View Full Version : Cleaning with peroxide/vinegar solution

December 31, 2010, 09:16 PM
Hey guys, quick question. Had some stuborn lead fouling today that was laughing at everything I threw at it. Then i read about a 50/50 solution of vinegar and 3% peroxide. The article said use it only for a few mins because it can damage the barel. It worked unbelievably well. So, can i use this for every cleaning? Anyone have any bad experiences with it? Seems like I found a miracle bore cleaner, and am wondering if their is a catch.

Mike Irwin
December 31, 2010, 11:26 PM
The warnings are out there for a good reason.

Peroxide and vinegar can be VERY harsh.

Personally I would never use it in any of my guns, much less every cleaning.

A Hoppes Lead Remover is, as far as I'm concerned, a much better alternative.

January 1, 2011, 08:20 PM
The peroxide/vinegar solution can be used to help clean leading.
It also does a wonderful job of removing bluing as a customer of mine found out with his father's minty condition S&W Registered Magnum.

He asked me what those tiny white freckles were that appeared on the gun after some Billy Bob told him to use the peroxide and vinegar.

When there are plenty of quite effective and safe methods of cleaning guns, why on earth would you want to use some expedient stuff known to ruin guns?
As above a Lewis Lead Remover kit from Brownell's will do a perfect job, and won't harm the gun.
The kit also includes a special device that is the only effective way of removing leading and heavy copper fouling off revolver barrel forcing cones.

January 2, 2011, 12:01 PM
The vinegar and peroxide have also been used on copper. It comes out of the old days when that and other harsh formulae including mercury compounds and other nasty things were used in blissful ignorance to clean cupro-nickel bullet jacket fouling out of Parkerized match rifle bores. The grease and oil-saturated Parkerizing withstood it a lot better than bluing, but even Hatcher comments on the number of barrels inadvertently destroyed by it. It dissolves iron as well as lead and copper, and this leaves the surface etched and activated and just itching to rust. You'd want to give a bore you'd treated that way a good polishing with Flitz afterward to smooth that down a bit.

If you are looking for a chemical removal method, Sharp Shoot-R, the company that manufactures Wipe-Out for copper fouling, also has a product called Wipe-Out No-Lead (http://www.sharpshootr.com/no-lead.htm). It is an actual lead solvent that is safe on guns. It comes in two parts you mix. You patch it in and let it sit an hour. At that point you patch it out and you get what looks like carbon black coming out on the patch, but the lead is gone. I've found it effective.

January 2, 2011, 12:36 PM
I have had two competition shooters tell me about the Vinegar/Peroxide method in the last month, I had never heard of this before and after reading this series of posts I am glad I have not tried it. I use copper or Bronze Chore Boy wrapped around a worn out bronze brush. Works great, and you can see the lead falling out of the barrel. Use it dry. Barrel looks like brand new when done.

F. Guffey
January 3, 2011, 09:01 AM
Case cleaning and long time storage.

In the 50s Bell and Mull listed a formula for cleaning cases for long time storage, 2% So3 (count the 'O's), the difference between then and now? They added a time limit, something like 3 minutes max then rinse twice ect., ect..

I collect old tools, cheap old tools, cast iron pots and pans, cleaning for me is never about the grinder, file and sand paper, more times than not I apply the leaver policy, I leaver the way I founder, BUT with old cheap tools I use vinegar, before I start cleaning and with a new jar of vinegar I can drink it or put it on a salad, When cleaning with vinegar and cast iron and old tools the user has plenty of time as in hours before the cleaning gets serious but vinegar is an acid, from 4 to 6%, to gain time, add water.

Cleaning with peroxide/vinegar solution:

Peroxide is an acid and is corrosive, count the 'O's, when cleaning brass cases the acid goes after the zinc, that is the reason time should be a factor. LEAD? Batteries have been made with lead plates from the beginning, in a solution of H2SO4 (count the 'O's) the plates in the battery have been known to fail, the most unlikely reason for battery failure would be due to the acid, point? (Or question) If mercury removes lead because it has an infinity to lead how does an acid remove lead if it does not have an infinity to it, then there is the amonia and rust, amonis does not create or cause rust UNTIL the metal is exposed to the atmosphere (air with humitity and we are not talking about fog and or rain).

Peroxide is a good thing and has many good uses, like making oxygen, when pored on a cut bubbles appear, the bubbles are oxygen, the same bubbles appear when poured on a fresh cut potato.

F. Guffey

January 3, 2011, 04:22 PM
FG, lead sulfate is pretty much insoluble in water, lead acetate is very soluble, which is why it's used in this combination. The peroxide oxidizes the lead, the vinegar solubilizes the resulting lead oxide.