What is Cosmoline? What it is used for?

What is Cosmoline, and why is it used? The oily material is meant to prevent the gun from rusting

Unfortunately, many army surplus rifles have already been soaked in it, making its removal difficult. 

Cosmoline may have crept into corners, fissures, and holes in the metal over time, but it is quite easy to remove.

What is Cosmoline used for?

What is Cosmoline used for

Cosmoline’s appeal is that it may be utilized for various applications. You may use Cosmoline to successfully displace water and prevent and permeate rust. 

Especially in a range of indoor and outdoor environments, minimize squeaking, surface treatments, or the warehousing and washing of injection mold, depending on the type of Cosmoline you use. 

It has a purpose in winterizing automobiles, particularly when it comes to powder coating and reducing damage from driving on salt-treated roads before, during, and after snowstorms. 

Guns, tools, maritime equipment, cars, and even nylon strings can all benefit from the usage of Cosmoline. 

The advantages of Cosmoline can’t be understated if you’re using it to prevent deterioration or to repair damage caused by weather, age, or bad storage procedures.

Cosmoline was originally an ointment used for a variety of aesthetic and medicinal objectives. Vets were used to heal cuts, abrasions, sprains, and fractures and were stored in households to clean wounds. 

Cosmoline was also found on fields, where it’s used to alleviate swelling in the mammaries of cows.

Cleaning items treated with it

Because many individuals use Cosmoline as a preservative, it’s common to find Cosmoline-coated vintage weapons, tools, or engine components in storage. 

Though something coated or dipped with Cosmoline may appear to be chaos at first, removing it is a rather straightforward operation.

The first step is to totally dismantle all of the items. The Cosmoline can enter into the cylinders, the grip, and the sights of any rifle. 

If it’s a generator part, the product can go into all the cracks and crevices, and you’ll need to be able to reach it to clean it out properly.

After you’ve dismantled the object as much as possible, you have a handful of options for cleaning it out. The first method is to bake it at a very low temperature in an oven. 

This will dissolve the Cosmoline, making washing and removal much easier. Mineral spirits can also be used to disintegrate the product. 

If you opt to use a paint stripper, just soak the components in the liquid and scrub them with a paintbrush. If you need to get into other tight spots, use a brush. 

Finally, blast away any residual Cosmoline with an air compressor before allowing the item to dry.

Video Explaining Cosmoline in Detail


Cosmoline is a viscous petroleum-based corrosion inhibitor typically used on weapons that will be stored for an extended period. 

These guns may have spent years packed in Cosmoline in a storage box before being auctioned off by the arsenals. 

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I'm an passionate gun cleaning expert from NY US. My goal is to save you time by doing the leg work for you and putting all the essential information in one location to be confident about the cleaning your gun.

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