Home Gun Maintenance How Exactly Do You Use A Gun Cleaning Kit?

How Exactly Do You Use A Gun Cleaning Kit?

by Tom Ginevra

how to use a gun cleaning kit

Keeping your guns in a secure safe is a great start to looking after them well. However, what about keeping them in the best possible condition too?

If you want your firearms to give you years of trouble-free use then you need to get hold of the right tools. This means getting a kit that contains all the cleaning products that you need. Yet, you also need to learn how to use a gun cleaning kit in order to keep your guns in excellent condition.

Do New Guns Need to Be Cleaned?

The first point worth covering is around which guns to clean. Do you only need to use this it on firearms that you have had for a certain number of years? Should you only buy a cleaning kit if you have older firearms at home?

The fact is that a brand new gun comes with various types of grease and other materials on them. These liquids aren’t meant to still be there when you fire the gun. They have been added to keep it in perfect condition while it is in a store or warehouse.

This means that you should clean all of your guns. Even the brand new ones. How often should you use your gun cleaning kit? It depends upon factors such as the climate and how often you use it.

If you keep your firearm in a safe purely for personal defense reasons then it needs to be ready to use at any time of night or day. Cleaning it once every few months should be good enough in most cases.

Before we go any further, it is also worth remembering that each gun is different. While the following advice is fairly general in nature, you might want to check a YouTube video for the specific model that you own.

What Is in a Firearm Cleaning Kit?

You can find many different gun cleaning packs available for sale online. These are simply kits that give you all of the basic products that you need to keep your guns clean and working perfectly.

The items that you can expect to find in a kit include; cleaning rods, lubricating oil, cleaning cloth, and cleaning patches. Many of the best kits bring together a wide selection of cleaning accessories of different sizes.

Others are more modest and include fewer items. Either way, this is a product that can be of great use in helping you to look after your firearms better.

In most cases, a good cleaning kit will work with just about any type of gun. However, it is worth checking whether certain types or sizes of gun are listed as being compatible.

The biggest benefit to this approach is that you get everything that you need in one pack. There is no need to shop around to buy each piece individually, which should also help you to save some money too.

So, let’s learn how to use a gun cleaning kit now. The following are the steps to take.

Take the Gun Apart After Unloading It

Clearly, cleaning a loaded gun is a bad idea at any time. This is why the first very step when getting ready to give it a clean is to unload it. Be sure to double check that you have done this correctly before going any further.

You will then want to dissemble your firearm. As well as helping you to clean it more thoroughly, this allows you to make sure that it is in perfect working order. If you have never done this before, you will be pleased to see that it is easier than you might have thought it would be.

In the case of a new gun, taking it apart to clean it also allows you to appreciate exactly how it works before you use it. Check that you have instructions to hand in the manual or on YouTube that you can use before you get going. You don’t want to make a mistake or get lost halfway through the process.

Some gun cleaning kits come with a mat included. This is something you should use right at the start, as it will help you to work neatly and keep everything together on the mat. Lay out the mat and then use it keep the different parts out of harm’s way.

If you’r kit doesn’t come with a mat, here’s the best gun cleaning mat’s on the market today.

Don’t forget that you should only ever clean your gun in a well-ventilated area too. You will also want to have plenty of time to do this in a relaxed way rather than racing against the clock.

Use Bore Snakes and Cleaning Rods

Just about every gun cleaning pack comes with a set of cleaning rods. These are an essential part of the cleaning process. Another idea is to use bore snakes, which you may have to buy individually.

In fact, you can use both of these products together if you like. There is no harm in just using the rods but it will be easier and quicker if you use bore snakes too.

bore snake

The best idea is to use a bore snake before you get stuck in with your cleaning rods. This is a quick and easy way to get rid of a lot of the excess grease or solvents right at the start.

DON’T MISS: Best Gun Cleaning Solvents For 2019!

After that, it is likely that your gun cleaning kit come with a range of cleaning rods. They will be of different sizes for use with varying type of gun.

Choose the right one and pull the rod through up to 10 times. Ideally, you will do this in the direction that the gun fires to avoid causing any damage.

Cleaning Patches

You will also need to use some cleaning patches to do a great job. These are soaked in solvent and pushed through the gun to clean out the dirt inside it effectively.

Depending upon how dirty the gun is, you may need to use a number of these patches. Be prepared to use up to 2 or so in some cases. This part of the job is complete once the patches come out clean and white rather than stained.

Your cleaning kit will come with a supply of patches for you to use. It is also worth using dry cleaning patches to remove solvents from the firearm when you clean it. You should then lubricate the gun well with a specialist lubricant once it has been cleaned.

Cleaning the Outside

A good firearm cleaning kit will also include a double-sided wire brush. This is what you use to clean the exterior of the weapon. If you don’t get one included then it is worth buying one separately so that you can carry out this important task.

Apply a little bit of gun cleaning solution to the brush and clean the areas where you can see that work is needing done. It will only take a few moments but could make a big different to how the gun looks afterwards.

Be Sure to Check for Rust

Rust is one of biggest enemy of gun owners. No matter how carefully you store it, there is the risk that it eventually starts to show the first signs of rust.

This can begin with tiny specks, so you will want to check the whole thing extremely carefully. After you have cleaned it is a good time to do this, as any rust patches should be easier to spot once it is spotlessly clean.

Assemble the Gun

With the firearm now perfectly clean, it is time to put it back together again. This should be a relatively easy task since you took it apart earlier. Especially if you keep all of the part nicely piled together on your cleaning mat.

Take your time to do this will without any problems. Rushing through this task at any point is possibly going to lead to problems,

Wipe the Gun Down

It is almost time to store away your clean, shiny gun again. However, only last step is to wipe it down with a good flannel cloth such as a luster cloth. You might have one included in your kit. If not, even an old sock or other old piece of cloth can do the trick for you.

This will help you to remove any fingerprints or smudges that you have left on there when cleaning the gun.

Just incase you didnt take all that in, here’s a little video to show you how to use your gun cleaning kit properly.


Cleaning your firearms doesn’t have be a job to fear. Once you learn how to use a gun cleaning kit it becomes a quick and easy job that you might even get a lot of enjoyment out of.


Do I need to buy a gun cleaning kit?

This isn’t strictly necessary, but it does make life easier by giving you everything that you need in one pack.

Can I use the same cleaning kit for different guns?

Yes, they typically contain a range of products that can be used for cleaning virtually any type of firearm.

Is it easy to use a gun cleaning pack?

Yes, there are no special skills or experience needed. You just need to set aside the time to do this in a calm, relaxed way.

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