View Full Version : Kerosine question

June 10, 2002, 18:13
I use kerosine for cleaning my FALs and other firearms (mainly because a few years back I bought three gallons of the stuff at a garage sale for a dollar a gallon).

So far, no problems whatsoever.

But I have sometimes noticed what looks to be a thin film left behind on some shinier parts (makes them shine a little less).

It is just me, or does kerosine dry "clean" like acetone? Or is this film just some leftover waxy deposit...maybe just evidence that I should have used a fresher rag?

And could this leftover film actually be beneficial? Prove to be a little lubrication or rust inhibitor?

Gentlemen, your thoughts would be appreciated.

June 10, 2002, 18:39
Kerosene is basically plain 'ol stinky, oily jet fuel, kinda like diesel or lamp oil.

It is not as cleanly refined as other fuels and will leave a residue on surfaces after the majority evaporates.

I would not depend on it to prevent rust, though it may have those properties. I would also be sure that it is completely gone before any attempts at refinishing. Ultimately, it will evaporate.

June 10, 2002, 20:51
Jet A & K1 kerosene both make excellent cleaning solvents IF you keep in mind that they will burn. Not nearly as easily as gasoline but exercise caution.

Many other solvents are out there. Stoddard is a safety solvent with higher flash point. Drycleaning solvent (perchlorethlene) or its newer relatives work well but are somewhat toxic. You can buy acetone or methethelketone at the hardware store. Both are very flamable and can cause problems if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Really good degreasers will degrease your skin, causing damage.

With ALL solvents, wear gloves, eye protection and DO NOT breath the fumes. Good old K1 works fine; just follow with Brake Clean after you are done to remove the residue. MEK is good prior to refinish as it removes the tiny residue some formulas of Brake Clean can leave behind. Acetone or laquer thinner do pretty well but I like MEK better.

If you really clean metal it is going to rust! Coat with the protectant of your choice and store in as dry a place as possible. Heated box or in presence of silica gel (desicant) is best. Re-clean with MEK before refinish.

Does that help?

June 11, 2002, 16:32
I just picked up some military bore cleaning solvent mainly because it was cheap at $5 for a quart. Its mainly Kerosene and something else that slips my memory right now. It should be fine.

Derby FALs
June 11, 2002, 18:53
Originally posted by Sophicles
I just picked up some military bore cleaning solvent mainly because it was cheap at $5 for a quart. Its mainly Kerosene and something else that slips my memory right now. It should be fine.
Nitro-Benzene if it smells "sweet" like the old Hoppes No. 9.
I like BBS the best but some folks swear by Ed's Red
CONTENTS: Ed's Red Bore Cleaner

1 part Dexron II, IIe or III ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later. 1 part
Kerosene - deodorized, K1 1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec.
TT-T-2981F, CAS #64741-49-9, or substitute "Stoddard Solvent", CAS
#8052-41-3, or equivalent, (aka "Varsol") 1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.

(Optional up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, OK to
substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)


Mix outdoors, in good ventilation. Use a clean 1 gallon metal,
chemical-resistant, heavy gage PET or PVC plastic container. NFPA
approved plastic gasoline storage containers are also OK. Do NOT use
HDPE, which is breathable because the acetone will evaporate. The
acetone in ER will attack HDPE in about 6 months, making a heck of a

Add the ATF first. Use the empty container to measure the other
components, so that it is thoroughly rinsed. If you incorporate the
lanolin into the mixture, melt this carefully in a double boiler, taking
precautions against fire. Pour the melted lanolin it into a larger
container, rinsing the lanolin container with the bore cleaner mix, and
stirring until it is all dissolved.

I recommend diverting a small quantity, up to 4 ozs. per quart of the
50-50 ATF/kerosene mix for use as an "ER-compatible" gun oil. This can
be done without impairing the effectiveness of the mix.


1. Open the firearm action and ensure the bore is clear. Cleaning is
most effective when done while the barrel is still warm to the touch
from firing. Saturate a cotton patch with bore cleaner, wrap or impale
on jag and push it through the bore from breech to muzzle. The patch
should be a snug fit. Let the first patch fall off and do not pull it
back into the bore.

2. Wet a second patch, and similarly start it into the bore from the
breech, this time scrubbing from the throat area forward in 4-5" strokes
and gradually advancing until the patch emerges out the muzzle. Waiting
approximately 1 minute to let the bore cleaner soak will improve its

3. For pitted, heavily carbon-fouled "rattle battle" guns, leaded
revolvers or neglected bores a bronze brush wet with bore cleaner may be
used to remove stubborn deposits. This is unnecessary for smooth,
target-grade barrels in routine use.

4. Use a final wet patch pushed straight through the bore to flush out
loosened residue dissolved by Ed's Red. Let the patch fall off the jag
without pulling it back into the bore. If you are finished firing,
leaving the bore wet will protect it from rust for up to 30 days. If the
lanolin is incorporated into the mixture, it will protect the firearm
from rust for up to two years. For longer term storage I recommend use
of Lee Liquid Alox as a Cosmolene substitute. "ER" will readily remove
hardened Alox or Cosmolene.

5. Wipe spilled Ed's Red from exterior surfaces before storing the gun.
While Ed's Red is harmless to blue and nickel finishes, the acetone it
contains is harmful to most wood finishes).

6. Before firing again, push two dry patches through the bore and dry
the chamber, using a patch wrapped around a suitably sized brush or jag.
First shot point of impact usually will not be disturbed by Ed's Red if
the bore is cleaned as described.

7. I have determined to my satisfaction that when Ed's Red is used
exclusively and thoroughly, that hot water cleaning is unnecessary after
use of Pyrodex or military chlorate primers. However, if bores are not
wiped between shots and shots and are heavily caked from black powder
fouling, hot water cleaning is recommended first to break up heavy
fouling deposits. Water cleaning should be followed by a thorough flush
with Ed's Red to prevent after-rusting which could result from residual
moisture. It is ALWAYS good practice to clean TWICE, TWO DAYS APART
whenever using chlorate primed ammunition, just to make sure you get all
the residue out.




1. Flammable mixture. Keep away from heat, sparks or flame.

2. FIRST AID, If swallowed DO NOT induce vomiting, call physician
immediately. In case of eye contact immediately flush thoroughly with
water and call a physician. For skin contact wash thoroughly.

3. Use with adequate ventilation. Avoid breathing vapors or spray mist.
It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner
inconsistent with its labelling. Reports have associated repeated and
prolonged occupational overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and
nervous system damage. If using in closed armory vaults lacking forced
air ventilation wear respiratory protection meeting NIOSH TC23C or
equivalent. Keep container tightly closed when not in use.

This "Recipe" is placed in the public domain, and may be freely
distributed provided that it is done so in its entirely with all
instructions and safety warnings included herein, and that proper
attribution is given to the author.

In Home Mix We Trust,



June 11, 2002, 20:55
Hot-a-mighty Derby! Good info.