How To Clean A Glock 19

The Glock 19 is one of America’s most popular guns, and for good reason. Reliable, accurate, and easy to maintain, it’s the defensive pistol of choice for everyone from soccer moms to special operators. It does, however, need to be cleaned and lubed on a regular basis. We’ll show you how to clean your Glock 19 in the following video and transcript.


Kevin: I’m here with Jeff Street. Jeff is the owner and chief instructor at Step-by-Step Gun Training, and he’s also a certified Glock armorer, and a bit of a Glock enthusiast. So, Jeff my first question for you is, how often should people clean a Glock 19? We hear a lot of different opinions on this. How do you see it?
Jeff: If you’re new to the Glock platform, you really should clean it every time you use it. That’s going to help you familiarize yourself with the way everything should look and feel when it’s right. That way if something isn’t right down the road, you’re gonna be able to repair that, probably before you have an actual problem on the range. 
Kevin: You’ll know right away because the spring should not be in two pieces. You shouldn’t see a piece of metal that’s got a clean break on it. That sort of thing is going to be real obvious. 
Jeff: Absolutely. 
Kevin: Now, if you’re new to the gun, that’s how often you should clean it. What if you’re a more experienced shooter? If you’ve taken a couple of classes, how often should clean it? 
Jeff: Well, not just taken a couple of classes, you’ve had it for years. Well, then I have friends that still clean their Glock every time. It doesn’t hurt anything to keep it clean. It’s something you’re relying on, so why not clean it a little bit every time? 
Kevin: Can you hurt the gun if you clean it too much? 
Jeff: No. Not if you do it properly, which we’ll show you how to do. 

When To Clean Your Glock 19

Kevin: Okay Jeff. So after a person is done shooting, and they want to go back home and clean their Glock 19, what are the procedures they should do for unloading it? We have one here that is unloaded. We’ve both verified it. It’s even got a little barrel block in there, so we definitely know it’s unloaded. So, walk us through it.
Jeff: First thing, make sure there’s no live ammo in the room, except for what might possibly be in here (your gun). You open up the bag and give it a peekaboo before you ever touch the gun to make sure the muzzle is oriented in a safe direction. Then you’re going to remove the magazine, if there’s a magazine in there, then push the mag release, pull the magazine out, verify that it’s empty.
Kevin: Yep, that’s empty. 

Disassembling Your Glock 19

Cleaning your Glock 19 starts with disassembly

This is where you want to end up, with a frame, barrel, slide, and recoil spring.

Jeff: Now, when I go to touch the firearm, I’m doing this in my bathroom and I have a toilet in my bathroom. I got a toilet even if I’m in a hotel room. I pull the gun out without touching the trigger at all, and I’m pointing at the toilet bowl so that way, if it were to go off, the bullet would go into the water, slow down some there, hit the porcelain, and stop there. It would break the toilet, which I’m not wanting to do whatsoever. I’d have to turn the water valve off so I don’t flood the house, and I’d have to call my plumber, so I’m highly motivated not to do that. Then I rack the slide three times, and of course I put my finger in the magwell to make sure there’s no magazine there, which I just took out. I rack it three times. That way, if I did this out of order and I racked it once, I might see one round come out, but if I see another round come out, I probably didn’t take the magazine out yet.

So after I’ve racked it three times, I’m going to lock the slide open. If you’re someone who has very short thumbs, you may have to turn your body, but you still keep the muzzle oriented at the toilet bowl. So you lock the slide open, then you reinspect. No magazine, and you put your finger into the chamber to make sure there’s no rounds there, and you look down through the magwell so you see daylight. You both visually and tactiley check to make sure the firearm is completely unloaded. Now, I’m still pointed at the toilet bowl. With a Glock, you do have to depress the trigger in order to take it apart. Any gun I would not take apart with a round in the chamber regardless. I’m going to let the slide go forward and, pointing it again at the toilet bowl, I’m going to press the trigger. Then, I have to release the tension on the spring and pull the slide back just a little bit. It’s a tiny little bit and you feel a little click when you do that. Then, it has a release lever here. This is the slide release, and you have to pull it down on both sides at the same exact time. Then, let the slide come forward. It comes right off. Now I have a frame and I have the slide. On the slide, I’m going to take out the recoil spring and the barrel. We basically have four main parts now that we’re going to clean. 

Cleaning a Glock 19

A brush used to clean a glock 19

Use a soft nylon brush to clean the frame and slide.

Kevin: Alright, and now let’s get to actually cleaning it.
Jeff: We now have the gun taken apart into its four main parts: slide, recoil spring, the barrel, and the frame. If you take a nylon brush, you can even use a toothbrush if you wanted to (just don’t use your toothbrush) and you just knock off as much of the carbon as you can. Just brush, and you want to use a nylon brush. You don’t want to use a metal brush of some sort because you’re gonna scrape things up and tear up your gun on the internals. Do the same thing with the slide. Brush it off really good, and the barrel. Go ahead and brush it off, get the majority of that off.

If you’ve got some really hard carbon buildup and you want to get it off of there, I recommend something that doesn’t stink like breakthru clean. You spray that on and it has no odor so you can do it inside your house. Let it soak for a while. Then, you go at it with the q-tips. You just go around and find the dirt. Don’t leave big chunks of cotton from the q-tip inside your gun. Once you get that and you see the q-tips getting dirty here and you go through a few q-tips, get it nice and clean.

Now you’re going to need to reassemble your gun and lube your gun, but before you do that, you need to clean the inside of your barrel. What I recommend for that is a bore snake. What a bore snake is, it’s got a weight on the end, it’s got a string, and then it has this fabric. It has a bristle brush built right into it. Now this is metal, but it’s a metal that’s softer than the metal of your gun so it will not scratch up your gun. If you see a little carbon on the feed ramp here or somewhere else you don’t want to take something sharp, some hard piece of metal and scratch that. These pieces all have a finish on them, and you don’t want to ruin that finish. With the barrel out of the gun, I drop the weight through the barrel. I pull it through, and just pull it through a few times. Two or three times is all it takes. If you want to check this and see how good of a job a bore snake does, you can see how good a job a bore snake does, you can run a regular old-fashioned patch through your barrel and see that it’s not very dirty at all after you’ve run through your bore snake through there.

Cleaning and lubricating your Glock 19

The Glock 19 doesn’t require much lubrication, but it does need some.

Now you need to lube your Glock 19. I have a nice little needle and I’m just using motor oil, but you can use your favorite gun lube, and you lube the channels. On the barrel, you lube where it locks up. Put a ring around the barrel here and run it over it. Then, the frame and the hood of the slide as well right there, where it rubs against the top of the barrel. Then we need to lube the connector, which is right back here, and I put a little drop on the drop safety.

Let me go ahead and reassemble the gun. Put the barrel back in, the recoil spring back in, and then we want to put the slide on. It just has to go to these two rails. Some people think they have to start back up here, but you start right here at the rails.

Now, we have to function test the gun. We’re still going to point the gun at that toilet when we’re pressing the trigger, and I’m going to go ahead and put my barrel block back in there before I press the trigger. I’m going to function test the gun now. The trigger works, slide lock works, and I’ve got an empty magazine. I put that in, make sure the gun still locks open on the last round, which it does, and our gun is clean. Now, we could also put a little bit of lube on the metal parts on the outside. Just keep them nice and then wipe it down with a rag.

After You’re Done Cleaning

Kevin: Okay. So Jeff, your Glock 19 is now clean. What do you do with it? 
Jeff: Put it back in the bag of the box and lock it back up in your safe. 
Kevin: Like that? Put it away and don’t touch it.  
Jeff: That’s right. Until you are ready to use it again. Kevin: Now what if you carry? What do you do then?
Jeff: Well, if you carry your gun you’re going to get it hot again. You’re going to put a live round in it. You’re going to aim it back at the toilet again and put a magazine in. You’re going to charge the gun and carefully look the gun into your holster. Your holster is on your body as you do this, and you’re going to do it very slowly. Then, while it’s still in the holster, take the magazine out, top it off, put it back in, and you’re good to go. 
Kevin: You don’t need to put the gun out of the holster, as most holsters are set up so you can hit that magazine release without taking out your gun. 
Jeff: Absolutely. If yours isn’t set up that way, I recommend you get one that you can. 
Kevin: Right. The gun is safest when it’s in a holster. That’s why we carry in a holster. So you want to keep it in there as much as we can. As a friend of ours says, put it away and don’t touch it.  Jeff, I want to thank you for your help on this. I also want to thank Tradecraft Range for the use of one of their office. And guys, have fun with your guns. But remember, guns are only fun when you stay safe. We’ll see you on the range!