Cleaning a gun is a sophisticated process. If not done correctly and carefully, the results can end in a damaged gun or an injury. To clean your gun properly, you’ll need the right gun cleaning supplies. 

You might think that your gun cleaning kit has all of the tools you need, but in reality, it might be missing something. Do you have all of the tools needed for proper gun cleaning? If you’re not sure, continue reading below for our guide on the essential gun cleaning supplies. 

1. Gun Vise

A gun vise is an important tool when needing to clean your gun’s bore properly. A gun vise keeps your gun secure while thoroughly cleaning it. If your gun is secured properly while you’re cleaning it, then there are fewer risks of damages. 

It might be an item that’s overlooked when it comes to a gun cleaning kit, but it’s something that every cleaning kit should have. It’s also a good idea to purchase one that’s designed to fit several guns, sturdy, of good quality, and portable. A gun vise is mostly used for riffles, but it comes in handy for other types of guns as well. 

2. Bore Guide 

Unfortunately, damaging a riffle’s chamber, crown, or throat is easy to do when cleaning with a rod. Cleaning with a rod takes a lot of careful movements. The bore guide is fairly inexpensive and promotes good alignment of the cleaning rod, which ultimately prevents damage including the leakage of gun solvents into the riffle’s receiver. 

This tool might not be as essential in gun cleaning kits for pistols or shotguns, but it’s still an important tool to have, and you’ll be happy you have one. 

3. Gun Oil or Lubricant 

After cleaning your gun, you’ll want to have the necessary chemicals on hand to keep your gun in its best health. Using WD-40 is not a proper way to maintain your gun. WD-40 leaves behind a sticky residue that will collect dust, grim, and other build-ups. Instead, stick to gun oil or lubricant that’s made specifically for keeping guns in working order. 


Select a degreaser that’s made specifically for guns and ensure it’s in your cleaning kit at all times. A gun degreaser removes any existing dirt, grease, and oil from the moveable parts of the gun.  


Just the same, you’ll need to select a lubricant that’s made specifically for guns as well. A gun lubricant lubricates all parts of a gun and keeps them protected from possible rust.


A good solvent helps you in removing lead, carbon, and other elements from inside the gun’s bore. 


A protectant is another way to protect your gun from rust and is most essential when planning on using your gun in harsh conditions such as hunting uses and military uses. A protectant will protect your gun from water. 

4. Cleaning Rod or Bore Snake

Because it’s so easy to damage your gun while cleaning it with a cleaning rod, it’s important that you choose your gun’s cleaning rod carefully. You’ll want to select a cleaning rod that has a metal softer than the metal of your gun or steel of the barrel. A bronze cleaning rod is a good choice as it poses little threat to your gun’s barrel. 

A carbon fiber rod is another good choice and is of a higher quality than that of a bronze one. A bore snake is your last option, but shouldn’t replace your cleaning rod. Always have a good cleaning rod in your kit and complement it with a bore snake. 

A bore snake makes cleaning the barrel fast and easy. They’re also easy to take along with you as they’re made of up a small weighted rope. 

5. Gun Cleaning Brush

You might not be aware of it, but dirt and dust find their way into even the smallest of spaces in your gun. Without the proper cleaning, the build-up of this dirt and dust can lead to a malfunctioning gun. 

A nylon gun cleaning brush is a great tool to have in your cleaning kit. It’s the perfect little helper in reaching small cracks and tight spaces on your gun. A nylon cleaning brush will reach into these tight spaces and remove any dirt and dust!

6. A Flashlight

A flashlight is another great tool that can come in handy when you’re cleaning your gun. You might believe that your garage light is bright enough to get the job done, but with the help of a flashlight, you might see otherwise. A small flashlight allows you to direct the light to specific areas within the gun.

This is the best way to find hidden dust and dirt. Doing so ensures you spot all debris on and in the gun. 

7. Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves are indeed a necessity when cleaning your gun. They help keep your hands free of solvents, and they also help keep your gun protected from the oils on your skin. Even if solvents on your hands don’t bother you, it’s best to have disposable gloves in your cleaning kit to protect your gun at the very least. 

8. An Organizational Tray and Case

The last thing you’ll need to complete your gun cleaning kit is a case with an organizational tray included. The best gun cleaning kits should come with a case to hold everything together in. Having an organizational tray is an added benefit.

This ensures that all of your gun cleaning supplies are kept safe and are easily found. For example, when purchasing a kit from Wheeler, your AR build tools are kept organized and conveniently held together in a portable case.  

Gather Your Gun Cleaning Supplies!

Now that you know everything you need to clean your gun, it’s time to gather all your gun cleaning supplies! Make sure to check everything off this list when selecting the right gun cleaning kit and supplies for your gun.

Interested in more helpful tips? Be sure to check back with us regularly! 

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