How Often Should I Clean My Gun?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Just like any machinery, guns need their maintenance too. Cleaning your gun and tuning it up keeps your gun functioning in good condition. However, people often wonder to themselves, how often should I clean my gun?

How Often Should I Clean My Gun?

Generally, you should clean your gun after every use. If you’re only keeping a gun for self-defense and don’t use them, it’s recommended to deep clean and maintain it using a cleaning kit at least once a month.

A man cleaning his gun

Some shooters even clean their guns at the shooting range before and after shooting. This is to ensure that no residue stays in the barrel that can damage the gun. For hunting rifles, you can clean them when hunting season starts and ends.

Steps to Keep Your Gun Clean

There are plenty of ways you can clean your gun. There are some quick and fast ways to do it. However, make sure you spend time at least once a month for deep cleaning.

Before cleaning, make sure your gun is not loaded (absolutely go over this step all the time and repeatedly if have to). Your area should have good lighting. Some manufacturers provide instructions for cleaning that you can follow so make sure you check it in the manual.

If you don’t have one, this is how gun-cleaning usually goes:

  1. Wipe the gun and clean the barrel  – you can use a dry, clean rag to wipe your gun along with a toothbrush to remove the gunk or grime. For cleaning the barrel, you have to use a bore cleaning brush that fits inside.
  2. Apply solvent – a gun solvent helps loosen and dissolve fouling. Make sure you use a compatible one for your gun. Use dry patches to clean and remove the solvent after.
  3. Lubricate the gun – gun lubrication keeps your gun functioning smoothly. It also protects your gun from rust and fouling.
  4. Store it properly – proper storage is one where humidity levels won’t cause rust. Make sure you choose storage that is air and water tight.

Effects of Not Cleaning Your Gun

If you don’t clean your gun for a long time, there are a lot of things that could happen to it. These include:

  • Corrosion or rust could form
  • Residues could build up that can affect your gun’s function
  • The gun could lose accuracy or not work at all
  • Your gun could accidentally fire because of worn-out and affected gun parts
Newly cleaned disassembled rifle

Related Questions

How Often Should You Oil Your Gun?

You should oil your gun every time you clean it. However, most people oil their guns once a week to minimize cost. Unused firearms can get away with oiling at least once every two weeks or once a month.

Is It Bad to Clean Your Gun Too Much?

Cleaning your gun too much does not have any bad effects on it. Every time you’re cleaning your gun, you’re removing any residue and debris that could build up. However, you can clean your gun wrongly.


Cleaning your gun is part of the things you should do as a responsible gun owner. Make sure to allocate time for gun cleaning so your guns are in good condition when you use them.

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.