Is It Okay to Use Wd40 for Gun Cleaning?

No, it is not okay to use wd40 for gun cleaning. Wd40 is a solvent and should not be used to clean guns as it can damage the gun’s finish and attract dirt and grime.

As a gun owner, the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep of the firearm falls on the owner. Proper cleaning and lubrication of the gun can ensure its longevity and optimal performance. However, when it comes to selecting a cleaner for your gun, not all products are created equally.

One common misconception in the gun community is the use of wd40 as a cleaning solvent. While it may seem like an easy fix, using wd40 can cause serious damage to the gun’s finish and attract dirt and grime. In this article, we’ll explore why you should avoid using wd40 for gun cleaning and what alternatives you can use to keep your firearm in peak condition.

Is It Okay to Use Wd40 for Gun Cleaning?


What Is Wd-40 And How It Works?

Is It Okay To Use Wd-40 For Gun Cleaning?

Firearms are vital items for those who care about self-defense, hunting, or sports shooting. A well-maintained gun not only lasts longer but also performs better. Keeping your firearm clean and lubricated is essential to achieving precision and accuracy while also ensuring longevity.

You may have heard or read that wd-40 is commonly used for lubricating firearms, but is it okay to use for gun cleaning? In this blog post, we will take a closer look at wd-40, its composition, properties, and how it works as a lubricant, solvent, and protectant for your firearms.

Brief Explanation Of Wd-40

What is wd-40? Wd-40 is a multipurpose spray lubricant introduced in 1953 by norm larsen. The name “wd-40” comes from the fact that it was the 40th formula that larsen tried. This all-purpose lubricant is designed to displace moisture, prevent rust, lubricate, and clean.

The formula is a proprietary blend of mineral oil, petroleum distillates, and other undisclosed ingredients. Its main claim to fame is its ability to lubricate, loosen, and remove grime from all kinds of surfaces.

Composition And Properties Of Wd-40

Wd-40 is a non-flammable, petroleum-based product that makes it popular for a variety of applications. The spray contains various chemicals that work together to deliver its benefits:

  • Mineral oil: Provides lubrication and prevents corrosion.
  • Petroleum distillates: Dissolve grease and dirt.
  • Propellants: Help to spray the product from the container.

The formula also includes small amounts of silicone, water, and alcohol, which play a vital role in allowing the wd-40 to penetrate surfaces and displace moisture. Wd-40 is known for its versatility and effectiveness in quickly loosening stuck or rusted parts.

How Wd-40 Works As A Lubricant, Solvent, And Protectant

Wd-40 is a multi-purpose lubricant that works as a solvent and protectant as well. The film left behind after application works to repel moisture from the surface, prevent rusting, and lubricate moving parts. The key to wd-40’s effectiveness is its ability to penetrate and displace moisture.

Here is a closer look at how wd-40 works on firearms:

  • Lubrication: Wd-40 is designed to lubricate moving parts, preventing metal-on-metal contact, which reduces wear and tear on the firearm.
  • Solvent: Wd-40 loosens grime, dirt, and rust with ease, making it effective in cleaning the firearm. Simply spray on the surface and gently wipe with a cloth.
  • Protectant: Wd-40 helps to prevent corrosion by repelling moisture and other contaminants that can lead to rusting while also protecting the firearm’s surface from damage.

While wd-40 is an effective multi-purpose lubricant, it’s best to avoid using it on the barrel of your firearm as it may alter the accuracy of the gun. If you’re looking for something to clean your firearm’s barrel, it’s recommended to use a specialized cleaning solvent designed for guns.

Wd-40 is a versatile and effective lubricant that can work wonders for a variety of applications, including gun cleaning. However, it is important to use it responsibly and avoid using it on the barrel of your firearm. As always, it’s best to consult with a professional gunsmith for recommendations on the best cleaning practices and products for your firearm needs.

Gun Cleaning Essentials

Maintaining firearms is a key responsibility for gun owners to ensure safety, functionality and longevity. Cleaning your gun regularly ensures that it performs as expected and helps to identify any potential problems before they become bigger issues. In this section, we will discuss the tools and equipment, as well as gun cleaning solvents that you will need to clean your firearm.

Why Gun Cleaning Is Important

The purpose of cleaning your firearm is to remove all residues that may buildup over time through use. This residue can cause malfunctions, reduce accuracy and increase the wear and tear of your firearm. In addition, moisture build-up can occur inside the barrel and may cause rust, which can also impact accuracy and potentially damage the gun.

Hence, regular cleaning ensures your firearm lasts longer and operates at its best every time you pull the trigger.

Tools And Equipment Needed For Gun Cleaning

To clean your firearm efficiently, you need the right tools and equipment. Here are a few gun cleaning essentials:

  • Cleaning rod: This is used to run brushes and patches through the barrel, which is essential to ensure all residues are removed.
  • Bore brush: Specially designed brushes used to clean the barrel. These come in different sizes, so make sure you have the right size for your specific firearm.
  • Patches: Pieces of cloth used to clean or apply solvents to the gun’s parts.
  • Gun oil: This is used to lightly lubricate the gun parts and prevent rust.
  • Cleaning solvent: This is used to dissolve the residues and buildup inside the gun.

Different Types Of Gun Cleaning Solvents

When it comes to cleaning solvent, there are three primary types:

  • Organic solvent: Organic solvents are the most popular type of cleaning solvent. They are made from natural solvents, and they are great at dissolving old gunpowder residue, carbon, and dirt on the gun’s parts. Examples of organic solvents include hoppes no.9, m-pro, m-pro 7, and butch’s bore shine.
  • Petroleum-based solvent: This is another popular solvent type but is usually less expensive than organic solvents. They are also great at dissolving powder residue, carbon, and dirt, with examples being rem oil, shooter’s choice, and break-free clp.
  • Water-based solvent: These are the safest type of solvents used to clean firearms. They are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. One primary example is simple green. These solvents work well but might not clean residues found in firearms that were used heavily.

Periodic cleaning of your firearm is essential to keep it performing safely and accurately. Remember to have all the necessary tools and solvents to do the job right. Using a cleaning rod with the appropriate brush attached, applying gun oil and cleaning solvent as needed, the result is a firearm that is clean and ready to fire.

Pros And Cons Of Using Wd-40 For Gun Cleaning

Is It Okay To Use Wd-40 For Gun Cleaning?

When it comes to gun cleaning, people often have differing opinions on what products to use. Some gun enthusiasts swear by specialized products, while others believe that household products like wd-40 can do the job just as well. We will explore the pros and cons of using wd-40 for gun cleaning, and whether it’s a good idea or not.

Advantages Of Using Wd-40

Inexpensive and readily available:

One of the major advantages of using wd-40 for gun cleaning is that it is an inexpensive and easily accessible product. You can find it in most hardware stores, and it is also available online. This makes it a convenient option for gun owners who prefer to do their own cleaning.

Versatile and can be used for other household and mechanical uses:

Another advantage of wd-40 is its versatility. It can be used for a wide range of household and mechanical purposes, including lubricating and protecting metal surfaces. This means that you can buy one product to serve multiple purposes, making it a practical and cost-effective option.

Easy to apply and provides temporary rust protection:

Wd-40 is also easy to apply, thanks to its spray nozzle. You can apply it directly to the surface of your gun and simply wipe away any excess. Additionally, it provides temporary rust protection, which can be useful if you don’t plan on using your gun for an extended period.

Disadvantages Of Using Wd-40

Not designed for gun cleaning:

While there are some advantages to using wd-40 for gun cleaning, it is important to keep in mind that this product was not designed specifically for this purpose. As a result, it may not be as effective as specialized gun cleaning products, which are formulated to remove gunpowder residue, copper fouling, and other gun-related debris.

May dry out lubricants and cause malfunction or jamming of the gun:

Another potential issue with using wd-40 for gun cleaning is that it may dry out the lubricants on your gun, which can cause malfunctions or jamming. This is because wd-40 is not a lubricant, but rather a penetrating oil. If you use it to clean your gun, you may inadvertently remove important lubricants that help your gun function properly.

Attracts dust and debris:

Lastly, wd-40 may attract dust and debris, which can actually cause more harm than good. If you use wd-40 to clean your gun, you may end up with a surface that is even dirtier than before. This is because wd-40 tends to attract dust and debris, which can then get trapped on the surface and require more cleaning.

While wd-40 may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option for gun cleaning, it is important to remember that it is not specifically designed for this purpose. If you are serious about maintaining the quality and function of your gun, it is recommended that you use specialized gun cleaning products instead.

However, if you are in a pinch and need to clean your gun quickly, wd-40 can be a useful temporary fix.

Best Practices For Cleaning Your Gun With Wd-40

Is It Okay To Use Wd-40 For Gun Cleaning?

If you own a gun, you know how important it is to keep it in working order. Cleaning your firearm is an essential part of gun ownership, and it’s critical to use the right products and techniques to keep it in perfect condition.

Wd-40 is a popular lubricant and cleaning product that many gun owners use to clean their firearms, but is it safe to use? In this blog post, we’ll examine the best practices for cleaning your gun with wd-40 and discuss precautions you should take.

Cleaning your gun with wd-40 can be a simple and effective way to maintain it, but it’s essential to follow best practices to ensure safety and effectiveness. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your gun with wd-40 safely and effectively:

  • Disassemble your gun: Before you start cleaning your gun, make sure it’s unloaded and disassembled. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disassembling your firearm and proceed to clean each individual part.
  • Spray wd-40 on a cleaning patch: Spray a cleaning patch with wd-40 and gently clean the surface of the gun’s moving parts. Use a small amount of wd-40 to avoid over-saturating the patch. Avoid spraying wd-40 directly onto the gun.
  • Remove excess wd-40: Once you’ve finished cleaning, use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess wd-40 from the gun’s surface. This will help prevent dirt and debris from sticking to the lubricant.
  • Reassemble your gun: After cleaning your gun, reassemble it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Double-check that all parts are securely in place before using the firearm.

Precautions To Take When Using Wd-40

While wd-40 is a versatile and effective cleaning product, it’s important to take precautions when using it on your firearm to avoid potential safety risks. Here are some precautions you should take when using wd-40 for gun cleaning:

  • Don’t overuse wd-40: Overusing wd-40 can cause the lubricant to build up in certain areas of your firearm, leading to malfunctions or safety hazards.
  • Keep wd-40 away from ammunition: Always be mindful of where you’re spraying wd-40, and avoid contacting it with ammunition. Wd-40 is flammable and can ignite if it comes into contact with heat or sparks.
  • Avoid spraying wd-40 on the barrel: The barrel of your gun should be kept clean and free of residues, and spraying wd-40 onto it can cause buildup and clog the barrel, creating a safety hazard.

Alternative Uses Of Wd-40 In Gun Care

While wd-40 is primarily known as a lubricant and cleaning product for firearms, it also has a variety of other uses in gun care. Here are some alternative uses of wd-40 that can come in handy:

  • Removing rust: Wd-40 can be used to remove rust buildup on your firearm. Spray a small amount of wd-40 on the rusty area and wipe it away with a cloth.
  • Protecting your gun from the elements: Wd-40 can help protect your gun from rust and other damages caused by moisture. Spray a small amount of wd-40 on your gun before storing it to help prevent corrosion.
  • Keeping your gun safe from dirt and debris: Wd-40 can also help prevent dirt and debris from sticking to your firearm. A light spray of wd-40 can repel dirt and make cleaning your gun easier in the future.

Using wd-40 for gun cleaning can be a simple and effective way to maintain your firearm. Follow the best practices we’ve covered in this post and take precautions to avoid safety hazards. With the right techniques, you can keep your gun in perfect working order and avoid potential issues down the line.

Other Alternatives For Gun Cleaning

Is It Okay To Use Wd40 For Gun Cleaning?

Gun enthusiasts often debate whether or not it is okay to use wd-40 for gun cleaning. While some swear by it, others believe that this popular wonder spray can be detrimental to their beloved firearms. Let’s take a closer look and discover if you should use wd-40 as your go-to solvent.

Moreover, let’s explore other alternative solvents which might be the answer to your gun-cleaning prayers.

Other Popular Gun Cleaning Solvents

Apart from wd-40, gun owners have used many other cleaners for gun maintenance. Here are some other popular solvents every gun enthusiast should know.

  • Clp: Cleaner, lubricant, and protectant, is a popular all-in-one solvent used by military personnel and gunslingers worldwide. Apart from cleaning, it lubricates and protects against corrosion.
  • Hoppes no. 9: This is a liquid-based gun cleaner that dissolves powder residues, bore fouling, and lead deposits, preparing the firearm for thorough cleaning.
  • Ballistol: A multi-purpose cleaning agent, ballistol cleans, lubes, and protects firearms from rust, fingerprints, sweat, and even lice! That’s right; ballistol repels lice.
  • Break-free: Another all-in-one cleaner that is specially formulated for high-volume shooting. It works by dissolving carbon build-up, residue, and other deposits, which can reduce gun performance and accuracy.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Alternative Solvents

While all the above solvents are popular choices for gun enthusiasts and often offer superior results compared to wd-40, they also have both advantages and disadvantages.

  • Clp is very convenient since it works as a cleaner, lubricant, and protectant in one product. However, it can be a bit pricier than other solvents on the market.
  • Hoppes no. 9 is also reasonably priced, and the liquid nature lets the product seep in and dissolve any hard to reach residues. Its downside, however, is that it requires extra work to remove fouling and carbon build-up entirely.
  • Ballistol is multi-purpose, which makes it convenient for many gun cleaning tasks. But some users have complained of its pungent, almost medicinal smell.
  • Break-free is also another convenient all-in-one cleaner. But it can harm the polymer components of your firearm, causing them to break down over time.

Best Use Cases For Different Cleaning Solvents

Choosing a gun cleaning solution largely depends on what type of firearm you use, how often you use it, and the cleaning tasks you wish to perform. Here’s how to determine which solvent best suits your specific needs.

  • Clp is a great choice for long-term storage and high-volume shooting.
  • For thorough cleaning of handguns, hoppes no. 9 is the go-to solution.
  • Ballistol works best for everyday use since it protects against corrosion and acts as an excellent lubricant.
  • For difficult-to-clean firearms such as rifles and shotguns, break-free is the perfect cleaning solution.

While wd-40 is a multi-purpose solvent, it might not be the best choice for cleaning firearms since it can destroy gun lubrication. So, if you like to keep your firearm in good working order, invest in solvents specifically designed for firearms.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Is It Okay To Use Wd40 For Gun Cleaning?

Is It Safe To Use Wd-40 For Gun Cleaning?

Yes, it is safe to use wd-40 for gun cleaning. But, it’s not the best option for lubrication. It’s better to use gun oil for better firearm performance.

What Is Wd-40?

Wd-40 is a water-displacing aerosol that helps to protect metal surfaces from rust and corrosion. It can also be used as a lubricant in certain situations.

Can Wd-40 Damage A Gun?

No, wd-40 itself won’t damage a gun. But, it’s not a substitute for gun oil because it doesn’t provide long-term lubrication and can attract dust and debris.

Can You Use Wd-40 Instead Of Gun Oil?

No, it’s not recommended to use wd-40 instead of gun oil. Wd-40 can work as a cleaner or protector, but it doesn’t provide long-lasting lubrication. Use an appropriate gun oil for the best firearm performance.

What Should I Use To Clean My Gun?

Use a gun cleaner and solvent for cleaning your gun, but avoid using wd-40 because it’s not a good long-term solution for lubrication. After cleaning, use a gun oil for better performance.


It is clear that using wd40 for gun cleaning is a controversial topic among gun owners. While some have found it to be effective, others caution against its use due to potential damage to the gun’s components. It is important to remember that wd40 is a lubricant, not a cleaner, and should not replace the use of dedicated gun cleaning solvents and oils.

It is also important to follow proper cleaning procedures and safety precautions when handling firearms. Ultimately, the decision to use wd40 for gun cleaning is up to each individual gun owner, but it is recommended to stick with products specifically designed for gun maintenance.

Keeping your firearm clean and well-maintained is crucial for its longevity and proper function, and the safety of the user. Always do your research and consult with experts before making any decisions about gun cleaning and maintenance.






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