Homemade Gun Cleaning Station
This article will show you how to make a do-it-yourself gun cleaning station and give you a list of gun cleaning supplies that you will need to perform your necessary firearm maintenance.
Cleaning a gun is not difficult and anyone can do a good job with very little in the way of supplies and tools.
I will list the necessary supplies and tools, as well as some optional ones that will make the job a bit easier. I will go into detail about each item, discuss how it is used, where to get it and if there are other options.
You can make a diy gun cleaning station with very little cost. If you need to know the steps to cleaning a gun, you can check out my article on How to Clean a Kimber 1911 for some tips.
Supplies for Gun Cleaning List
- Gun Cleaning Solvent or cleaner/lubricant such as Veteran Owned Original Gun Oil
- Gun cleaning Swabs or Q-tips
- Boresnake or Rod and Patches
- Micro Fiber cloths or Soft Paper towels
- Gun oil or other mid-weight oil
You can find all these products on Amazon by clicking here: Gun Cleaning Products
Brownells also carries all the products you need to clean your handgun. Check them out here: Handgun Cleaning supplies.
Optional, but desirable Gun cleaning items
- Gun cleaning aerosol spray
- Gun cleaning Mat
- Solvent dispenser
- Ultrasonic cleaner
Gun Cleaning solvents
There are literally dozens of different gun cleaning solvents out there and they are all good, at least all the ones I have tried. I often use Hoppes Number 9, basically just because it’s not very expensive and it’s probably one of the most well-known gun solvents available.
There are also products that clean AND lubricate. Original Gun Oil is such a product that I have been using lately and it does a great job. There is more information on this in the Gun oil section below.
Swabs or Q-tips
The best swabs that you can use have foam tips and these work much better because cotton swabs and Q-tips tend to leave behind small cotton fibers if you’re not super careful. I do prefer getting two sizes of swabs get the long ones and short ones because the long ones come in handy for certain areas but the short ones will be the ones you use the most.
Boresnakes are one of the best inventions I have seen for very quickly cleaning the inside of your gun barrel. This one tool will save you a lot of time, effort and mess over the rod and patches method.
To use a boresnake you must have one that is made for your particular caliber. All you do is run it through the barrel a couple of times from breech to muzzle (back to front) and you can see that it does a great job scraping out any fouling and polishing the inside of the barrel as well.
If a dry boresnake does not quite to the job, you can apply some solvent to the back end of the snake and run it through a few more times. When the boresnake gets dirty, simply throw it in the washing machine inside an old pillow case and it will come out clean again.
Rod & Patches
The old rod and patches method also does a great job but with considerably more effort and mess. Basically, you take patches one at a time, dip them in solvent and push them through the barrel. You will keep doing this until the patches comes out fairly clean that way you know you’ve clean the inside of the barrel pretty well. But you’ll go through a lot of patches depending on how dirty the barrel is and it does become a little messy.
This has been the tried and true bore cleaning method before the invention of boresnakes. If your barrel is extremely dirty and coated with lots of buildup, you will need to clean it this way as you can really get solvent inside the barrel to soak in and really loosen the crud.
It’s a good idea to have both boresnakes and rod & patches ion your homemade gun cleaning station.
Micro fiber cloth or paper towels
Use a micro fiber cloth to clean excess oil and solvent off of the gun. Paper towels will work just fine, but I recommend a “soft” paper towel that will be less likely to scratch the finish on your gun.
Gun oil or other lubricant
Most household oils will work to lubricate your gun in a pinch (3 in 1 oil is a good one) but I would recommend getting a lubricant that is specifically made for guns so that you have the right viscosity. There are dozens of great gun lubricants on the market and I have used a lot of them.
They will all do the job but I like Slip 2000 EWL mostly because it is a bit thicker than most, and it seems to stay in place longer and provide a consistent coating for a long time. I especially recommend this if you are going to take a training class and shoot hundreds of rounds over a few days time. I have done this and was quite pleased with the results with my 1911.
I also recommend taking a look at Veteran Owned Original Gun Oil which is a high quality, non-toxic, non-scented and non-staining gun cleaner, lubricant and protectant. the company is owned by a Veteran and uses some of the profits to support Veterans Organizations. See my review of Original Gun Oil.
Optional Gun Cleaning Products
The following product are not essential but can make your life easier if you don’t want to spend a significant portion of your Saturday afternoon cleaning your guns!
Gun Scrubber-Synthetic Safe
Another useful cleaning product would be something Birchwood Gun Scrubber which is an aerosol spray cleaner. I will sometimes use this method to spray clean the entire slide mechanism after removing it from the gun.
It is very important if you use the spray that you get a “synthetic safe” spray if you have a Glock, Springfield XD or a Smith and Wesson M&P model. These guns and many others have a plastic or polymer frame. Some standard gun cleaning solvent will attack and degrade the plastic parts on your gun.
Gun Scrubber can really save some time. Also, it will easily get into the nooks and crannies of the slide for a more thorough cleaning. I will use this to spray down the slide of my 1911 before I use Hoppes No. 9 solvent to remove the stubborn stuff.
When you use this spray, be sure you are in a well ventilated area and hold it over a trashcan as you will get a lot of dirty fluid dripping from the slide.
Gun Cleaning Mat
This is just a fancy work area that will pad your gun parts and keep everything together. I like to use a mat, but I use a piece of drawer liner and keep my really nice 1911 Gun Mat in a safe place so it does not get messy! When I look on Amazon, there are a lot of really cool mats to choose for, some even having a magnetic parts storage area!
This is a fantastic product that makes cleaning a gun a little less messy. These dispensers are made for chemicals and solvents so they will not be damaged by your cleaning agent. Gently press down on the lid and it pumps a small amount of liquid into the reservoir.
this is a very handy dispenser for all kinds of uses on your workbench such as rubbing alcohol, acetone and even make-up remover or astringents such as Sea Breeze, etc.
These have a purity protector that prevent the fluid in the dish from re-entering the bottle.
If you want the cleanest gun in town, an ultrasonic cleaner is your best bet. You can place any metal parts of the gun in the cleaner and it will make them spotless. It uses a liquid cleaning fluid and ultrasonic vibrations to clean all the particles from gun parts, jewelry, dentures, etc. This is a great investment if you are also a reloader as you can clean all your empty brass before you load it.
There you have the basic supplies you will need to set up a homemade diy gun cleaning station. As you can see, you do not need to spend a lot of money and buy a ton of item to get up and running.
For answers to other gun cleaning questions, see the Gun Cleaning FAQ page.
if you have found this article useful, please leave a quick comment. If you have other suggestions that may help people out, please let me know as well.