How bad does Ballistol smell?

Not open for further replies.


Jun 25, 2012
I want to order this stuff because I hear it's awesome, but if it really smells bad and leaves the gun smelling bad, I'd prefer not to and will just get some Frog Lube. Frog Lube is just soooo expensive. I basically am trying to choose between these two because they're non-toxic CLPs.
I have hard it smells like licorice, rubbing alcohol, and/or anise, if that helps.

Ballistol is a mineral oil based compound, so if you dislike mineral oil, you will probably dislike Ballistol.
Yeah smells a little like licorice or anise. I hate the taste of both of those, but I have gotten used to the smell of Ballistol, and actually kind of like it. It really isn't THAT strong, unless you use a ton of it and in a small confined space.

Ballistol and Wipe-Out are the only two bore cleaners I use now. Ballistol if left to sit in the bore for a few hours gets the powder residue out and dissolves copper, you will see your patches come out blue.
I have Ballistol.

I don't think it is that bad smelling. However I prefer Weaponshield CLP or M-Pro 7 LPX CLP over Ballistol as a lubricant or protectanct.
I want to order this stuff because I hear it's awesome, but if it really smells bad and leaves the gun smelling bad, I'd prefer not to and will just get some Frog Lube. Frog Lube is just soooo expensive. I basically am trying to choose between these two because they're non-toxic CLPs.
I use it and have good success. It's smell is not bad at all.
I have a bottle of it that is 4 or 5 years old. My old bottle smells more like an ass than anise ;)
They're very different products. Ballistol is my "go to" product, but I do have a couple of guns I'm trying out Frog Lube on. I haven't put enough rounds through them yet to definitively say I love the stuff, but the basic idea of Frog Lube is once you have enough applications on the firearm, you will just wipe the carbon off all the components. You don't use it as a cleaner, per se, and once you've wiped it down, you'll occasionally apply another coat to keep the protective layer strong.

Ballistol, on the other hand, is much more traditional, where you will use it with patches and a bore brush to clean the barrel. It also acts as a preservative on the metal/wood. You could also use it as a lubricant, though I typically use a light grease on the rails these days. Hope that helps.
I don't mind the stink. I use it as soaker for rusted or stubborn screws quite a bit.
I use Ballistol on my black powder guns. There's no doubt it's got a little something that zings the nose for the first couple of minutes. But whatever it is fades pretty fast and surfaces protected with it don't have any noticable aroma at all within a half hour or so.
Spray a little puddle of Ballistol on a piece of foil, metal or similar and leave it a few weeks. It usually turns to a nice goo.
Smells like old gym socks to me, but the smell doesn't last. Crack open a bottle of our beloved #9 and the smell goes through the house. Not so with Ballistol. You actually have to smell it to smell it, if that makes sense. The smell kinda grows on you after awhile.

I use 'moose milk' (7 parts water to 1 part Ballistol) for cleaning black powder guns and guns I've shot corrosive ammo thru, and then wipe 'em down and lube 'em with straight Ballistol. Never a problem. I don't know how I lived without it.
Its nasty.

You have to be olfactorily-impaired to subject yourself to that stench.

I've had to throw away rubber grips that came on second-hand guns that belonged to numb-nose owners who must have thought that stuff was good for something other than keeping skunks from nesting under mobile homes.
I think it's like an old person trying to cover up something wrong. At first wiff it's sorta pleasant then - you're looking around wondering what the heck is that?? It's not too bad for the benefit.
For W.E.G. it is awful, but for me it isn't even unpleasant (and I'm a sensitive sniffer and hate most strong odors), but I suspect after reading the MSDS you'd do just as well with a trip to the pharmacy and getting a bottle of pharmaceutical grade mineral oil.
I don't think the smell is that bad, but it bothers my respiratory system. Maybe it's the aerosol formula. If I spray it gently and keep it on the gun instead of the air, it's a lot better.
I don't think that it has a bad smell. Has kind of a hint of anise to it. Not anywhere near as strong or obnoxious as Hoppe's #9.
I've always liked those solvents and cleaners that had an aroma of some kind. Sort of like branding or something ... a "badge" of some sort. Ballistol is like that and good ol' Hoppe's #9 has always been a favorite.

I want my body to smell fresh, my truck to smell new (good luck with that) and my guns to smell like guns. Few things bring back memories of my youth more strongly than the aroma of #9, burned powder and boolit casting fumes.
Back 15 years ago when Ballistol was first made here, I noticed the German formulation that I had been using, smelled a little worse. Count your blessings :)
I guess everyone has different olfactory sensitivities. To me, Ballistol is very mild. I use it liberally on my glock bbls, SKS bolt/action/bbl and other items, and it's not at all offensive. Hoppe's #9 is a much stronger aroma.
I'm not a big fan of the smell either. It does smell like anise. The smell does dissipate after after awhile.

I say get one of the smaller spray bottles. If you don't like the smell on your guns, you can use it on your garden tools where the smell won't matter. It is a good product and works well.

I primarily use SLIP 2000 since it has no smell, that I can detect, and it is also non-toxic. There are lots of great non-toxic products. I say try them all. They all work well. You'll eventually find the one you like the best. None will cost more than a box of ammo.

kazaam wrote,
Frog Lube is just soooo expensive.

"Come on man!":). We've been reading your posts. You still haven't received your fist pistol. A small order of Frog Lube, or any lube or cleaning product for that matter, will probably last several years for the average shooter with just one gun. You'll never notice the cost of your lube/cleaning products compared to the other expenses associated with shooting.

Quibbling over a couple of bucks for lube/cleaning products is just silly economy. You're buying a $600 pistol. A box of range ammo will cost you $15-$20. Quality defensive ammo will cost you $25-$30 (for 20).

When can we expect the post looking for that $20 holster to put your brand new $600 pistol in?
Not open for further replies.