Well, the board is either fixed, or it's going to run terribly. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. I'm at my technical limit right now.

Removing Cosmoline

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Removing Cosmoline

#1 Post by Zeliard » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:17 pm

Original authors in bold.


Well as most of you know, I do know a little bit about stocks. There is some good info out there and some not so good info out there. What I will try, is to make things a little clearer.

First off, Heat is the best way to remove Cosmo. Just remember not to get in a rush and get the stock too hot because, you will just cook the Cosmo and that is not a good thing. Just keep your temp. under 200 and you should be OK.
There is no magic cleaner or trick to get the Cosmo out of a stock. If it is soaked in, it will take time to get it out. Any type of cleaner that you put on the stock will only remove what is on or just below the surface. If the stock is soaked with Cosmo, when it gets hot it will weep.

When it comes to water and wood it is not always a good thing but not always a bad thing. Getting water on your stock will not hurt it but if you allow the stock to get soaked then that can be bad.
When wood gets soaked, fibers can be damaged and when it dries it can warp. When you soak a stock and add heat you are just asking for trouble.
This Brings us to the :twisted: Evil Dishwasher. The trouble with the dishwasher is that stocks tend to stay wet for too long and get soaked and if you leave the heat setting on, you could really mess things up.

When it comes to Chemical cleaners you need to be careful. You must be sure that what you use will not damage the wood. Soaps are fine but, they must be washed off or they will cause trouble when you go to apply your finish.
Cleaners that are not made for wood should be avoided, such as oven cleaner. You may use it 3 or 4 times and never have a problem but that one time when you get a chemical burn on your stock, you will be sick. The way to tell if you have burned your stock is by the color of the wood when it dries. It will be a light grayish green to a black. It all depends on the type of wood and what is on the wood. If the wood is soft or has any soft spots, or is it is dry. All these play a factor when using a chemical cleaner.

If you wish to use a chemical cleaner I would have to say that a paint stripper made to use no wood is your best choice. Strip-X by Klean Strip in the red can works very good.

I like to use Denatured Alcohol the most because it will remove the cosmo from the surface and a little just below and will dry very fast without hurting the wood.

Now when it comes to Steam you are using heat and water. As long as you don't soak the wood prior to heating it you will be ok but, it should be done in sections and not the whole stock at one time to avoid any chance of warping.

So if you have a Cosmo soaked stock it will take time to get it out. Don't get in a rush and remember that shortcuts will only show in the end.



What is your experience with say murphy's oil soap?


I don't use it myself, but it will be like any other cleaner (but made for wood) it will remove oil from the surface. You will need heat and time to remove soaked in oil and cosmoline.


I used to use Murphy's to clean everything after stripping the stock. It works pretty good, but it's not necessary - I don't really like rinsing wood with water too many times and avoid it if I can.

Maximum Armor

What about removing packing/storage grease,I just got 2 wood kits from SSPORTER and there is a lot of packing grease on the timber i have to be careful here because there is a red & white strip on the back of the forestock that i would like to keep intacked i can just wipe the metal parts down and use oven cleaner but not to clear on what to do with the timber?????? Normaly i would wipe them down with thinner and do a BLO rub but i am thinking this will take the paint off. :idea: :idea:


If the stock was dirty or oily when the paint was applied, you will need to be careful when cleaning. I have wipped some with Denatured Alcohol with on problem but now and then some paint will come off. Heat may be your best bet to remove the oil.

Maximum Armor

Thanks in my case it is heavy grease and hardened dirt [like they were dipped in it]
Was yours painted also when you got it?


I find that the easiest approach is to place the stock in a black trash bag and stick the bag in the back window of a car on a sunny day. When you come back after 30 minutes or so, cosmo will bleed out up to the surface and you can wipe it off with a rag. I did this for two days with my very greasy SKS stock and it has never weeped in the 3 years or so that I've owned it.


I took my Garand ('54 Springfield) apart yesterday and I have been using a heat gun to get the cosmo out. I keep the gun constantly moving and it seems to bring the cosmo out. I can start to see some of the actual wood color. I almost considered just getting a new CMP stock but I want to try restoring this stock first.

I used this method on an AK and the wood turned out pretty nice. I also have a '42 K98 that needs some loving too.

Candyman nice to see another So LA member. I am over in Zachary.


I've used a portable steamer (belongs to the boss for pressing drapes and such) on metal parts and a hair dryer (again belongs to the boss) on the wood. The hair dryer takes longer (doesn't get as hot) but it works.

Ken in Iowa

Patience is a virtue with cosmoline. Some clean quite well after one session while others take many cycles.

I have a Finn M91 stock that still weeps after 3 years. During the winter, I'll set it in front of my electric heater. Oils weep out of the stock on the side of the action and wrist like crazy. I'll wipe it off and very little more will come off that session. After a week in the locker, the same cycle begins anew.

It's a labor of love. It took years for that oil/cosmo to soak in and it will take years for it to come out I'm afraid.

Is it worth it? I believe that it will be. The stock has the striking Finn Arctic Birch 'flame,' but the soaked areas were quite dark-almost black when I started. Little by little this area is getting lighter in color. Figure I could never see is now coming to light.

Ah, milsurps! Pass me the Hoppe's will ya?
Proud alumni of Transylvanian Polygnostic University. "Know enough to be afraid."

"Vertroue in God en die Mauser".-Faith in God and the Mauser.

"Send lawyers, guns and money." -Warren Zevon

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