View Full Version : Kerosene as a cleaner?

March 1, 2005, 06:41 PM
Any of you more knowledgeable ever used a kerosene “bath” to remove the loose junk from all the nooks and crannies of the hard parts of your gun? I’m thinking of doing this occasionally (not every time I clean) and then using compressed air to remove the kerosene before wiping down with gun oil followed by a dry rag.

March 2, 2005, 09:49 AM
Well _ell, I guess I'm on my own here since no one else has an opinion :o

Te Anau
March 2, 2005, 09:53 AM
Ive heard of people using kerosene but have never seen anyone do it.????
If I need to clean like your'e describing I use mineral spirits.

March 2, 2005, 09:57 AM
That's how I clean all my guns. I cut the kerosene with an equal amount of mineral spirits and throw in a quart of AFT.


March 2, 2005, 09:58 AM
Hey, thanks for the reply. I just thought that kerosene would be the least likely to damage any finishes or anything.

March 2, 2005, 10:28 AM
The problem with kerosene is its combustibility. Mineral spirits are less volatile and just as effective at cleaning. I doubt that potential finish damage is any more or less likely with Mineral Spirits than with Kerosene.


Jim Watson
March 2, 2005, 10:37 AM
I once lived next door to the area's main repair gunsmith. He kept a (covered) pan of kerosine or diesel handy for soaking and scrubbing of gun parts. It worked and was cheap, but not very fast.

March 2, 2005, 11:31 AM
Clemson, I’m always very careful when working with kerosene (it is actually recommended by the manufacturers to clean my motorcycle chains); garage doors open and no flames.

Jim Watson, I thought about diesel also but it will be much harder to remove the residue than kerosene.

March 2, 2005, 12:41 PM
Kerosine or Coal Oil as we used to call it has become almost unobtainable any more, Varsol or the stuff mechanics now wash parts and often their hands in is a better choice. Anything flammable does have its hazards.

March 2, 2005, 01:15 PM
Interesting site concerning cleaning products!
JoeHatley is always ahead of the curve. Always solid answers.


March 2, 2005, 09:50 PM
Michaelm45, thanks for the link. That answers questions I didn’t even have yet!!!

Gabby Hayes
March 3, 2005, 02:57 AM
During my stint with a Quad .50 unit in SE Asia, we routinely used 55-gallon fuel drums cut lengthwise in half as bathtubs for soaking and cleaning every type of weapon we had, including M1911s, M16s, M60s and our M2s. Diesel fuel was the cleaner of choice since it was about all we could get in quantity. Other than keeping it outdoors to avoid fumes, and staying away from bonfires, there never seemed to be a problem. Since we cleaned our stuff fairly often we didn't worry much about small amounts of residue left on the surfaces.

March 4, 2005, 11:36 AM
I have used ED's Red for 7 years. It is:
It's a soaking formula....
1 part K-1 Kerosene
1 part Varsol/Oil Based paint thinner
1 part Dextron 2 or 3
You can add lanolin and acitone.

March 4, 2005, 12:03 PM
Thanks Madison, a link for a site with that formula as well as some others was given above. I think I’m going to use it.