How Often Should I Clean My Gun? [Here Is The Answer]

Mechanical devices such as guns need proper maintenance and lubrication after each use to keep their performance at peak. However, the common problem of shooters is: How often should I clean my gun? 

We will help you solve this question and further give you the most practical gun cleaning possible in this article. Let’s get started!

How Often Should I Clean My Gun? 


The degree of cleaning the gun depends on many factors, such as the environmental condition, the type of gun, or shot frequency. 

For example, if you use your gun in a humid climate, you should clean it more often than usual. Any weapon made of metal is easily affected by moisture because it will condense on the gun’s surface or even seep into its crevices and rails. As a result, this will cause rust and corrosion. 

Cleaning frequency also depends on the type of gun or the purpose of using the weapon. For instance, if you own a hunting gun, competition firearm, or recreation gun, you should clean it after use. For types like rifles or shotguns, cleaning is less frequently required, about once a quarter.

Why Do You Need To Clean Your Gun? 

Any gun after a period of use needs to be maintained and cleaned. Every time you fire, residue accumulates on the exterior of your gun not only from the discharge of the cartridge but also from moisture, contaminants, and dust from the air.

If you don’t take time to clean your gun, your weapon may work less effectively. The reason is that each of your shots results in the burning of the fuel, and the explosion will also leave a small amount of carbon. In addition, tiny metal fragments from the cartridge and casing also accumulate on the gun’s surface.

In short, proper cleaning will help your gun last longer by removing dirt and rust for productive performance.

How To Clean A Gun? 

Photo by The U.S. Army

After realizing that gun cleaning is essential, many people search for the proper method to clean and maintain firearms. Don’t worry. We have thoroughly researched the necessary cleaning techniques for your weapons. These are all very basic and uncomplicated steps that any amateur shooter can do, not to mention professional gun cleaners. You can scroll down for reference and practice right away!

Step 1: Unloading And Removing Bolts

The first thing necessary in the cleaning process is that you must disassemble each part of the gun. To do this, you need to carefully read the description of each gun of different manufacturers

Basically, you have to remove the magazines or clips from the weapon first. If it is a rifle, you will need to take out its bolts. For semi-auto rifles, pistols, or shotguns, you should lock or open their action. 

Next, you brush and clean bolts with solvent, let them dry and then lubricate. Once done, set them aside for the following step.

Step 2: Swabbing Bore

Now comes the barrel cleaning step. It is recommended to use a cleaning stick with a brass brush attached. Soak the rod in a solvent before inserting it into the barrel. You should start putting it in the barrel first and then get it out of the muzzle. 

You had better repeat this action until the dirt and rust in the barrel are completely discarded. Then, soak the tub for 10 to 15 minutes to support the solvent to liquefy and dissolve the shell material, lead, and fowling powder.

Step 3: Scrubbing Bore

When the solvent dissolves, pull up and down the brush rod in the barrel several times so that the residue in the barrel does not stick anymore. After you have finished running the cleaning stick several times, you should also take a cloth patch and thread it into the tub to completely remove the carbon.

Step 4: Running Bore With Patches

Use cleaning patches soaked in solvent to attach to the brush tip and run from the gun tip to the gun barrel continuously. Continue to repeat the scrubbing and changing of the patch until you are satisfied. The cleanliness of the barrel will almost correspond to the whiteness of the patches.

Keep in mind that you mustn’t pull the patch out when changing the brush head. Let’s gently remove it from the bar, put on a clean cloth patch, and pull the stick back to the top of the gun. Then repeat the scrubbing action. Normally, after about 25 rubs, your gun head will be as clean as new. Be patient!

If you have performed steps 1 to 4 sequentially, your gun is still not clean; persist in repeating from the beginning. That is, you should soak your gun in the solution again, let it rest, and finally perform the scrubbing manipulation again.

Step 5: Lightly Lubricating 

Many people believe that oil lubrication should not be used for guns. But reality proves the opposite. The lubricating oil can make your weapon rust-proof.

Note that before lubricating, you had better take a toothbrush to brush off dust in all nooks and crannies of the gun. Later on, use a clean fluffy cotton towel to absorb the oil, then wipe all metal surfaces of the gun. However, you should also not overdo the oil because excess lubricant can attract contaminants and dust.

What Can You Use To Clean Your Gun? 

When cleaning the gun, you should not arbitrarily use normal cleaning products or solutions. Here are some recommendations that you can refer to for cleaning your weapons.

  • Lubricant: It reduces the friction between the different parts of the gun and keeps it from rusting and corroding.
  • Patches: You need a cleaning patch to lubricate oil on the gun’s surface and eliminate any accumulation from the weapon.
  • Cleaning solution: If you want to eliminate lead, copper, and carbon accumulation, you should buy good cleansing solutions like Breakthrough Clean, Hoppes, or Seal 1. 
  • Bore Snakes: In case you find it difficult to clean the barrel of a gun, this is a useful specialized tool for cleaning tasks.

In The Nutshell 

We have already solved the commonly asked question of the shooters: How often should I clean my gun? Once again, the frequency of gun cleaning depends on the environmental conditions, the type of gun, and the regularity of gun use. Besides, the most useful and practical gun cleaning method is recommended in an easy-to-understand way for you to consider. 

Hopefully, with our advice, your weapons will always look new and have high performance.

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