Every gun owner who frequently goes hunting or fires a few rounds in the shooting range knows how dirty their firearms can get. As you use the gun, residual powder or lead can easily build up in the barrel or bore of your weapon if you don’t clean it. And even if you do, eventually, it will need a proper wash.
But cleaning a firearm with just about any cleaning solution is not a good idea. Over-the-counter cleaning solutions may work in your kitchen or bathroom, but for guns, you want the best gun cleaning solvent.
The thing is, abrasive cleaning materials can strip the finish of your firearms, leaving them with a worn-out, rusty look. Some people are into that, but for most, this is not exactly a pretty look on their favorite gun.
Cleaning solvents specifically designed for guns can eliminate powder residue, carbon fouling, and lead build-up quite effectively from the metal parts of your weapon.
Not only that, after you are done cleaning, in most cases, the product will also give your gun a protective layer that prevents further rust or corrosion.
If you are a newbie to gun care, naturally, you have a lot of questions. And which gun cleaning solvents to buy is one of the many queries that you may have in your mind. Well, let me try and sort it out for you.
In this article, I will give you a complete breakdown of some of the finest gun cleaning solutions available in the market that will give your weapons a breath of new life.
Top 7 Best Gun Cleaning Solvent Reviews
Here is a quick roundup of some of the finest gun cleaning solvents that I have used in the past and had good results with.
1. Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaning Solvent
If there is one solvent for gun cleaning to solve all your problems, it would have to be Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaning Solvent. This brand has been around since 1903, and if its more than 100 years of service is any indication, this is the best gun cleaner solvent out there.
This is just one of the many No. 9 gun care products that Hoppe’s is known for. And like all the rest, this one holds a special place in the hearts of many gunsmiths and enthusiasts. It can remove any type of powder, lead, and carbon build-up in the bore of your firearm.
Sometimes, abrasive materials can build up inside the gun, which can cause misfires when you use it. This is the best product to break those materials loose quickly and efficiently. It works fast and can penetrate deep within your firearm for effective cleaning.
A handy by-product of the cleaner is that it also applies a rust-proof coat on your firearm for a certain time. Its tried-and-true formula is safe and easy to use. Though I listed the bottle design in this review, you can also find it in aerosol format. So go with whichever mode of application sits best with you.
With your purchase, you will be getting 32 ounces of fluid which should get you through a couple of cleaning projects pretty easily. This bottle comes with a child-proof cap to make it even safer. And once you are done cleaning your gun, you will be left with a nice smell in your firearm for quite a while.
- Quick-acting formula
- Works against all types of build-ups
- Available in different applicator designs
- Also removes and protects against rust.
- The smell might not be the best thing for hunters.
2. BreakFree CLP-4 Cleaner Lubricant Preservative Squeeze Bottle
For my next pick, I decided to go with another old-school cleaner that works just as well by modern standards to keep your firearms clean and rust-free. The BreakFree CLP-4 is based on the original formula introduced in 1975 and is an extremely popular choice when it comes to cleaning solvent for guns.
Here’s a fun fact for you; this CLP formula was initially developed for military applications. Over time as gun laws became a lot more lenient, civilians started picking it up to care for and maintain their firearms. This is a simple yet efficient cleaner that works exactly as advertised.
The proprietary formula used in this cleaner helps break loose powder, oil, grime, or grease that may build up around or inside your firearm over continuous use. It also actively reduces friction and general wear and tear after application extending the lifespan of your firearm.
This formula leaves a protective coating on your firearm that prevents the build-up of rust and corrosion in addition to preventing carbon accumulation. Like Hoppe’s No. 9, this cleaner is available in various modes of application. But I decided to go with the squeeze bottle as that feels extremely comfortable for me.
Still, having the option to go with an aerosol or spray bottle is handy for those who prefer a different application medium. Your purchase gives you 4 ounces of cleaning fluid, and its affordable price tag makes it a prime candidate for just about anyone on a tight budget.
- Helps extend the lifespan of your firearm
- Can resist saltwater
- Amazing cleaning and protective performance
- Comes at an affordable price
- Nothing worth complaining about
3. Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil
Proudly claiming the third place in my list of the best solvent for cleaning gun parts is the Multi-Purpose Oil by the brand Ballistol. To be honest, I was having a hard time picking between this and the CLP by Sage & Braker for this spot, but eventually, I felt that the Ballistol deserves more points solely for how long they have been in the business.
With over 100 years of experience in this industry, Ballistol has perfected its formula to provide users with a perfect gun cleaning solvent. This is one of the few universal cleaning solvents out there that works well for any sort of cleanup project in your firearm.
Removing black powder and corrosive ammo residue is one of the many strengths of this cleaning solution. While most cleaning solvents are only applicable to the metal parts of the gun, this multi-purpose formula can be used in just about any part of your firearm. You won’t have to worry about ruining your firearm cleaning mat.
This means the wood on the gun stock or the leather on the gun slings will also get some much-needed cleaning with this formula. The multi-purpose design of this solution saves both your time and money. On top of that, since it is bio-degradable, it will not leave any harmful footprint on the environment.
While I went with the aerosol design, this cleaning solvent is available in bottles or jugs, too. So, you can go with whichever medium feels best for you. This aerosol can give you around 6 ounces of solvent to work with, which should last you quite a while even if you use it frequently.
- Amazing value for the price
- Available in multiple modes of application
- Non-toxic, bio-degradable formula
- It can be used in both metal and non-metal parts of the gun
- No apparent cons
4. CLP by Sage & Braker
I’ll be honest, the reason I first tried out the CLP by Sage & Braker was because of the bold claims the manufacturers were making. They said that this product is the most advanced and powerful non-toxic CLP formula that ever came to the market. And after trying it out for myself, I can say that they are quite right.
Now, non-toxic is the key thing to remember here. Yes, there are many CLP formula out there that works just as well as this one. However, most, if not all of them, use some form of toxic materials here and there, which means you cannot use them without proper ventilation.
This product comes with a bio-based, non-hazardous formula that works wonders for cleaning your firearms. So even if you are working in a locked room, it should not pose any serious health risks for you. It can safely eliminate any copper, lead, or powder residue in your gun, making it as good as new.
In addition to simply cleaning your firearm, it also improves the heat dissipation capacity of the gun, so it will remain cooler after firing. On top of that, the anti-static nature of the formula prevents static charge build-up and actively protects your gun against carbon build-ups as you fire it.
So, to put things simply, not only will it clean your gun efficiently, but it will also ensure that your weapon needs less cleaning next time. You get around 4 ounces of cleaning solvent with your purchase. So, if you are looking for the best non toxic gun cleaning solvent on the market, this is your best bet.
- Non-toxic, bio-based formula
- The formula has anti-static properties
- Gives you four ounces of fluid
- Efficient cleaning performance
- A bit on the pricey side
5. Hoppe’s M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner
I have already talked about how great Hoppe’s No. 9 Cleaning Solvent is at taking care of your firearm. But this time, I decided to go with another option by the same brand. For rifle enthusiasts, especially, the M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner takes the cake as one of the finest cleaning solutions.
This is a fantastic cleaner that does exactly what it sets out to do, which is cleaning your firearm. It can break down carbon fouling in your firearm, allowing you to wipe it away with a soft cloth quickly and easily. Any foreign material that builds up on the metal parts of your firearm can be cleaned off with this solvent.
As a bonus, the formula leaves behind a rust-resistant coating on the weapon that offers some level of protection against corrosive build-up. And it also does not feel oily or gummy as it does with other CLP products. However, its protective coating also does not last too long.
There is a downside to this product, though. Unlike the other CLP products that I reviewed on this list, this one does not lubricate, nor does it protect. To protect the firearm against buildup, you need to follow up with a gun oil that serves that purpose. However, if your sole purpose is to clean, this should not disappoint you.
All in all, this is a fantastic gun cleaner for the money. You get around 8 ounces of fluid with your purchase which should get you through quite a fair bit of cleaning projects. Just make sure you don’t use it with oil-based stocks, as the formula can strip it down.
- Amazing cleaning performance
- Gives you a large quantity to work with
- Can remove even the toughest grimes
- Bio-degradable, non-toxic formula
- Does not lubricate or preserve
6. Slip 2000 EWL 4oz
The Slip 2000 EWL is another fantastic gun cleaner and lubricant that you might consider picking up if you clean your firearms frequently. I wasn’t a huge fan of this cleaner at first, but that was before I tried it out myself. And having tried it out after hearing so many good things about it, I was frankly quite amazed.
Now you can use it in just about any firearms you own. Personally, I use it on my Benelli shotgun and had good results. Just make sure you are applying the lubricant only on the metal parts of the gun. Using it on stock leather or plastic components may strip off the paint.
The thing that makes this cleaning solvent so special is its ability to work in extreme hot or cold climates. While other solvents that are not as tolerant may freeze or evaporate, this one will continue to work well and keep your firearms lubricated and clean whenever you want.
As for its cleaning capabilities, I don’t have much to say except that it’s superb. It works well for cleaning tough gunk and powder strain from the bore and the barrel relatively fast. In fact, the manufacturers claim that it works at least 50 percent faster than its competitors, which is not that bold of a claim once you try it out for yourself.
The formula, as you might have expected, is non-toxic and bio-degradable. This means using it behind closed doors with poor ventilation will not harm you in any way. Once applied, it also actively protects your weapon against rust or corrosion. To reduce overall friction and weapon wear, this is a great cleaning solvent to go with.
Overall, despite being a relatively low-key name in the industry, the Slip 2000 EWZ is a fantastic product for any firearm. It comes in a small 4-ounce bottle and has a precision tip to prevent excess liquid spills. So, you will be able to make it last for a good while.
- Lubricates a lot longer than traditional solvents
- Affordable price tag
- Quick cleaning capability
- Comes in a precision-tip bottle
- Nothing worth nitpicking
7. Lucas Oil 10006 Gun Oil Multi-Colored
To wrap up this list of reviews, I decided to go with one of the finest gun cleaning oils that I could think of, the Lucas Oil 10006 Multi-Colored Gun Oil. This is the favored brand of many gunsmiths because of how well it works at removing grimes from unused firearms.
The first thing that came to my tried it out was that this one is designed for hunters. As you might know, many gun oils leave a nice smell on your firearm, which is not always a bad thing. However, when hunting, the smell from your weapon can tip off the game animals, and they can run off. Because of its odorless formula, this is not a problem here.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Its formula is extremely potent and is capable of eliminating any dirt or powder residue from your weapon. If you have to clean a lot of weapons at once, time is always of the essence. With this product, you will be able to blaze through each weapon while making sure they are perfectly spotless.
The formula is also environmentally friendly and contains no toxic chemicals. Its only downside is that it costs a bit more compared to other options in the market, especially when you consider that you are only getting 2 ounces of fluid with your purchase. But for a hunter, this is a small price to pay for a completely odorless gun cleaner.
- Leaves no fragrance on your weapon
- Non-toxic, eco-friendly formula
- Can eliminate tough stains
- Leaves a protective coating
- Not very affordable
The Bottom Line
Keeping your weapons clean is a good practice, but without the proper cleaning solvents, you might do more harm than good. Weapon cleaning solvents are designed to work on gunmetal, and using any off-the-shelf cleaning solution is not the answer here.
Hopefully, my article on the best gun cleaning solvents could help you find a couple of good options when you are planning to pick one up to keep your firearms clean and polished. Good luck!
Larry, who is a family man and a gun enthusiast, enjoys keeping his collection in pristine condition. He also likes to take his kids shooting as often as possible.