In the same way, a car needs regular oil changes to keep it in good condition, a gun needs regular maintenance and care to keep it working as required. With regular usage, deposits of sediment and powder build up in the barrel, and this can affect its accuracy. Moisture can also build up in a gun when used or stored in a cold or humid environment. Failure to dry the internal components will cause the gun to malfunction.
Using the best gun cleaning solvent on a regular basis guards your gun against wear and tear by removing sediment and moisture. This will keep it clean and working as required. The cleaning process, if done correctly regularly, will extend the lifespan of your gun.
This buying guide will share information with firearm owners on the best gun cleaning solvents on the market and how you can choose the best one for your needs.
Why Do You Need the Best Gun Cleaning Solvent?
Using the best gun cleaning solvent won’t simply mean the difference between your gun exploding and not exploding, but it will make a big difference in gun malfunctions. A gun doesn’t have to be rusty, muddy, or overall visible in suit as this will cause it to malfunction.
Cleaning with gun solvent will extend the lifespan of your weapon because it prevents the internal components of your gun from degrading over time. Regular cleaning also increases your firearm reliability and accuracy.
Gun cleaning solvents are designed to remove, via lifting away and dissolving, metallic residues and harmful carbon.
These residues occur when you fire your gun, because every time you pull the trigger, lead, carbon, copper, and plastic will foul it. Build up takes time before it becomes a cause of concern; that’s why you need to clean it regularly using the best gun cleaning solvent.
Solvents are effective in cleaning because of the chemicals in them. Always, look for those with non-inflammable and non-toxic ingredients.
Here are the top-rated and best gun cleaning solvents on the market.
Best Gun Cleaning Solvent Comparison Table
1. Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner
** Editor’s Choice – Best Gun Cleaning Solvent**
Hoppe’s is one of the best brands in the industry and has a reputation for making quality bore cleaners. One of its most popular bore cleaners, Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Cleaner, is among the best-selling bore cleaners on the market. The company has been around for over a century and has remained relevant all through.
This synthetic blend gun cleaner is made for the modern gun. It removes copper, carbon, and lead fouling. It is completely safe on aluminum, steel, plastic, chromium, anodized titanium, polycarbonate, and rubber. It has a similar classic smell of Hoppe’s products.
This premium gun bore cleaner keeps your gear clean and jam-free. Its exclusive formula deeply and quickly penetrates, and you can use it to get rid of powder, lead, rust, and metal fouling. You can get it in different quantities- 5 oz., 16 oz., and 32 oz. This solvent is safe and easy to use.
Features of Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Cleaner
- It is capable of taking out copper and lead fouling
- It neutralizes corrosive salts in gun bores and suitable for all firearms
- Its effectiveness can be attributed to optimal blend of light protecting oil and ammonia that cleans and protects your gun bore
Pros of Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Cleaner
- It is one of the most globally used gun cleaning solvents for removing primer, powder, lead, and metal fouling for prevention of rust
- Easy to use and safe
- Highly efficient
- Comes with a child-proof cap
- It is made by a reputable brand with over a century of experience
- Different sizes to meet different cleaning needs
- Flows freely and penetrates rapidly
Cons of Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Cleaner
Its lid leaks and thus you should learn to use it rightly
2. Break-Free CLP-2 Cleaner Lubricant Preservative
The Break-Free CLP-2 is a popular cleaner that suits both amateurs and professionals. It affordable and therefore will not burn a hole in your pocket. The “2” in its name indicates the level of viscosity of this formula. Although most brands may have a higher level of viscosity that this CLP-2 solvent, you shouldn’t be worried as this is enough for general maintenance.
You can use this oil to keep your gun clean and safe in all kinds of condition. It doesn’t dry out, harden, or lose viscosity even when it’s very dusty, hot, humid, foggy, dry, or cold. This oil also removes saltwater from your gun internal components. It will also keep your firearm from corroding by preventing the gathering of debris and contaminants.
Break-Free CLP-2 is a quality cleaner. It produces foam and quickly removes carbon build-up. However, it can be messy, especially when used solely as a cleaner, and you will probably need to use one or two hand towels to wipe out any excess solvent.
Features of Break-Free CLP-2
- The lubricant is oil based and dissolves grease and wax
- It works in most environmental conditions
- It is easy to apply
- It sinks into hard-to-reach areas and tightest cracks, and keep your components working optimally
Pros of Break-Free CLP-2
- It is an affordable cleaner
- Cleans quickly and well
- Works in extreme weather conditions
- Has corrosion inhibition properties
Cons of Break-Free CLP-2
- It can be messy, especially when used solely
3. Ballistol Multi-Purpose Aerosol Can Lubricant Cleaner Protectant
This lubricant is a great firearm cleaner and minimizes the need for scrapping chambers and barrels. It works great for grip or trim components and protects all your firearms.
The versatility of this solvent is notable as you can safely use it on leather, wood, metal, and plastics as well. Moreover, it can clean firearms with brass and silver polish.
What’s more? Ballistol Multi-Purpose Lubricant Cleaner Protectant is biodegradable; meaning it does not damage the environment. Besides, it is a bit alkaline thanks to its high pH level. This makes it safe for your skin.
This lubricant prevents your internal components from rusting by forming a protective film on their metallic surfaces. It penetrates into hard-to-reach areas, and thinnest cracks and thus can help loosen frozen nuts and bolts.
Unlike most lubricants on the market, this multi-purpose cleaner protects even the wet surfaces by emulsifying with water as water evaporates
Feature of Ballistol Multi-Purpose Lubricant Cleaner Protectant
- It is a biodegradable product and thus environmentally-friendly. For this reason, Ballistol Multi-Purpose Lubricant Cleaner Protectant can be considered as one of the best gun cleaning solvents on the market
- It protects your guns and other firearms from rusting by forming a protective film on your firearm metallic internal components
- This effective lubricant can preserve leather, metal, plastics, and wood and protect them from damage
- It is slightly alkaline, a feature that helps neutralize skin oils or sweat when holding your gun
Pros of Ballistol Multi-Purpose Lubricant Cleaner Protectant
- This lubricant is highly versatile and can be used for metal, wood, silver, or brass polish
- It is biodegradable and thus not harmful to the environment
- It penetrates into thinnest of cracks
- The lubricant is slightly alkaline hence safe on your skin
Cons of Ballistol Multi-Purpose Lubricant Cleaner Protectant
- The quantity is quite small
- The lubricant has a persistent smell that doesn’t wear out fast
4. Break-Free CLP-4 Cleaner Lubricant Preservative
CLP is among the most affordable gun solvents and can last a long time. This has made it one of the most popularly used CLPs.
Being the first gun oil that managed to reach the standards set by the United States military for gun maintenance, you can have surety that this lubricant is highly effective.
CLP, (which stands for Clean, Lubricate, and Protect) has a unique blend of ingredients that help it perform three tasks simultaneously. You don’t need to buy three different products to do the work that can be effectively done by one product.
Proven by militaries around the world, Break-Free CLP-4 works in all extreme environment. It is one of the most popular gun oil that comes in both drop and spray bottles. This makes it convenient and easy to use.
A firearm can get very hot after a series of continuous firing; it is for this reason Break-Free CLP-4 was created to withstand both extremely chilly temperatures and high temperatures (-65 degrees Celsius to 475 degree Celsius).
This oil is synthetic-based and is fortified with PTFE to prevent gun malfunctions by unclogging bullet pathways. In addition to having corrosion inhibition properties, this oil has anti-wear additives. It prevents rusting by forming a boundary film that serves to protect metallic surfaces from contaminants such as moisture.
Unlike most lubricants in the market, Break-Free CLP-4 cannot get gummy or sticky even under extreme weather conditions.
Features of Break-Free CLP-4
- It can penetrate through metal surfaces, and thus your gun will stay lubricated
- It lasts for a long time keeping your gun safe from contaminants and dirt
- Can be used in different environmental conditions
- The temperature for this lubricant starts from -65 degrees Celsius to 475 degree Celsius. This makes it one of the best gun cleaner and lube
Pros of Break-Free CLP-4
- It has been tried and tested by militaries all around the world
- Incorporates three functions into one
- It is long-lasting
- The lubricant is affordable
- Can withstand extreme conditions
Cons of Break-Free CLP-4
- It doesn’t work on suede
5. Hoppe’s M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner
It is biodegradable and wears no smell. Therefore, it does not damage the environment and suits people who are allergic to strong scents. It removes layers of carbon-embedded fouling thanks to its aerospace technology.
The cleaner is also non-flammable thus safe to use. It lowers wear and friction thereby extending the lifespan of your firearm.
Important features of Hoppe’s M-Pro 7
- It is odorless and non-flammable
- It makes your firearm dependable and precise
- The cleaner uses aerospace technology to remove carbon buildup
- It protects your gun components from rusting
Pros of Hoppe’s M-Pro 7
- It is affordable
- It is also high-quality as it keeps all gun mechanisms operating smoothly
- This cleaner reduces friction
- It is all-purpose gun oil as it can clean, lubricant, and protect
Cons of Hoppe’s M-Pro 7
- It is not a strong lubricant
- Does not remove copper fouling
6. Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber Firearms Cleaner
Cleaning your firearms just became a lot easier thanks to this gun scrubber from Birchwood Casey. This product can be used on any firearm and is highly effective. It cleans and evaporates fast making it convenient when you are in a hurry.
Birchwood Casey Gun Cleaner is an interesting product in both purpose and design. While you can use it as a cleaning solvent for your firearms, this gun scrubber is intended to saturate dirty areas of your firearm and can flush out all the dirt and fouling without you having to disassemble your gun. While this will make your cleaning work convenient, you will require disassembling your firearm once in a while to give it a thorough cleaning.
Birchwood Casey Gun Cleaner will not harm synthetics, patterns, wooden stocks, etc. However, you might need to use protective gloves when using this cleaner as it is not friendly to your skin. This product does not leave a protective layer in your internal gun components; it dries completely. However, it is one of the best gun cleaning solvents and has been rated highly by its users.
Features of Birchwood Casey Gun Cleaner
- It cleans and evaporates fast
- The cleaner is excellent for automatics, slide actions, lever, and bolts. It can also be used for air rifles, shotguns, and muzzleloaders
- It comes in 15-ounce bottle
- Gun Scrubber removes jams while improving reliability and accuracy
- Professional size aerosol
Pros of Birchwood Casey Gun Cleaner
- It works first and dries quickly
- It is strong
- The gun cleaner is easy to apply as it comes in a spray bottle
Cons of Birchwood Casey Gun Cleaner
- Its strong nature necessitate use of a lubricant after using it
7. G96 1055P Complete Triple-Action Gun Treatment
This gun cleaner not only wears an amazing smell but also has triple-action abilities making it a complete firearm cleaner. You don’t need to worry about lubrication and protection of your gun’s inner components afterward as G96 1055P Triple-Action Gun Treatment will take care of that; it cleans, lubricates, and protects your gun in one application. By leaving an invisible magnetic film on you gun’s metal components, your gun will be rust-free. It doesn’t leave sticky residues, a common occurrence with other lubricants.
You need no preservation or solvent when using the G96 1055P Triple-Action Gun Treatment making it a convenient cleaner for everyone.
This gun cleaner removes gunpowder, rust, and corrosion immediately. In addition to being efficient, this gun cleaner is also versatile and works on wood, polymer, chrome lined barrels, and laminate stocks. Its small nozzle makes it efficient for little cracks as well.
With this cleaner, you don’t need to worry about temperature getting too cold or hot as it doesn’t freeze, evaporate, or oxidize. This cleaner is so good that all the moving parts and firing pin still work in -50 degrees Celsius.
It is strong and easy to use. It also has a pleasant smell.
Features of G96 1055P Triple-Action Gun Treatment
- This cleaner removes all traces of gunpowder, rust, corrosion, and lead in seconds
- It doesn’t oxidize, evaporate, or freeze
- Coats metallic parts with an invisible magnetic film which protect it from rust
- It keeps all moving parts working in as low as -50 Degrees F
Pros of G96 1055P Triple-Action Gun Treatment
- It has triple-action ability; cleans lubricates, and protect
- It’s easy to use and has a pleasant smell
- You don’t need to use any preservation or solvent afterward
- The cleaner is versatile, and you can use it for wood, laminated stocks, and polymer
Cons of G96 1055P Triple-Action Gun Treatment
- The spray may splash
- You need to wear protective gloves as it gets on cellular level
8. Outers Nitro Solvent Gun Cleaner
This gun cleaner has gun care chemicals, which makes it highly reliable and efficient for gun cleaning. It offers easy and fast protection for your gun thereby increasing its overall performance and accuracy level.
This non-acidic bore cleaner removes carbon build-ups, lead deposits, and gunpowder as well. Even though it is strong, this cleaner leaves behind a light layer of protective oil to keep your gun’s metallic components in good condition.
A little amount of this gun cleaner last long and thus will get you covered for a considerable time. It doesn’t wear a bad smell and is extremely easy to use thanks to its spray. The pressure is powerful, making its application easy. It works on many types of guns making it versatile.
Features of Outers Nitro Gun Cleaner
- It’s made from safe and powerful ingredients
- Offers easy and quick protection
- Its non-acidic, powerful bore cleaner
- Protects your gun’s metallic components by leaving behind a light layer of oil
Pros of Outers Nitro Gun Cleaner
- This gun cleaner removes gunpowder and carbon buildup
- It is easy to use
- Its efficient and powerful
- Works on many types of guns
- It offers future protection by leaving behind a layer of oil
Cons of Outers Nitro Gun Cleaner
- You need to apply gun oil after using it
- It is not polymer safe
9. Sweets 7.62 Solvent
A longtime favorite for most shooters and hunters, Sweets 7.62 Solvent remains one of the most widely used solvent thanks to its aggressive attack on contaminants. It removes propellant buildup in rifle barrels and fouling from copper-jacketed bullets within minutes.
This solvent removes copper buildup from the bore or a rifle. Being an ammonia-based solvent, this product is quite aggressive, and you should properly clean your metallic parts after using it. It has quite a strong smell because of ammonia. You should, therefore, use it in a well-ventilated room.
Sweets 7.62 Solvent penetrates deep and rapidly. It is formulated to ensure optimal performance in today’s sophisticated firearms. The cleaner is potent and easy to use.
When using this cleaner, ensure to follow all the cleaning steps stipulated on its label. It may be harmful to some painted, synthetic, plastic, or vanished stock finishes. Once you use it to clean your bore, run a patch of lubricating oil to keep the moisture out and prevent rust.
Features of Sweets 7.62 Solvent
- It is an ammonia-based solvent
- It’s ultra-potent
- May be harmful to some synthetic or vanished stock finishes
- It can clean out copper
Pros of Sweets 7.62 Solvent
- It does not harm steel
- Penetrates deep and rapidly
- Safe and effective; despite being ammonia-based cleaner, it is non-acidic and has no abrasives
- Do not blend with other chemicals
- Works great on most guns
- Great for removing propellant deposits and copper jacketed bullets from bores of rifles
- Provide superior cleaning in a short time
Cons of Sweets 7.62 Solvent
- It has a strong scent
10. Butch’s Bore Shine
This non-abrasive solvent is specifically designed to remove bore fouling from rifles including copper with minimal efforts and no damage. It also quickly removes carbon-build up even in hard-to-reach areas like the chamber throat. This cleaner also removes wax, plastic deposits, and lead. Butch’s is safe to use on stainless and normal barrels.
You can use this oil to keep your firearm safe in all kinds of weather condition. It does not lose viscosity, dry out, or harden even when it is very hot, cold, foggy, dry, or humid. The oil work even if salt water found your way into your gun. It will reduce contamination, prevent your weapon from corroding, and prevent the buildup of debris.
Features of Butch’s Bore Shine
- It removes fouling and carbon from barrels
- Minimum effort required
- Safe for stainless and standard barrels
Pros of Butch’s Bore Shine
- It is an affordable cleaner
- It cleans quickly and is easy to use
- Has corrosion inhibition property
Cons of Butch’s Bore Shine
- It has a strong scent
Features of the Best Cleaning Solvents
Apart from being able to clean all the affected areas, the best gun cleaning solvents should also leave an extra thin coating for protection making future cleaning easier. This layer also protects the gun from dirt, corrosion and any other environmental pollutants and conditions.
How to Use a Cleaning Solvent
After the use of a firearm, a small residue is left in the bore or barrel. If not cleaned as regularly as its use, it will obstruct the aim and performance of guns. This being the case, it is essential to make the effort of regular cleaning to make maintenance of the gun possible. The importance of using a cleaning solvent is because it is better than a cleaning product; it cleans quickly and gives way better results.
A cleaning solvent works by performing every particle of carbon with the help of a negative-charged coating. This results in repelling of all carbon-particles and ultimately leads to it breaking down and separating. It now becomes easy to clean all the embedded foul like plastic, carbon, copper, brass, and lead.
These days cleaning solvents are effective as they can remove every layer of rooted fouling to provide better maintenance.
To achieve the best out of cleaning, you can combine both gun grease and gun cleaning solvent.
How to Choose the Best Gun Cleaning Solvent
- Read the Ingredients
To be sure of the safety of the gun cleaning solvent you are about to use, read through the ingredients. It will be prudent for you to buy a product that is non-flammable, non-toxic, and biodegradable. It is good news that most gun cleaning solvents today are biodegradable and non-flammable. In the past, there were cases of explosions caused by these cleaning solvents; although they were rare.
- Do Research
A product manufacturer may lie to make you buy their product. It is, therefore, not wise to rely solely on what a products’ makers say about their solvent. A suitable way to get the best gun cleaning solvent is by relying on reviews from previous customers and other reviews from reliable and reputable site like ours. Also, Amazon ratings should guide you. Just ensure you are reading reviews from a reputable site that doesn’t exaggerate or gives biased information. You can also ask other firearm users about the best gun cleaning solvent on the market.
- Check Performance
The best cleaning solvents should have the three main properties discussed above. However, a solvent with all the three virtues but needs a day or two to clean contaminants and buildups should not be on the list of best gun cleaning solvents. Therefore, ensure the product you choose has a formulation that will be effective on your gun within a short time.
- Set your budget
The rule of thumb remains that averagely, the more costly a solvent is; the better it is. However, this is not always the case as you can get some best products in the middle-price range.
- Universal Use
There are cleaning solvents that have been designed to work on some specific types of metals and would be corrosive or harmful when used in other materials. The best gun cleaning solvents should be universal; allowing the ability to be used on multiple types of materials. Imagine a scenario where you own different types of firearms; some made of steel, others are nickel, anodized aluminum, titanium, and even still one with two or more of these materials- do you need to buy a cleaning solvent for each of them? Of course, NO. There are many cleaning solvents that will do a perfect cleaning job on different metals.
What Should You Look For in a Cleaning Solvent?
Haven’t decided on the best gun cleaning solvent to buy? Or did you buy one and was not satisfied with what you got? Finding a good cleaning solvent is hard. Here are tips to help you find the right one for your needs;
- Cleaning Factor
A cleaning solvent is great for maintenance and light cleaning. It should be used when you want to clean your gun quickly. However, if you want to clean it thoroughly use it alongside other heavy duty gun cleaning kits.
A toxic or heavy, pungent odor in a cleaner is not good for your health. There are cleaners with odors that stick to your hands no matter the times you wash your hands. It is best to go for a cleaning solvent that has a natural smell.
Some people are allergic to toxic fumes that are given off by cleaning solvents. And even if you are not affected by the smell immediately, it is still not good for your lungs. Look for cleaning solvents made from natural, biodegradable materials. Not only will they be better for your health, but also for the environment as a whole.
We recommend that you go for a spray-on cleaning solvent over paste as the latter is hard to apply. Look for non-hardening liquid or non-sticky liquid for ease of use. Many cleaning solvents come in cheap bottles; you can transfer them to a more solid bottle for long-term use.
The best gun cleaning solvents are not only meant to keep your gun clean for aesthetics; it is also meant to ensure proper functioning of your firearm, increases its lifespan, and enhance firearm accuracy and reliability. It is also important to know that regular cleaning of your firearm gives you an opportunity to know different components of your gun and how they function. There is nothing that improves one’s shooting confidence more than understanding their firearm.
Unfortunately, if you use low standard solvents in the market, all the benefits may not be realized. It is, therefore, important to invest your money and time to get the best gun cleaning solvents. All the products we have reviewed in this post have been proven, and you can never go wrong choosing any of them.
Resources americanrifleman.org : Cleaning Modern Guns
 range365.com : Seven Things You Need to Clean a Gun
 hoppes.com : Hoppe’s 9