All about Gun Cleaning

Cleaning Guns with WD40?




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Anyone who has been cleaning guns since their first pot shooter will probably tell you that using a bit of WD-40 to clean your gun isn’t going to cause any immediate harm.

Wondering if WD-40 is a good way to clean your gun? Good news! In this article, you’ll get an expert’s opinion. Learn why traditional cleaning methods are better for keeping your gun in the best condition! Find out why WD-40 might not be the best choice.

WD-40 WD-40 Multi-Use Product Spray with Smart Straw

What is WD-40?

WD-40 is a great lubricant for various purposes. It prevents rust and corrosion, plus it loosens stuck parts. Its special formula helps it reach deep into machinery or equipment, to give effective lubrication.

People often ask if WD-40 is good for cleaning guns. While it can remove dirt, it’s mainly a lubricant. It won’t take out lead residue and other gun messes.

The best way to clean guns is with specialized solvents or bore cleaners. These break down and remove lead build-up, carbon, and other gun residue. They also protect barrels, slides, and triggers.

Also, use soft brushes and patch holders with the solvents. The brushes help remove debris, and the patch holders make it easy to apply solvent-soaked patches. Clean your gun regularly with the right tools and solvents, for optimal condition.

Or, skip all that and just leave your gun outdoors during a rainstorm! Nature’s free gun cleaning service. (That’s a joke, by the way!)

What are the benefits of using WD-40 to clean your gun?

WD-40 offers several advantages when used to clean guns. First, it lubricates, reducing friction between moving parts. Second, it prevents rust through corrosion protection. Lastly, it removes dirt, grime, and contaminants. Thus, it’s a convenient and efficient way to maintain gun longevity. Plus, it is safe for firearms if used properly.

Using WD-40 for gun cleaning is advised by experienced gun owners. It penetrates tight spots and is lightweight, not leaving residue. Yet, it may not be the best option for deep cleaning and removing heavy fouling. Specialized gun cleaning solvents may be more suitable for these purposes.

Experts suggest using WD-40 as a supplement to dedicated gun cleaning products. Combining its benefits with those from other solvents and oils tailored specifically for firearms will ensure thorough cleaning and proper care.

Gun Digest magazine recommends applying a light coat of WD-40 after regular cleaning to protect against moisture and corrosion in storage conditions. So, don’t forget WD-40 when maintaining your guns! It may turn them into slippery murder weapons, but what’s the worst that could happen?

What are the risks of using WD-40 to clean your gun?

Using WD-40 to clean your gun can be risky. It doesn’t remove dirt and residue like specialized gun cleaning solvents. It also leaves a film that attracts dust, which can affect performance. Over time, it can cause malfunctions or damage components. Plus, it can corrode and deteriorate metal surfaces by removing protective oils.

It’s important to be aware of the potential accidents and injuries that can happen with improper use of WD-40. It is flammable and could be dangerous if exposed to an ignition source.

Many gun manufacturers advise against using WD-40 for cleaning due to its risks. They recommend using dedicated gun solvents specifically formulated for firearms maintenance.

So, cleaning your gun with WD-40 is not advisable. It comes with potential risks like inadequate cleaning, corrosion, and safety hazards. To ensure optimal performance and longevity, it’s best to follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning products and techniques.

How can you safely use WD-40 to clean your gun?

To safely clean your gun using WD-40, follow these steps:

  1. Unload and disassemble the gun.
  2. Put WD-40 on a cloth or brush.
  3. Gently clean the exterior of the gun.
  4. Use WD-40-soaked patches to clean the barrel.
  5. Wipe off any extra WD-40.
  6. Reassemble the gun and apply a thin layer of gun oil.

Remember to always work in a ventilated area away from open flames or sparks.

WD-40 is not specifically designed for cleaning guns, so use a specialized cleaner for a more thorough clean.

Shooting Illustrated claims that using WD-40 as part of regular gun maintenance can help prevent rust and corrosion and provide lubrication.

If you’re looking for alternative cleaning methods, toothpaste is an option, but it may leave your gun with a minty fresh breath and a love of cavities.

What are some other ways to clean your gun?

It’s important to know the various ways to clean your gun, other than using WD-40. Here are some effective ones:

  • Soap and Water: Mix mild soap and warm water to clean most parts of the gun. Remember to dry it afterwards.
  • Gun Cleaning Solvent: Get a solvent designed for firearms to dissolve dirt, grime and residue. Read instructions before using.
  • Bore Brushes and Rods: Use a brush attached to a rod to remove fouling from the barrel. Choose one that matches the gun’s caliber.
  • Patches and Jags: Use solvent with these to remove particles from the barrel. This will help accuracy.
  • Cotton Swabs and Toothbrushes: Reach small crevices and corners with these. Use with cleaning solvents.
  • Lubrication: After cleaning, lubricate moving parts with high-quality gun oil or grease.

Some more tips to maintain a firearm:

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when cleaning.
  2. Disassemble the gun before cleaning.

These methods work because they target different aspects of gun maintenance. Soap and water dissolve debris, while solvents break down residue. Bore brushes remove fouling in the barrel, providing an accurate shot. Patches and jags clean hard-to-access areas. Cotton swabs and toothbrushes help clean intricate areas. Lastly, lubrication reduces friction between moving parts, preventing wear and tear.

With these cleaning methods, you can ensure the performance and longevity of your firearm.

What are the pros and cons of using WD-40 to clean your gun?

Lubricates and reduces frictionDoesn’t remove dirt and residue effectively
Provides corrosion protectionLeaves a film that attracts dust
Removes dirt, grime, and contaminantsMay cause malfunctions or damage components
Convenient and efficient to useCan corrode and deteriorate metal surfaces
Safe for firearms when used properlyPotential safety hazards due to flammability
Penetrates tight spotsNot recommended by many gun manufacturers
Lightweight and doesn’t leave residueMay not be suitable for deep cleaning or heavy fouling removal
Can be used as a supplement to dedicated gun cleaning products 

It’s important to note that the cons associated with using WD-40 for gun cleaning outweigh the pros, especially when compared to specialized gun cleaning solvents. Proper care and maintenance of firearms are best achieved by following manufacturer guidelines and using products specifically formulated for gun cleaning.


Debates rage on whether WD-40 is a wise choice for gun cleaning. It’s important to think of pros and cons before making a decision.

WD-40 is a common multi-purpose lubricant. People have used it for various purposes over the years. It can remove dirt and grime from some surfaces, but its compatibility with firearms is questionable. Some worry that chemicals in WD-40 might harm parts or reduce their effectiveness.

Yet, many gun owners have used it without any issues. When used sparingly and followed up with proper cleaning and oiling, it can give good results. Plus, it’s convenient and affordable.

In World War II, soldiers found WD-40 could protect firearms from corrosion in rough conditions. This led to increased use among servicemen and ultimately made it into civilian life.


When should you not use WD-40?

WD-40 should not be used as a gun lubricant because it is not designed for firearms. It may attract dust, dirt, and cause malfunctions. For guns, use specific gun lubricants designed to withstand the stresses of shooting.

What oil can I use to clean my gun?

You can use specialized gun oils or synthetic oils designed for firearms cleaning and lubrication. These oils offer better protection against wear, corrosion, and provide smoother operation.

What is safe to clean a gun with?

A mild solvent, specifically designed for firearms, is safe to clean a gun. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the gun’s finish or internal components. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

What do Navy Seals use for guns?

Navy SEALs often use a variety of firearms based on mission requirements. They commonly use reliable and proven guns like the Sig Sauer P226, HK416, and other specialized weapons suitable for specific tasks.

Is it OK to oil your gun with WD-40?

No, using WD-40 on guns is not recommended. WD-40 is not a proper gun lubricant and may not provide adequate protection or performance. Use dedicated gun oils designed for firearms to ensure proper lubrication and longevity.

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