Gun Cleaning for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide to Maintain Your Firearm

Gun Cleaning for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide to Maintain Your Firearm

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on gun cleaning for beginners. Owning a firearm comes with the responsibility of proper maintenance.

You want to make sure your investment lasts for years and performs at its peak. Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial for preserving the reliability and accuracy of your firearm.

In this article, we’ll show you a step-by-step process of cleaning your gun, providing detailed instructions and expert tips to help you become proficient in firearm maintenance.

There are multiple variations and practices to gun cleaning and we encourage you to learn more about your particular gear and how best to keep it clean. 

Why Is Gun Cleaning Important?

Proper gun cleaning is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it ensures the safe operation of your firearm. Regular cleaning removes debris, residue, and fouling that can accumulate inside the gun, which may cause malfunctions or even dangerous misfires. Additionally, cleaning your firearm regularly helps prevent rust and corrosion, preserving its appearance, value, and that ever-important ‘wow’ factor.

Gathering the Necessary Tools and Supplies

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s important to gather the necessary tools and supplies. Here’s a list of items you want to have or consider:

  • A Universal Gun Cleaning kit from GuardTech Plus.
  • Gun cleaning solvent: Choose a high-quality solvent that effectively dissolves fouling and residue.  Many folks have their favorite and there are many great brands available for you to choose from.  Ask your local dealer for their advice and get involved!
  • Bore brush: Select a bore brush from our kit that matches the caliber of your firearm. The brush should have bristles that can effectively scrub the barrel.
  • Cleaning patches: These absorbent cloth patches are used to apply solvent and remove debris from the barrel.
  • Cleaning rod: Our kits have 2 different-sized rods depending on the caliber of your weapon.  See our instruction sheet to make sure you’re using the right rod. Rod Adaptors are also included so you can attach the correct mop, jag or brush.
  • Bore Rope Cleaner: We include a Rope Cleaner in our kit, but it may not be the correct size for your equipment.  This device is a convenient alternative to a cleaning rod and is especially useful for quick cleaning sessions.  It has bristles inside the fabric so it scrubs and cleans as it gets pulled through your barrel.
  • Lubricating oil: Choose a lubricant specifically formulated for firearms to protect against rust and ensure smooth operation.  Again, lots of choices and some very popular brands on the market.  Your local dealer can offer advice here as well.
  • Microfiber cloth: This lint-free cloth is ideal for wiping down the exterior of your firearm.
  • Nylon Brush and cotton swabs: These are useful for reaching and cleaning hard-to-reach areas.  We include both of these products in our kit.
  • Safety glasses and gloves: Protect your eyes and hands during the cleaning process. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Gun Cleaning

Step 1: Safety First

Before cleaning your firearm, it’s crucial to observe proper safety precautions. First things first, put on the glasses and gloves.  Protect your area with a mat.

Make sure the firearm is unloaded and remove all ammunition from the cleaning area. Always point the gun in a safe direction and keep your finger off the trigger.  If you’re new to guns, pay close attention to the safety rules and develop the habit of “Safety First”.

Step 2: Disassembling Your Firearm

Refer to your firearm’s manual, and disassemble the gun as instructed. Take note of the different parts and their proper orientation for easy reassembly later.

Some firearms may require specific tools for disassembly, so be sure to have those tools if needed, ready to go.  Keep all of the pieces together!  If you’re like me, having a part or two ‘extra’ after fixing the radio, doesn’t work well at all when it comes to firearms!

Also Read: (Responsible Gun Cleaning: Safety and Maintenance Guide)

Step 3: Cleaning the Barrel

Find the correct size Bore Brush, attach the rods together and the brush at the end. Dip or saturate in gun cleaning solvent, insert it into the barrel, and scrub back and forth several times.

This action helps loosen fouling and residue buildup. Once done, attach a Jag or patch loop to the rod.  Our kit only contains brass jags, we don’t use nylon plastic jags.

Make sure you refer to our cotton patch size chart.  Patches should be matched to the caliber of the barrel being cleaned.  Our Universal Kit contains 2.5” patches which can be cut down if needed.  Pre-cut patches are readily available online or in your local store.

You can also use a patch loop with the cleaning patches.  Ours are also brass and you use a patch loop to run a cleaning patch through your barrel as well. Repeat this process until the patches come out clean.

Step 4: Cleaning the Slide, Frame, and Other Components

Using one of our Nylon brushes or cotton swab dipped in gun cleaning solvent, scrub the slide, frame, and other components of your firearm.

Pay close attention to areas prone to buildup, such as the extractor, feed ramp, and firing pin area. Remove any visible fouling or residue using a clean cloth or cotton swab.

Step 5: Lubrication and Reassembly

After ensuring all components are clean and dry, apply a small amount of lubricating oil to the appropriate areas. Refer to your firearm’s manual for specific lubrication points.

Once lubricated, carefully reassemble your firearm, ensuring all parts are properly aligned and fitted.

Step 6: Final Wipe Down

Using a microfiber cloth, give your firearm a final wipe-down to remove any excess oil or residue. This step helps maintain its appearance and prevents the accumulation of dust and debris.


Congratulations! You have successfully learned the essentials of gun cleaning for beginners. This guide is meant to be just that, a guide.

Ask any gun owner their cleaning routine and you’ll most likely receive another method or routine.  The bottom line here is that cleaning is important.

Cleaning is needed if your plan is to you’re your gear maintained and operating efficiently.  Many find cleaning almost Zenlike.

Regularly maintaining and cleaning your firearm will ensure its reliability, performance, and longevity. Remember to always prioritize safety during the cleaning process and refer to your firearm’s manual for specific instructions. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to becoming proficient in gun cleaning.