Should You Clean a Gun With WD-40?

WD40 For Clean Gun

Every gun collector knows that careful and frequent maintenance is crucial.

It helps to extend the longevity of a weapon and prevent it from breaking down and damaging an owner.

A reliable gun is a basis of your safety or good hunt, whenever you use a gun.

You might have asked questions like “What are the easiest ways to keep a gun clean?” and “Can I use WD-40, such a dependable remedy for metal cleaning and lubrication?”

Here, we will weigh all the pros and cons and dot all “i’s” concerning WD-40 in the sphere of firearms.

What is WD-40? How Can It Concern Guns?

Before making a decision, you should know that WD-40 has been originally designed as an anti-corrosion remedy. The abbreviation is referred to as “water displacement.”

WD-40 to Clean Gun

Its contents are still a company’s secret, but it is known that it consists of white-spirit dissolvent (of at least 50% density), CO2 (the displacer), and mineral oils (about 15%).

Soon, people have found more useful properties, along with an original application. When it comes to guns, you might find the following recommendations:

  • Use WD-40 to protect a weapon from dirt, rust, etc.;
  • Clean your gun with WD-40;
  • Use an aerosol when you disjoint a weapon;
  • WD-40 lubricates all the metal parts of a firearm perfectly.

Let’s find out what statements are correct, and what you should never mention at a gun owners’ forum.

WD-40: Let’s Uncrown Some Myths

The Internet is full of articles and posts about WD-40 and weapons. It is difficult to find the truth even for an expert Web surfer. We’ve decided to summarize some myths and explain why you should not believe them.

Protective Properties?

Here, they have gathered some everyday situations when one should not use WD-40 in any case. WD-40 vs. guns section is underlined separately and includes the word “never.”

The only reason that is relevant to the authors is the hygroscopic nature of WD-40. In other words, it will attract water to a gun. The bare statement is quite questionable, as Wd-40 leaves a thin layer of oil on the surface that replaces water.

On the other hand, the solution is very volatile. It does not give a long-lasting effect.

Conclusion: WD-40 will protect your gun from water and corrosion in a short outlook. To provide your weapon from moisture better, create the appropriate environment for storage or use more specialized remedies, like Sentry Tuf-Glide.

What About Cleaning?

You have looked into forums, and people said they had cleaned firearms with WD-40 with ease, haven’t they? The author of this post has got the other opinion.

This myth has a part of truth based on substantial evidence: WD-40 cleans all the metal surfaces well. It removes the majority of conventional pollutants and particles that can cause potential damage to your gun.

In the long perspective, WD-40 loses the competition to more specialized remedies for gun cleaning. The author of this video admits that.

The only situation when you can clean a gun with WD-40 is when you are at your hunting and have just dropped a gun on the ground. It is covered with dirt, and you need to clean it immediately.

Since you cannot carry the whole gun cleaning set in your pocket, you can use WD-40 as a 1-second solution.

And when you get back home, you should disassemble your weapon and give it the fullest treatment it deserves. In the post, Break-Free CLP has been advised as a good alternative.

We suggest paying attention to better single remedies than WD-40, or even the cleaning kits.

Can I Lubricate a Gun with WD-40?

This video (explicit content) has found another problem: WD-40 evaporates too early. When a gun shoots, the temperatures are much higher.

In other words, WD-40 leaves your gun without protection in the most responsible moment, when a gun shoots. Potentially, it can break or even explode in your arms.

Besides, WD-40 leaves oil that attaches dirt, turning the protective layer into a gooey and sticky substance. At least, it might be another obstacle for the mechanisms inside a gun.

It will lead to less longevity and more expenses connected with the spare part purchasing.

That is how WD-40 cannot be used what it is designed for when we start talking about guns. Are there any pros, though?

Should I Forget about WD-40 at All?

Though WD-40 is not a remedy you should keep by hand, it might be helpful. WD-40 is useful when you need to disassemble a firearm for deep cleaning.

Gun parts suffer from corrosion and tension, and you can use WD-40 to minimize the risk of breakage.

WD-40 for deep cleaning

Do not forget what an aerosol is designed for: to displace water. When your gun is full of moisture, it can be useful to process it with WD-40 before cleaning. You can never know how other chemicals will react with water if it remains inside a gun.

In both cases, do not forget to remove WD-40 from the surface of your gun and its parts. It is not the final substance to be applied. Leave this role to more specialized remedies.


WD-40 is a beautiful spray that will save you in many situations. It is cheap, easy-to-use, and reliable. It is not that wonderful when it deals with a gun.

All the mystical properties of an aerosol simply do not work with such a tender and dangerous instrument as a firearm.

The final answer to the question in the topic that we can give you sounds like: “You might use WD-40 in extreme situations and as an auxiliary remedy, but never use it as a final or stand-alone solution”.

Let’s summarize:

  • It will not clean thoroughly, as it attaches dirt;
  • It will not lubricate, as it evaporates;
  • It will not protect from damage in the long perspective.

WD-40 loses competition to more specialized remedies in every gun treatment discipline.

Guns are the sphere where you should not save money. Buying some reasonable expensive solutions is better than buying a new weapon or paying a hospital check.

Do you agree with us? Have you heard any stories about WD-40 and guns? What are your ways to care about your firearm? Feel free to suggest, discuss, ask questions, and comment under this post.

Should You Clean a Gun With WD-40

Leave a Comment