Cleaning pocket knives

I have an elderly Gerber multi-tool that has become quite gunked up over the years from cutting various unsavory things and generally rattling around in my pockets. Given my profound lack of an ultrasonic cleaner, what is the best way to clean it? Can I soak it in something that will loosen up all of the grime in the nooks and crevaces?

I would think that a petroleum based cleaner (such as is used to clean automobile engine parts) would work and would lessen the risk of rust forming. Just a guess.

I’ve had some success with soaking in gasoline, though I don’t have any idea whether that’s actually a good idea or not.

I use spray brake parts cleaner (one brand is Brakleen), available at auto parts and supply stores. Dissolves gunk, sprays it out under pressure, doesn’t leave any residue that I know of. Follow up with a smidge of light lubricant.

Brake cleaner does dissolve some plastics. I don’t believe it will affect your knife’s handle, but check a small spot to be sure.

There are no plastic parts in my Gerber, so that’s not an issue. I do use it for cutting food, so I need something that leaves little or no toxic residue.

Goo Gone should work… I think. Citrus based, it is a great cleaner, although I’ve never needed to use it on any of my knives. On the many other things I have used it on it has worked great.

WD-40 is best. Easy to use, & works well.