Kerosene for cleaning firearms

What has been your experience using kerosene to clean firearms?


Kerosene is a solvent, and it works decent.

I used a mix for years, that was similar to Ed’s Red (google it). My mix was 45% Kerosene, 45% Auto Transmission oil, and 10% Kroil or Marvel Mystery Oil.


I like the idea of kerosene or diesel fuel and some tranny juice. Some of the other scrubbers dry out the metal so severely. And not friendly to some plastics.

Old saying, why add fuel to the fire. I drive a diesel fuel car and I have worked many years in factory
that I used chemicals, from clean to very dirty Kerosene / diesel and it is very dangerous, kerosene is a
level of our favorite diesel; #2 fuel. I did not start fires, 1600-degree F liquid aluminum, die casting.

I have seen it burn a factory to the ground and Nearly Kill People with its smoke and that is an addition to
hydraulic fluid added by the gallons of each. Your life is valuable and also your family.


If the power goes out you can fill a Dietz lantern with it.
That way you don’t have to wait until morning to clean your pistol.

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I have no experience using kerosene to clean firearms and will keep it that way

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Kerosene as well as gasoline have been used since the turn of the prior century to remove “Cosmoline” from military weapons. I won’t pretend to get into the chemical science of it but it does work well for heavy greases such as Cosmoline. Gasoline works even better but has a tendency to “bleach” wood and as it evaporates or “off gasses” it will leave wood in a very fragile state as it seeks to return to “normal moisture levels”. Lindseed oil seems to be the best cure I have found for a gasoline treated wood but it takes many layers of hand rubbing unless you happen to have a boiling vat of it in which case dunk it, pull it, dry it then repeat.

My Grandfather was a machinist in the Navy during WWII and as such he would get repair parts covered in cosmoline and often told stories of using Kerosene vs Gasoline to clean these parts because you could smoke while using kerosene. That and gasoline was rationed, kerosene was not.




Still using Ed’s Red, made it years ago & will probably never use it up.


good job

Not another gun cleaning thread.

Nope, nope nope. That is a bad idea unless you use all brass tools & clean your guns outside with a fire extinguisher handy.

Thanks for the excellent reply.

I have used paint thinner for Cleaning gun parts for as long as I can remember because its inexpensive. Put the parts in a generous amount of thinner and clean farts this a paint brush or brass brush. The dirt settles to to the bottom of the container and can be used more than once with a air tight lid. It evaporates from parts very well. I also use ATF for general lubrication on firearms and pellet guns. Small needle nose oil containers make using fluids easy, got ‘em a long time ago from Brownell’s. I do use standard bore solvents for cleaning barrels.


Should be it’s? Did you complete the GED?


When I was in the Army, they love showing old movies, they showed us trainees a movie of what would happen if you used gas to clean your mechanic overalls. You became a human torch if they caught on fire somehow. I know we’re talking diesel, it’s not as flammable, and guns but be careful of what you use. Third degree burns are a mofo