How to Clean a Gun Cleaning Mat: Step-by-step Guide(8 Steps)

Guns need maintenance. If you own a gun, you’ll have to clean it properly at some point. Without the cleaning, your gun might get rusty. Thus, you may find it not working properly when you shoot.

A person who loves shooting always takes care of his gun. It is not an optional thing to do. But most people use a towel like a cleaning mat for their gun. That can work, but it’s not the best option out there. It’s recommended to use a cleaning mat that is designed only for guns. Towels might contain moisture or grease in themselves, which will affect your firearms. That’s why gun mats should be your go-to cleaning mat for your guns.

If you get yourself a gun cleaning mat, you’ll see that the mat itself will get dirty after you used it a couple of times. Or you could spill chemicals over it. At that point, it gets necessary to clean the mat for being able to use it again. But you might ask, “How do you guys clean your gun cleaning mat?” There’s simply not a lot of information on it out there. The process is fairly simple. So, let’s go over a complete guide on how to clean a gun cleaning mat that you’ll be able to use.

Learn to Clean a Gun Cleaning Mat in 8 Steps:

Cleaning a gun mat is super easy if you know the right method. Let’s go over 8 steps on how to clean a gun cleaning mat.

Step 1: Fill Up The Sink

To clean your gun cleaning mat, you first have to find a spot that you can get water from. Your sink would be an ideal place for that. Fill up the sink with water. Make sure that you use warm water to clean the mat. Warm water helps to wash away the dirt and the chemicals easily.

Step 2: Add Some Dish Detergent

Yes, you just need some regular detergent to get your job done. Detergents help to get rid of the grease and dirt that’s harder to rinse out with water. You don’t have to get fancy with what detergent to use. Just use some detergent from the kitchen that you use on a regular basis. Cheaper detergents work just fine in the cleaning process. Take a little detergent from the packet and put it in the sink.

Step 3: Mix The Detergent with Water

You need to mix the detergent with the water that’s in the sink. For that, just use your hands. Mix the water and detergent. You’ll see bubbles when you mix it properly. After you see bubbles, it’s ready to put the cleaning mat in the water and clean it.

Step 4: Place Cleaning Mat in Water

After you have the water and detergent mixed up in the sink, you can place the gun cleaning mat in the water. You can start the cleaning process right away. But it would be preferable to leave it there for 2-3 minutes. That should make the dirt and other nasty objects easier to remove.

Step 5: Scrub The Mat with Hands

Once the mat is wet, you can start cleaning it. For that, start scrubbing the mat with your hands. Focus on the parts that have stains in it. You can also use soft brushes to clean the dirt. You’ll be able to clean it easily. Also, the detergent water should help with the cleaning process. Make sure to spend some extra time on the mat if it is an oversized mat. Rushing the process will not help you clean the mat any better.

Step 6: Rinse off Detergent & Grime

Once you scrubbed your gun cleaning mat, you can rinse off the detergent and grime using clean tap water. Make sure to clean the mat properly in the first place by scrubbing. After rinsing it with clean water, the mat should look as good as new. Take your time with it. Rushing might cause some detergent to be left on the mat which you don’t want to happen.

Step 7: Dry off the Surface

To speed up the process of drying the gun cleaning mat, you can use a paper towel or a napkin to soak the water from its surface. You also can use a dry cloth for that. Just rub the surface of the mat with the dry piece of cloth or napkins. If the mat is oversized, it’s better to use a dry cloth. It’ll save up a lot of your time in the drying process.

Step 8: Hang Dry

To finalize the process perfectly, you need to hang dry your mat. It will make sure that it’s dried off properly. For that,  you only need to hang it on a chair or anywhere you like. Use two chairs and hand the mat on those if it’s an oversized gun cleaning mat. That will get the job done.

Now you know how to clean a gun cleaning mat. But there are some mats out there that need special maintenance. Premium manufacturing companies like sage and braker use wool, leather in their gun cleaning mats. You can’t just wash it with detergent water and dry it. So let’s go over how to clean premium gun cleaning mats real quick.

How to Clean a Gun Cleaning Mats – Premium Mats

You certainly would find some super expensive cleaning mats in the market. Those are made of leather. So, you can not put leather into the sink. That would be insane. So, how to clean a gun cleaning mat that’s made of leather?

The best option for you would be to dry clean the mat. You should not put chemicals on the leather mat as they will damage the leather ruining the gun cleaning mat. Manufacturing companies like sage and braker’s use leather as a material for their gun cleaning mats. These are one of the most expensive mats that you can get on the market. That’s why you should be super careful about cleaning these mats as you don’t want those to get damaged.

Wanna know which Cleaning mat is best in 2020? We have a blog about this where we reviewed the top 5 high-quality Gun Cleaning Mats with minimal price. Read our blog on “Best Gun Cleaning Mats to Buy in 2020”

FAQ we get

What is a gun cleaning mat?

->A gun cleaning mat is specifically designed for cleaning guns. You need a decent place where you can put your gun and clean it in ease. And as you try to clean your firearm, you might spill chemicals which can affect the surface. 

A gun cleaning mat is designed using special materials to prevent this. When the gun cleaning solvent touches a gun mat it prevents it from seeping into the material and it will just lay on the surface so that you can clean it up easily. 

Also, it allows you to clean your gun more easily because the mat holds itself in place rather than slipping out. Some of the mats will have features like pockets to keep screws and parts, magnetic components for holding screws, pouches to keep your cleaning tools, and so on.

What are gun cleaning mats made of?

->Gun cleaning mats are commonly made with leak-proof, non-absorbent material that prevents grease and oils like CLPs from leaking through onto the surface. The material also makes the mat easily cleanable.

Premium mats are usually made of leather. Most of them use waxed canvas as it helps with the non-absorbent characteristic.

Most of the gun cleaning mats use rubber on the ground side. That allows the mat to stick to its place. That way the user can easily clean his gun without worrying that the mat will slip.

Can you wash the gun cleaning mats?

-> Yes, for most of the mats out there you can. Just be aware of the material that is used on the mat. Most of them are made with flexible plastic or rubber. So, there won’t be any problem with washing those mats. 

But if your gun cleaning mat is made with things like wool, leather, etc, then the best option for you would be to dry clean the mat. Washing these types of mats will ruin it for you. And be aware that you don’t want to put any chemicals on these types of mats. Cleaning mats made out of leather usually are pretty costly. So be extra careful when cleaning your mats that are made out of leather or wool.

Can you wash the rubber backed cleaning mats?

->Yes, it is an option. Rubber sometimes catches dirt that is difficult to wash overtime. So, make sure that you use some kind of soap with it. The best method to clean it would be to use some shampoo and a soft brush. First, start by pouring some water on the rubber to make it wet. Then take a little amount of shampoo or any liquid soap and put that on the mat. Then use a brush to scrub the mat. You can use your hands too. Once you are done, rinse out the dirt and grime using clean water. 

Be careful about how much pressure you deal when you flex the mat. Some cheaper quality mats will get damaged by this kind of action. So, it’s best to use a brush to scrub the dirt.

Can gun cleaning mats be used as mousepads? 

->Absolutely. The cleaning mats make a great mousepad. It doesn’t give an ideal look though. But it gets the job done. The surface works perfectly for a mouse. Just like the mousepads it also provides the necessary friction for the mouse. So, yes, you can use it as a mouse pad. But as they are pretty big in size, that will not look good using it as a mousepad.

Where can I buy a gun cleaning mat? 

->The best place to buy a gun cleaning mat would be online. You will find hundreds of products there. This easily can make you overwhelmed though. So be sure to do some research properly before you buy a gun cleaning mat for you. First, decide on your budget. You’ll find gun cleaning mats at a lot of different prices. So pick a practical price point first. Then go over some reviews from other people. It’ll help you to know what the product is actually like. Also, try to buy from renowned manufacturing companies. That is a surefire way to get a good product.

Another way would be to go to your local gun store. They will also have a lot of options there. The benefit you’ll get from there is you can test it out before you buy it. So, that’s really a solid option where you can buy your gun cleaning mats from.

Cheap alternative to gun cleaning mats? 

->There are cheap alternatives to a gun cleaning mat. The most common thing that people use is a towel. Towels can get your job done pretty well. They would not give you any additional features like pouches, magnetic layers, or a steady grip.  But it can be used as a gun cleaning mat alternative which is cheaper. You can also clean your guns just on a table by itself. But that makes it pretty risky because you might spill the oils or the chemicals in the process of cleaning your gun. So, it’s highly recommended that you get a gun cleaning mat to clean your gun rather than using a cheaper alternative.


Now you have the method down on how to clean a gun cleaning mat. You can use it anytime as it’s super easy to clean. Keeping your gun clean is a priority for you if you own a gun. And what better accessory there is than a gun cleaning mat? If you don’t own a gun cleaning mat, you should get yourself one immediately. It’s worth every penny. A gun cleaning mat makes the cleaning process so much easier and less annoying. It is a must-have tool for every gunner.

As you might have experienced before that the mat itself can get dirty at times. All the oils or chemicals can ruin the mat for using further times. And that is why you should know the proper technique to clean your gun cleaning mat. And as you saw, it’s actually a very easy process to clean a gun cleaning mat. I hope you got the methods down on cleaning up your gun cleaning mats and hope that you would be able to use it whenever you need it.

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