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Old February 9, 2014, 08:18 PM   #1
Ruger480
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Can I...

Wash gun parts in my dishwasher without harming them? They're polymer.

I had read on TFL that some guys clean their BP guns with hot soapy water and I thought...why not use the dishwasher? I don't have any bp parts that would fit so then I wondered about my regular guns.

So, what say you?
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Old February 9, 2014, 08:22 PM   #2
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You can, but I would not wash them in the same dishwasher that you wash your food dishes in. Lead poisoning and such.

Simple green and an old toothbrush, then rinse in a tub of water works perfectly. No reason to but them in your dishwasher.
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Old February 9, 2014, 08:57 PM   #3
Ruger480
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I had not considered lead contamination. Good advice. Thanks!
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Old February 9, 2014, 09:05 PM   #4
ClydeFrog
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Umm, no .....

I wouldn't put any guns or parts in a dishwasher.
In 1990, as a US Army MP, I read in a Caliber Press text book about LE tactics, there was a documented incident of a police cadet who washed his service revolver in a washing machine!

Clyde
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Old February 9, 2014, 10:02 PM   #5
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Of course you can put them in the dishwasher.

Shoot copper and use Calgon.

Keeps spots and limestone buildup down on your fine china.
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Old February 9, 2014, 10:18 PM   #6
James K
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I have washed guns with old grease and dirt in a dishwasher and they cleaned up quite well, using my regular dishwashing powder. Of course I took the parts out and dried them with hot air and towel rather than depending on the machine's slow dry cycle.

Jim
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Old February 9, 2014, 11:04 PM   #7
Ruger480
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Thank you Shortwave and James!
I might just do both. I'm never fully satisfied that I have properly addressed all areas and I think this may help.
Much appreciated.
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Old February 10, 2014, 12:24 AM   #8
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Ya gotta love it. Advice off the Internet from anyone who thinks they are an expert on a subject they know nothing about. First and foremost, always consider the source of your information whether it be here, other Internet sites, or someone that is trying to sell you something from the LGS.

Never, ever put a firearm in a dishwasher. That is just so wrong on so many levels. I have read at least 100 different firearms owners manuals, my primary source of information about care and maintenance of a firearm, and I have not once ever recall reading that it is OK to put a gun in a dishwasher.

Read the manual and clean your gun in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations. Your gun will perform better and last longer, in most cases. Anything else is just gun abuse.
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Old February 10, 2014, 03:03 AM   #9
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After seeing a video of someone cleaning a chocolate covered glock in the dish washer and it beating the hell out of it, bits of surface rust and such I probably wouldn't do it to any gun.

It provides a great environment for rust to form. Heat tends to speed up chemical reactions and the formation of rust is a chemical reaction.
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Old February 10, 2014, 07:55 AM   #10
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"I have read at least 100 different firearms owners manuals, my primary source of information about care and maintenance of a firearm, and I have not once ever recall reading that it is OK to put a gun in a dishwasher."


So, by extension, it must also be verboten to:

1. Use brake cleaner as a degreaser
2. Wash the gun in a parts cleaner
3. Use an ultrasonic cleaner

etc. etc. etc.

I've never seen an owner's manual that says it's OK to do any of the above, so by extension it must be forbidden.

Don't get too hung up on what the owner's manuals say. They can, and should, be considered the absolute minimum of what is needed/OK for cleaning and maintaining your gun.


That said, I agree that washing your gun in the dishwasher is a bad idea, specifically due to the concerns about lead contamination.
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Old February 10, 2014, 09:55 AM   #11
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You can if mama don't catch you.
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Old February 10, 2014, 10:18 AM   #12
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Whyyyyyyyyyyyy???

What's wrong with solvent and a toothbrush?
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Old February 10, 2014, 11:10 AM   #13
Hal
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Quote:
I had read on TFL that some guys clean their BP guns with hot soapy water and I thought...why not use the dishwasher
Correct.

HOT soapy water (did I emphasize hot?) with a HOTrinse.

It's critical that the water be hot and the metal gun be under that hot water long enough to get hot.
The gun should be just on the verge of being to hot to handle.
That way the water will quickly evaporate even from the nooks and crannies.

I don't believe the cycles a dishwasher goes through would be as good as a simple wash in soapy water and rinse in hot water.
I'm not sure the polymer would get hot enough to get all the nooks and crannies dry either.
Using a hair dryer might do it.
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Old February 10, 2014, 01:52 PM   #14
guncheese
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ive done it before and ill do it again
especially if you use a 1/3 cup of TSP (trisodium phosphate) instead of the soap you normally use
as the soaps you but nowadays dont have TSP in them any more
they come out greaseless and dry and darn hot!
and yes i wash poly frames in it as well
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Old February 11, 2014, 12:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
1. Use brake cleaner as a degreaser
2. Wash the gun in a parts cleaner
3. Use an ultrasonic cleaner
Not so sure I would jump on number 1. I prefer a gun solvent that is specifically made for guns.

I have cleaned gun parts by soaking them in a gun cleaning solvent so if the parts cleaner in number 2 were filled with gun solvent, go for it.

Number 3. I know of a gun smith that has used this method for really caked on stuff. I trust his judgement and therefore concede that it is probably doable.

I guess the bottom line is what you care to subject you own gun to is perfectly acceptable to you, than by all means, go for it. I prefer to stay away from the unorthodox methods as I value my guns and use them extensively and expect them to keep on performing for me…not only for competition but for personal and home defense.

Each and everyone of us is entitled to our opinion. Does it make me wrong and you right, or vice versa. Certainly not. That's the purpose of a Forum…it gives each individual the right to express their views.
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Old February 11, 2014, 12:37 AM   #16
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Been using brake cleaner as well as electrical contact cleaner on steel guns/parts for the last 30 yrs. after removing the stocks when doing a complete tear down and clean. Occasionally used carb. cleaner as well. Never once had a problem.

You just have to lube gun well after using these chemicals.

Also, if you've ever acquired a gun packed in cosmoline, you will appreciate how brake cleaner will cut it.

Have also transmission fluid(to soak and free corroded/rusted parts and as a general gun lubricant) and have used stoddard solvent in a parts cleaner for degreasing.

Far as using grease on slides, absolutely love Lubriplate. Which is not a specific 'gun' grease.

Bottom line is, there are products that can be used on guns for different purposes that work quite well and will not shorten the life of the gun that are not labeled/marketed 'for guns'.

Last edited by shortwave; February 11, 2014 at 12:57 AM.
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Old February 11, 2014, 02:53 AM   #17
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There are a lot of small metal parts inside of the plastic, not all of them are rust resistant. Make sure you dry it out real good. Maybe toss it into the dryer for an hour, (just kidding).
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Old February 11, 2014, 05:35 AM   #18
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A lot of black powder shooters do indeed clean in a dishwasher. Water is the best solvent for cleaning bp fouling. That said, I never felt the need to.
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Old February 11, 2014, 07:07 AM   #19
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If you are single, it's not a problem.

If you are married. It might lead to the immediate loss of many small gun parts and the liquidation of the rest of your collection in the divorce. No matter how dirty my gun gets, I just ain't going there! Just ask yourself - how would you feel if you came home and found your wife washing the dishes on your reloading bench.
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Old February 11, 2014, 08:00 AM   #20
Mike Irwin
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Brake cleaner is nothing more than a degreaser made for cleaning steel and aluminum. There's no big difference between it and say Gun Scrubber, other than price. Gun Scubber is ridiculously expensive.

If one product is rated as suitable for cleaning and degreasing steel or aluminum parts on your car, it's not going to dissolve the steel or aluminum parts on your handgun.

The caveat to that is polymer parts -- you have to make certain what you're using isn't going to affect polymer.

But, since I don't own any polymer handguns, it's not a consideration for me.


"gun solvent in a parts cleaner."

Fact - the majority of "gun solvents" are composed primarily of mineral spirits.

Fact - Automotive parts cleaners of the type maintained by Safety Kleen, Diamond, etc., or available through a multitude of auto parts stores, are filled with... mineral spirits.

Ed's Red, a highly regarded "make at home" cleaning solution, uses mineral spirits as one of its constituent parts.

The PRIMARY difference between a quart of Ed's Red and a 4 ounce bottle of most "gun" cleaning solutions?

The quart of Ed's Red is a cheaper. A LOT cheaper.


The point I'm making here is that just because something has "gun" on the label doen't make it super special and full of magical properties.

The ONLY magic in most such products is that they magically part you from your money and convey it to the manufacturer, who realizes astronomical profit margins, often 300% or more.

And all because people have this weird notion that if they're going to clean/maintain their gun, any product they use MUST have the word "gun" on the label.
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Old February 11, 2014, 08:03 AM   #21
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Good one Skans, I like my wife too.
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Old February 11, 2014, 09:11 AM   #22
shortwave
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Originally posted by Mike Irwin:

Quote:
The point I'm making here is that just because something has "gun" on the label doen't make it super special and full of magical properties.

The ONLY magic in most such products is that they magically part you from your money and convey it to the manufacturer, who realizes astronomical profit margins, often 300% or more.

And all because people have this weird notion that if they're going to clean/maintain their gun, any product they use MUST have the word "gun" on the label.
All so very true.

Funny how some people have such love for their guns that they fall for all the marketing hype for gun specific products. They therefore get relieved of a lot more money then they need to when it comes to maintaining their firearms cause they just have to pay more for the product 'made specifically for guns'.

As if the steel in their gun is some kind of ultra special steel that comes from the moon or something.

In reality, a person only has to have the knowledge/experience of what non- gun labeled products can be used on guns that are just as effective(and often the same thing as products labeled for guns)) and can save themselves a lot of money over a lifetime of shooting.
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Old February 11, 2014, 09:33 AM   #23
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I can't believe what I've been reading in this thread. >.<

Kitchen and laundry appliances to clean our handguns?!

What's the world come to?
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Old February 11, 2014, 09:38 AM   #24
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Quote:
Fact - the majority of "gun solvents" are composed primarily of mineral spirits.
I don't think so...

Most have gone over to an Isopropyl based formula due ( I presume) to the popularity of polymer and the stiffening VOC regulations.

Quote:
Fact - Automotive parts cleaners of the type maintained by Safety Kleen, Diamond, etc., or available through a multitude of auto parts stores, are filled with... mineral spirits.
Possibly but - with the way VOC regulations are, places like Safety Kleen are pushing an aqueous product.

Spray cans of brake cleaner, like you pick up in Wal Mart are generally non-chlorinated. They have Heptane and Toluene - not mineral spirits.
As a degreaser/cleaner they only work so -so.

The ones that really work well are the chlorinated ones.

I'm not aware of any aerosol brake cleaner that has mineral spirits.
If there is one, I'd be interested to know what the brand is.
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Old February 11, 2014, 10:31 AM   #25
shortwave
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Originally posted by Constantine:

Quote:
What's the world come to?
I often ask myself the same thing. Especially when I see a new product out on the market that boost to have re-invented the wheel.

Especially when it comes to many(not all) products that come out claiming to have been developed for use on specific items. Then you read the product MSDS sheet and find that this new 'must use this product on ...(submit your item here)... and find that the only difference between this all new, 'must have' product that costs triple what you were originally using, is there's an added ingredient in the new product to make it smell different or be a different color.

I don't think automotive wax was developed specifically to be used on guns any more then I believe ATF or synthetic motor oil was. I don't believe Dawn dishwashing liquid was designed for cleaning bbls. on bp guns or that Walnut shells were put on earth to be crushed and used as a media for cleaning brass for reloading. Or that Chore Boy Scrubbers was developed to be used to remove lead from bbls.

Fact is, all these 'non-gun specific' products(plus many more) have all been time tested as having been used on guns/loading and they work.
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