The Best Gun Cleaners – Our Guide to the Best Gun Oils and Solvents

If you’ve been into shooting sports for long enough, you know that a dirty gun is an unreliable one. There are many gun cleaners and solvents out there, but how do you know which gun cleaners are the best?

We’ve done the work for you and put many of the gun oils out there to the test and have put together a carefully decided list of the best gun cleaners. Hopefully we can take some of the mystery out of this process.

best gun cleaners and solvents

We recently tried out several gun cleaners (including gun oils and gun cleaning solvents) on a Glock 19. Now Glocks in general are fairly easy to clean but when you want to get a gun dirty for a test, a Glock can certainly take the abuse. Over 1,000 rounds of 9mm went through several of our Glocks and we started cleaning to see what gun cleaners took the gun powder residue, dirt and grime off the easiest.

Our Top Picks for The Best Gun Oils and Gun Lubricants

Royal Purple Gun Oil – Synthetic Gun Lubricant

Believe it or not, Royal Purple is one of the very best gun oils available on the market today. When lubricating our Glocks, the Royal Purple sprayed on a nice thin coat easily. You’ve got to love the fact that the Royal Purple gun oil comes in a spray can and has a straw so that you can get in those little nooks and crannies that you ordinarily used to use a Q-Tip for.

After assembling my Glock 19, and racking the slide (carefully and not slamming it) a few times, it did feel as smooth as ever.

Other reviewers on Amazon had a great experience as well. The Royal Purple Synthetic gun oil has over 80 reviews with a near perfect rating.

Ballistol Lubricant

Ballistol has been around for years and it has always been a very good gun lubricant. What’s nice about Ballistol is that it works as BOTH a gun cleaner and a gun lubricant. Just spray it on and wipe off the grime and residue from your pistol or rifle.

I like to go heavy at first on the barrel and slide then take a nice medium bristle toothbrush or gun cleaning brush to it. Then I just wipe off the black stuff and spray on a thin layer of Ballistol.

Honorable Mention: Hoppes No. 9 Gun Oil

Hoppes gun oil is definitely a classic and some absolutely swear by it. However, I have heard one too many stories of jams and seizing after lubricating with Hoppes. Personally, I’ve never had any issues but one friend with a Sig absolutely hates the stuff. To each their own.

Our Choices for the Best Gun Cleaners and Solvents

M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner

This stuff is the best gun cleaner that we’ve ever used. It cuts through all sorts of gunk including carbon, powder residue, dirt and grime and even old grease. I recall using it on an older Tokarev that I had purchased where the previous owner (or the shop) had packed it with a ton of oil and even grease. M-Pro 7 immediately started working and all of the old oil came off like nothing.

Another benefit of M-Pro 7 as a gun cleaner is that it is nearly odorless and won’t stink up the whole house while you’re cleaning your guns. All we can say is that the price is definitely worth it.

Hoppes No. 9 Gun Cleaning Solvent

Hoppes is a great gun cleaner and has been for years. There’s not much to say except that this stuff works well. For easier cleaning jobs (as they should be, don’t run 1k rounds through your guns like we did), Hoppes does the job very well. After every range visit, I usually run Hoppes No. 9 through the barrel until it’s clean. Then I do a thorough cleaning after every 2nd range visit or 400 rounds.

Break Free CLP Gun Cleaner

CLP has almost a cult following. The reason why is that this stuff is good for cleaning ANYTHING. It does smell a little bit but hey it also does it’s job extremely well. Similar to Ballistol mentioned earlier, CLP cleans and lubes at the same time. For this product, I usually will clean with CLP, wipe off and then lube up my gun with something else. Check out what others are saying on Amazon.

Other Gun Cleaning Essentials

Here are a few of our favorite things for doing a deep clean on almost any handgun or rifle:

Brushes: Otis Technology gun cleaning brushes

Gun Picks (for cleaning tight areas): Tipton gun picks

Gun Cleaning Patches: Hoppes has a great price on 500 of them

Rifle and Shotgun Bore Cleaning Snake: The “Boresnake” works wonders

Pistol Bore Cleaning: You might as well just buy this pistol cleaning kit since it’s so cheap!

Now Go Clean Your Gun!

We’ve presented some of our top picks for the best gun cleaners including gun oils and gun solvents. Check out some of the links above and get to cleaning. No matter if you’re cleaning your range queen or your carry weapon, make sure it is clean at all times so that you won’t have to worry about jamming or seizing when you are relying on your gun to function properly.