Brake fluid as a bore cleaner?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
15
Location
Ohio
So I am watching YouTube and this guy is testing all sorts of gun oils. He would burn some gun powder, on a piece of steel and then test different gun lubes and cleaners to see which one removed the burnt powder residue. I was bored yesterday so I tried this myself and found some interesting results. I tested lots of different gun lubes, home brew concoctions and firearm solvents that I had on hand plus some other oils and cleaners I had on the shelf too. The results were pretty amazing (to me). So to cut to the chase, plain old Valucraft brake fluid was one of the best at removing the burnt powder residue. Is there any reason you can think of NOT to use brake fluid to clean a barrel bore or firearm internals exposed to burnt powder residue? Would it attack aluminum, SS, poly frames or others parts? I would also assume its not safe to use on wood stock finishes.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
2,317
Location
missouri
The big problem I see is that brake fluid is Hydroscopic, absorbs moisture. so if you use it, I would wash the bore well with hot water. Then follow with WD-40 to get out the water. Then oil. This sounds like a lot more work than good ole bore solvent. Rod
 

igolfat8

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
15
Location
Ohio
Thanks for your reply. I tested good ole' Hoppe's #9 solvent too and even though it gets great reviews it couldn't hold a candle to brake cleaner which I found interesting. I'm not proposing leaving brake cleaner in the bore or internals or using it as a lubricant but merely as a cleaner. I do see a red flag to it being hydroscopic and should be thoroughly flushed out though.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
Messages
13,225
Location
1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
If I put my nose to it - OR if I see the wife, kids....etc... running outside the front door in a hurry, I do not buy it for cleaning / lubing / preserving my guns. If you can afford the phone/desktop and internet fees, you can afford a gun cleaner that does not create eventual health problems. So many folks here spend money when they don't need to and don't spend money when they need to. Worst scenario?...... spending money to use the product in the wrong manner.
 

igolfat8

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
15
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted By: Triple_Se7en
If you can afford the phone/desktop and internet fees, you can afford a gun cleaner that does not create eventual health problems.
Are there health risks using brake fluid?
 

igolfat8

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
15
Location
Ohio
My second reply should have read brake FLUID and not brake cleaner. I am unable to edit the thread for some reason?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
37,834
Location
NY
I'm not sure about brake fluid as a bore cleaner. The old formula GM Top Engine Cleaner was great for cleaning up powder fouling. The bench rest shooters did it all the time. I tried it myself and it worked very well. It was best done outdoors though.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
10,003
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Originally Posted By: igolfat8
I would also assume its not safe to use on wood stock finishes.
It's not. And that alone would steer me far away from it for gun use. A lot of automotive brake fluids have warnings right on the bottle, to not allow it to come into contact with painted surfaces. So why risk using something on a gun that could damage some part of it? Back to the risk vs. reward factor. None to be had. I would stick to solvents and cleaners that won't hurt any part of your weapon through accidental contact. The health risk to using any these products is way overblown. It's not as if the local cemetery has a section for people who have allowed themselves too much contact with brake fluid and gun cleaners.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
2,701
Location
WY
I would use it taking care to stay away from areas not to be cleaned. Wear gloves and follow the cleaning with a light coat of a trusted gun product to protect those clean parts. Try it out on a lesser value weapon for a few months and see for yourself.
 

igolfat8

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
15
Location
Ohio
We are discussing Brake fluid. I mistyped brake cleaner in an above post but I’m unable to edit it for some reason?
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
1,266
Location
PA
I'm not sure why you'd want to use brake fluid when there are specific finish safe products like Hoppes and others that will remove normal levels of copper and lead fouling in barrels. There are copper and lead specific cleaners for badly fouled bores. If you just want to remove carbon from other parts of the gun, carb and choke or brake cleaner works fine.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top