AR15.Com Archives
 Cleaning using varsol (paint thinner)
St1650  [Member]
2/9/2005 10:02:43 PM
I bough an armalite m15a4leo,

My friend's father, who served as infantry in the CF and own a colt ar15, told me to field strip it and to soak the parts 20-30 minutes in varsol, a paint thinner ... then clean them with hoppes #9 and lube them with gun oil ...

But it looks like the paint thinner "attacked" the finish of my ar15 .. is it normal? is it dangerous to use varsol for cleaning an ar15?
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QUIB  [Member]
2/9/2005 10:14:39 PM
I'm not sure about paint thinner, but I use mineral spirits to wash parts off. I usually strip the bolt and throw it in a container to soak while I clean the barrel. I also flush out the lower with mineral spirits when I do a lot of shooting.
G35  [Member]
2/10/2005 11:32:48 PM
Here is the problem... Varsol is NOT paint thinner. Varsol is Mineral Spirits.

Paint thinner harms many surfaces and plastics. Paint thinner BAD.

Mineral Spirits GOOD. I have used Mineral Spirits and varsol for years for cleaning all sorts of things around the house (including Glock pistols). Mineral Spirits has NEVER, NOT ONCE, harmed anything. Mineral Spirits GOOD !!!!

BTW - Do not be scared when you see the white color after the parts dry. This is normal. The white is a combination of slight residue and the fact that the metal is stripped of all surface oil. Just wipe the parts down with your favorite lube, and the pretty surface will return.
TexasSIG  [Team Member]
2/11/2005 12:13:01 AM
Varsol is good stuff, use it to clean airplane parts all the time, it's not paint thinner at all, I have sprayed it directly on greasy paint near the exhaust of planes to remove the stains.

As mentioned above, leaves a white mess, and removes every bit of lubrication.
jmart  [Member]
2/11/2005 8:26:38 AM
Mix it with equal parts parts kerosene, acetone and ATF and you have a really effective cleaner. It's called Ed's Red.
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