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Cleaning Nicotine???

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Jackal, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    I recently acquired some old rifles and scopes that lived their life in a smokers house for about 50 years. Needless to say, they are all encrusted in ancient, disgusting, nasty nicotine (kids, dont smoke:barf:). Scopes glass are yellowed, rifle stocks are gummy. I am unsure how to clean the stocks and scope glass. One is a 1966 Browning T Bolt, with a 1955 Kahles Helia 2-7 scope (yes, german # 4 reticle). It reeks so strongly of nicotine that I can barely stand to have it in the house and I thought the stock had a runny finish.... nope, just dripping/oozing with nicotine. Anyone know how to clean this mess up without harming the wood finish or glass??? Anyone have a similar experience?
     
  2. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    I'd try rubbing alcohol. It isn't that harsh. Might want to try it on a small spot first though
     
  3. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    Mineral spirits maybe for the wood?
     
  4. Greg Mercurio

    Greg Mercurio Member

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    Windex works well, and it's cheap when you buy it by the gallon. Followed by a clear water rinse, then WD-40. Remove the WD-40 and water matrix, then oil.

    We did dad's whole house with windex and water. Then oil on the wood. It works.

    Almost forgot. Wear gloves and a dust mask. The residue is unhealthy.
     
  5. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I think the culprit is actually tar (tobacco residue) from cigarette smoke. Most nicotine is burned during smoking, forming part of the residue. Mostly its just yuck, kinda like the deposits from burning wood called creosote.
     
  6. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    What he said,
    acetone or other mineral spirit
    or a heavy detergent soap

    Um, about the scopes, might want to call the factory and see if they can do something, cause, well the lenses are coated, heavy cleaning will destroy the coatings.
     
  7. towerdog

    towerdog Member

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    I bought a smokers house, wow lots of wall washing, MR. Green or Simple Green worked great. Dish soap also worked really good and Dawn should not hurt the coating on your scopes
     
  8. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    :confused:I hope you got it at discount, I can't stand the smell :barf:
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  9. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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  10. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    All the options sound good except the one suggesting acetone. On blued metal? Sure. On any of the wood, painted surfaces or glass? NO ! ! ! ! Acetone is all to able to strip off many finishes such as paint or oil finishes. It likely won't hurt coated optic lenses but it WILL attack the rubber seating and sealing rings around the edges of such lenses.

    You're going to want to strip the guns and optics down and clean each of the various pieces with the appropriate cleaners for each one. But acetone should not be part of the solvents unless it's for blued or properly coated metal parts of the guns. Oh, and obviously bare metal is fine as well.

    For almost every solvent or degeaser mentioned I'd be sure to wear nitrile gloves. All of them will strip the oils out of your skin in short order.
     
  11. Beak50

    Beak50 Member

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    I agree with towerdog Simple green.
     
  12. jblackfish

    jblackfish Member

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    Never use acetone on any of the wood finish - it'll take everything off. Remember, acetone is fingernail polish remover - it "melts" a LOT of stuff! It'll sure do damage to your finishes.
     
  13. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus Member

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    Do NOT use mineral spirits or alcohol on anything wood unless you know for a fact that it has a urethane finish. many old guns have varnish or cellulose laquer finishes and either product will damage the finish.

    Any mild dish washing detergent such as "Dawn" with warm water will clean the residue off the wood.

    Use alcohol and q-tips on the lenses. On the metal use whatever you like so long at it's blued and not paint (paint isn't new.... some gun makers have been painting firearms for decades...)
     
  14. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    Back in my smoking days I would use windex to clean off the truck's windshield. It always worked well, but sometimes took a couple applications to get the stubborn stuff off.
     
  15. Lizard1911

    Lizard1911 Member

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    TSP from the hardware store. I used it to clean the walls after my ex set the apartment on fire. Works great for removing grease smoke residue.
     
  16. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    Start with hot water and Dawn dishsoap.
     
  17. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Awesome, THR for the win. I will try the Simple Green and soap/water on the wood. I will also try alcohol on the glass, followed by windex, if that does not work. I'll post pics once things are clean:D.
     
  18. gjcab09

    gjcab09 Member

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    I don't know why Murphy's Oil Soap wouldn't work for the stocks. It's made for wood, and people have been using it to clean their nicely finished tobacco pipes for ages.
     
  19. XD 45acp

    XD 45acp Member

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    As a son of a tar coated smoker, who has been in those shoes.... One product that will do the wood and steel without any damage,...G-96. Plus it smells good.
     
  20. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Lizard, there's a story behind that comment...

    Simple Green worked for me to get cosmo out.
    I quit smoking cigarettes some time ago, just a pipe once a day outside, and I can tell the massive difference. I also cannot stand to be in a place that reeks of cigarette smoke. Good luck on your cleaning.
     
  21. Burt Blade

    Burt Blade Member

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    One more strong suggestion:

    Clean it outdoors, wear gloves, and old clothes that can be washed in strong soap and hot water. That stink gets transferred, and sticks like skunk.
     
  22. Chris-bob

    Chris-bob Member

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    Yup, take his advice and just paint over the tar. No reason to remove it. That's what paint is for.:rolleyes:

    All kidding aside, why not strip the stock while you are at it and refinish it? If the finish wasn't that great to begin with, the smell and tar may have penetrated into the wood. Which means every time you take it out to shoot, you may start to smell it. If the smell offends you, then best attempt to remove it as mush as possible.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  23. -v-

    -v- Member

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    +1 on Dawn or other type of Dish Soap. Stuff is layered on, not chemically bonded on. A good detergent or degreaser and some patience should clean them up just fine.
     
  24. BudW

    BudW Member

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    Great question
     
  25. 1858remington

    1858remington Member

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    As a pipe smoker, and pipe collector, I have found that Bacardi 151 rum cleans the tar out of pipes pretty nicely. cant see why it wouldnt work on a gun.
     
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