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Old January 10, 2001, 12:21 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: October 29, 1999
Location: Dewey, AZ
Posts: 12,858
For lo these many years I have been using Simple Green for darn near everything cept makin mint julips. De-greasing oiled birds, cleaning everything under the sun. Removing blood stains, washing my beard, parts cleaning, getting crud off/out of guns. etc etc.

Recently I have seen a couple of posts wherein it was expressed that Simple Green should not be used for cleaning firearms. Supposedly the cleaner would cause hydrogen embrittlement of the gun parts. Since I break old habits only when hit on the head with a hammer and having some experience with mil-spec requirements for arms and aircraft parts........I asked the good folks at Sunshine Products for their take on this.

I'm gonna keep on usin it.

Following posted with permission of the sender. Note that the test samples were cad plated, stretched to near tensile limit while being soaked for days.
Dear Sam:
Thanks for your inquiry, and for being such a long-term supporter of
Simple Green!

The information you've heard comes from the military.  They put
cleaning products through a rigorous "mil-prf" testing before allowing
use on aircraft.  The hydrogen embrittlement test involves soaking a
coupon of cadmium plated AISI 4340 steel in full-strength and 10%
solution and then subjecting the coupons to tensile strength
(stretching) for 150 hours.  Failures prior to 150 hours produce a
failure of the cleaner to pass mil-prf.  ASTM stipulates that this
test is only applicable to the specified steel and results cannot be
extrapolated to any other kind of metal.  Simple Green did not pass
this test and, therefore, has not been marketed to the aircraft

However, Simple Green has been used to clean guns for over 20 years.
In my 8 years here, I've spoken with several police forces and
subcontractors to police forces that use Simple Green to clean
firearms.  None has ever reported any problems at all.  As long as you
don't soak guns or gun parts for more than a few minutes, and you
rinse well and relubricate, (which one would do anyway,) you will not
have any problems.

Thanks again for contacting us, and for choosing Simple Green!

Carol Chapin
Environmental & Regulatory Coordinator
(800) 228-0709
[email protected]
Sam...follow me, I know a shortcut
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Old January 11, 2001, 03:05 PM   #2
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Join Date: October 2, 1999
Location: AZ
Posts: 1,759
Never did like to clean firearms with something that is water based but looks like this might be ok with some care.Sure looks good for BP fans
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Old January 11, 2001, 03:25 PM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 6,852
Anybody know if Simple Green is easy going on tritium night sights (and the white plastic outlines around them)?
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Old January 11, 2001, 06:15 PM   #4
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Join Date: September 12, 2000
Location: Chantilly, VA...Just barely behind the lines!
Posts: 490
Used Simple Green to clean handguns. Worked well, wsp. when it's dried immediately after cleaning.

I just couldn't get past that minty fresh smell it left!

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Old January 12, 2001, 09:25 AM   #5
E. BeauBeaux
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Join Date: December 14, 2000
Location: MS, CSA
Posts: 377
I have used Simple Green for the last few years for weapons. It really works well, especially on old military weapons with 30 year old crud on them. I wash it off with water then dry the parts with dry air, oil and reassemble.
Just my $.02 but haven't found any so called gun cleaner that works this good.
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Old January 12, 2001, 11:46 AM   #6
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Join Date: December 30, 1999
Posts: 662
I have found nothing better than simple green and very hot water in cleaning my muzzle loader.
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Old January 12, 2001, 02:57 PM   #7
simon jester
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Join Date: April 21, 2000
Location: Gardena,ca,USA
Posts: 199
Does it clean after use of corrosive ammo?
Every Man Should Have A Rifle

Henry Lawson

So I sit and write and ponder, while the house is deaf and dumb,
Seeing visions "over yonder" of the war I know must come.
In the corner – not a vision – but a sign for coming days
Stand a box of ammunition and a rifle in green baize.
And in this, the living present, let the word go through the land,
Every tradesman, clerk and peasant should have these two things at hand.

No – no ranting song is needed, and no meeting, flag or fuss –
In the future, still unheeded, shall the spirit come to us!
Without feathers, drum or riot on the day that is to be,
We shall march down, very quiet, to our stations by the sea.
While the bitter parties stifle every voice that warns of war,
Every man should own a rifle and have cartridges in store!

Proud TFL member # 5231
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Old January 12, 2001, 09:09 PM   #8
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Join Date: June 30, 2000
Location: Token Creek, WI
Posts: 4,068
It's good stuff. In the Air Force forensics lab I managed until 1999, we used Simple Green to scrub the stainless steel laminar flow hoods in our Class 100 clean rooms. (We rinsed with 100% de-ionized water, then a final rinse of 200 proof ethanol, my supply folks had to obtain a liquor license for the 15 gallons of ethanol I went through per month) Darned if the guys didn't leave the Simple Green solution on the glass too long, and it was etched by the stuff! One thing led to another, my buddy's compensated IPSC race gun was leading up pretty good in the comp chambers. So I took some more Simple Green solution, a stainless ultrasonerator tank, and his barrel, and let it buzz away happily for a couple hours. The lead and WW231 gook came out nicely, but so did the parkerizing on the compensator, heehee!
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Old January 13, 2001, 12:52 PM   #9
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Join Date: October 29, 1999
Location: Dewey, AZ
Posts: 12,858
Gewehr98.....That sounds like a long time to leave the gun in a stout u-sonic cleaner. Mighta taken the parkerizing off with straight water in the tank.

Years ago I left a pot metal carburator in Oakite over night. All I got back was the brass and copper pieces, the body was part of the sludge in the bottom.

Sam...if its worth doin, it's worth overdoin at least once.
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Old January 13, 2001, 02:33 PM   #10
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Join Date: June 30, 2000
Location: Token Creek, WI
Posts: 4,068
You got that one right, Sam! No wristwatches in the dunk, either! Although I'd like to dissolve a Lorcin some day.

Our test for the ultrasonerators was to put a piece of aluminum foil in plain water, hit the power, and watch the foil totally disintegrate. If it didn't eliminate the foil, we considered the transducer to be suspect, and off it went for either rebuild or disposal through DRMO.

I purchased one from DRMO that wasn't supported by the manufacturer anymore, it still has plenty of snort, and I use it, with Simple Green, to clean the fouled spark plugs from my cold-blooded Harley!

Thought about using dish detergent and water in the tank to pre-clean my .223 brass before tumbling. That's probably taking it a little too far...
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