True Lint-Free Cloth?

Cleaning my guns, whether shotgun or pistol, would be 10X faster and 100X easier if there was truly a lint free cloth to wipe them down with. I generally use old t-shirts and such, but it seems I spend most of my time wiping, then wiping to get rid of the lint and threads that stuck to the barrel, then wiping again. It’s aggravating as hell and the only reason I hate cleaning my guns.

So, have any fellow gun-owning dopers (who clean their guns regularly) found a solution to this? And please don’t tell me I don’t HAVE to clean them everytime I use them. Just consider me anal. Is there truly a lint-free cloth that won’t leave little threads behind? Maybe something synthetic? Please let me know!

HERE’S A TIP: I used to use q-tips to get into hard to reach areas when cleaning my guns, but that had the same problem of leaving threads and lint places. I recently discovered that makeup appliers (for eyelashes I think?) work TERRIFIC for this purpose. Best of all, you can get them free! Just go to your mall and look around the makeup area of any big department store (Macy’s, Dillard’s, etc.). They’re usually on countertop stands where the makeup samples are. There’s hundreds of them, and they really don’t mind. I asked the lady at the counter if I could take a few and she didn’t really give it a second thought.


I don’t have any experience cleaning guns, but I do have some experience with fabrics. It’s going to be difficult to find a woven or knit fabric that doesn’t shed lint at all. Most fabrics are woven or knit from threads made by spinning shorter fibers together. As you use the fabric, these threads break and the shorter fibers work free so you have lint and fuzz. Synthetics that are made by other means generally don’t pick up dirt or moisture as well.

Can you use chamois to clean guns? Its soft and absorbent and as far as I know, doesn’t shed as much lint as a t-shirt. Maybe a high quality felt, but it too would fray and you’d get lint eventually. A very high quality silk (made from unreeled cocoons and not broken threads spun together) would work better than a t-shirt, too.

That seems a little expensive. Using old t-shirts is cheap as free, I just tear them up and use them as patch cloths and whatever I need. I have to be able to use them with oil and solvent, and I guess a disposable cloth is preferable. I was just hoping for a simple solution, like maybe something I hadn’t considered. A swiffer or something. Oh well.

Microfiber cloths are used to clean camera lenses and are available in camera stores, but are kind of pricey. They are truly lintfree. A cheaper option would be a tack cloth, which you can get in a paint store. They’re not real absorbent, but would probably be useful as a final wipe to get off the lint left by whatever else you now use.

If you go to Costco, and maybe Sam’s Club, they sell microfiber detailing cloths. The ones I bought at Costco are yellow, come10 in a bag and they are approx. 12" x 12" in size. A little thick for working into some areas, but fine for a final wipe of barrels and magazines before reassembly. Also good for a final wipe overall.

For some areas I use the “shop towels in a box”, a paper product made by Scott. I’ve had them for a while, so I’m not sure they are still available.

Tack cloths are sticky and could leave a residue. While that’s no big deal in painting, I’d be scared to leave a residue on the inner workings of a gun. Might work great if you’re just talking an outside wipe, though.

Microfiber is good. Swiffer might work too, and if it doesn’t you can use them at home. There are also “low lint/no lint” paper towels available, try paint stores, or specialty paper stores. My father has them at his auto body shop, but I don’t know where they come from.

Get ahold of a Mary Kay lady. Ask her for a bunch of her facial cloths. They are as lint-free as anything I’ve ever come across and of a good size (12x12) I think.

Hmmmm… some of these sound like they’ll work pretty good for a wipe down, but not for running through a barrel. Fortunately running t-shirts through the barrel usually works well without leaving anything behind. However, I put a thin coat of oil on everything after it’s clean to preserve it, and that’s when I get lint and threads stuck in places. To be honest, a nice durable paper towel seems like it might do the trick. I seem to recall these blue shop towels sold at Autozone and places like that. If they can hold together maybe they’ll work. Swiffer seems kind of pricey and I’m not sure if they rip up easy enough.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Not to nit pick (lintpick?), but I oil my barrels with either a cotton mop that fits my cleaning rod, or a lightly oiled patch on a jag. The cleaning patches I use are made from a non-woven cloth. Don’t remember the brand name.

Have you tried a Bore Snake?

Have you tried the canned air that’s used to blow the dust out of keyboards and electronics and such?