Proper gun maintenance is essential for its accuracy and longevity.
Even if you don’t use your firearm often or have it for emergencies that never occur, taking care of it is imperative.
Once every couple of months or once a year, depending on the type and purpose, deep clean and re-oil it since nature doesn’t end at the entrance to your gun safe.
For a desirable effect, the quality of solvent, oil, and instruments you use for it plays a huge role as well. It might be difficult to choose great products without help from the people who’ve tested dozens of them.
To assist, we’ve created this TOP-5 list the best gun cleaning solvents with a detailed review of every item. At the end of the article, you can find a convenient buyer’s guide with some additional information that will aid your quick choice.
- Universal To All Firearms
- Deep Clean & Fast Penetrating
- Child-Proof Cap
Gun Cleaning Solvents Comparison Chart
|Hoppe's 932 No. 9||Type: Bore Cleaner|
Content: 32 fl oz
Features: Child-Proof Cap
|Ballistol Multi-Purpose CLP||Type: CLP|
Content: 16 fl oz (2 Pack with 2 Sprayers)
|Sage & Braker CLP||Type: CLP|
Content: 4 fl oz
|Gnp Solution Bore Cleaner||Type: Bore Cleaner|
Content: 4.7 fl oz
|Break Free BFECLP4 CLP-4||Type: CLP|
Content: 4 fl oz
Temperature Range: -65F to 475F
5 Best Gun Cleaning Solvents (as of October, 2020):
1. Hoppe’s 932 No. 9 Gun Cleaning Solvent Review
HOPPE’S is the ultimate #1 on most lists, and even if not on the first line, you can find their products in any recommendation.
Hoppe’s 932 No. 9 cleaner is widely used before competitions by world champions Lena Miculek, Maggie Reese, Jessie Harrison, John Scoutten, and Missy Gilliland.
It’s a classic first manufactured in 1903, and its formula hasn’t changed since.
Qualities and Use
No.9 has most of the qualities one might need in a gun cleaner:
- Used for all guns. No matter what kind of gun you have, it will be clean due to this universal formula, keeping the looks and functionality at the peak level for a long time.
- Fast-action and deep surface penetration. No.9 will rise and remove all kinds of residue faster than a lot of modern cleaners.
- Damage protection. It destroys rust, dirt, lead, etc., keeping your firearm clean and protected for longer.
It’s suitable for frequent application, which is good news for those who use a gun daily and need to clean it after each active day.
You can clean all metal and polymer parts, not only the bore. However, avoid using it on wood and use lubricating oil after cleaning to protect your firearm.
The cleaner is incredibly long-lasting. There are reports from people finding a 60-year-old bottle and using it as efficiently as a new one. It’s also suitable for ultrasonic cleaners some gun-owners use for a deeper, better effect.
A nice safety move by the manufacturer was making a child-proof cap for the bottle. However, it’s highly recommended to store your No.9 in a cool, dark, dry place that no kid or pet will access.
The product is safe and easy to use, but make sure you clean in a well-ventilated space with some hand- and mouth/nose protection.
- Universal To All Firearms
- Removes Carbon & Copper
- Penetrates Deep & Rapidly
- Ultra Effectiveness
- Safe & Easy to Use
- Child-Proof Cap
- Includes one 32 ounce (1 quart) Bottle
- Classic formula
- Trusted by world champions
- Child-proof cap
- Not for cleaning wood
- May remove some finishes
- Doesn’t contain a lubricant
2. Ballistol Multi-Purpose CLP Gun Cleaning Solvent Review
Another long-time classic, Ballistol Multi-Purpose CLP was first manufactured in 1904.
It’s deemed the original CLP (Cleaner, Lubricant, Protector/Preservative).
This one might be a bit less effective than Hoppe’s No.9 due to the multipurpose use and less toxic content.
Qualities and Use
The major qualities of this CLP:
- Multipurpose use.
It’s not only a cleaner but also a preservative for your guns, making corrosion back off for many more years. You can also clean knives, tools, marine parts, and much more with it.
- Refillable bottle.
The cleaner comes with a spray cap and the bottle can be refilled. Note that other spray bottles might not work with this product.
- Absence of petrol odor.
Your hands won’t smell like petroleum for days after cleaning anymore due to the non-toxic formula of Ballistol CLP.
The product can be used on:
The formula is non-toxic, slightly alkaline. You can clean firearms without skin protection since it won’t hurt your hands or leave oils on a freshly-cleaned gun. It’s also non-carcinogenic.
The product decomposes in a natural way and none of its byproducts are dangerous for nature. FDA does NOT place this product as hazardous, according to the official website of the manufacturer.
- Original Multi-Purpose CLP
- For Metal, Wood, Leather, Rubber & Plastics
- Lubricates & Cleans
- Protects Against Rust & Corrosion
- Non-Toxic & Biodegradable
- Skin Safe
- Slightly Alkaline In Nature
- Environmentally Friendly
- Multi-surface use
- Multi-purpose use
- Non-toxic formula
- Safe for skin
- Environmentally safe
- Not as effective as more toxic cleaners
- Black licorice aroma (might be not suitable for some people)
3. Sage & Braker CLP Gun Cleaning Solvent Review
Another CLP popular among gun-owners, this one by Safe & Braker brings cleaning, lubrication, and protection to a new level with their formula.
Usually, CLPs are less effective than standalone solvents, but not this one.
Sage & Braker CLP was created as a result of dialogues with the US soldiers who have frequently encountered issues with gun cleaning.
A lot of lubricants in CLPs and oils make carbon and dirt stick to it.
Qualities and Use
This product offers the following:
- A new level of gun cleaning.
Sage & Braker have combined a powerful, deep-penetrative solvent that acts at a micro-level without using highly toxic ingredients and a high-quality lubricant. It cleans aggressively and can restore a gun after many years of poor maintenance.
- Contamination protection.
By using this CLP, you’re getting not only rust prevention but also contamination protection during the future use of the gun. By reducing static, you can avoid dirt adhesion promotion on the surfaces of the firearm.
- Function protection.
This cleaner also protects your gun by promoting better heat dissipation inside of it, leaving a coat suitable for this purpose. As a result, you get a cooler (in all senses) gun with increased longevity.
This product removes carbon, copper, and lead fouling by lifting all that to the top of the surface, making it easier to remove with a simple cleaning tool. You can use it on polymer surfaces as well.
This product gets to the smallest holes without you having to try and scrub the dirt out of there. Apply this CLP and leave the detail for about half an hour to soak – a simple Q-tip will help.
This formula doesn’t contain any harsh toxins that may damage the finish of your gun or your skin. It’s also biodegradable, so neither the use nor disposal will harm nature and the health of yourself and your family.
- Oil, Lubricant, Solvent & Protectant All-in-One
- Removing Carbon, Lead & Copper Residue
- Helps Clean Hard to Reach Places
- Protects From Corrosion & Rust
- Formula Greatly Reduces Static
- Coats & Protects Bore & All Moving Parts On Firearm
- No Harsh Smelling Chemicals
- Non-Hazardous, Biodegradable & Non-toxic
- Powerful formula
- Safe for nature
- Function protection
- Reduction in dirt adhesion
- May be harmful to rare finishes
4. Gnp Solution Bore Cleaner Review
Gnp Solution Super Nano Bore Cleaning is a solvent that combines less toxicity with more effect.
Not offering any kind of lubrication, it still manages to protect your gun during and after the cleaning.
As a result, in a decade, your firearm can look and shoot like new. And the solvent will be like new as well.
Qualities and Use
Super Nano Bore Cleaner provides the following qualities:
- Absence of odor.
A lot of gun-lovers say one thing that makes cleaning terrible is the chemical odor of the solvents and oils. This cleaner doesn’t have any specific odor, meaning it’s less possible to get irritation from it.
- Protective film.
While it’s not a CLP, this product creates a thin film on the surface it’s applied on to protect from dirt and carbon getting into the small pores, damaging materials in the long run.
- Wide capacity of debris removal.
The cleaner removes excess oil your hand leaves, as well as copper, dirt, rust, lead, powder, and more. This increases the gun’s lifespan and prevents issues with accuracy due to debris clogging.
- Condition improvement.
With every timely cleaning, your gun will preserve its looks and function better and better.
- Gentle, fast-acting formula.
This solvent won’t harm materials like metal or plastic. However, it’s working fast so you don’t have to wait for hours to remove the remains of the debris.
- Adaptable to harsh environments.
This product doesn’t dry up or lose its qualities when stored in harsh conditions. But it’s recommended to do it nevertheless to make the most use out of
The company provides a 100% money-back guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with the cleaner.
You can work inside with this product, given the room is ventilated. The formula is gentle, but you’ll only avoid irritation and potential injury by following the instructions stated on the package.
The manufacturer recommends using eye protection and washing hands as you finish cleaning. Do your best not to breathe the vapors in for too long and avoid touching your face and eyes while using the product.
The cleaner doesn’t contain alcohol and ammonia. It’s also non-abrasive and non-flammable. To make sure this solvent lasts long, store it in places where the temperature doesn’t go higher than 113F.
- Cleans Fast & Super-Easy
- Instant Penetration
- Dissolves & Suspends Debris
- Non-Toxic & Non-Flammable
- Odorless & Safe For Home
- Won’t Dry Up Or Lose Viscosity In Harsh Environments
- Meets All Industry Standards
- Great Money-Back Guarantee
- Multi-surface use
- Great money-back guarantee
- Safe for the environment and human health
- Protects guns from further harmful impacts
- Additional gun oils needed
5. Break Free BFECLP4 CLP-4 Review
Break Free BFECLP4 CLP-4 is not only a cleaner but also a great protectant.
Your gun will be saved from environmental damages due to a highly flexible film that’s left on it after each cleaning.
Not to mention Break Free CLP-4 literally lifts the dirt onto the surface for you to easily wipe it off.
Qualities and Use
Break Free CLP-4 offers the following:
- Deep cleaning.
The product has access to every pore and pit of your gun. It lifts all kinds of residue for easier removal.
After cleaning, this CLP leaves a protective lubricating film that will prevent sand, dirt, and other abrasives from piling inside the firearm.
- Flexibility of use.
The cleaner performs well in temperatures from -65F to +475F. It also remains effective under impact from salty water.
- Corrosion prevention.
The same protective film has corrosion inhibitors that prevent rust from forming even if the firearm is exposed to extreme humidity.
The cleaner is safe for most finishes and polymers. There are no issues with cleaning synthetic guns either.
The formula is safe, given you use eye, nose/mouth, and hand protection while using it. Only clean your guns in a well-ventilated room and avoid product-to-skin contact.
The cleaner is subject to California’s Proposition 65.
- Specially Formulated Synthetic Oils
- Penetrates Into Every Pit & Crevice
- Long-Lasting Lubricating Film
- Corrosion Inhibitors Prevent the Formation of Rust
- Protects From Moisture & Other Contaminants
- Won’t Lose Viscosity & Dry Out
- Works In Extreme Environments
- Temperatures Ranging from -65F to 475F
- Precision Dispenser
- For Different Types Of Guns
- Versatility of use
- Corrosion prevention
- Rough condition adaptability
- Dirt adhesion prevention
- Subject to California’s Proposition 65
Best Gun Cleaning Solvent Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose, Important Tips, FAQ
Before making your final choice, there are some educational bits of information you should know. These will ensure you’re picking the right product and have fewer questions and obstacles on the way.
How to Choose a Suitable Gun Cleaner
Here are some things to consider when choosing a good gun cleaner:
- Price-quantity-quality ratio.
It’s only logical to buy something that has a great ratio of price, quantity, and quality. If it’s a pricey product, make sure it’s very concentrated and/or longlasting. Some reviews that stated a 50-year bottle of Hoppe’s No.9 was still usable!
You can either have several products for different purposes and guns or one for everything. The first option is great since you’ll have the most effect and the least harm to different materials. Yet, it’s a relatively expensive option. Multipurpose solvents will do everything with one formula, but some features may be not as effective (either lubrication or cleaning).
- Time and effort capacity.
A lot of people consider cleaning their firearm a meditation, while others aren’t fans of wiping every small detail, scrubbing, using all kinds of tools, etc. Depending on your interest and capacity, buy formulas that are either faster-acting and potentially more toxic or less dangerous yet cleaning everything with your effort.
- Gun compatibility.
The solvent must be suitable for every material your gun contains. You can find useful information about it on the website or in the manual by the gun’s or cleaner’s manufacturer. Materials suitable for cleaning with a certain product must be listed on the back of the bottle.
Benefits of Proper Gun Solvents
It’s been said a million times that guns get dirty, no matter if you use them every day for several hours or one hour a year.
Here are some points that prove that professional solvents are 100 times better:
- Exterior isn’t everything.
You can wipe the exterior of your firearm to the point where it shows your own reflection, but the insides will still be dirty, no matter how hard you try to reach every inch with a dry brush. Some residue can only be removed with a solvent.
- Removing a wide range of debris.
Examples of potential residue are carbon, lead, acids, salts, copper, etc. Not all of these can be removed with rubbing alcohol or other DIY solvents.
- Time- and money-saving.
Using a professional cleaner will save you time, effort, and money. Most products are powerful and a small amount will go a long way. Also, spraying the gun and its smaller parts, leaving it for several minutes to soak, and wiping the dirt away is much easier than scrubbing with a brush for hours.
- Corrosion preventing.
The major factor contributing to premature breakage of guns is corrosion. Professional solvents will prevent it. If you clean your firearm consistently, it can last for decades.
Important Tips for Gun Cleaning and the Choice of Solvent
Some of these might be simple, yet all are essential for proper gun maintenance:
- Don’t forget about the small parts.
More sophisticated guns contain smaller parts that have to be cleaned as well. Find out if some of them need special solvents due to material peculiarities. Be careful not to lose them as well.
- Disassemble the gun as far as you can.
This will require some knowledge and training, but to be sure you’ve cleaned every detail, you have to disassemble the gun. Some products claim to clean the inside without the need for disassembly, but those are usually highly toxic and there’s no guarantee every inch will be fouling-free.
- Use manufacturers’ instructions.
A lot of gun-owners are quite sure they know every peculiarity of their new firearm. It’s still recommended to read the manual carefully, especially if you’re about to disassemble it for the first time. There might be some great tips or cautions you’ll need to follow.
- Store your guns properly.
Storing firearms in a cool, dry place with a security lock (desirable) will make the environmental damage weaker. There are special dehumidifiers that may help if you’re living in a place with humid air.
- Pay attention to what arrives.
Sometimes, sellers may confuse products and send you one in a similar bottle but without a certain specification important to you. Cleaning a gun with synthetic parts using a solvent that’s not safe for such surfaces will damage the item.
- Invest in a high-quality gun cleaning kit.
For professional and more convenient maintenance, use special cleaning kits. You can have one for at-home care, large and with dozens of brushes for all the firearms you have, and a small one to take with yourself for emergency fresh-ups.
FAQ on Gun Cleaners
The most frequently asked questions about gun cleaners and the process itself.
Is it OK to use rubbing alcohol as a cleaner?
Yes, it’s safe for most materials, including polymers. Rubbing alcohol and solutions based on it remove dirt and excess oil very well. However, it’s fine only for touch-ups and may not be suitable for certain finishes.
It’s much better to choose a proper cleaner specifically for guns. They are manufactured for deep cleaning and removal of all kinds of residue, dirt, carbon, etc.
What’s gun cleaners are made of?
Some of the most frequently encountered ingredients include:
There are additional ingredients like oils and aromatizers. They are usually not toxic enough to hurt you, given you’re using them according to the instructions on the package.
If you are still concerned as to the safety of the solvent, you can choose a completely non-toxic version.
Is there such a thing as overcleaning?
In case you’re not using professional solvents and tools, yes. If not using proper cleaners, suitable for your gun and the materials it’s made of, yes. You might also waste products by cleaning and oiling your firearm every day without a reason.
Talking about self-protection items, we recommend cleaning it after every use.
Keep in mind that using the wrong tools may cause damage, especially with frequent cleaning.
Are solvents toxic?
If ingested, yes.
Keep in mind that cleaners are also flammable, some extremely, so store your in a dark, cool, and desirably dry place.
Pick a Proper Solvent for Your Firearm
If you choose a proper solvent and tools for your gun, it can significantly improve its accuracy, looks, and lifespan.
It’s fine to use rubbing alcohol and other chemicals instead of a professional cleaner. They will remove some dirt and carbon and give the firearm a decent look.
But in the long run, you’ll notice the buildup that may be much more difficult to remove even with bomb solvents. Don’t let it lead to such negligence and consider investing in a powerful solvent or CLP.
It doesn’t have to be toxic, there are plenty of eco-friendly options. They won’t clean as well yet they will provide a nice medium between simple rubbing alcohol and solvents rich with potentially toxic chemicals.