay
    That way.
  11. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Well-Known Member


    I beg to differ. I use Murphy's Mix (equal parts of Murphy's Oil Soap, hydrogen peroxide, and rubbing alcohol) almost exclusively after shooting Black Powder in CAS. It does not need to be rinsed away. It can just be left down inside the gun.

    Here is the thing. Black Powder fouling will cause rust. How much depends partially on the relative humidity in the atmosphere. Black Powder fouling is extremely dry and is able to draw water vapor out of the atmosphere. The water infuses the fouling and is held in close proximity with the gun metal. This causes rust. Now, a little know fact is that if you infuse the fouling with oil, it completely looses its ability to draw moisture out of the air. It is like a sponge that has been saturated with water and is unable to hold any more. So if you can infuse the fouling with oil, it can no longer suck moisture out of the air and will not cause the metal to rust.

    Yes, plain old hot water is the best BP solvent around. It simply dissolves the fouling. Forget about 'neutralizing' and other chemical terms. Just dilute it and wash it away. The water in Murphy's Mix is what does the actual cleaning. The per oxide is 97% water and the alcohol is about 20% water. That is what does the cleaning. The 3% peroxide creates a little bit of fizzing action to lift the fouling, the alcohol is a drying agent to accelerate evaporation, and the oil soap leaves an oily film behind when it evaporates. Once the fouling has been infused with the oil left behind it will no longer cause any rust.

    The problem with cleaning with straight water is you have to get the water out again or it will cause rust. Yes, you can heat the water, but I always had issues with flash rusting with hot water. Plus, you can use Murphy's Mix cold at the range, it does not need heating. Why go through the bother of heating water, then trying to get it all out again? After I clean a cartridge revolver, lever rifle, or shotgun with Murphy's Mix I make sure to squirt some down into the action so it will coat any fouling that has worked its way down inside. I do not take the gun apart. I then follow up with a light coating of straight Ballistol, not watered down, and coat the bore and chambers, and work some inside. Once a year (or even less) I will take my guns apart and clean out all the black, oily gunk down inside. There is always plenty of black, oily gunk, there is never any rust.

    I go through about 20 pounds of Black Powder every year.

    I have been doing this for YEARS!!!

    Lighten up and try something new if you have not tried it!
  12. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Well-Known Member

    Windex with vinegar. after all dry i use a rust inhibitor
  13. Ryden

    Ryden Well-Known Member

    Hot water and a drop of Fairy washing up liquid to cut the grease.
    Then a scrub with Ed's Red and that's it.
    I throw my revolver in the oven to dry and then I rub it down with either a bit of the traditional beeswax/tallow mix or Ballistol, whichever is at hand and let it cool.

    I have a notion that oiling the metal hot will let it penetrate deeper into it and protect better, but I have no idea if that's really the case.

    I always put a chunk of the BP grease inside the handles when I re-attach them, I've found it to be good thing to always have some with the gun.

    If you want something that's really quick and efficient, get a steam cleaner like you'd use for your bathroom etc.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  14. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This!!!

    Been using Windex with vinegar to clean black powder guns since i read an article by Mike Venturino many years ago. Nothing eats up BP crud or the crud formed by BP substitutes like Windex with vinegar does. Many of the CASS guys use it.

    It is now called Windex Multi Surface.
  15. ThorinNNY

    ThorinNNY Well-Known Member

    I think it was Ned Roberts who recommended removing the barrel, and pouring cold water down the barrel for 10 minutes, then cleaning with hot soapy water. As long as the water is really hot, it will heat up the metal and disperse any moiture. Course you keep running patches thru until they come up both clean dry. Then run an oily patch thru. Bs sure to check it 24 hours to make sure no rust appears.Works well for rifles, pistols may require a different approach.
  16. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member

    Why try something new if what you're doing works? Ever hear of the old homily, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    Frankly, I could care less what you stuff in your guns; it's your money, spend it wherever you like. For me, like Phil, plain water works. It worked a hundred years ago, it's worked every day since then and it still works today. And it costs a whole lot less.;)
  17. raa-7

    raa-7 Well-Known Member

    I pretty much follow the same procedure as everyone else.As long as I use the hot water and a lil soap,then dry it up well,then a good thorough wipe down with light oil.
  18. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    409 followed by water and then a moisture displacing lubricant.
  19. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Well-Known Member

    I usually clean my revolver "before it even cools from shooting". Have been using some Birchwood Casey stuff I had around, but will mix up some Murphy's concoction when that is gone.
    I have a good coat of anti-seas on stainless nipples and only take them out occasionally.
    It takes about 15 minutes, cleaned, oiled, and ready to go. I do have an air compressor where I shoot to speed up getting junk out from around nipples etc.
    Caution Windex and vinegar will darken brass.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  20. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Well-Known Member

    Because it ticks me off when somebody makes a blanket statement about what we should not be putting into our guns and assumes it is bad when he has never tried it.

    The OP wanted to know what works to clean BP guns. I told him what I use and why I use it. I started cleaning BP guns with water in 1968, so I did not just fall off the turnip truck. But I have found something that works better, and it ticks me off when somebody bad mouths it without any basis in fact.

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