How To Clean A 9mm Pistol

Pistol stripping | How To Clean A 9mm Pistol | Featured

Every gun lover and owner should know how to clean a 9mm pistol. This detailed guide will give you pointers on how to clean any 9mm pistol safely and effectively.

RELATED: 9 Best Gun Cleaning Mats For Every Budget

Everything You Need to Know about How to Clean a 9mm Pistol

Click here to jump to the instructographic.

Step 1. Get a Cleaning Kit

Pistol stripping and cleaning tools | How To Clean A 9mm Pistol

Here, you can choose to purchase a pre-assembled gun cleaning kit from a gun shop. Or you can assemble the individual components. Either way, there are some essential cleaning items that every gun cleaning arsenal needs. These include:

  • Gun oil or a lubricant
  • Cleaning solvent
  • A bore brush
  • Cleaning rod
  • Flashlight
  • A patch holder and patches
  • A nylon cleaning brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Unload your 9mm pistol

Always be cautious when unloading your pistol to clean it. Though you might have removed the magazine, there could be a round in the chamber ready to fire. Hence the need for you to double-check.

Tip: Look through your pistol barrel from back to front to ensure that there's no round in the chamber or stuck in the barrel, to be sure.

Step 2. Disassemble Your Pistol

separate parts pistol cleaning kit | how to clean a pistol

Check your pistol manufacturer's manual on instructions on how to disassemble your gun for cleaning. This will ensure that you only disassemble your pistol as much as the manufacturer recommends. Following the instructions provided will ensure you all the parts that get dirty when firing.

Luckily, semi-automatic pistols can be stripped down to their major components, barrel, magazine, frame, guide rod, and slide for cleaning.

Note: You do not have to field strip your pistol to be able to clean it.

Step 3. Ventilate Your Cleaning Area

Man cleaning gun | How To Clean A 9mm Pistol

Always find a well-ventilated spot when cleaning your pistol. Cleaning solvents have poisonous fumes that can make you sick, hence the need for excellent air circulation. Toxic fumes aside, lubricants and solvents smell foul which can be uncomfortable in closed spaces for you and your family.

Tip: Besides making your space well ventilated, consider covering your working space with an old towel or plastic bag. Your garage with the door up is an excellent spot.

Step 4. Clean the Barrel with Patches and a Cleaning Rod

Cleaning inside 22 pistol cotton patch |  how to clean a 9mm pistol

Use a cleaning rod, patch holder, and cotton patches to soak your pistol's bore. Try working from the back of the bore if possible. Otherwise, use a muzzle guard to prevent the cleaning rod from banging against the muzzle which may cause the gun to malfunction.


  • Ensure you use the correct size cotton patches.
  • Push a solvent-soaked patch through the bore until it comes out on the other end to clean the barrel properly.

Tip: Once the patch is out on the other end, remove it as pulling it back through will only redeposit the dirt you already cleaned.

RELATED: 8 Tools You Need in Your Gun Cleaning Kit 

Step 5. Alternate the Patches and Bore Brush for a Thorough Barrel Scrub

Gunsmith cleaning gun pistol assemble dismantle |  how to clean a 9mm pistol

Remove the patch holder to attach the bore brush. Next, run the brush back and forth along the bore three to four to loosen debris. Next, reattach the patch holder and run more solvent-soaked patches to correct the loosened debris.

Remember to remove the cotton patches when they exit at the front. Do this several times, until the cotton patches come out clean. When done, run a dry cotton patch to dry the bore as you inspect for any issued build-up.

Step 6. Lubricate the Barrel

Cleaning an antique revolver on a wooden table |  how to clean a 9mm pistol

Attach a cotton mop to your cleaning rod and add a few drops of lubricant or gun conditioner. Next, run it through the bore leaving only a light coating of gun oil on the interior.

Step 7. Use a Solvent to Clean and Lubricate the Action

Hand inserting cleaning rod with a cotton patch | How To Clean A 9mm Pistol

Add solvent to your gun brush and brush the parts of the action. Once done, use a clean cloth to dry the action parts. Next, lightly lubricate any moving parts to prevent rust. A heavy coating will only attract dirt and get gummy. A small amount will go a long way.

Step 8. Use a Luster Cloth to Wipe Down the Rest of Your Gun

Gunsmith cleaning gun rifle and pistol | How To Clean A 9mm Pistol

A luster cloth is a flannel pre-treated with a silicone lubricant to remove any remaining debris and adds shine. A pair of socks or an old t-shirt will do if you do not have towels designed explicitly for gun cleaning. Be sure to use something you will not need to reuse.

Here’s an instructographic guide. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy instructographic for reference:

how to clean a 9mm pistol |  how to clean a 9mm pistol

There you have it, gun enthusiasts. Learning how to clean a 9mm pistol is a must-know for every gun owner. It ensures your 9mm pistol continues to function and fire properly and safely. Tiny explosions that leave residue occur in the chamber every time you pull the trigger. Therefore, clean your pistol every time you fire it, especially after target practice.

How often do you clean your 9mm pistol?

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One Response to :
How To Clean A 9mm Pistol

  1. Stuart says:

    Very informative and clear presentation.

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