How to Clean a Firearm’S Safety Selector?

To clean a firearm’s safety selector, first, ensure the gun is unloaded. Then disassemble the selector and clean its components with a cleaning solution and a brush.

Maintaining a firearm’s safety selector is a crucial part of gun ownership. The safety selector on a firearm allows the user to engage and prevent the gun from firing, ensuring safety during operation. In order to properly maintain your firearm’s safety selector and ensure its proper functioning, regular cleaning is necessary.

In this guide, we’ll provide a step-by-step process for cleaning a firearm’s safety selector, including safety precautions to take before cleaning and the best tools for the job. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to keep your gun’s safety selector in top condition and maintain the safety of yourself and others during firearm use.

How to Clean a Firearm'S Safety Selector?


Understanding Your Firearm’S Safety Selector

As a responsible gun owner, maintaining the proper functioning of your firearm’s safety selector is crucial. A well-maintained safety selector ensures that your firearm is safe to operate, while also preventing any accidental discharges. So, before we dive into how to clean your safety selector, let’s first understand the different types of safety selectors and their functions.

Different Types Of Safety Selectors And Their Functions

  • Three-position safety selector: This type features three positions: safe, semi-auto, and full-auto. The safe position prevents the trigger from firing, while the semi-auto and full-auto positions allow for different rates of firing.
  • Two-position safety selector: This type features two positions: safe and fire. The safe position prevents the trigger from firing, while the fire position allows for firing.
  • Ambidextrous safety selector: This type is designed for left-handed shooters and features ergonomically designed levers that can be easily switched from one side of the receiver to the other.

Importance Of Proper Functioning Of Safety Selector

The safety selector is a critical component of your firearm. It ensures that your firearm is safe to operate and prevents any accidental discharges. Regularly cleaning your safety selector ensures that it operates correctly and reduces the risk of malfunction.

Effect Of Lack Of Cleaning On Safety Selector

A dirty safety selector can cause it to malfunction, increasing the risk of an accidental discharge. Dirt and debris can also cause the selector to become stuck in the safe or fire position, making it impossible to switch between them.

Regular cleaning of your safety selector ensures that it operates correctly and enhances your firearm’s safety.

Now that we understand the importance of maintaining the proper functioning of your firearm’s safety selector, let’s dive into how to clean it.

Tools And Materials Needed For Cleaning

Firearms are valuable and expensive equipment that require regular maintenance to ensure their proper functioning. Regular cleaning of firearms parts, including the safety selector, is a crucial aspect of firearm maintenance. In this section, we will discuss the essential tools and materials required for cleaning the safety selector of your firearm.

List Of Necessary Tools And Materials

To clean your firearm’s safety selector effectively, you will require the following tools and materials:

  • Cleaning kit or cleaning solvent
  • Small brush or toothbrush
  • Cotton swabs or cleaning patches
  • Oil or lubricant

Best Practices For Handling And Storing Cleaning Equipment

It’s important to handle and store your firearm cleaning equipment in a way that ensures it remains efficient and long-lasting. Follow these best practices:

  • Always wear gloves when handling cleaning solvents to avoid skin irritation or allergic reactions.
  • Store your firearm cleaning equipment in a dry and safe place to avoid any damages or contamination.
  • Ensure that you clean your used cleaning equipment before storing it to avoid contamination.
  • Do not use the same cleaning tools or products for different firearms, as it can lead to cross-contamination and cause damage to your firearms.

To conclude, cleaning your firearm’s safety selector regularly is essential to maintain its longevity and proper functioning. By following these best practices and using the necessary tools and materials, you can ensure that your firearm remains safe and efficient for years to come.

Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning Firearm’S Safety Selector

One of the essential aspects of owning a firearm is to ensure its cleanliness. Various parts of the firearm need proper cleaning, including the safety selector. The safety selector ensures that the firearm gets disengaged or engaged while shooting, and its malfunction can lead to incorrect firing.

Therefore, cleaning the safety selector is essential for smooth and safe firearm usage.

Breakdown Of Safety Selector For Cleaning:

Before cleaning the safety selector, it is necessary to understand its components. Dissembling the safety selector requires proper techniques to prevent any damage. Here are the steps to breakdown the safety selector for cleaning:

  • Step 1: Remove the upper receiver from the lower receiver.
  • Step 2: Push out the two pins that hold the safety selector in place.
  • Step 3: Remove the safety selector and its detent from the lower receiver.

Cleaning Techniques For Different Types Of Safety Selectors:

Cleaning the safety selector can be challenging due to its compact size and narrow passages. Here are some detailed cleaning techniques for different types of safety selectors:

  • Standard selector: Soak the safety selector in gun cleaner solvent or gun oil, then use a bore brush to clean the part by scrubbing it. Use a brass brush to clean the narrow passages, then dry them with a cotton swab.
  • Ambidextrous selector: Ambidextrous safety selectors are different as they have two levers. To clean the selectors’ narrow passages, use a bent swamp brush or pick. Soak the selector and its parts in the gun cleaner solvent and wipe it off with a cotton swab.
  • Drop-in selector: Drop-in selectors are easier to clean as they are not attached with pins. Soak the selector in gun cleaner solvent, then use the bore brush to clean its surface and narrow passages.

Do’S And Don’Ts During The Cleaning Process:

Cleaning the safety selector requires attention to detail to avoid any damage or harm. Here are some essential do’s and don’ts during the cleaning process:


  • Use proper safety equipment, including gloves, goggles, and a respirator, to prevent inhaling toxic substances.
  • Use a lubricant after cleaning to prevent rusting and ensure smooth operations.
  • Use the correct cleaning solvent for the firearm.


  • Do not use oil on the safety selector as it can attract dust and dirt.
  • Do not use an abrasive cleaner or brush on the safety selector, as it can cause scratches and wear and tear.
  • Do not use a magnetic screwdriver on the tiny detent spring, as it can magnetize the material and harm the machinery.

By following these simple step-by-step techniques, cleaning the firearm’s safety selector can become an easy and comprehendible task for firearm enthusiasts.

Safety Precautions When Cleaning

Explanation Of Safety Risks And How To Mitigate Them During Cleaning

Cleaning a firearm’s safety selector can carry some risks, especially if not handled correctly. Here are some of the common safety risks you should know before cleaning:

  • Risk of discharging the firearm accidentally: The firearm should be unloaded before cleaning. Ensure that there is no ammunition in the chamber and the magazine is removed.
  • Chemical hazards from cleaning products: Some cleaning solvents can cause skin irritation or respiratory problems. Always follow the instructions on the product label and wear appropriate protective gear, including gloves and a respirator mask.
  • Risk of injury from moving parts: The moving parts of a firearm can cause injury if handled carelessly. Ensure that the firearm is properly secured and avoid placing your fingers near moving parts.

To mitigate these risks, take the following safety precautions:

  • Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction.
  • Ensure that the firearm is unloaded before cleaning.
  • Use cleaning solvents in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.
  • Wear protective gear when handling cleaning products.
  • Secure the firearm in a cleaning vise or bench to avoid injury from moving parts.

Importance Of Reading Firearm Manual Before Cleaning

Before cleaning a firearm, it’s crucial to read the firearm manual carefully. Here are some important reasons why:

  • Different firearms require different cleaning procedures: The manual provides specific guidelines on how to clean the firearm properly, depending on its make and model. Following the manual ensures that you are cleaning the firearm correctly and not damaging any parts.
  • Manual provides safety warnings: The manual also includes essential safety warnings. These warnings help you know what to do and what not to do when handling the firearm during cleaning.
  • Avoid warranty voids: Cleaning the firearm without following manufacturer guidelines may void the warranty. By reading the manual, you can avoid making mistakes during cleaning, ensuring that the warranty remains valid.

Best Practices For Cleaning In A Well-Ventilated Area

Cleaning a firearm requires the use of chemical solvents that emit fumes. It’s best to clean the firearm in a well-ventilated area. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Clean the firearm outdoors if possible: By cleaning the firearm outside, you avoid inhaling fumes from cleaning solvents.
  • Use a well-ventilated room: If cleaning outside is not possible, use a room with plenty of ventilation. Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • Wear protective gear: Always wear protective gear when cleaning firearms to prevent inhalation of fumes. Use respirator masks, eye protection, and gloves to protect yourself from chemical hazards.
  • Avoid smoking while cleaning: Smoking can ignite the cleaning solvents, causing an explosion or fire. Avoid smoking during cleaning or being around other sources of ignition.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that you clean your firearm safely and effectively in a well-ventilated area.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Clean A Firearm’S Safety Selector?

How Often Should I Clean My Safety Selector?

It is recommended to clean your safety selector after every use and handling. This ensures that your firearm is always in good working condition and ready for use when you need it.

What Materials Do I Need To Clean My Safety Selector?

To clean your safety selector, you will need a cleaning solvent, a small cleaning brush, and a lint-free cloth. You may also need some gun oil for lubrication.

Can I Disassemble My Safety Selector For Cleaning?

It depends on the type of firearm and safety selector you have. Some safety selectors can be easily disassembled for cleaning, while others may require professional cleaning. Always refer to the owner’s manual for guidance.

How Do I Clean My Safety Selector?

To clean your safety selector, first disassemble your firearm. Then, use the cleaning solvent and small brush to carefully clean the selector. Finally, wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth and lubricate with gun oil.

What Should I Avoid When Cleaning My Safety Selector?

When cleaning your safety selector, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that could damage the metal. Also, be careful not to bend or push on the selector too hard, as this could cause it to malfunction.


Proper maintenance of your firearm is essential for safe and efficient use, and cleaning the safety selector is one of the most important steps you can take. Whether you are a seasoned gun owner or a beginner, taking these steps to clean your firearm’s safety selector can ensure both safety and efficiency.

Be sure to unload your firearm, gather the necessary cleaning supplies, and follow the instructions outlined in this article. Remember to pay close attention to any signs of wear and tear and make any necessary repairs or replacements to keep your firearm in top condition.

Regular maintenance of your firearm’s safety selector is a small step that can go a long way toward ensuring its longevity and keeping you and those around you safe. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take care of your firearm.

Start taking the right steps toward proper maintenance today.






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