How to Clean Gunpowder Residue

Gunpowder is one of the strongest stains when it comes to cleaning it from hands, clothes, and stocks. Moreover, they are very impactful on the human body. So, when you use any firearm, it’s essential for you to practice good hygiene as well as clean the gun.

The chemical compounds of gunpowder residue are so tough to be removed by regular cleaning and washing. But fortunately, there are also some ways of removing them, such as using soda or vinegar.

But it also requires some specific rules and regulations to be done. So, how gunpowder residue can be washed off? Let’s figure it out.

How to Clean Gunpowder Residue?

The rules of cleaning gunpowder residue depend on the metal it sticks with. It may be on our clothes, our hands, and even in the stock of the gun.

Gradually, we’ll find out the steps to follow for cleaning gunshot residue from clothes, hands, and stocks.

1.   Clean Gunpowder Residue from Clothes

Clean Gunpowder Residue from Clothes

So, let’s check out the major components we’ll need to clean gunpowder residue from clothes.

  • Washing soda
  • Cloth

Step 1: Collect Washing Soda

The first thing to be done in this process is buying or collecting some washing soda. If you don’t have a package of washing soda at your home, you can buy it from a drugstore.

Fortunately, this stuff is available anywhere at a cheaper rate. So hopefully, there will be no trouble with having this. However, you must be aware of the packaging and expiring date.

Step 2: Put Some Soda on the Spot

Once you have all the components you need, you’re ready to wash your clothes.

So, apply a little amount of soda to the affected spot of your clothes. After that, leave it just for a minute to settle the acid into the stains.

Step 3: Wash the cloth

Now wipe that affected area gently but quickly with a clean cloth. Gradually, this will remove the gunpowder residue from your clothes.

2.   Cleaning Gunshot Residue from Hands

Cleaning Gunshot Residue from Hands

In addition to washing your clothes, consider washing your hands to minimize exposure to those harmful compounds of gunpowder residue.

Though these chemical compounds are so tough, the movement and existence of natural oil in our skin lets them be washed away by using normal soap and water.

So, using soap, water, and some scrubbing will be enough to clean gunpowder residue from your hands. 

However, there is a proverb that prevention is better than remedy. So, a better way of protecting yourself from gunshot residue is to wear gloves. No residue, no risk of being unhygienic. 

3.   Cleaning Gunpowder Residue from the Stock

Cleaning Gunpowder Residue from the Weapon Parts

Gunpowder residue makes your gun dirty and unable to serve better performance if they aren’t immediately washed away after a single-use.

So, after completing a day at the range, clean gunshot residue from the stock of your gun.

However, let’s find out the steps of cleaning gunshot residue from the stock of your gun.

Step 1: Collect the Necessary Materials

At the beginning of this cleaning process, make sure that you have all the stuff you should have to go through the process.

For instance, you must have soft clothes, vinegar or Windex, cotton swabs, and good furniture polish in your collection to achieve the goal of cleaning gunpowder residue.

Step 2: Check out the Gun’s Chamber

This is the most important job to be done while doing any kind of work with your gun. Before starting to clean the gun, double-check if your gun is empty.

Step 3: Start from the Carved Areas

Finally, this is the time to begin cleaning your gun. It’s a good idea that you should start cleaning the carved areas of the stock.

Apply a small amount of vinegar or Windex to the ends of a cotton swab and run it thoroughly into the crevices on the gun’s stock.

Step 4: Clean the Stock of the Gun

Now moisten a clean cloth with a required amount of Windex or vinegar and drive it firmly and quickly over the stock of the rifle to ensure the tougher cleaning of the stock from gunpowder.

Step 5: Spray a Furniture Polish

In the last step, dampen a clean cloth with a small amount of furniture polish and polish the rifle stock thoroughly and evenly with that cloth.

After that, you’ll discover your gun completely free from a little amount of gunpowder residue.

Why Should I Clean Gunpowder Residue?

hygiene and precautions after shooting the gun

In addition to owning a gun, it is also a big responsibility to take safety, hygiene and precautions after shooting the gun. When we shoot our gun, it leaves gunpowder residue on our hands and the rifle’s stock.

This gunpowder residue includes various harmful macroscopic particles of barium, silicon, lead, antimony, calcium, and so on like them. These chemicals have no benefits in being in contact with the human body.

That’s why cleaning gunpowder residue is important after shooting a gun. Basically, there are more reasons for cleaning these chemical compounds. Let’s figure them out.

Impactful on the Human Body

Sometimes, that residue transfers to our clothes, hands, face, torso, and to other parts of our body where it would not be. The macroscopic particles of these residues can cause fatal diseases to our health.

Basically, the main problem with this chemical is that it includes lead (Pb) particles. Besides, it obviously can’t be harmless, as it is mostly invisible.

Makes the Gun Dirty

Moreover, these powders make the rifle dirty and sometimes unable to operate. So, in addition to shooting our weapons, it’s a big responsibility for all of us to wash our hands, clothes, and even our guns just after a shooting. There are various chemicals to wash away these compounds, as we discussed above.

Final Verdict

As the characteristic of the particles of gunpowder residue is one of the toughest things, it can’t be completely removed. But we can easily reduce the dosage of these compounds.

Cleaning your handgun is vital to keep it functioning correctly. But, depending on the type of handgun you own, there are different ways to clean it. And we have covered an extended range of guns and their maintenance and cleaning process. From cleaning a Colt Defender to giving step by step instructions on how to clean a Thompson Center Black Diamond Muzzleloader, we’ve got you covered.

So, it’s a duty for ourselves and for everyone around us to keep hygienic. We should clean our hands, clothes, and other objects affected by gunpowder residue after coming back from a range.

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