How to Clean Your AR-15

Posted by 80-Lower on Jan 15th 2019

How to Clean Your AR-15

Truth be told, an instructional video is most likely your best bet for a step by step tutorial on how to clean your AR-15. After all, if you truly are unsure how to properly clean this beloved weapon then solid step by step instruction would do you well.

When the average recruit steps foot on the United States Marine Corps recruit depot most have never touched an M-16 to say nothing of having fired and properly cleaned one. Consequently, the recruits are given a white cloth towel with outlines of all the parts of the weapon on it. They practice taking it apart over and over again until they can often do so with muscle memory and at fairly fast speeds. This is all before firing a shot. They are taught to appreciate each part of the weapon and its role in making the United States Marine the most deadly rifleman on the planet.

So when Marines see the build of carbon and dirt on their weapons after having used them in the field they understand the pristine state to which their beloved rifle is to return. After all, there are many like it but this one is mine they say to themselves. So let’s talk cleaning your AR-15.

With a Little TLC

If you have found your way to then you are at a minimum considering completing your own AR build. Congratulations and welcome to the world of true 2A liberty. For once you know how to build your own firearm then no gun grabbing politician will ever be able to take that away from you. Speaking of, with the laws currently being debated in various states you might even want to consider purchasing a few 80 percent lowers in bulk along with a quality jig and perhaps save it for a rainy 2A day.

With that said, once you complete your AR and send that first round downrange it is going to need a little tender loving care to keep it ready for action. Marines spent countless hours cleaning their weapons in the field and it almost has a therapeutic element to it as they quietly return their rifles to a pristine state. So if you view cleaning as a chore like doing the dishes, then you are likely not going to enjoy the process nor do your rifle well. Consider it therapeutic time with you and your rifle and you’ve accomplished the first step in cleaning your weapon well.

Clean Every Last Part

The last and most important piece of advice I could give you with regards to cleaning your rifle well is to clean every single last part. The beauty of you purchasing an 80 percent lower and is that you already know every single last part because you put it there yourself. There are countless novice AR owners out there who have fired their rifle many times and when it comes time to clean find themselves intimidated with the bolt receiver group. They are afraid to take out the firing pin retainer pin for fear of never putting humpty dumpty back together again. May it not be so for you.

That’s why I advised a tutorial video at the beginning as you truly must see every part to understand it. Then again, that is not something that the average AR builder has to worry about. From the time you bought your first 80 percent lower and milled it out with your Easy Jig Gen 2 you knew that you were crafting a weapon you would love.

This pew life we live is a lifestyle more than a hobby. Your rifle is character number one in that lifestyle and each part needs to be treated with care accordingly. So if you have not built a rifle yet, then today sounds like a pretty good day to get started.

Check out all we offer at and enjoy the American made life of pew that we have to offer.

DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY gun building, you likely have a lot of questions and rightfully so. It’s an area that has a lot of questions that, without the correct answers, could have some serious implications. At, we are by no means providing this content on our website to serve as legal advice or legal counsel. We encourage each and every builder to perform their own research around their respective State laws as well as educating themselves on the Federal laws. When performing your own research, please be sure that you are getting your information from a reliable source.