Gun Cleaning: Increase Its Value in 5 Easy Steps

January 29, 2020 - Guns & Other Firearms

Even the best handguns need “spring cleaning” from time to time.

If you use your guns often, carbon will start to build up inside. A few minutes of gun maintenance can prevent a reliable gun from becoming unreliable. If you’re looking to pawn or sell your gun for the most cash, you need it to work and look good.

Cleaning your handgun shouldn’t take long, but you should look over the owner’s manual before disassembling any parts. Depending on the make or model of your gun, the basic cleaning can differentiate.

The following quick steps can be applied to most firearms.

1) Find a dry rag to clean off the gun frame:

Use a dry rag, like a mechanic’s rag, to remove gunk, loose dirt, or dust from the gun frame. Remove gun barrel and wipe inside. Wipe adequately before applying any cleaning chemical. This way you can easily remove loose particles without causing a mess.

2) Apply an inexpensive solvent to break down gun fouling:

Find a gun solvent to break down powder and metal fouling residue in the bore (interior of a gun’s barrel) and action (guts of the gun). The cleaning chemical will also help remove other forms of dirt or debris like lead and copper. They’re many commercial solvents on the market that only cost a few dollars.

3) Use Q-tips to sweep-up tight spaces in your gun:

While cleaning your handgun, use Q-tips as mini-brooms to sweep more debris off the rail track and tight spots. Don’t use the same Q-tip the whole time! Have several Q-tips with you as you’re going through these steps.

4) Use a few drops of oil to create protective coating  on your gun:

You can never know if any water vapor will sneak in while in storage, therefore, a thin layer of gun oil is the best way to prevent any rust from forming. Too much oil can create a slimy substance to form. Only use a minuscule amount to create a protective coating. If there’s excess oil, use a clean piece of cotton or cloth to wipe down.

5) Store your firearm properly after cleaning:

Keep your guns stored correctly for your cleaning to last longer. Also, double check your gun is not under any stress when stored; for example if a gun’s slide is pulled back it will weaken the spring while in storage.  After you clean your gun, make sure the slide is forward and the magazine is empty. Every mechanism should be disengaged; all springs should be relieved of any pressure.

REMEMBER:  A pawnbroker will examine the condition of your gun immediately. If his hands get full of gun filth, it won’t get the best buck for your bang. A pawn shop will evaluate a gun’s value to see if it can be resold. If your handgun’s inner mechanics is looking neglected, a pawnbroker will be concerned about possible erosion and friction wear.

GET OFFERS:  Pawn your firearm on,  and start receiving multiple offers from local pawn shops.

HAVE QUESTIONS?  Write to us with questions about pawning firearms at


Did you enjoy this post? Click here to read “Pawning Guns: (Almost) Everything You Need to Know in 5 Questions”

Jordan Birnholtz

Jordan Birnholtz is the cofounder of PawnGuru. An alumnus of the University of Michigan, Jordan started PawnGuru in 2015 with Jon Polter, David Stiebel, and Jessica Zahnd. When he's not working at PawnGuru, Jordan volunteers his time to support undergraduates in building socially-responsible businesses and organizations through Optimize, a program at the University of Michigan.

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