Can I Use Mineral Oil on My Gun?

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Almost all households have this standard oil lying around. With your gun sitting around and thinking about whether to spend on gun oil, you’ve probably considered using this household oil. In this article, I’ll answer the question that’s been on your mind, can I use mineral oil on my gun?

Can I Use Mineral Oil on My Gun?

No, you shouldn’t use mineral oil on your gun. Gun oil is mostly oil derived from minerals. It can still lubricate since it has some similar properties to gun oil. However, gun oil contains compounds that are better suited for gun maintenance.

Mineral oil, liquid petroleum, or white oil does a decent job of lubricating guns. However, if I choose between white oil and motor oil, I would prefer using motor oil which is better for lubrication. That’s not to say white oil is bad.

Liquid petroleum is suitable only for short-use applications. That is because white oil can easily evaporate in hot temperatures. Simple direct sunlight may be enough to evaporate the oil.

A black pistol placed on a black stainless wire screen with a black background

Benefits of Using Mineral Household Oil

  • Good enough lubricant for guns
  • Provides light protection
  • Easily accessible since it’s a common household item
  • An excellent option for low upkeep maintenance

Liquid petroleum is only helpful for a quick, easy fix as it can provide a light film of lubrication. It’s not suitable for long-term storage since the lubrication is only light.

The main purpose of oil in guns is to reduce the friction between their moving components. With the light viscosity of the oil, the effect only lasts for a short time, especially in warm and hot areas.

Downsides of Using Mineral Household Oil

  • Only provides thin protection
  • Have better alternatives
  • Doesn’t have effective rust protection

While white oil provides ample protection, it can only provide a thin sheet of lubricating protection. It’s not as good as grease for long-term storage use. Hence, you should only use said oil for quick use.

Also, when applied to guns, motor oil is a better alternative to gun oil. Liquid petroleum is an effective cleaner, and that’s it. It doesn’t protect your guns from corrosion, so it wears down faster.

Mineral Household Oil vs Gun Oil

Mineral oil is a mixture of higher alkanes derived from minerals. It is usually colorless and odorless. Gun oil is a highly refined petroleum-based lubricant with additives for gun maintenance.

Gun oil contains a bit of mineral, which is why they have similar properties related to gun maintenance. Gun oil can also be mineral or synthetic, which makes it more versatile than white oil.

Related Questions

What Kind of Oil Can You Use to Lubricate a Gun?

While you can use oil such as brake oil and 3-in-1 oil to lubricate your guns, gun oil or CLP is your best oil for lubricating a gun. It contains additives specifically for gun maintenance, like anti-wear additives and corrosion protection.

Is Hoppes Mineral Oil?

Hoppe’s is a white oil and does contain minerals. However, it does have other additives like kerosene, ethyl alcohol, oleic acid, amyl acetate, and ammonium hydroxide. It’s mainly used for firearms, fishing reels, and other precision mechanisms.


Mineral oil is a good alternative since most households have this standard oil at home. However, you shouldn’t use it regularly on your guns. You should also not use it for long-term storage. Oils like mineral oil and hair clipper oil are handy lubrication for your gun for short-term use.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.