Cleaning up an SKS

Cleaning up an SKS

This is a discussion on Cleaning up an SKS within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Just finished cleaning the cosmoline off a Yugo SKS I purchased several months ago. Had to wait for my wife to be out of town ...

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Thread: Cleaning up an SKS

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Cleaning up an SKS

    Just finished cleaning the cosmoline off a Yugo SKS I purchased several months ago.

    Had to wait for my wife to be out of town so she couldn't object to my using the oven. Hope the cosmo smell goes away before she gets back.

    Anyway, that is the LAST time I buy anything with cosmoline on it. Cleaning it up just sucked rocks... tho www.surplusrifle.com was very helpful with disassembly instructions and advice.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Next time, use Easy-Off oven cleaner, or Gunk Gel, and hose it off in the yard. Then use brake cleaner, then heat.


    You better bake some cookies, she'll notice the smell when she walks in.

  3. #3
    Member Array MD_Willington's Avatar
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    We took what we could fit into one of those "carb cleaner in a bucket" kits and let it soak overnight, then those parts went into the dishwasher... Factory fresh and no cosmo.

    The rest of the parts received a good soak in mineral spirits or brake cleaner...

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    Mineral spirits works great. Get a plastic flower box (they're about 6-8 inches wide by 36 inches long). Poor your mineral spirits into the container, separate your action from the stock & but metal parts in & scrub with a stiff brush.

    After you clean the metal parts, soak the stock in it as well. The mineral spirits will removed the soaked in oil/grease that is on the stock & since there is no water in it.......not damage to wood.

    After cleaning the stock, you may want to set it out in the sun to help 'bleed' some more of the oil out of it........& clean again. After that is should ready to stain.
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    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    When I cleaned-up mine, I mixed carb cleaner with water and boiled it on the stove, placing all the metal parts in there. Worrying about rust, I then carefully cleaned each one when it came out with plain Rem Oil.

    The stock... well that was easy. The oven worked perfectly.

    To this day, that rifle is still very prized by me. It's in GREAT condition and will eat anything you feed it. It always goes to the pits/range with me when other stuff stays at home.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Actually I used the mineral spirit bath idea, the oven cleaner, brake cleaner and hotwater in the downstairs shower. Wood went in the oven.

    It all worked, it just sucked.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
    Actually I used the mineral spirit bath idea, the oven cleaner, brake cleaner and hotwater in the downstairs shower. Wood went in the oven.

    It all worked, it just sucked.
    Get bakin', bro! Face it, at this point, your nose is numb!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    I got sneaky... I ran the oven cleaning cycle. Stank to high heaven, but covered the cosmo smell nicely.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

  9. #9
    New Member Array Persquaffty's Avatar
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    I just use mineral spirits and a toothbrush. Works just fine, took me about 4 hours to get my yugo sks clean.
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  10. #10
    Member Array carbon's Avatar
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    100LL if you can get some will take the cosmos off in about ten min i cleaned two rifles in 2 hours top to bottom with 100LL and it smells good too.

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    Oil Soaked Bare Wood Stocks

    You can use lacquer thinner mixed with some Carbosol (both hardware store items) Mix it with Talcum powder into a thick paste.
    Maybe corn starch would work also...powdered marble dust works real well if you can find it at an Art Supply Store.

    Wet the stock down with lacquer thinner and then QUICKLY paint a fast heavy coat of the paste on the stock.

    As the solvent starts to evaporate and dry out of the powder it pulls the free excess oil out of the grain/pores of the wood.

    You might have to do it a few times.
    It works.
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    New Member Array bennnn's Avatar
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    Oh have I got a treat for you...

    I've been there and done that with two wives,,, too dang many times to list...

    I am a mil-surp nut,,, and the best way for me to keep it from being a dinner issue is to just go to the car wash.......... I only use this method for the metal,, some of those old laminates are iffy and need some more TLC to sweat it all out... Slow.... But the steel can take it...

    It's alot easier if you have a pick-up,,, but I've done it driving my mustang.. Find a local self wash that runs hot water...... Break the whole rifle down, take an old peice of carpet and a bucket,, wear some kind of glasses, rubber gloves, pants you don't care about,,,,
    and you can figure the rest out pretty easy........

    If you wash the car too it takes about 10 mins... I found a great way to make nice with the wife on this by taking HER car and washing it... Then she'll even sit still for the (new) mil-surp show and tell I love to have when it's done... She even pretends to care!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Al Lowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbon View Post
    100LL if you can get some will take the cosmos off in about ten min i cleaned two rifles in 2 hours top to bottom with 100LL and it smells good too.
    What is 100LL?

    I got a Yugo SKS that just reeks of oil. But I'm pretty sure it's not cosmoline. After handling the wood parts, my hands feel oily.

  14. #14
    Member Array carbon's Avatar
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    100LL is 100 octane low lead aviation fuel. costs about $4.50 a gallon at your local private airports

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Al Lowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbon View Post
    100LL is 100 octane low lead aviation fuel. costs about $4.50 a gallon at your local private airports
    Really? And this works for getting the oil off/out of wood stocks?

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