Tired of using newspapers and dish towels to make sure you stay in the good graces of your wife? If you’re nodding your head to not sleeping on your couch then this article is for you. We had the opportunity to get our hands on TekMat’s AR-15 and S&W M&P Shield Ultra gun cleaning mats and we’re sold!
TekMat was developed out of the very scenario I described above. Dan at TekMat was using his wife’s dish towels to clean his AR-15 on the dining room table. She upgraded him to a piece of felt which would slide all over the table, stained easy and left little pieces of fiber stuck to the oiled parts of the gun. This frustration brought the birth of TekMat and we are glad it did.
There’s a multitude of gun cleaning mats on the market, and I’m here to tell you why you I believe the TekMat is one of the best choices. We’ll dive into the specifics later, but first I want to spend some time on why you should even own a gun mat in the first place.
Why You Need a Good Gun Mat
Gun maintenance is a mandatory part of gun owning. Some people prefer to clean their gun after every trip to the range, while others stick to every three to four visits. Most experts will suggest cleaning after every 250 rounds, if cleaning after every visit isn’t a possibility for you. When you clean your gun, you need a workspace long enough to hold your gun, rags, and cleaning tools, but that surface is likely a rough workshop table or bench. While guns are durable and rugged, your guns need a soft cushion or surface to lie on while you clean to prevent nicks and scratches. That’s where a cleaning mat comes into the picture.
The TekMat Premium Cleaning Mats are thoughtfully made with the cleaner in mind. They feature:
- 44” x 15” x 1/4” (AR-15), 20” x 15” x 1/4” (S&W)
- Water/scratch proof work surface
- Oil/fade resistant surface
- Soft thermoplastic top
- Direct vulcanization
- Manufactured approved parts list
- Stitched edge for grip and durability
- Rubber backing (non-slip)
Let’s get into each of these features and how all of them combine to make one of the leading gun mats on the market.
The water/scratch proof, as well as oil resistant surface, makes this mat heavy-duty. It has a soft thermoplastic for the top so it is still gentle on your gun while resilient against grease. There are a lot of oils and gunk that will ooze from your gun as you clean it, so it is important to have a cleaning mat that is won’t absorb this residue. Thanks to this feature, cleaning this gun mat is a breeze. Once it starts to need a deep cleaning just use a little dish soap and warm water to scrub it down then let it air dry.
TekMat uses a process called direct-vulcanization to fuse the soft plastic top to the rubber base.
“Vulcanization is a chemical process in which the rubber is heated with sulphur, accelerator and activator at 140–160°C. The process involves the formation of cross-links between long rubber molecules so as to achieve improved elasticity, resilience, tensile strength, viscosity, hardness and weather resistance.”
The base that the top is vulcanized/fused to is a rubber, non-slip base. To ensure the two pieces of the mat never tear away from each other, TekMat featured a stitched edge on their mat. This makes for a stable cleaning mat that you won’t have to worry about slipping (which ensures safe cleaning) and reduced fraying or splitting of the mat.
Since this mat is made of soft plastics and materials, it can be easily rolled up and stored away with other cleaning tools. The portability of this mat is a big selling point and sets it apart from other mats on the market.
A key feature of the TekMat cleaning mat is its size, both in length and thickness. This mat may seem too big, but once you lay it on your workspace and start cleaning, you’ll be thankful for the extra workspace. The thickness of this mat is hard to find on the market. A plush 1/4” of cushion makes for a comfortable workspace without compromising on stability.
One last feature I want to elaborate on is the content on the mat itself. Most models of this mat have a detailed parts list of their respective guns. It’s a small detail that may be of little importance to some, but it is a highly thoughtful feature and can come in handy if you forget where a piece goes.
This mat comes with a lifetime warranty to the original buyer. This warranty extends to factory defects or unusual faults.
How to Clean a Cleaning Mat
One of the reasons why gun cleaning mats made out of leather are so popular among gun owners is because they don’t require regular cleaning.
That said, mats can be made out of different types of materials, and you need to keep in mind that a cleaning solution that works for one type of cleaning mat might not work for another. In order to steer clear of causing any damage, it’s crucial that you clean the cleaning mat according to the provided instructions.
Work on the whole surface of the mat if it’s in need of a cleaning. You might need to use a large amount of cleaning solution for the cleaning process. This will depend on how big the size of your cleaning mat is.
There might be situations where the cleaning solutions you need to use aren’t specified in the instructions. In these cases, you should use soap and warm water. Don’t risk causing damage by using chemical cleaners. We recommend using milk soap for cleaning your gun mat.
Be sure to use a specific cleaning solution if the manufacturer recommends it. If you want to avoid the buildup of grime and dirt, make sure that the mat is used in an environment that’s clean.
You might cause damage to the cleaning mat if you use cleaning solutions that are harsh, so make sure that you avoid them. Lastly, unless it’s absolutely necessary, don’t clean the cleaning mat too often.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are gun cleaning mats made of?
A: Gun cleaning mats are made out of materials that are non-absorbent and leak-proof in order for you to easily wipe off or wash the cleaning solvent. You’ll also be able to store your gun cleaning mat alongside other gun cleaning tools without getting all of the tools dirty.
Q: Why is the size of the gun cleaning mat important?
A: All of the components of the gun should be able to fit the cleaning pad, along witth the gun cleaning solutions and the cleaning supplies. It’s much more convenient to place all of these gun cleaning products on the mat instead of spreading them across the table.
Since a gun cleaning mat can come in many different sizes, you need to pick a cleaning mat that will be compatible with the type of gun you have and the number of tools you need to clean it.
Q: Should I clean my gun after each time I use it?
A: In an ideal situation, the answer is yes, you should clean your gun after each use. This is even more true if your gun has been exposed to dust, rain, or other contaminants that are external. If your gun isn’t properly protected by using oil, moisture can lead to rust in your gun.
By cleaning your gun, you’ll be able to keep all of the parts clean and ensure that your gun operates reliably and smoothly, and you’ll also reduce the risk of corrosion. We suggest that you clean your gun from time to time if you don’t use it that frequently. Be sure to store them properly so they don’t corrode.
TekMat put an extreme amount of thought into their mats and it shows. From the waterproof surface that is also soft on your gun, to the mat’s thickness providing cushion, they thought of it all. Small details like the stitched edges, or the portability, make this mat worth your purchase over other mats on the market.