View Full Version : Cosmoline Sucks! - Striping my SKS...

07-23-2008, 11:02 PM
Gezz, I never imagined this would be such a pain in the butt.
I read a few post all over the net about cleaning, so combining all the info this is what I did.
I spent several hours last night cleaning all the metal parts in a tub of mineral spirits. It worked rather well after sitting for a while. I took a toothbrush to it all and scrubbed away. Then I hit it all with some Gun Srubber to get into all the nooks. Hit it all with WD-40 and wiped it all down. I tried to clean the stock in warm soapy water which was an ok start but wasn't what I'd hoped for, it was still kinda sticky.
So today I went and picked up two different products for the stock. Citristrip and Simple Green - Precision Equipment Degreaser.
Well, this really worked great. I brushed on some Citristrip over every bit of wood and let it sit 30+ minutes. Wiped it all off with some rags. Then sprayed the whole thing with the Simple Green and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then scrubed it with a brush and rinsed it all off with warm water.
Boy, that really took care of it.
I'm gonna let it sit for a day in the sun and then sand, oil & polish it. Hoping it will look really nice.
Anyway, those two products worked really well on the stock.

07-23-2008, 11:16 PM
Welcome to the great world of casoline. Yes, it sucks, but it usaully does the job it was intended for.

07-23-2008, 11:18 PM
Gasoline, turpentine, paint thinner, acetone, and mineral spirits will dissolve cosmoline. You may want to try one of them to speed up the job.

07-23-2008, 11:53 PM
Try CRC Brake Parts Cleaner in the tall red spray cans, at most auto parts stores, Walmart, etc. Cheaper than Gun Scrubber. Cuts through oil, grease, dirt, etc. After a day at the range, I field strip my guns and hose them down w/ CRC, the parts dry in about a minute (or less), and then I lube and re-assemble my guns.

07-24-2008, 12:29 AM
On your metal parts, let it soak in the cleaner for a time. On the wood parts, wrap them in black trash bags and sit them in the sun. Preferably in a vehicle, in direct sunlight, on the dash, with the windows rolled up. Take advantage of California's heat.

The wood stock will be MUCH easier to clean once the cosmoline starts melting and softening up.

07-24-2008, 12:38 AM
Mineral spirits!

07-24-2008, 7:02 AM
your prob is working at night. it's summer, the sun is your friend. get a big plastic planter box and a automotive solvent brush, soak in mineral spirits on a hot day and scrub. works on wood and metal.

07-24-2008, 8:20 AM
Yeah, that stuff is a pain in the ***** for sure. For my recent CMP M1 Garand purchases, I used a couple pots of boiling hot water on a warm summer evening...the hot water took the cosmoline off real nice and the water evaporated quite quickly and I would follow up with some CLP on the metal parts after they looked somewhat dry...all in all it took me a couple evenings after work to get the rifles cleaned up.

Casual Observer
07-24-2008, 8:27 AM
I used to dip mine in gasoline for a while. Takes the stuff off pretty quick.

Just make sure it's dry before you reassemble/ fire.

deleted by PC police
07-24-2008, 8:30 AM
I've read to use a steam cleaner on the metal parts. It turns the cosmoline into a liquid. I have not tried it yet but I will as soon as I get the steam cleaner. You can get one for $30 on Amazon.

steam clean cosmoline (http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/cosmoline/pdf/cosmoline.pdf)

07-24-2008, 7:46 PM
To get cosmoline off of metal parts, the steam cleaner is the best possible solution. It will strip EVERYTHING, though, so treat it quickly with lube or oil or whatever regular gun gunk you use.

If I were to do a cosmo'd stock again, I would rig a cheap PVC pup-tent shell looking thing using black sheet plastic stretched across it as a heat-concentrating 'roof'. It would be only about a foot of the ground, and no bigger than a rifle stock. Anyway, I'd hang the stock from the inside of this using a metal coat hanger or something and let the thing weep for a couple of weeks. Of course, that only works in SoCal summers.

07-24-2008, 9:19 PM
I use mineral spirits and then Break Cleaner.

Don't use WD40 on your guns.

WD40= Bad....:eek:

07-25-2008, 7:17 AM
I use mineral spirits and then Break Cleaner.

Don't use WD40 on your guns.

WD40= Bad....:eek:

wait really? I was following the guide on the www.theboxotruth.com and he uses it.