Clearing Up Gun Cleaning Rumors


There are TONS of general-purpose cleaning and lubricating products on the market that claim to be EXCELLENT, STUPENDOUS, AMAZING, ALL-THE-THINGS, ETC.

The problem with most general-purpose cleaners and lubricants is that while they may have a broad range of uses, they’re rarely superb at any of them.Let’s take a look at why.

General-Purpose Lubricants

If you’ve been a gun owner since the 70s or 80s, then you understand that there weren’t a lot of dedicated gun-cleaning products around back then (except Hoppe’s!). There were very few brands on the market and not many of them came in user-friendly spray cans. Even worse, the few gun solvents and lubricants available in the market were not very affordable.

As a result, many gun owners resorted to using aerosol water displacing general-purpose lubricants because it somehow served the purpose and may have seemed more affordable than gun-specific lubricants. Over the years, these products have also been used for a wide range of household activities, including cleaning tools, lubricating hinges, removing stubborn stains, and so much more. To prevent rust on metal, most displaced water and moisture, which is an important function when protecting metal surfaces.

Why was this bad?

Being a rust-resistant solvent and a water displacer, it may seem like the perfect gun-cleaning solution. However, this formula will only get rid of moisture and will not offer full protection from rusting. It also tends to clean surfaces no better than standard gun oil.

Here are some more reasons you shouldn’t use general-purpose lubricants to clean guns:

1. Most contain a Light Solvent

There’s widespread misconception that gun cleaning should end with a simple solvent spray-down to fully protect your firearm before storage – this is far from the truth. The gun may look clean but spraying the surface with light solvent only dissolve surface fouling and grease and then deposit it in hard-to-reach crevices and corners of your gun. This leads to buildup in those areas, and then, once the solvent evaporates, the residues are tacky and sticky. Sticky bolts and actions lead to malfunctions in feeding and firing and can lead to a dangerous situation with misfires.

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2. Most are not Long-Lasting

Like most generic solvents, using general purpose lubricants to clean your guns won’t offer long-lasting protection. The solvent evaporates quickly, and the residues left behind tend to leave gun parts unprotected and susceptible to the elements. As a result, it won’t take long before the gun needs another cleanup. This will be tiring in the long run. Conversely, a dedicated gun oil acts as a long-lasting rust-resistant lubricant, and it doesn’t evaporate.

3. Most General-Purpose Lubricants Attract Dirt and Dust

Aerosol water displacing lubricants displace water and leave a light oil residue behind. Oily surfaces attract dirt and dust easily. The dirt and dust build up will create a waxy dirty mess ultimately leading to malfunctions and even jamming your firearm, making it a safety risk. Sticky residues are also visually unappealing, leading to a lost of value and visual interest.

4. General-Purpose Lubricants aren’t Wooden or Synthetic Stock Safe

Spraying general-purpose lubricants onto wooden or synthetic gun stocks can leading to discoloration, etching or worst case, complete loss of finish. Using something dedicated to guns, you know its been tested to be safe for your standard finish.

Maintain your Gun with Proven Gun Cleaning Products:

Unlike a few decades ago, the market today is flooded with all types of gun cleaning supplies to enhance your firearm’s longevity and performance. Hoppe’s has been serving the gun community for nearly 120 years with top-quality gun care products. The original formulas will still give your gun a lifetime of high performance.

Here are some quality gun cleaning supplies from Hoppe’s that you can use instead of general purposes lubricants.

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Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner

This product is the most effective lead, powder, metal fouling, and rust remover. Unlike general purposes lubricants, the Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner cleans fouling and loosens abrasive dirt from gun parts to protect your firearm and prevent wear. It offers a protective layer on the firearm and aids in preventing carbon buildup in the barrel.

With this gun solvent, your gun’s firing pins and strikers will move freely to prevent misfires and light strikes. It also has a unique pleasant smell that enhances your gun cleaning experience.

Hoppe’s BoreSnake® Oil CLP

This is one of the first lubricant, cleaner, and protection all-in-one formula. It protects against rust and corrosion and is suitable for all rifles, pistols, and shotguns. The product is designed to remove carbon, lead, and powder fouling from forming within the gun.

Compared to general purpose lubricants, the BoreSnake® Oil CLP doesn’t evaporate over time and thus provides lasting protection.

Hoppe’s Deluxe Gun Cleaning Kit

Hoppe’s Deluxe Gun Cleaning Kit has everything you need for your sporting guns to make the cleaning process seamless and stress-free.

The set is packed in a sturdy case with strong finger joints for easy accessibility. The cleaning kit contains a cleaning rod featuring a T-handle for comfort and control to avoid injuries and firearm damage. The set also comes with Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner, precision lubricating oil, and phosphor bronze brushes.

Hoppe’s Black

Ignore the partial protection (and ZERO cleaning) offered by general purpose lubricants – the Hoppe’s Black formulas are engineered to give modern firearms (such as Modular Precision Rifles) top-notch protection and promotes performance. Hoppe’s Black High-Performance Precision Oil can withstand very high temperatures, making it suitable for high round count guns. Additionally, it doesn’t harden, stick, or expire. This gun cleaning kit comes with Hoppe’s Black Gun Cleaner, Precision Oil, cleaning rod and brushes/jags in all the common calibers.

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Quit Looking in your Kitchen Cabinets and Protect Your Firearm with the Right Gun Cleaning Supplies

General Purpose Lubricants aren’t a complete zero – they’re just not the right tool for guns. While many are largely considered a “lubricant”, they’re simply not adequate for the specific needs of firearms. You need reliable, dedicated and proven cleaning and lubricating products for enhanced gun performance, safety, and longevity.

Being the most trusted name in gun cleaning since 1903, getting yourself a Hoppe’s cleaning kit is your best bet.

Browse our extensive catalog of cleaning products today to find something suitable for your gun.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>