Best Gun Cleaning Solvents – The Top 10 Gun Cleaners

Bang-Inc is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As someone experienced in the field and having tested a variety of products, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper firearm maintenance. Dust, corrosion, and other types of grime can cause your firearm to fail when you need it most if not cleaned correctly. Regularly cleaning your gun with the right solvents not only prolongs its lifespan but also makes it safer to use. In this guide, I’m going to share my expertise on how to choose the best gun cleaner for your needs and the ones I personally recommend.

Choosing the Best Gun Cleaner

Why Do You Need to Use Solvents?

Speaking from years of experience, solvents are indispensable in gun maintenance. These are chemical solutions that have the ability to dissolve or break down materials. Specifically, gun solvents are formulated to dismantle carbon fouling, copper, lead, unburned powder, and other matter that cling to your gun, causing it to become dirty.

I’ve found that these products greatly simplify the task of cleaning your firearm. Using cleaning patches, they enable you to easily get rid of all that gun junk, leaving you with a clean weapon. They span from single-purpose products designed to dislodge all the powder and copper fouling in your barrel to multi-purpose products that can be employed for various tasks.

How Do Solvents Work?

Here’s how I use them. First, I apply some of the solvent to clean the inside of my bore and some to clean my brass or bronze brushes. If I’m using a bore snake, I also apply some to the snake’s tail.

Next, I use a bore snake or a cleaning rod to push the brush through the barrel, moving from the chamber to the muzzle to prevent dumping all of the loosened material into my firearm’s action.

I repeat this process about four to five more times to fully break down all the dirt and debris, reapplying bore cleaning or CLP as needed.

Here comes my favorite part. I pass cleaning patches through the barrel from the chamber to the muzzle using a cleaning rod and a slotted patch holder or a brass jag. I continue this process, using a new patch each time, until the patch comes out completely clean.

After that, I apply a bit of my cleaner to the area in concern and my cleaning brush. I brush off as much carbon fouling as possible before wiping it down with a microfiber cleaning cloth. I then apply some oil to the part to safeguard it and ensure it’s well lubricated.

At this point, I’m ready to reassemble my firearm. You might find it helpful to check out one of my articles about how often to clean your gun.

What Are The Different Types of Gun Cleaning Solvents?

From my trials and tests, I’ve come to understand there are several different types of cleaning solvents, each used in unique ways, yet functionally similar.

Gun Oil

After I’ve thoroughly cleaned and stripped my firearm of anything that could damage it, I typically use gun oil for “protection.” Following an intensive clean, not only firing residue but also skin oils and harmful environmental factors like dust and sand will be present on my weapon. Applying a layer of oil provides a protective barrier, preventing these contaminants from settling on my firearm again.

I’ve also noticed a significant advantage of using a cleaning oil – it seeps into the metal’s pores and eliminates any dirt that a solvent might have missed. Plus, a well-oiled gun dissipates heat more evenly, enhancing both your FPS and accuracy.

CLP Cleaners

CLP stands for Clean – Lubricate – Protect, in case you’re wondering. Cleaning firearms with CLPs is a modern, time-saving approach that I’ve come to appreciate. Years ago, these were seen as somewhat substandard, and I would have probably overlooked them.

However, in recent years, manufacturers have significantly improved the formulation of CLP cleaners, making them much more effective and dependable for eliminating fouling and lubricating your weapon.

I wouldn’t recommend using a CLP cleaner for a deep clean, and I’m sure many others in my field would agree. If you’re at the range and your semi-auto jams, you’re not going to disassemble it for a thorough cleaning. A few sprays of a CLP cleaner usually keeps you up and running for the rest of the day with minimal fuss and downtime. Through years of trial and testing, I can attest that these are practical solutions for quick and effective maintenance in the field.

The 10 Best Gun Cleaning Solvents

1. Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaning Solvent – The Best Gun Cleaning Solvent

Check Price on Amazon

One question that comes up often in my field is, “What sets Hoppe’s No. 9 apart as one of the best bore cleaners?” Having personally tested a myriad of solvents and cleaners, I can vouch for Hoppe’s No. 9 as an incredibly effective solution for powder, lead, metal fouling, and rust removal. During a recent hunting trip, I encountered a significant build-up of residue in my rifle. After applying Hoppe’s No. 9, the residue was effortlessly removed, highlighting its effectiveness in real-world scenarios. Boasting a history of over a century, Hoppe’s has mastered the art and science of manufacturing efficient bore cleaning solvents. Comparing it to other popular brands like Shooter’s Choice and Ballistol, I’ve noticed that Hoppe’s No. 9 tends to work faster and more thoroughly on heavy grime and fouling. However, it’s worth noting that for shooters who prefer a less potent smell, alternatives like Ballistol might be preferable.

Ease of Use and Efficacy

The majority of my colleagues and I prefer to clean our firearms using Hoppe’s No. 9 in conjunction with a CLP. Through my extensive usage and tests, I’ve observed that many prefer this solvent over a CLP, attributing its comparable efficiency as the key reason. I’ve found that it efficiently removes copper fouling, which can be a significant challenge with other products. However, I’ve noted that some beginners find the process slightly more labor-intensive compared to using CLP alone. As an experienced user, I appreciate the depth of cleaning Hoppe’s provides, but it’s essential to mention that novices might face a steeper learning curve in perfecting its use.

In my many years in the field, I’ve experimented with various CLPs, and it’s undeniable that Hoppe’s No. 9 stands out as the best bore cleaner. When compared to other products, such as Break-Free CLP, Hoppe’s demonstrates superior rust prevention, which is particularly notable in humid environments or for long-term storage. This was evident when I serviced several firearms that had been stored in a basement for months; Hoppe’s No. 9 prevented any rust formation.

A Memorable Scent

One of my favorite features of Hoppe’s No. 9 is the pleasant, distinctive scent it emits. Among the numerous cleaning solvents I’ve had the pleasure to work with, it boasts one of the most agreeable odors. However, this scent, while nostalgic to many shooters, might be overwhelming in confined spaces or for those sensitive to strong odors. In my small workshop, I’ve had to ensure adequate ventilation when using it, which can be a minor inconvenience. Ventilation is key when using this product indoors.

Versatility in Cleaning

Commonly, I use Hoppe’s bore cleaner with a boresnake. While boresnakes are not typically included in gun cleaning kits, their ability to facilitate swift firearm cleaning makes them indispensable. I vividly recall a specific instance where, after an intense firing session, I used a boresnake coupled with some Hoppe’s bore cleaner. What would usually take a considerable amount of time was efficiently executed within a minute. This process, known as a quick clean, is a testament to the time-saving capabilities of Hoppe’s No. 9. Despite its effectiveness, I’ve noticed that Hoppe’s may not be as effective on extremely old or neglected firearms where the fouling has hardened over time. In such cases, a more aggressive solvent might be necessary, or multiple applications of Hoppe’s may be required to achieve the desired results.


  • Emits a pleasant, distinctive scent
  • User-friendly and easy to use
  • Provides a comprehensive 3-in-1 package
  • Versatile, capable of cleaning all types of guns


  • Bottles may occasionally leak
  • Quantity may be inadequate for some as it comes in a small package
  • The strong scent can be overpowering for some users


Hoppe’s Elite gun cleaning kit, which includes a cleaner solution, lubricating oil, precision lubricator, and cotton cleaning patches, is a comprehensive solution for all gun cleaning needs. The product isn’t just a cleaner – it also provides protection to your firearm, preventing further damage. From my personal experience and rigorous tests, Hoppe’s No. 9 emerges as a top-tier product for firearm maintenance, offering a unique blend of efficiency, versatility, and protection. It’s also important to note that while it is highly effective, it requires proper handling and usage to achieve the best results. However, for those new to gun maintenance or sensitive to strong odors, there may be a need to consider alternative products. Overall, Hoppe’s No. 9 is a classic choice that combines tradition and effectiveness in gun care.

You can also check my article which thoroughly explains how to use a gun cleaning kit

2. BREAK FREE CLP Cleaner – The Best Gun Cleaner

Check Price on Amazon

I have tried an extensive range of CLP cleaners. Among these, the Break Free CLP has stood out remarkably, consistently garnering high praises from fellow gun owners as the most effective gun cleaning aerosol spray they have experienced. From my personal experience, I’ve found that its aerosol form also minimizes wastage and overspray, which is a common issue with traditional liquid cleaners. In comparison to other brands like Hoppe’s No. 9, Break Free CLP’s aerosol form offers a distinct advantage in terms of ease of application. However, it should be noted that for deep cleaning tasks, Break Free may require more product usage than its competitors, leading to faster depletion of the can.

Popularity and Market Trust

Break Free CLP has enjoyed immense popularity over the years, with reviews echoing its superior performance in a chorus of positive feedback. Its quality is such that the US Army relies on it for cleaning all their rifles, pistols, and a myriad of other weapons – a testament to its reliability. This reliability was particularly evident when I used it on older firearms, which often require more meticulous care; the Break Free CLP effectively cleaned and preserved them without causing any damage. However, it’s important to note that while it is highly effective for routine maintenance, it might not always be the best option for firearms that have been subjected to heavy use and require more intensive cleaning.

User Experience and Functionality

The Break Free CLP comes in two types of packaging: aerosol cans or spray bottles. For precision targeting on specific areas of the weapon, most users (including myself) prefer the aerosol spray variant, which comes with a small straw at the end. This design greatly enhances the ability to reach tight spaces in firearms, like the barrel’s interior or the action’s crevices. However, I have encountered occasional clogging issues with the straw, which can be frustrating during time-sensitive cleaning sessions.

During a particular testing session in extreme weather conditions, I was impressed by the performance of Break Free CLP. Its weather tolerance is exceptional, handling all climates with ease, which likely explains its soaring popularity. I noticed that it did not thicken or gum up in low temperatures, a common problem with some lubricants. Whether you’re hunting in the chill of snow or enduring the scorching heat, Break Free CLP stands firm, effectively tolerating temperature, humidity, and heat extremes without drying out. This versatility is a significant advantage over some other products that tend to become less effective or even freeze in colder temperatures.

Brand Reputation and Additional Products

Break Free is a brand with a rich legacy in the gun cleaning market, recognized even by older generations. The company doesn’t limit itself to aerosol applications but also offers pre-saturated gun oil wipes for those lacking access to a soft rag. While convenient for quick clean-ups, I’ve found these wipes somewhat less saturated than I would prefer, requiring multiple wipes for a thorough clean. This product diversity is appreciated in the field. Further solidifying their reputation, Mossy Oak has co-branded the CLP gun oil wipes, a powerful endorsement for an already highly acclaimed oil company. Despite this, some users might find the oil wipes less effective for heavy-duty cleaning compared to the liquid spray.


  • Effectively prevents rust owing to its corrosion inhibitors
  • Performs excellently in heat and cold without drying up
  • Offers value for money with its relatively inexpensive price tag


  • The spray control from the bottle and regulation of oil dispensed can be challenging
  • Some users might experience a residue build-up in extremely humid conditions
  • The aerosol straw is prone to clogging, requiring occasional maintenance


Break Free’s gun cleaning solution shines with its unique formulation adept at eliminating the residues left by firearms. The inclusion of corrosion inhibitors in its composition effectively prevents rust from forming on metal surfaces. From my personal testing and experience, it’s clear that the Break Free CLP Cleaner lives up to its reputation, offering a durable, reliable, and effective solution to firearm maintenance. While its performance is generally outstanding, users need to be mindful of the occasional maintenance required for the aerosol straw and the potential for residue build-up in very humid conditions.

If you are interested to learn more about gun cleaning please check my review about how to clean an AR-15.

3. Hoppe’s Elite Gun Cleaner Spray Bottle

Check Price on Amazon

Hoppe’s Elite Gun Cleaner in its convenient spray bottle form has proved to be a highly potent solution for dissolving various gun fouling.

Performance and Efficiency

Hoppe’s Elite is adept at swiftly removing powder, primer, lead, and metal fouling, restoring your firearm to its optimal state and preventing corrosion. The product acts quickly once applied, ensuring your firearm is ready for use in no time. Compared to other cleaners like Break-Free CLP, Hoppe’s Elite Gun Cleaner is notably more efficient in removing tough residues, though it might require a bit more scrubbing for aged or heavily fouled firearms. I found that using a nylon brush in conjunction with the cleaner significantly improved the removal of stubborn deposits, making the process more manageable. This scrubbing can be a bit tedious, but the results are worth the effort.

During one of my testing sessions, I noticed that despite its quick penetration into every crevice of the firearm, the cleaner required only a small amount to complete the procedure. I used it on a semi-automatic shotgun after a long day of shooting clays, and it effectively cleaned the bolt and barrel with minimal effort. This high-viscosity oil has been formulated to be suitable not only for firearms but also for fishing reels and other precision instruments, demonstrating its versatility. However, it’s essential to note that while it’s versatile, it may not perform as well on non-firearm items compared to specialized cleaners for those specific tools.

What stood out was its longevity – even when left unopened for months, the solvent maintained its quality and didn’t gum, harden, or turn rancid. This was particularly useful for me, as I often go for extended periods without needing to clean my firearms, and finding the cleaner in perfect condition is always a relief. This aspect is particularly beneficial for casual shooters who don’t clean their firearms frequently.

Package and Customer Service

Hoppe’s Elite comes in a 14.9-milliliter container, paired with a precision lubricator to ensure accurate application without spillage or mess. Moreover, the package includes 40 two-inch square patches made of tightly woven cloth with a high thread count, designed to work the solvent effectively into your firearm. However, some users might find the 14.9-milliliter bottle too small for extensive use, necessitating frequent purchases.

Additionally, the product comes with a lifetime guarantee – a testament to the company’s confidence in its product. The customer service team has been very responsive and helpful whenever I had any queries or issues. For instance, when I had questions about the product’s composition, they provided detailed and informative responses that enhanced my understanding of its proper usage. In a scenario where I encountered a defective spray nozzle, their customer service promptly provided a replacement, enhancing my overall experience with the brand.

Click on this article if you want to learn more about cleaning your pistol.


  • Requires only a small amount to be effective
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Retains its quality even when stored for extended periods
  • Effectively cleans a wide range of fouling types


  • Some users, including myself, found it challenging to dispense the desired amount from the bottle
  • The bottle size might be too small for heavy users
  • May require more effort for cleaning heavily fouled or aged firearms


Hoppe’s Elite Gun Cleaner is a fantastic solvent that provides a powerful, safe, and straightforward cleaning process. Its capability to deeply penetrate and swiftly clean carbon lead buildup in the barrel is exceptional. Besides, it protects your firearm by addressing carbon fouling, copper fouling with a copper brush, and loosening abrasive material without negatively affecting the polymer frame or firearm components. The ergonomic design of the bottle could be improved for easier handling and application, especially during prolonged cleaning sessions. If you’re in search of an effective, reliable firearm cleaner, Hoppe’s Elite is a worthy contender. While it excels in its cleaning capabilities, users should be prepared for potential challenges with dispensing and the need for additional scrubbing on tougher jobs.

4. Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil

Check Price on Amazon

I’ve experimented with a multitude of gun cleaning products. Among these, Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil stands out, not only because it’s Amazon’s top pick for the best gun cleaner lubricant, but also due to its impressive performance.

Reputation and Popularity

Hoppe’s No. 9 has earned its place as a popular choice among gun owners, and it’s not hard to see why. The brand has been in operation for a significant length of time, and it has consistently developed an impressive range of gun cleaning solutions. In comparison to newer brands that have entered the market, such as M-Pro 7 and Tetra Gun lubricants, Hoppe’s No. 9 has maintained its position due to its longstanding reputation and proven effectiveness. I’ve used it on a variety of firearms, from shotguns to rifles, and found its versatility unmatched. However, some users might find these newer alternatives more appealing due to their less pronounced scent and more modern packaging.

One day, I combined this oil with Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner and cotton swabs with wooden handles. The result? A superb cleaning performance that left me thoroughly impressed. This combination of products has become one of the most common Cleaner-Lubricant-Protectant (CLP) blends for me and many other gun owners. The oil’s non-gumming nature was particularly effective on the moving parts of semi-automatic firearms, enhancing their smooth operation. Notably, when I used this blend on older firearms, I observed that it performed exceptionally well, making it particularly suitable for antique or collectible guns that require gentle yet effective maintenance.

Quality and Performance

What sets Hoppe’s No. 9 apart is its use of synthetic materials, which differentiates it from many other lubricants on the market. This synthetic substance has been a favorite product of Hoppe’s for nearly a century, and it has become a staple for many users, including myself. The synthetic base also means it’s less likely to solidify or become tacky over time, a common issue with some traditional oil-based lubricants.

The longevity of this product on the market is not without reason – Hoppe’s has spent a considerable amount of time perfecting and testing this lubricant. Now, it’s recognized as one of the best lubricants and protectants available. During a hunting trip in the mountains, I found that it maintained its effectiveness even in below-freezing temperatures, something not all gun lubricants can claim. Its performance in extreme weather conditions is noteworthy. Unlike some oils that thicken in cold weather or become too runny in hot conditions, Hoppe’s No. 9 maintains a consistent viscosity.


  • Safe for frequent use without negative impact on your weapon
  • Reasonably priced
  • Suitable for cleaning all types of guns
  • Maintains consistent viscosity in extreme weather conditions


  • Some users, including myself, found the lingering smell on the gun less than pleasant


Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil, backed by a brand heritage dating back to 1903, offers a reliable, effective, and thorough cleaning solution for all types of firearms.

The formula has been meticulously crafted to penetrate deep into your firearm, providing quick and comprehensive cleaning. Beyond mere cleaning, it also adds a layer of protection for future use. Packaged in a 32-ounce bottle with a child-resistant cap, it’s a product that adds value with safety in mind.

If you’re searching for a dependable, high-quality firearm cleaning and lubricating solution, Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil certainly deserves consideration. However, users who are sensitive to odors might want to consider this factor before purchase. Despite the minor issue of its lingering smell, the product’s overall performance remains exemplary.

If you want to learn more about gun cleaning please check my article on how to use Hoppe’s gun cleaning kit

5. CLP by Sage & Braker

Check Price on Amazon

From the first moment I held the bottle of Sage & Braker’s CLP in my hands, I understood the thoughtfulness behind its name: Clean, Lube, and Protect. Over time, this product has justified its name through its performance.

Product Performance

After a long day at the shooting range, cleaning my firearms was always a tedious task. However, Sage & Braker’s CLP changed that narrative. Once I started using this solvent, I noticed that my cleaning time had been significantly reduced, almost by half. For instance, cleaning my AR-15 used to take about an hour, but with Sage & Braker’s CLP, I was done in about 30 minutes. This efficiency is particularly noticeable when compared to traditional solvents, which often require multiple applications and a longer time to break down residues. However, it’s worth mentioning that for extremely fouled firearms, Sage & Braker’s CLP might need a bit more elbow grease compared to more aggressive cleaners.

A distinct quality that won me over was its compatibility with a bore snake. The smooth application ensured a comprehensive clean. I specifically noticed this when cleaning the bore of a .22 caliber rifle; the CLP made the bore snake glide effortlessly, removing grime and residue with ease. Moreover, for those seeking a meticulous cleaning, you’d be delighted to know that this solvent works just as excellently with brushes. During my tests with various firearms, including both rifles and pistols, the CLP performed consistently, proving its versatility.

One of the aspects that set this product apart for me was its special design to resist dust accumulation. This feature might seem small, but it is indeed a game changer. I was initially skeptical, but over time, I observed the results firsthand – it effectively kept dust at bay. This was particularly evident on my outdoor hunting trips, where my firearms were exposed to dusty conditions. In comparison to other products like Ballistol, which tend to attract a bit more dust, Sage & Braker’s formula offers a clear advantage in maintaining a cleaner firearm over time.

Aroma and Other Attributes

One more remarkable feature, albeit subjective, is its scent. While some may find it potent, others (myself included) find it rather appealing, akin to the allure of gunpowder. The fragrance added a sense of nostalgia to the cleaning process, though I must admit it might linger longer than desired. However, for users sensitive to strong smells, this might be a deterrent. The aroma is distinctly different from the more neutral scents of products like Hoppe’s No. 9.


  • Enjoys a strong base of loyal users, indicating reliability
  • Budget-friendly, offering great value for money
  • Non-toxic and non-hazardous, enhancing safety
  • Protects against corrosion and rust, ensuring longevity of firearms
  • Significantly reduces cleaning time compared to traditional solvents
  • Effective with both bore snakes and brushes for thorough cleaning


  • Possesses a strong odor, which might not be preferred by all
  • Requires a downtime after each use, which could slow down the cleaning process
  • May need additional effort for heavily fouled firearms
  • Can be less effective at dust resistance than some competing products


CLP by Sage & Braker is a comprehensive cleaning solution designed to penetrate and coat every working part of your firearm. This not only ensures thorough cleaning but also contributes to the firearm’s safety and reliability.

The product’s unique formulation enhances the performance of your firearm by facilitating efficient heat dissipation among its various components. Its ability to maintain consistent performance in different environmental conditions was particularly impressive. After using this cleaner for a few sessions, I noticed an improvement in my shooting precision, a testament to the product’s effectiveness.

So, if you’re on the lookout for a trustworthy and efficient gun cleaning solution, I highly recommend considering CLP by Sage & Braker. While it might require a downtime after each use and has a strong scent, its overall benefits outweigh these minor drawbacks. It’s a product that truly lives up to its promise to clean, lube, and protect.

6. Breakthrough Clean Military-Grade Gun Cleaning Solvent

Check Price on Amazon

Stepping into the world of gun maintenance products, the Breakthrough Clean Technologies Military-Grade Solvent comes as a breath of fresh air. Even though it’s relatively new to the scene, this cleaning solvent quickly stood out in my arsenal due to its impressive efficiency and standards compliance. Crafted with the capability to meet and surpass US and NATO military standards, this product not only talks the talk but walks the walk.

Combat-Ready and Practical

I remember an instance during an extended day at the shooting range, wherein one of my semi-automatic weapons began malfunctioning due to excessive buildup of gunk and dirt. Armed with my trusty Breakthrough Clean solvent, I was able to quickly restore the gun to its fully functional state. This was particularly evident when I had to clean a bolt carrier group, notorious for accumulating stubborn carbon deposits; the solvent made the job significantly easier. The fact that this solvent was designed with military-grade specs in mind was evident in the ease and speed with which it cut through the stubborn grime. This performance was particularly noteworthy when compared to other cleaners I’ve used, such as Hoppe’s No. 9 or Ballistol, which sometimes require more applications or longer soaking times for similar results. However, it’s important to note that Breakthrough Clean may require a bit more product per use to achieve the same level of cleanliness.

This compact bottle is an excellent companion for field operations, shooting classes, or even casual hunts, given its performance in keeping firearms in top shape. The ergonomic design of the bottle also made it easy to handle and apply, even in outdoor conditions or when wearing gloves.

Friendly to a Variety of Materials

One of the unique traits of this solvent is its pH neutrality. This means it won’t cause any harm or discoloration to various components of the firearm, whether it’s wood, plastic, or metal. I found this particularly beneficial when cleaning firearms with delicate finishes, such as a vintage rifle with a wooden stock, which remained undamaged and intact. During my usage, I did not notice any stains or damage, which speaks volumes about its non-toxic nature. In comparison to some other solvents that can be harsher on certain materials, especially on wooden parts or certain polymers, Breakthrough Clean’s gentle formula is a significant advantage.


  • Ideal for quick, on-the-go cleaning
  • Non-toxic and pH neutral, ensuring safety for various materials
  • Made to meet rigorous US military standards
  • Ergonomic bottle design for ease of use in various conditions
  • Performs well against other leading brands with fewer applications needed


  • May not achieve an extremely deep clean on the first application
  • Potentially requires more product per use for optimal results
  • The cost per volume may be higher compared to some other brands


Based on my personal testing and experiences, the Breakthrough Gun Cleaning Solvent stands as a solid choice for firearm maintenance. The product’s ease of use coupled with its effectiveness in cleaning firing mechanisms and other moving parts of firearms makes it a reliable go-to cleaner.

In comparison to other top-rated cleaners, Breakthrough promises to deliver the same level of effectiveness in half the time, a claim it lived up to during my testing. Its distinctive ability to penetrate metal pores, remove pollutants, and break down carbon deposits positions it as a dependable asset for any gun enthusiast’s cleaning kit, despite the need for possible multiple applications for a deeper clean. The solvent’s performance in removing lead and copper fouling was particularly commendable. The balanced formulation, which is gentle on various materials and offers quick, effective cleaning, makes it an excellent choice, though the quantity used and cost should be considered.

7. Ballistol Multi-Purpose Lubricant Cleaner Protectant

Check Price on Amazon

The legacy of Ballistol dates back to the early 20th century, when Friedrich Klever and his son Dr. Helmurt Klever were commissioned by the German Imperial Army. Their task? To create an oil with multifaceted capabilities: cleaning, preserving, and protecting metal rifle components, wooden stocks, and leather gear. Having used Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil myself, I can confidently attest to the ingenuity of the Klevers’ creation.

A Century-Old Solution for Modern Use

Ballistol’s original formula is contained in this easy-to-use aerosol spray, which I found perfect for swift and efficient cleaning. I once came across an old, corroded rifle at an estate sale, which was in desperate need of some care. During the cleaning process, I noticed that Ballistol not only cleaned the metal parts effectively but also rejuvenated the wooden stock, restoring some of its original luster. Upon applying Ballistol, I was amazed at how effectively it eliminated bore fouling, black powder, and corrosive ammo residue, courtesy of its alkaline formulation. In my experience, while Ballistol performs admirably on a wide range of fouling, it can sometimes be less effective than more aggressive solvents like Hoppe’s No. 9 on extremely heavy carbon build-up. This necessitates multiple applications or a longer soaking time for tough jobs.

What sets Ballistol apart is its universal application. It is not only safe to use on all metals but also remarkably adept at dissolving copper, zinc, lead, and tombac. Once applied, Ballistol initiates its action by attacking and melting the deposits within the barrel. Interestingly, I also found it quite effective in neutralizing acidic residues from fingerprints on metal surfaces, thereby preventing corrosion. Moreover, its ability to preserve wooden stocks and protect leather without leaving a greasy residue makes it unique compared to more specialized products. However, it is essential to note that for pure lubrication purposes, specialized lubricants may offer better long-term performance.


  • Skin-friendly formulation, ensuring your safety during handling
  • Naturally sourced and biodegradable, endorsing environmental consciousness
  • Can be applied to a wide variety of items, including tools, leather, and outdoor gear
  • Effectively removes a range of fouling with its alkaline formula


  • Not odorless, and the scent might not appeal to everyone
  • May require multiple applications for heavy carbon build-up
  • Specialized lubricants might surpass it in pure lubrication efficac


The Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil Aerosol Spray, beyond being a highly effective gun cleaner, serves as a reliable companion for anyone with an assortment of tools and outdoor equipment. As a bore cleaning solution, it not only maintains and lubricates your weapons but also helps extend their lifespan and enhance their dependability. Its performance on mixed-material items, such as knives with metal blades and wooden handles, was particularly impressive. Whether you’re dealing with a prized firearm or a set of worn-out leather boots, this multi-purpose oil has you covered. However, do note that the distinct scent might not be pleasing to everyone, but given the product’s performance, it’s a minor trade-off. Its versatility in handling a variety of materials is commendable, though for certain specific tasks, other specialized products might be needed.

8. Slip 2000 EWL 4oz.

Check Price on Amazon

Having had the opportunity to test out a wide array of gun maintenance products, it’s not very often I come across a product that elicits as much praise from users as the Slip 2000 EWL. This compact lubricant has the exceptional ability to adapt to a variety of extreme weather conditions, making it an essential part of my kit when I go on hunting expeditions. Whether it’s under the sweltering heat or in the freezing cold, this lubricant has proven itself reliable time and time again.

Weather Resilience and Performance

One particular incident that demonstrated Slip 2000’s impressive performance was during a mid-winter hunting trip in Alaska. Temperatures were well below freezing, a scenario that could cripple many other gun cleaning chemicals. For example, when cleaning a bolt-action rifle in such cold conditions, the Slip 2000 EWL made the action notably smoother and more reliable. While others in my group struggled with gelled-up aerosol cans, my Slip 2000 EWL was ready to go. Unlike many other CLPs that are easily affected by such harsh conditions, the Slip 2000 EWL maintained its viscosity, facilitating an easy gun cleaning experience. This resilience is a notable contrast to some oils like traditional mineral oils, which can thicken in cold weather. However, in extremely hot conditions, I noticed that it tends to run a bit more than thicker lubricants like grease-based ones, which might require more frequent reapplication.

Versatility and Safety

Another aspect that makes Slip 2000 EWL truly stand out is its ability to be applied to a multitude of surfaces without causing any damage. From wood to metal and plastic components, this lubricant performed admirably without causing any degradation. It was particularly effective in preserving the finish of wooden gun stocks, which are often susceptible to damage from harsh chemicals. The safety factor is also a great advantage, as the lubricant doesn’t burn off like many petroleum-based products. It has a unique composition that prevents adhesion to copper, carbon, plastic, or lead. This not only makes your gun run more smoothly but also cuts clean-up time by up to 50%. Its compatibility with different materials is particularly advantageous when compared to more specialized lubricants that might require different products for different parts of a gun.

Moreover, the Slip 2000 EWL is conveniently packaged to fit into most hard-shell gun cases. This proved useful during my trips, as I could quickly lubricate my gun on-the-go. The bottle’s size made it particularly handy for backpacking trips, where space is at a premium. The ergonomic design of the bottle with its precision nozzle made it easy to apply the lubricant without over-applying, although its thin consistency can make it slightly tricky to control the flow at times.


  • Excellent at reducing friction
  • Resilient to burning unlike many petroleum-based products
  • Does not attract dirt or sand, enhancing cleanliness
  • Non-toxic, ensuring user safety
  • Maintains performance in extreme weather conditions
  • Versatile for use on various gun materials


  • The lubricant can be a bit messy due to its thin consistency
  • May require reapplication in very hot conditions
  • Flow control can be challenging due to its thinness


After careful assessment and personal experience, I can vouch for the effectiveness and reliability of the Slip 2000 EWL 4oz. This product is specifically designed to protect your gun from corrosion, ensuring longevity and smooth operation. Given its unique properties of not attracting dust, sand, or dirt, your rifle will be free from debris build-up, thereby enhancing your shooting experience. It’s particularly suitable for those who frequent varying climates and need a versatile, reliable gun care solution. Despite its thin consistency that can be a tad messy, the overall benefits outweigh this minor downside. Its adaptability to different weather conditions and ease of application, even with its slightly runny nature, make it a strong contender in the realm of gun lubricants.

9. Lucas Oil Gun Oil

Check Price on Amazon

I’ve tried and tested a wide range of products for maintaining my arsenal. Of these, Lucas Oil Gun Oil holds a distinct place, mainly due to its unique characteristics and significant effectiveness. Designed as a scent-free lubricant, Lucas Oil Gun Oil has proven to be a reliable companion for my hunting expeditions, especially where scent management is paramount.

Application and Performance

I recall a recent deer hunting trip where scent control was critical to success. That’s where Lucas Oil Gun Oil came to my rescue. This odorless lubricant, when applied just sparingly on the bolt of my rifle, did wonders in preventing any potential jamming or overheating. In fact, during one long day in the field, I noticed that my bolt-action rifle operated smoother and with less noise compared to previous hunts, which I attributed to the effective lubrication from Lucas Oil. Compared to other oils like Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil, which has a noticeable aroma, Lucas Oil’s scent-free property gave me a significant advantage in not alerting wildlife. However, for firearms with extremely high friction points, I found that reapplication might be necessary more frequently than with heavier oils like Slip 2000 EWL.

This oil isn’t your typical CLP; it’s primarily a lubricant, so cleaning your firearm before application is important. During this hunting trip, I first used my trusty Hoppe’s No 9 gun cleaner to thoroughly clean my firearm. Afterwards, I applied Lucas Gun Oil for lubrication, ensuring smooth operation throughout my hunt. The oil’s ability to adhere to the metal surfaces without creating a sticky residue was notable, especially on the moving parts like the trigger assembly and bolt rails. The synergy between Hoppe’s cleaner and Lucas Oil proved effective, although it did require a two-step process unlike all-in-one solutions like Break-Free CLP.

Quantity and Longevity

What I found truly remarkable about Lucas Gun Oil was how just a few drops went a long way. This was especially evident when I used it on my semi-automatic shotgun, which usually consumes lubricant quickly; Lucas Oil maintained its effectiveness even after several rounds of rapid firing. Unlike other products that require constant reapplication, this oil lasts for a considerable length of time, making it an economical choice for firearm owners. Its viscosity is also ideal for a wide range of temperatures, maintaining a consistent performance where some other oils might thicken or run too freely.


  • Excellent performance on high-volume firearms
  • Provides protection against corrosion and rust
  • Resists drying, ensuring long-lasting application
  • Facilitates easy cleaning
  • Scent-free, making it ideal for hunting scenarios
  • Economical due to the small amount needed per application


  • Requires a separate CLP product for a comprehensive clean and protect routine
  • May need more frequent reapplication in high-friction firearms
  • The two-step cleaning and lubrication process can be less convenient


In my experience, Lucas Oil Gun Oil has established itself as a sturdy and reliable firearm maintenance solution. Its unique formulation of petroleum-based additives and oil excels in handling high-heat, high-friction, and high-volume weaponry, providing excellent burn-off resistance.

Whether it’s a shotgun, semi-automatic rifle, or a fully automatic firearm, this lubricant holds its own, effectively reducing friction and providing a protective layer against corrosion or rust. The product’s scent-free nature also adds to its versatility, making it a top choice for hunters who require stealth. Despite the need for a separate CLP for complete firearm care, Lucas Oil Gun Oil’s performance and longevity make it a valuable addition to any firearm owner’s maintenance kit. Its scent-free property and compatibility with a variety of firearms enhance its utility, especially in hunting scenarios, despite the occasional need for additional applications or a separate cleaning product.

If you are interested please check out my article explaining how to clean a shotgun.

10. Tetra Gun Grease

Check Price on Amazon

I understand the importance of proper storage and maintenance for the longevity and performance of my weapons. That’s where Tetra Gun Grease comes into play. After testing this product thoroughly, I can confidently attest to its efficacy in protecting firearms during long-term storage.

Ensuring Longevity: Application and Performance

One thing that struck me about Tetra Gun Grease is its similarity to the sheen of grease found on a brand new firearm. This familiar sight is typically a manufacturer’s way of preventing rust formation, especially while the firearm is sitting on the store shelf. Tetra Gun Grease effectively replicates this protection. Compared to lighter oils like Ballistol or Lucas Gun Oil, which tend to run or dry out faster, Tetra Gun Grease’s thicker consistency stays in place, providing a more durable protective layer. I found it particularly effective on areas like the slide of a pistol and the action of a rifle, where it stayed put and provided continuous lubrication without seeping away. However, it is important to note that due to its viscosity, it requires more effort to apply evenly compared to these thinner lubricants.

I remember a specific instance when I had to store my handgun for an extended period. After thoroughly cleaning it, I applied a layer of Tetra Gun Grease. Despite its initial strong odor, which faded after approximately 24 hours, the grease provided an effective protective layer, warding off any potential rust or corrosion. This was especially noticeable on the metal parts of the gun, which remained rust-free and in excellent condition even after several months of storage. This feature is particularly beneficial for firearms that are not used frequently but require reliable protection against environmental factors.

A Reliable Choice for Long-Term Storage

Tetra Gun Grease has a clear advantage over oils for long-term firearm storage. Oils can harden or evaporate over time, which can potentially damage your weapon. With Tetra Gun Grease, this worry is eliminated as it remains consistent, ensuring your firearm stays well-protected for years. Moreover, its performance in humid environments was impressive, as it prevented moisture-related damage effectively. However, remember to clean your firearm with a CLP before using it again to remove any residual grease. The consistency of the grease ensures that it stays where you apply it, ideal for protecting seldom-used firearms or those in challenging storage conditions.


  • Offers reliable protection for long-term firearm storage
  • Effectively prevents corrosion and rust formation
  • Thicker consistency provides a durable protective layer
  • Ideal for firearms stored in various environmental conditions


  • Comes with a strong odor, though it fades after about a day
  • Requires more effort for even application due to its viscosity
  • Necessitates thorough cleaning before reuse to remove residue

In my journey of firearm care, Tetra Gun Grease has proven to be a valuable asset. It’s a worthwhile investment for any firearm owner looking to prevent significant corrosion and ensure the longevity of their weapons. Despite its initially strong smell, the protection it offers for an extended period is remarkable, making it an indispensable part of my gun care routine. Its application might be more labor-intensive, but the results are well worth the effort. The ease of use, coupled with its long-lasting protection, undoubtedly places Tetra Gun Grease among the best in the market. Its ability to provide a robust protective layer for firearms in various storage conditions, while requiring some extra effort in application and removal, adds to its value as a comprehensive firearm maintenance product.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use to Clean A Gun?

There are a few essential items to keep on hand when cleaning a rifle. To begin, you’ll need a lubricant or cleaning solution that will loosen and remove any residue or debris that has accumulated. You’ll also need a cleaning pad to keep your workspace clean and small, soft cloths to clean the gun’s various components.

Should I Keep My Pets and Children Away?

Many cleansers and solvents are harmful, which should go without saying. If you’re going to leave your chemicals or guns in a room while doing something else, be sure no children or animals can get in.

When you’re done cleaning, ensure all of your solvents and firearms are safely stored away from children and animals.

Should I Use Protective Clothing?

As previously stated, most cleansers include ammonia and other chemicals that can cause caustic burns. It’s preferable for your health to clean your firearm in a well-ventilated location. To avoid any mishaps, we recommend wearing goggles when utilizing sprays.

If you find that the solvents irritate your skin, rubber gloves are a blessing. It will also safeguard your hands in the long run.

Is Gun Bore Cleaner The Same As Solvent?

Yes, gun bore cleaner and solvent are the same thing. It may remove fouling and grime from the bore as well as other firearm parts. It cleans, lubricates, and protects your bore against corrosion, carbon build-up, and lead poisoning.

Can I Take My Gun Cleaning Solvent Outside?

Yes, as certain bottles come in handy, you can take your cleaning solvent with you when shooting outside. It can be used for any tool mechanism in addition to a gun. However, because gun cleaning may necessitate a significant amount of preparation and materials, it would be difficult to utilize it when shooting outside.

Can I Use WD-40 To Clean A Gun?

Cleaning a gun with WD-40 is not recommended. WD 40 does not lubricate your rifle, unlike cleansers and lubricants specifically designed for use with weapons. It does not leave any oily residue within your weapon, which could cause it to overheat or hinder the parts from functioning properly, because it is meant to evaporate and leave a dry surface.

WD-40 attracts dust, which can accumulate inside your pistol and cause issues.

Can I Clean My Gun Too Much?

Cleaning a gun more frequently should not harm it. A gun cleaner cleans your gun by removing dust, filth, and other contaminants. This will prevent these contaminants from accumulating inside your pistol, which could cause it to malfunction or affect your accuracy.

Cleaning a gun also ensures that it is properly oiled. This ensures that all of the gun’s many components function properly and cooperatively.

Leave a Comment