I have gotten the question more than once, “Is it okay to clean my gun with WD40?”. It’s a fair question and I’ve known people who have been using WD40 for 20+ years to clean their guns. Are they wrong for doing this? Let’s take a deeper look into what WD40 is and if it’s a good idea to use it to clean your guns.
What’s In WD-40?
Most of you probably own a bottle but do you know what it’s made of? Probably not because it’s a secret formula! For over 60 years the multi-use product has kept its formula a secret from the public.
Another fun fact is that Duct Tape has also kept its formula a secret, which is why the original duct tape is the best.
WD stands for Water Displacement
What we do know is that WD40 is a special blend of lubricants. It’s a terrific solvent for removing rust and getting stickers off but will it do the job for cleaning your gun?
The Old Way to Clean Your Gun
Before writing this article I sat down with a good friend that’s been cleaning ALL of his guns with WD40 for over 30 years before switching to Break-Free. He’s never had any of his guns rust and any other problems for that matter. Some people seem to be biased on the idea of using WD-40 and tell me that they would never use it but let me tell you what my friend said.
Back 30 years ago there weren’t many gun cleaning solvents out there, so people were forced to improvise. There especially weren’t any aerosol gun cleaning sprays, so most people starting using WD40 when it came out.
When I used it back in the day I found my rifles to be very sluggish in their operation, especially in the winter. This issue magically resolved when I started using Break Free lubricant mainly because WD40 is not designed to clean your guns.
WD40 is a solvent that leaves very little oil on the surface. This means that more dust and dirt will be attracted to the surface and eventually you’ll have a nice layer of gunk on your gun. In cold weather this can be very bad and VERY big pain in the ass to clean off.
WD40 is an amazing solvent with about 1 million different uses (along with duct tape). After using is many times to clean my guns I’ve decided not to completely trust it due to the rapid buildup of gunk on my guns.