If you own one of the many polymer framed pistols such as a Glock, XD or XDm, M&P and many others, you are going to need a polymer-safe gun cleaner (plastic & synthetic safe gun cleaner) for cleaning and lubrication.
The list of gun models with polymer (synthetic) frames is quite long and getting longer every day! The manufacturers of these guns require the use of a polymer-safe gun cleaning solvent.
Some of the more popular guns with polymer frames include the Springfield XD series, Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm and Shield EZ, Bodyguard and entire M&P series, Ruger LCP and LCR, any Glock and the list goes on.
Polymer-Safe Gun Cleaner: Standard Gun Solvents vs Synthetic-Safe Products
Gun cleaning solvents have historically contained aggressive chemicals designed to quickly and easily clean the metal parts on a firearm. These solvents use harsh chemical such as Acetone, Toluene, Heptane and alcohol. Not only will these ingredients attack synthetic materials, but they are dangerous to breathe and should not contact your skin.
Now that technology has given us many polymer and or plastic parts on the more modern guns, it is imperative that you use a high-quality polymer safe cleaning solvent as well as a polymer safe lubricating oil to keep your guns in top shape while preventing damage to the finish.
Using the wrong type of cleaner or lubricant can damage the finish as well as attack the integrity of the firearm itself.
If you have an all-steel or aluminum pistol or revolver, you do not have to be as careful, but be aware that any plastic part is vulnerable to aggressive chemical damage, especially the sights. A lot of aftermarket sights as well as some factory sights and grips have plastic components that can be damaged if exposed to cleaners that are not safe for these parts.
Polymer-Safe Gun Cleaner: Gun Solvent vs Oil
Gun solvents typically have one purpose and that is to dissolve and loosen solid dirt and grime so it can be removed. It will also remove lubricant and protectants from the gun as well. A gun oil will also help loosen dirt and grime, but will typically leave a thin coating of lubricant on the surface which goes a long way to protect it from rust and corrosion over time.
A gun oil such as Original Gun Oil will do a good job cleaning, lubricating and protecting most guns. If you have a particularly dirty firearm, you may want to clean it first with a solvent (take care with any polymer parts) then with the oil for its protectant properties.
I would like to recommend Original Gun Oil as an excellent polymer-safe gun cleaner. I have been using this exclusively for about a year now on all my guns and I am very happy with the results. This is one of the best synthetic gun oils I have run across. Check out my review of this product.
I own 2 Shield EZ pistols, an XDm 9mm, Bodyguard .380, Walther PPS, Ruger LCR and they all have polymer frames. I also own several Kimber 1911 guns and I use Original Gun Oil on all of them.
See my articles for step-by-step instruction on cleaning with this product.
Original Gun Oil Pros
Here are some great reasons for using this CLP (cleaner, lubricant, protectant) product.
- It’s a cleaner AND lubricant. This means fewer chemicals and less clutter on your workbench.
- Polymer Safe. Not only is it safe for polymer, but also safe for your rifle’s wood stocks and kydex holsters.
- Non-Scented. There is no odor so you can clean your guns in the house without anyone complaining!
- Non-Staining. This means less worrying about messes. It cleans up very easily.
- Non-Toxic. If you have small children or pets and you do use this in the house, no need to worry if it falls into the wrong hands. Also, you can touch the oil with bare hands without worries. I use my finger to spread it on the gun and it washes right off.
- Veteran Owned company. As such, they support several worthy Veteran Organizations. See their website for details; OriginalGunOil.com
- FREE SHIPPING. I hate paying for shipping.
Original Gun Oil Cons
Just a couple things to mention here because no product will work for everyone:
Price: Although it is not out of line compared to some other products, it is not the cheapest out there. Here is a 10% coupon code to use at originalgunoil.com: SAVEWITHDAVE
Viscosity: It is slightly thinner than some heavy-duty lubricants. This is not an issue for 90% of gun owners. (This is actually a good thing for cleaning purposes as it gets into the small areas easier.) If you are going to a training course and going to fire 500-600 rounds, I would recommend lubricating your pistol with something a bit heavier, such as Slip 2000 EWL. Otherwise, Original Gun Oil works great as a high quality gun lube.
Polymer-Safe Gun Cleaner: How to Use Original Gun Oil as a Gun Cleaner
You can use Original Gun Oil just as you would use any gun cleaning solvent. Just field strip the gun and apply a few drops to all the parts that are to be cleaned. Then use a soft brush to spread it around so that it coats all surfaces and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes to loosen the grime. Next, use a cotton rag or cloth and wipe everything off, using swabs or pipe cleaners to get into all the nook and crannies.
To clean the inside of the barrel, squeeze a few drops into the barrel and let is soak a while. Then run the appropriately sized Boresnake through the barrel 2 or 3 times. This will get the barrel very clean and ready to go.
After you wipe down the barrel, recoil spring, frame and slide, you are ready to use the same oil to lubricate as the manufacturer recommends.
Here is a video on using Original Gun Oil to clean an M&P Shield 9mm EZ:
Polymer-Safe Gun Cleaner Aerosol Options
Here are some other synthetic safe options you can get on Amazon. These are spray cleaners in aerosol cans. I have not tried these, but they indicate that they are synthetic safe:
Polymer Safe Gun Cleaner Final Thoughts
There are a lot of gun solvents and cleaners out there. You do not need anything fancy. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations in your particular User Manual. Most of the manuals I have read do not give you much information on what to use, but Original Gun Oil is a polymer-safe gun cleaner and will be suitable for virtually any firearm!
Thanks for reading this article and if you have questions or comments, please leave them below and I will be sure to respond.
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