How To Remove Rust From A Gun Without Damaging Bluing?

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Hey shooter! If you want to remove rust from your favorite gun but are worried about damaging the bluing, you have come to the right place. 

I have some methods that will allow you to remove rust from your firearm, preventing its aesthetics and performance. 

I have a dedicated team of researchers that have worked 48 hours to find the best methods for you. 

So, let’s start. 

Why Is Gun Bluing Important? 

Before knowing the process of removing rust while protecting bluing on your firearm, I would like to educate you about why bluing is important and why we are making all the effort to preserve it. 

Bluing is a process of creating a protective layer on the gun to protect it from rust and pollutants. 

This method helps preserve not just the appearance but also the performance of your firearm. Bluing doesn’t protect the gun from rust completely. Your gun will still rust but not as fast as the one without bluing. 

So, a blued gun can also have rust. The remaining part of the article will explain how to remove rust from a blued gun?

5 Methods To Remove Rust From A Gun Without Damaging Bluing

There are many ways to remove rust from your firearm, but the challenge here is removing rust from the gun without affecting the bluing. Following methods and techniques will help you do exactly that. 

1. Gun Oil And Steel Wool Combination 

The first method I have for you is using gun oil with steel wool. It is an easy process, something you can do at home, and is also easily affordable. 

Things You Need 

  • An old newspaper
  • Gun Oil
  • Steel Wool
  • Cotton Cloth/Rag

Step by Step Cleaning Process

  • Begin with examining the gun and find all the rusted parts.
  • Oil all the parts and let it soak for 30 minutes. 
  • After that, clean all the oiled parts with steel wool. 
  • Gently move the steel wool in a circular motion to remove the rust. 
  • In the final part, clean the gun with a cotton cloth or rag. 

Important Tips To Remember 

  • Do not put too much pressure on the steel wool while cleaning because it can damage bluing. 
  • Only use 0000 type steel wool, not just any steel wool.
  • Do not overuse the oil; a few drops are enough. 
  • Use old newspaper to avoid stains on the table or any other surface you are putting your gun for cleaning.
  • Inspect the gun thoroughly to see if any rusting is left.

2. Vinegar And Aluminum Foil Combination

The next process is even easier than the one mentioned above because the items you use are available at home. 

Things You Need 

  • White Vinegar 
  • Aluminum foil 
  • A spray bottle
  • Clean cloth 

Step by Step Cleaning Process

  • Take a spray bottle and fill it with equal amounts of white vinegar and water. 
  • With the bottle, spray the mixture on all the rusted areas of the gun.
  • After that, take the Aluminum and rub it on all the areas where you have applied the mixture. 
  • Continue rubbing the rusted parts till you remove all the rusting. 
  • After removing the rust, wipe all the parts with a clean cloth. 

Important Tips To Remember 

  • Thoroughly check if all the rust is removed.
  • If you have a lot of rust, removing it might take longer. 

3. Penetrating Oil And Copper Penny Combination

Several penetrating oils are available at very affordable prices, such as Kano Kroil Penetrating Oil and Liquid Wrench Penetrating Oil. I’m sure that finding a copper penny will not be a problem for you. 

Things You Need 

  • Penetrating oil
  • Copper penny
  • Clean cloth/paper towel
  • Old newspaper

Step by Step Cleaning Process

  • Begin the process by finding all the rusted areas on your gun. 
  • In the next step, put oil on all the rusted areas. 
  • Let the oil soak for about 30 minutes. Soaking in oil will smoothen the rusted areas. 
  • After that, take a Copper penny and gently scrape the rust from these oiled areas. 
  • Continue the process until you remove all the rust. 
  • Once you remove the rust, take a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe off the gun. 

Important Tips To Remember 

  • Remember not to scrape the coin on the gun’s surface with too much pressure. 
  • As a Copper penny is small, the process can be tiring. It could be difficult for you to hold a penny for a long time. So,  for better cleaning, use a piler to hold the coin.
  • Use an old newspaper to protect the table or the surface you are using for cleaning from oil stains. 

4. Baking Soda And Water Combination 

The next process I will explain is also very easy to apply because it requires only baking soda that you can easily find in your kitchen. So, this method gives you an easy and zero-expense way of rust removal. 

Things You Need 

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Wire brush/steel wool 
  • Clean cloth

Step by Step Cleaning Process

  • Place an old newspaper on the table you will use for cleaning your gun. 
  • Thoroughly search all the rusted areas on your gun. 
  • After that, mix some baking soda with water and make a thick paste. 
  • Then apply this mixture to the rusted parts of your gun.
  • Leave it for 1 hour and let the rusted parts soak in it. 
  • Use a wire brush or steel wool to clean the rusted part.
  • Once the rust is removed, use a soft, clean cloth to wipe off the mixture.

Important Tips To Remember 

  • If you use steel wool, do not scrape it with a lot of pressure. 
  • Once you are done cleaning, thoroughly check your gun and make sure no rust is left. 

5. Electrolysis 

The last method I have for you is electrolysis. It is a time taking process, and also, you need a setup for it. But what electrolysis does best is that it allows you to remove rust from hard-to-reach places on your gun. I will explain to you step by step how you can remove rust via electrolysis. 

Things You Need 

  • Plastic container
  • Steel rod to be used as an electrode 
  • Washing soda 
  • A battery charger 

Step by Step Cleaning Process

  • Start the process by filling the plastic container with water. 
  • After that, add washing soda to the water and dissolve it thoroughly. 
  • Place the steel rod in the water. We will use this rod as an electrode. 
  • Use a wire to dump the part you want to clean in the container.
  • Connect the battery’s negative lead to the wire you have used to dump the part and the positive lead to the steel rod. 
  • After making this setup, plug in the charger. 
  • As an immediate reaction, a breakdown of Hydrogen and Oxygen would form bubbles.
  • Let the process continue for 3-4 hours. If your gun parts are heavily rusted, they will take more time to be removed. 
  • When you are done with the process, dry the parts with a clean cloth. 

Important Tips To Remember 

  • Do not use stainless steel for the steel rod as it produces harmful by-products.
  • Also, avoid using zinc-plated steel. 
  • Don’t use baking soda in place of washing soda. 
  • Wear safety glasses and rubber gloves to prevent irritation. 
  • The electrolysis process breaks down the water into Oxygen and Hydrogen, which can be explosive together. So, ensure you work in a ventilated area or outside in the open. 
  • The part and the steel rod mustn’t touch each other. So, use O-rings to prevent them from touching each other.  
  • Don’t plug in the battery charger before attaching the leads. 

How To Prevent Your Gun From Rusting? 

I have explained many methods to help remove rust from your gun without damaging its bluing, but prevention is better than cure. It is better to take measures to prevent your gun from rusting rather than finding ways to remove it.

When it comes to rust, moisture is the main culprit. Exposure to any moisture makes your gun rusty. So, do the following to prevent your gun from rusting. 

  1. Store in a dry place. 
  2. Regular cleaning and maintenance. 
  3. Dry your gun thoroughly after exposure to water. 
  4. Wipe off your gun if it is exposed to sweat from your hands. 


What removes rust from guns?

There are many efficient ways to remove rust from your gun. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Use gun oil and steel wool. 
  • Use vinegar and Aluminum foil. 
  • Use penetrating oil and Copper penny. 
  • Use baking soda and water.
  • The process of electrolysis. 

Does vinegar harm gun bluing?

Using white vinegar in the right way doesn’t harm gun bluing. Put equal amounts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply the mixture to the rusted parts of your gun. Then, use Aluminum foil to rub those parts. So, applying vinegar to your gun doesn’t harm bluing. If anything, it is a great option for removing rust without damaging bluing.

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Hannah Anderson is a gun enthusiast. She developed a knack for guns and ammunition when as a teenager she started accompanying her grandfather to his hunting ventures. Now, she shares her passion and immense knowledge on the subject with the readers.

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