How to Clean an Airsoft Gun: Socom’s Ultimate Gun Maintenance Guide

airsoft gun cleaning

Knowing how to clean an airsoft gun properly and thoroughly is very important for maintaining the performance and lifespan of your gun. Whether you have an AEG, GBB, or spring-powered airsoft gun, regular cleaning is key to keeping it in top condition.

Dirty weapons can result in a plethora of issues and even costly repairs. Maintaining your airsoft weapon between skirmishes prevents damage, broken parts, and jamming, helping to ensure optimal performance and accuracy.

In this guide, we will discuss the steps involved in properly cleaning your airsoft gun.

airsoft pistol
How to Clean an Airsoft Gun: Socom's Ultimate Gun Maintenance Guide

How Do You Maintain Your Airsoft Gun?

No matter what type of airsoft gun you have, some basic maintenance needs to be carried out. This includes cleaning your gun regularly to help keep it in working order and ensure reliability on the field when it matters.

Tools You’ll Need

As with any kind of maintenance, you’ll need some tools and equipment to clean your gun properly. You can get specific equipment for different guns. 

To properly maintain and clean your airsoft gun, you will need the following tools and supplies:

  • Cleaning Rod: A vital tool for pushing cleaning patches through the barrel.

  • Cleaning Patches: Small pieces of cloth that are used to clean the inner barrel.

  • Silicone Oil: Used for lubricating the gun’s moving parts without damaging plastic components.

  • Soft Cloth or Microfibre Cloth: Ideal for wiping down the exterior of the gun.

  • Cotton Swabs: Useful for reaching small, intricate parts of the gun.

  • Compressed Air: Helps to blow out dirt and debris from hard-to-reach areas.

  • Hex Keys/Allen Wrenches: Required for disassembling certain parts of the gun.

  • Screwdrivers: Useful for removing screws during disassembly.

  • Toothbrush or Small Brush: Helps scrub off dirt and grime from various parts.

airsoft pistol clean
How to Clean an Airsoft Gun: Socom's Ultimate Gun Maintenance Guide

Which Parts Are the Most Important to Clean on an Airsoft Gun?

When cleaning your airsoft gun, certain parts require more attention to ensure optimal performance and longevity. 

Here are the most critical components to clean:

  • Inner Barrel: Keeping the inner barrel clean is crucial for maintaining accuracy and consistency. Use a cleaning rod and patches to remove any debris, dirt, or excess lubricant.

  • Lubrication: Make sure to frequently lubricate the internal parts of your gun to ensure they function properly.

  • Battery Contacts: Ensure the battery contacts are clean to maintain a reliable power connection. Wipe them with a soft cloth and ensure no grime or corrosion is present.

  • Exterior Body: Lastly, wipe down the exterior parts of your gun with a soft cloth to keep it looking good and to remove any surface dirt or fingerprints.

Focusing on these essential parts during your basic, regular cleaning routine will help ensure your airsoft gun remains in top working condition.

Exterior Airsoft Gun Maintenance

Maintaining the exterior bodywork of your airsoft gun will keep it looking in top condition and prevent potential damage.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to maintaining the exterior of your gun:

  1. Wipe Down the Surface: Use a soft cloth or microfibre cloth to gently wipe down the entire exterior of the gun. This will remove dust, dirt, and fingerprints that can accumulate over time.

  2. Inspect for Damage: Regularly check the bodywork for any signs of cracks, chips, or loose parts. Addressing these issues early on can prevent more significant problems in the future.

  3. Clean Hard-to-Reach Areas: Using cotton swabs or a small brush, clean out any dirt or debris lodged in crevices, around screws, and other detailed areas. Be gentle to avoid scratching the surface.

  4. Lubricate Moving Parts: Use a small amount of silicone oil to lubricate moving external parts, such as rails or folding stocks. This ensures smooth operation and prevents wear.

  5. Protect Against Moisture: After cleaning, ensure that the gun is dry before storing it. Moisture can cause rust or corrosion, especially on metal components. Store your gun in a cool, dry place to avoid these issues.

  6. Regular Exterior Checks: Include these exterior cleaning steps in your regular maintenance routine to keep your airsoft gun looking and performing its best.

We recommend cleaning the exterior of your gun either after every skirmish (especially in dirty or dusty environments) or after every 3 games to keep on top of your gun maintenance.

airsoft pistol cleaning
How to Clean an Airsoft Gun: Socom's Ultimate Gun Maintenance Guide

How to Clean Your Airsoft Barrel

Properly cleaning your airsoft barrel is crucial for maintaining the accuracy and performance of your weapon. 

Follow these steps to ensure your barrel is thoroughly cleaned:

  1. Prepare Your Tools: Gather your cleaning rod, patches, silicone oil, and a soft, dry cloth.

  2. Ensure Safety: Make sure the gun is unloaded and that the magazine is removed. It’s essential to work on a safe and clear workspace.

  3. Access the Barrel: Depending on your airsoft gun model, you may need to partially disassemble it to gain proper access to the inner barrel. Consult your gun’s manual for disassembly instructions.

  4. Insert the Cleaning Rod: Attach a clean patch to the end of the cleaning rod. Gently insert it into the barrel from the hop-up end, pushing it through to the muzzle. Apply steady pressure and avoid twisting the rod, as this could damage the barrel.

  5. Repeat with Fresh Patches: Replace the dirty patch with a fresh one and repeat the process until the patches come out clean. This might take a few passes, especially if there’s a significant build-up of residue.

  6. Apply Lubrication: After the barrel is clean, lightly dampen a patch with silicone oil and pass it through the barrel. This will apply a thin protective layer to the inner surface, preventing corrosion and ensuring smooth operation.

  7. Inspect the Barrel: Once cleaned and lubricated, visually inspect the barrel for any signs of damage or remaining debris. A clean, undamaged barrel should appear smooth and free from discolouration or scratches.

  8. Reassemble the Gun: If you had to disassemble parts of your gun to access the barrel, carefully reassemble them following the reverse steps of your disassembly guide. Ensure everything is securely fastened.

  9. Test Your Gun: After cleaning, perform a function test by firing a few rounds in a safe area. This ensures that the barrel is properly reassembled and that the gun is operating correctly.

Cleaning your gun barrel is crucial to maintaining accuracy and performance, preventing jamming, and extending the lifespan of your airsoft gun. It also ensures that it operates smoothly and reliably during gameplay.

If you need a safe space to fire your airsoft gun, check out our brand new airsoft gun range in Fleet!

Looking After Your Airsoft Gun Magazines

Airsoft Green Gas Magazines
How to Clean an Airsoft Gun: Socom's Ultimate Gun Maintenance Guide

Magazines are the lifeblood of your airsoft gun. They feed the BBs into the firing chamber, enabling your gun to function seamlessly.

Properly maintaining your airsoft magazines is essential to ensure the reliability and efficiency of your weapon during gameplay. Neglected or poorly maintained mags can lead to feeding issues, misfires, and decreased performance

Here’s how to care for your magazines:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Disassemble the mag according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a soft cloth and canned air to remove dust, dirt, or debris from the internals.

  2. Inspect the Seals & Valves: For gas magazines, regularly check the O-rings, seals, and valves for any signs of wear or damage. Apply a small amount of silicone oil to keep them lubricated and functioning correctly.

  3. Lubricate the Spring & Follower: Apply silicone oil sparingly to the magazine spring and follower. This ensures they move smoothly without sticking, reducing the risk of feeding issues.

  4. Check the Feed Lips: Inspect the feed lips for any cracks or damage. Damaged feed lips can cause misfeeding or jams. Replace them if necessary.

  5. Avoid Overloading: Do not overload your magazines beyond their recommended capacity, as this can stress the spring and feed mechanism.

  6. Store Properly: Store your mags in a cool, dry place to avoid exposure to moisture, which can lead to rust and degradation. For gas magazines, store them with a small amount of gas inside to maintain pressure seals.

Regular care and maintenance help to:

  • Ensure Consistent Feeding: Keeping your magazines clean prevents dirt and debris from disrupting the feeding mechanism.

  • Prevent Leaks in Gas Mags: For gas blowback (GBB) magazines, maintaining the seals and valves prevents gas leaks, ensuring you have adequate power.

  • Extend Lifespan: Regular maintenance helps to identify and rectify minor issues before they lead to significant damage, extending the life of your magazines.

  • Maintain Performance: Properly cared-for mags help maintain consistent shot performance and reliability.

AEG Maintenance

The gearbox is the heart of an Automatic Electric Gun (AEG) and the most vital part in maintaining optimal performance. 

Proper maintenance involves regularly inspecting and lubricating internal gears, checking the motor alignment, and upholding the integrity of the wiring.

To do this, disassemble the AEG gearbox following your gun’s manual, clean any debris, and apply a lightweight silicone lubricant to all moving parts

Then, reassemble carefully, ensuring all components are securely in place.

EC M110A1 417 AEG 3
How to Clean an Airsoft Gun: Socom's Ultimate Gun Maintenance Guide

Spring Gun Maintenance

A spring gun is one of the easiest airsoft weapons to maintain, thanks to its simple construction and mechanisms.

To disassemble your spring-powered airsoft gun’s bolt assembly, begin by removing the bolt from the gun following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once removed, wipe the bolt clean with a soft cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Use a cotton swab to reach small crevices, and apply a small amount of silicone oil to lubricate the moving parts.

Check for any signs of wear or damage, and then reassemble the bolt by reversing the disassembly process. Ensure all components are secure before reinserting the bolt back into the gun.

fps softair m95 m100 m105 spring

GBB Airsoft Gun Maintenance

Gas blowback guns are simpler than AEGs and slightly more complex than spring-powered weapons. Here’s how to specifically clean a GBB gun.

To disassemble and degrease the bolt carrier group of a GBB pistol, first ensure the gun is unloaded and safe

Then, remove the slide by disengaging the slide lock and gently sliding it forward off the frame. Finally, extract the bolt carrier group from the slide.

Using a soft cloth and degreaser, wipe down all parts, including the nozzle and guide rod, to remove old lubricant and grime. Be thorough but gentle to avoid damaging components.

Finish by reassembling the parts in reverse order, ensuring all pieces are securely in place and lubricated with a light coat of silicone oil where necessary.

we m4 gas drum magazine
How to Clean an Airsoft Gun: Socom's Ultimate Gun Maintenance Guide

Why Is Cleaning Your Airsoft Gun Important?

Keeping your airsoft gun clean is essential to prevent malfunctions, such as jamming or misfires, and prolong the weapon’s lifespan. This will help reduce costs related to repairs and replacements. 

Proper maintenance also ensures consistent accuracy and reliability during gameplay.

Reasons Your Airsoft Gun Breaks

Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to various issues with your airsoft gun. 

Dirt and debris can cause jamming, worn parts may lead to misfires, and lack of lubrication can result in increased friction and wear on moving components.

Over time, these issues can accumulate, leading to significant damage and costly repairs. Regular cleaning and proper care are essential to avoid these common problems and ensure reliable performance.

How Often Should You Clean Your Guns?

You should clean your airsoft gun after every skirmish or every 3 games, especially in harsh environments. 

This regular maintenance prevents damage, ensures optimal performance, and extends the gun’s lifespan.

Frequent cleaning of essential parts like the barrel, moving components, and exterior is crucial for reliable and accurate gameplay.

How to Unjam an Airsoft Gun

To unjam your airsoft gun, first, ensure the gun is switched off and remove the magazine. Inspect the hop-up unit and barrel for blockages. 

Use a cleaning rod to gently push the jammed BB out from the hop-up end.

Reassemble the gun and perform a dry fire to ensure the jam is cleared. If jams persist, check for undamaged components and ensure proper lubrication.

Regular maintenance helps prevent future jamming issues, ensuring consistent performance on the field.
airsoft rifle 1
How to Clean an Airsoft Gun: Socom's Ultimate Gun Maintenance Guide

Key Takeaways: The Importance of Airsoft Gun Maintenance

Routine maintenance of airsoft weapons is vital for ensuring consistent performance, preventing malfunctions, and extending the lifespan of your equipment.

Regularly cleaning and inspecting crucial components such as the barrel, gearbox, and magazines reduces the risk of jams, misfires, and wear-related damage. 

By dedicating time to upkeep, you can enjoy reliable and accurate gameplay while avoiding costly repairs and replacements.

For more information about different types of airsoft guns and how to get the best performance out of your gear, check out the Socom Tactical blog to find expert advice and information about all things airsoft.


About Laurence Kay

Laurence is a keen airsoft player and has been the owner of SoCom Tactical for over 10 years. He’s played airsoft all over the country solo and as part of teams and is an expert on all things airsoft, like tactics, airsoft guns and gameplay equipment. As one of the UK’s leading airsoft suppliers and retailers, Laurence is the go-to source for airsoft knowledge.