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View Full Version : Gloves recommend when cleaning guns?


Venom1956
May 22, 2012, 04:42 PM
Does anyone do this? I've always cleaned my guns with my bare hands but apparently the recommend using gloves? :eek:

It was just news to me!?

10Ringmagic
May 22, 2012, 05:13 PM
I don't, but know that I should. Anything that gets on your skin can be absorbed into your body, think nicotine patch's and the like.

mete
May 22, 2012, 05:57 PM
Don't forget that you are inhaling the fumes !! 'Well ventilated area ' .I think that's more important than gloves as I'm always using chemiclas on a cloth not normally my skin.

bigalshootmupper
May 22, 2012, 11:03 PM
If I am cleaning 3+ guns at a time, I use those cheap blue gloves. I don't like the chemicals smelling up my hands for the rest of the day. Plus, you don't have to spend 2-3 minutes washing all those chemicals off your hand, and still smelling it later.

LockedBreech
May 23, 2012, 02:20 AM
Honestly I've never even thought of it. Might start, better safe than sorry.

FlyFish
May 23, 2012, 07:12 AM
If I am cleaning 3+ guns at a time, I use those cheap blue gloves. I don't like the chemicals smelling up my hands for the rest of the day. Plus, you don't have to spend 2-3 minutes washing all those chemicals off your hand, and still smelling it later.

Same here, even if I'm only cleaning one gun I've started wearing cheap, disposable Nitrile gloves primarily so I don't have to smell like Hoppe's the rest of the day. There's a lot of discussion about lead being absorbed through the skin, but the dermal absorption factor for elemental lead is quite low - ingestion of lead that happens to get on your hands and isn't washed off before eating is [potentially] more of a problem. There are those who argue that cleaning solvents can pass through the skin taking the lead with them, but I've never seen any research supporting that claim. As for the other chemicals, I don't think there's much of a problem there.

dahermit
May 23, 2012, 07:19 AM
Your hands can get pretty dirty cleaning guns. The fluids are oily and stick to the skin and are somewhat difficult to wash off. It is easier to just wear those cheap examination gloves ("one size fits no one"), available from places like WalMart to keep the chemicals and lead off your hands in the first place.

Fargazer
May 23, 2012, 11:23 AM
It never used to bother me as a kid cleaning rifles, but in the past few years my hands have gotten more sensitive to oils. I've now mounted a spot for a box of Nitrile gloves on the pegboard of my gun bench. Typically I'll keep at least one hand, if not both, gloved.

I probably have always had some predisposition to this kind of thing. In college, I had no issues with petting my ferret for two years, but then they started breaking out in a rash from the oils in the fur.

Sigowner
May 23, 2012, 11:43 AM
Switch to Frog Lube and your hands stay safe, clean and smell great! I have switched and so far find Frog Lube to be as good as the petroleum products.

Technosavant
May 23, 2012, 11:47 AM
I use those cheap nitrile gloves... get them by the box at Harbor Freight. I see a few advantages to wearing them:

1) Potential health effects from having the cleaners and lubricants on my skin are eliminated.
2) My hands are easier to clean when finished- nothing getting worked into my skin or under my fingernails.
3) Fewer small cuts from sharp edges- the gloves take the hit and tear, protecting my fingers.

Now, these may be pretty minor, but the gloves don't hamper my working and they are cheap, so I find it a worthwhile tradeoff.

Constantine
May 23, 2012, 11:51 AM
Never used gloves. Don't think I ever thought of doing so either. Why would one need to?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2

jimisbell
May 23, 2012, 02:06 PM
I think everyone is missing the point. I wear gloves when ever I handle guns to keem MY body oils off the gun... not to protect me from the solovents! Though most of my cleaning is done with boiling water and dish soap, then dry thourally and apply a thin coat of oil, and put up. Using solvents can damage a painted finish, which a lot of guns are getting now. I just finished a shotgun that was not worth bluing with a deep emerald green (similar to what I have seen on some Browning 50 cal sniper rifles) Rustoleum. Its beautiful...but solvents will damage the finish.

I have seen guns with rusty fingerprints on them where they were handled.

I may be a bit obsessive about it, but unless I am USING the gun I wear gloves or at least very quickly wipe down the areas I touch with an oily rag.

Actually with the painted surfaces the body oils are less of a worry than with a blued or browned gun.

Constantine
May 23, 2012, 02:30 PM
You seriously clean your guns with water and dishwashing soap?

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LockedBreech
May 23, 2012, 04:19 PM
You seriously clean your guns with water and dishwashing soap?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2

I was curious about that too.

I soak 30 minutes with Breakfree, scrub it off with cotton cloths and the filth comes with it, spot-treat with Breakfree for remaining soil, bore brush and run Breakfree-soaked patches until clean, then mostly dry off any standing Breakfree and oil the rails with Hoppes Elite.

The nice part about using Breakfree for all the cleaning is that it imparts a great deal of lubricity. Never had a gun jam on me with this method. :)

jimisbell
May 23, 2012, 05:07 PM
Yes. My father was a competition shooter (small bore champion of CA in 1936) and he taught me to do it that way. I have always done it that way for most of my 75 years (started shooting at 5 years) As long as you dry it throrally, it is the best way to clean a gun.....unless you are using corrosive primers. If it is dried completely and oiled (bore, external, and any other place where it got wet), that is all you need. Solvents are not needed with modern ammo and can dammage the finish on a gun or on the wood.

plateshooter
May 25, 2012, 07:39 AM
Solvents will penetrate your skin. I use Kroil as part of my cleaning procedure and if I touch it without gloves, I can taste it, and feel the effect in my body. Disposable gloves are cheap, and worth the investment to me.

10-96
May 25, 2012, 11:31 PM
Of late, I always say I'm gonna start wearing gloves when I clean- but it hasn't happened yet. I do wear them when handling tung or teak oil, stains, etc. After reading this post, I went and took a peek on amazon for nitrile gloves... Folks, don't do that! There's so many out there it'll make your head spin! Shoulda just went to Harbor Freight like that other guy!

gyvel
May 26, 2012, 01:04 AM
You seriously clean your guns with water and dishwashing soap?

It's a perfectly viable way to clean a gun, but you must be sure that it is completely dry afterwards. Hot water and soap (basically sodium hydroxide aka lye) will clean a lot of crud out of your gun that you might miss or otherwise can't see.

Never used gloves. Don't think I ever thought of doing so either. Why would one need to?

Think about it; Common sense dictates that you are handling potentially toxic chemicals with no protection. That's why one would need to. Your liver can only take so much abuse.

JohnKSa
May 26, 2012, 01:05 AM
I have a pack of disposable nytrile gloves and I do wear them sometimes when I clean. I've worn them less since I've started using Hoppes Elite Guncleaner because my hands don't get nearly as dirty when I clean using it and what dirt does get on them comes off very easily with soap and water.

I started wearing gloves back when I was using primarily petroleum based cleaners because after I finished cleaning, I would wash my hands several times and they would still smell like chemicals and it was extremely difficult to get the black gunk out of the cracks in my skin and out from under my nails.

That makes it sound like I'm worried about the cleaning chemicals, but frankly I'm less concerned about the cleaning chemicals than I am about the residue that's coming off the gun and getting stuck under my fingernails/etc. Some of that is primer residue that contains lead compounds from the lead azides/lead styphnate in the primers.

gyvel
May 26, 2012, 01:09 AM
I discovered a bore cleaner a number of years back, that is completely biodegradable, non-toxic and water soluble called RB-17. It is very effective in dissolving copper and lead fouling, and smells like pine. If you get some on you, it rinses off with water and has no residual smell.

jmortimer
May 26, 2012, 08:39 AM
I use the blue Harbor Freight latex/nitrile two layer gloves when working with nasty stuff. Ballistol works well and is non-toxic.

sirgilligan
May 26, 2012, 08:58 AM
When I have been shooting lead bullets I use those blue gloves. If I have been shooting full metal jacketed bullets, I usually don't use the gloves.

I have been tempted to wear a painters mask at the indoor range. Ventilation is slow there and a lot of shooting can overwhelm the system for a while.

JohnKSa
May 26, 2012, 01:34 PM
Solvents are not needed with modern ammo and can dammage the finish on a gun or on the wood.The detergent and the water are solvents, just not petroleum/oil based solvents.

As far as petroleum/oil based solvents damaging wood, that can happen--it can happen with water and detergent as well. In fact, water and detergent can damage metal gun finishes as well.

I'd like to hear an example of a petroleum/oil based solvent intended for use on guns damaging the metal finish on a gun when used as the manufacturer intended.When I have been shooting lead bullets I use those blue gloves. If I have been shooting full metal jacketed bullets, I usually don't use the gloves.Most of the shooting exposure to lead is from the primer smoke and residue, not from the lead bullets themselves. If you're worried about lead exposure and that's why you sometimes use gloves during cleaning then it makes sense to use the gloves unless you're shooting lead-free ammunition with lead-free primers.

Mrcymstr
May 26, 2012, 02:32 PM
I find it fascinating that some of you DON'T like smelling like hoppes...

Chris_B
May 26, 2012, 03:05 PM
You seriously clean your guns with water and dishwashing soap?

I boil one of my firearms in water with a drop of dish detergent. It's a blackpowder revolver. The water evaporates quick; the parts are hot after removal from the pot. Then I spray with WD-40 when cooled, wipe off, clean as normal, and oil. Sounds like it takes a long time, it actually pretty fast.

No issues with getting water on steel if you don't ignore it. I've removed the crankshaft from my car, installed new bearings, polished out a scratch on a main journal, scrubbed the crank with hot soapy water and a bottle brush, cleaned it off with the garden hose, sprayed with WD-40, wiped clean, installed the crank and driven to work the next day. No problems

hooligan1
May 26, 2012, 03:17 PM
Yeah we used to clean our M-16's in basic like that, scrub the hell out of them with "Break-Free" and walk into the showers with the rifle and scrub a dub dub!!;) It works man!!
It was the easiest way to remove the Fort Dix sand!

ScottieG59
May 26, 2012, 03:25 PM
As a teenager, I figured quickly that dish detergent and hot water was the best way to clean a cap and ball revolver of most of the grime. It's important to dry it well. I would not want WD40 residue in the chambers fouling the powder.

My non-black powder guns do not get the water and soap treatment.

The idea of gloves is worth considering. Whenever I handle a gun, I wash my hands well. I am concerned about the cumulative effects to lead residue.

Chris_B
May 26, 2012, 03:26 PM
Hooligan, there's a Bill Mauldin cartoon of a GI in basic, scrubbing his M1 in the sink. The caption reads "You've got the right spirit private, we'll work out the details later" :D

Chris_B
May 26, 2012, 03:27 PM
I would not want WD40 residue in the chambers fouling the powder

Ug, neither do I. That's why the WD-40 gets cleaned out with Hoppe's ;)

jimisbell
May 26, 2012, 05:43 PM
"The detergent and the water are solvents, just not petroleum/oil based solvents."

True enough. I thought it was obvious I was talking about petroleum based solvents. Hell, pure water is a solvent!

"I'd like to hear an example of a petroleum/oil based solvent intended for use on guns damaging the metal finish on a gun when used as the manufacturer intended."

I just re-did a gun where petroleum based solvents made a mess of the finish. And the paint I used would be similarly damaged if exposed to petroleum based solvents.

Many guns now days are NOT blued or browned, but are painted. Some of the best paints (read more expensive) are resistant to petroleum based solvents. But because of their price, like bluing and browning, are not suitable for refinishing a gun that is only worth $150. You dont want to be putting more into a gun than you can get out of it unless its an heirloom.

JohnKSa
May 26, 2012, 09:57 PM
I just re-did a gun where petroleum based solvents made a mess of the finish. And the paint I used would be similarly damaged if exposed to petroleum based solvents.Are these finishes actually finishes intended for firearms or are you talking about something a hobbyist or someone else applied in place of actually getting a gun properly refinished?

I thought we were talking about actual gun finishes and not simply any imaginable type of finish that someone could potentially apply to a gun.

stephen426
May 26, 2012, 10:48 PM
If you guys are using evaporating cleaners such as Gun Scrubber, I strongly recommend you wear chemical resistant gloves. As already mentioned, many chemicals are eaily absorbed into the skin. I started wearing gloves after my hands started tingling after cleaning my guns. I use Gun Scrubber to blast out the Hoppes 9. Better safe than sorry!

While we are on the topic of safety, I strongly advise wearing safety glasses when cleaning your gun with something such as Gun Scrubber. I had that stuff splash back in my eye and it hurt like heck!

jimisbell
May 27, 2012, 10:04 AM
Are these finishes actually finishes intended for firearms or are you talking about something a hobbyist or someone else applied in place of actually getting a gun properly refinished?

I thought we were talking about actual gun finishes and not simply any imaginable type of finish that someone could potentially apply to a gun.

I knew when this started that it would come to this. Use of words like "hobbyist" and "properly" and "any imaginable" show a deep seated bias against thinking "out of the box".

A Gunsmith is just what it says, Gun Smith. A Gunsmith is a "smithy" that works on, creates, manufacturers, guns for his/her clients (if properly licensed). You can be a "gunsmith for the museums", or a "gunsmith for the people", or both. A gun can be either a museum piece or it can be a tool, or BOTH!

A gunsmith must decide from questioning his client whether the gun will hang in a humidity controlled case or will be used by a craftsman as a tool.

If the client brings in an original 1851 Navy revolver for restoration to original and has the money to do the job, bluing, a highly toxic and labour intensive process, is indicated, if needed.

If the client brings in a unique, original, octagon barrelled, muzzle loader that he wants and has the money to restore, then browning, less toxic, but still labour intensive, may be indicated.

The hours needed to produce these finishes will be expensive to the client...unless the gunsmith just loves doing the work and doesn't charge what he/she is worth.

On the other hand, if a LEO brings in a Saiga 12 (AK-47 in 12 gauge) that he keeps bouncing around in the trunk of his squad car along with a tire iron or two, its a tool that needs to work when asked to and needs to be rugged enough to be used as a tool. A beautiful bluing job is counter-indicated. It wont last a week in the trunk. A good hard coated paint job is what he needs.

Or a rancher wants an AK-47 built so he can kill wild pigs that are ruining his cattle's watering holes, a gun that can get 6 to 8 pigs before they scatter, he doesn't want a fancy blue job. He may want a camo paint job. Bluing doesn't come in camo.

There are a couple of very good paints, Duracoat, Ceracoat, and probably others that are epoxy based. Some are petrochemical resistant. But as with bluing and browning, the high end paints are labour intensive and expensive compounds. Not necessarily suited to the trunk of a car or hunting pigs.

Then for the guy that walks in with a Stevens 820B (worth $150 at the top end) or a $450 AR15. There are the "other" paints.

The Stevens took 20 minutes to strip down, 30 minutes to sand down the flat black engine paint the previous owner had applied and subsequently ruined with a transmission fluid soaked rag, and 20 minutes with an air brush and deep green Rustoleum to make "pretty". After repairing two springs and adding a new bead sight, he had $150 invested in a home defence gun that still looked good. He was happy with his tool. The Rustoleum can be repaired in minutes with an air brush if it does become chipped.

I am gunsmith to several law enforcement officers and also to ranchers. I am a gunsmith to the people. But if asked I can create a museum piece, if you have the money for it. My speciality is custom AK-47s in any calibre you want....within reason LOL.

Most of my clients don't have the money for a museum piece in the bed of their pick up or the back of their squad car. They want a tool that works and doesn't rust.

JohnKSa
May 27, 2012, 12:12 PM
I knew when this started that it would come to this. Use of words like "hobbyist" and "properly" and "any imaginable" show a deep seated bias against thinking "out of the box".You don't know how wrong you are. :D

I'm an engineer, a hobbyist and a tinkerer. I actually enjoy hearing about how people have come up with ingenious ways to solve problems with unorthodox solutions.

I don't have any problem with people using expedient finishes on guns either to save money/time or because it suits their particular application better than other finishes available. That's not an issue at all as far as I'm concerned.

What I don't agree with is saying that typical gun-cleaning solvents will damage gun finishes. They don't. They may damage finishes that aren't typically thought of as gun finishes but that's another story entirely.

I was primarily responding to the comment: "Solvents are not needed with modern ammo and can damage the finish on a gun or on the wood." That makes it sound like we all risk damaging the finish on our guns every time we clean them with typical gun-cleaning solvents which isn't really the case.

HOWEVER, if someone has applied some sort of aftermarket finish to a gun, a finish not typically used on factory firearms and one that's not commonly used to refinish firearms, then it is certainly true that gun-cleaning solvents might damage such a finish since there's no way to know what finish might have been applied or what solvents it is compatible with.

jimisbell
May 27, 2012, 02:07 PM
You don't know how wrong you are.

I'm an engineer, a hobbyist and a tinkerer. I actually enjoy hearing about how people have come up with ingenious ways to solve problems with unorthodox solutions.

Thats great. I tread it wrong, sounded sort of snobish, sorry I mis read your words. A hazard on the internet.

I too am an engineer, a hobbyist and a tinkerer. But then I guess I wasnt completely clear when I said "damage the finish on a gun". To me "a gun" meant ANY gun, not just those with traditional finishes.

But then we cant be all bad, we are both Texans if I read your sig line correctly.

JohnKSa
May 27, 2012, 05:50 PM
I'll happily give you the benefit of the doubt--as for me, I'm pretty much all bad. :D

I can't really claim to be a Texan since I was born in South America. But maybe I can get half-credit for having a dad who is from TX and for living in TX since 1976 (other than a 3 year stint while I was in college in a state immediately to the north which will remain nameless) .

jimisbell
May 27, 2012, 06:04 PM
I can't really claim to be a Texan since I was born in South America

Well, I am a fraud also I was born in SoCal. I didnt get here until 1958 when I went to SMU, but I married an East Texas girl and stayed.

JohnKSa
May 27, 2012, 06:25 PM
Have you ever tried Krylon BBQ grill paint on any firearms? I've heard some people recommend applying it, letting it harden overnight and then baking it on as if it were a bake-on epoxy type finish. The result is supposed to be durable and more solvent resistant than most paints.

I've also heard good things about using the same basic approach with the Duplicolor high-temperature engine enamel paints.

jimisbell
May 27, 2012, 06:44 PM
I have only tried Rustoleum because I did a brush paint job on my El Camino that looked like it was sprayed using thinned Rustoleum and it came out GREAT. Attached earlier the gun heres the El Camino

The gun is post #27 on the thread, "What kind of paint for a gun"

Edward429451
May 28, 2012, 11:06 AM
If you're married or have a GF then you'll want to use gloves. She don't like coming to bed smelling like solvents. That's putting it mildly, lol. Gloves are cheap and I use them like chicks use kleenex.

Harry Bonar
May 28, 2012, 05:24 PM
Sir;
Forget the gloves!
Harry B.

langenc
May 29, 2012, 10:42 AM
I for sure didnt read all posts.

For those that dont like the oily (petroleium distaillate) smell-just switch to Ezzox or Gunzilla-water based-no smell.

I wash hands BEFORE cleaning to get the oil and salt off my hands to help prevent rust. When putting back in the rack all get a wipedown w/ RIG. No fingerprints=no rust (or less for sure).

langenc
May 29, 2012, 10:49 AM
Hooligan, there's a Bill Mauldin cartoon of a GI in basic, scrubbing his M1 in the sink. The caption reads "You've got the right spirit private, we'll work out the details later" from post #28 above..

I recall a Saturday at summer camp and things were MUDDY. Two guys went into the shower and all the M1s along with them. Then Stack arms outside for hour while we cleaned up and the the rifles were cleaned and oiled.

Showers looked like hexx when rifles were done but rifles were MUCH cleaner. This was Ft Knox red clay that was washed off the M1s.

Aguila Blanca
May 29, 2012, 11:20 AM
I think everyone is missing the point. I wear gloves when ever I handle guns to keem MY body oils off the gun... not to protect me from the solovents!
I don't think anyone is missing the point. The recommendation to wear gloves is to prevent the chemicals from entering your skin. The fact that gloves also protect the firearms against your bodily products is a secondary benefit.

I started wearing gloves after the VA hospital told me my blood lead level was dangerously high. I had to change a lot of things. I shoot at an indoor range; I cut down on my competitions, I shoot less overall, and I try to be there at times where there aren't as many other shooters. I moved my brass tumbler from the basement to the garage, and I run it outside. I wear gloves when doing anything relating to reloading, and when cleaning a firearm.

Blood lead level seems to have reverted to normal after all the changes.

Don P
May 30, 2012, 08:34 AM
Hum, why does "boy in a bubble" come to mind? I think at times we worry way to much about things that will never effect us. Good hygiene should suffice before eating and the such.
Just my opinion here, maybe if we cleaned guns 8-10 hours per day 5-6 days a week we would encounter health related problems from the chemicals used. We probably have a better chance of getting killed in a car crash rather than developing an illness due to the solvents we use on our guns.

fishhawk
June 18, 2012, 08:48 AM
GLOVES,GLOVES are you kidding me GLOVES!

Mik3e
June 18, 2012, 12:30 PM
I always wear vinyl gloves, solvents eat disposable latex. I use gloves to keep the toxic chemicals off my skin, out of my blood and out of my liver.

langenc
June 19, 2012, 10:46 PM
No dish soap and water. Use Gunzilla and no gloves needed. No gas mask either. Gunzilla is a water based product=no petroleum distillates=no ventilation and no nagging from anyone.

Dr. Strangelove
June 19, 2012, 11:10 PM
Here's a true story guys:

I never worried about gloves, I just cleaned guns willy-nilly and didn't care what I used. Cleaned my hands with gasoline after painting, etc.., all that kind of stuff.

Well, one day I was clearing out a storage unit I had been renting (another story, but don't ever store anything for more than three months unless you have a definite plan). I had stored some spices and such that mice had gotten into, and they had chewed a hole in the side of a green food coloring container that spilled a decent bit on the side of my leg, on the calf.

A day later I was pooping bright green cartoon poops, it scared me to death until I remembered what had happened, the it scared me even more. I don't play with chemicals anymore, I wear the gloves and such because I don't want that stuff in my body. Whatever gets on your skin, gets in your body - remember that.

Mik3e
June 22, 2012, 02:40 PM
Gunzilla is all natural but I don't trust natural, poison ivy is natural, all the time we hear of people dying of natural causes. I'll keep my gloves on.