Cleaning is an essential part of maintenance for any gun, AR-15s included.
Shooting leaves behind a residue of substances like carbon, copper, and lead. Without proper cleaning, this residue builds up. That buildup can hurt your AR-15’s performance and cause the rifle to malfunction.
We’ve assembled a list of our top 5 favorite AR-15 cleaning kits to help you choose the right cleaning kit for you.
Table Of Contents
- Our Best AR-15 Cleaning Kits
- What Are AR-15 Cleaning Kits?
- What Do You Look For In The Best AR-15 Cleaning Kits?
- Best AR-15 Cleaning Kits Reviewed
- Final Thoughts On AR-15 Cleaning Kits
Our Best AR-15 Cleaning Kits
- Real Avid Gun Boss Pro AR15 Cleaning Kit (Our Top Pick)
- Hoppe’s No. 9 Rifle Cleaning Kit With Aluminum Rod (Best Budget)
- Otis Technology MSR/AR Cleaning Kit (Best High End)
- M-Pro 7 Tactical Universal Cleaning Kit
- Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
Cleaning removes the residue before it can cause problems, keeping your AR-15 in top form. An AR-15 cleaning kit makes cleaning easy by assembling everything (or at least most things) you need to clean your AR-15 in one place.
And though you can assemble your own kit, getting a pre-made AR-15 cleaning kit makes it much easier to get the bulk of what you need in a single purchase.
What Are AR-15 Cleaning Kits?
An AR-15 cleaning kit is, as the name suggests, a kit of things you need for an efficient, effective AR cleaning system.
Every single AR-15 cleaning kit may not have everything you need or want to clean your AR, but it should include at least the basics like a cleaning rod, a bore cleaning brush, patches, and the necessary cleaning rod tips.
And not just any bore brush will do. Bore brushes and similar supplies need to be for the right ammo caliber, so AR-15 cleaning kits come with materials for .223/5.56 calibers.
Cleaning kits may or may not include consumables like gun oil or cleaning solvents. That said, different people prefer different cleaners and lubricants, so that can be an advantage in that you’re not either wasting what came with your kit or stuck using products you don’t prefer until you run out of what came with your kit.
Cleaning patches are also consumables, but cleaning kits tend to include at least a few to get you started. When you’re looking for replacements, you can typically buy more of what came with your kit from the manufacturer, or take a look at our list of the best gun cleaning patches for some other great options.
What Do You Look For In The Best AR-15 Cleaning Kits?
When choosing a cleaning kit for your AR-15, there are a few things to keep an eye out for:
Essential Cleaning Supplies
Any gun cleaning kit should include a few basic cleaning supplies at minimum to give a firearm a good cleaning. These include a cleaning rod or bore snake, a bore brush attachment, a patch loop attachment, and cleaning patches.
Solvent and lubricant are also essential, but as we already said, you may prefer a kit without them if you’re loyal to a particular product already.
Extra Cleaning Supplies
While the above items are absolutely essential, there are also some other items that are nice to have in an AR-15 cleaning kit. They’ll typically be included in a purpose-made AR-15 cleaning kit, but may need to be purchased separately if you opt for a universal kit.
You’ll need to be able to remove pins to disassemble your AR-15. You may be able to get some of them with your hands, but a punch will be useful to effectively remove them all without damaging your AR’s finish.
A chamber flag helps you ensure that the chamber is empty for safety purposes. And speaking of the chamber, an AR-15 cleaning kit should include chamber cleaning supplies like a chamber brush and pad.
Assorted other brushes, picks, and scrapers are also handy to get in all those nooks and crannies to remove carbon build-up, fouling, and other messes both inside and outside of your AR-15.
The traditional and most common AR-15 caliber is .223/5.56 NATO. However, there are plenty of AR-15s chambered for different calibers.
If that’s the case for your AR-15, you’ll need to look at a universal cleaning kit or a cleaning kit for that specific caliber. Fortunately, a few of the cleaning kits we recommend below are universal. All of the manufacturers below make excellent universal kits, even if their AR-15 kit is what we’ve recommended here.
Even if your AR-15 is chambered in .223 if you want a cleaning kit that you can also use for your other firearms of different calibers, opting for a universal cleaning kit is the way to go. Since certain basic supplies can be used for different guns, like picks and cleaning rods, you’ll be able to save money and storage space by not purchasing duplicates for each caliber you shoot.
Best AR-15 Cleaning Kits Reviewed
Real Avid Gun Boss Pro AR15 Cleaning Kit (Our Top Pick)
Our top pick is the Gun Boss Pro AR15 Cleaning Kit, a compact cleaning kit that comes with all of the most important items you need for cleaning your AR-15.
Of course, it has the basics like a bore brush, star chamber brush (plus 6 wool chamber cleaning pads), and cleaning rod. However, it also includes detailing tools like a scraper, a cleaning pick, and a bolt carrier group brush.
In addition, it comes with a 3-in-1 bore illuminator, pin punch, and safety flag combo. The ergonomic multi-function T-handle can be used for the cleaning rod or detailing tools and can also be used to tap pins.
- Phosphor bronze brushes
- Spill-proof, crush-proof, stand-up case with peg hole
- Cleaning tools snap into place or are stored in labeled compartments for an organized cleaning kit without loose pieces
- Doesn’t come with cleaning liquids
Hoppe’s No. 9 Rifle Cleaning Kit With Aluminum Rod (Best Budget)
The Hoppe’s No. 9 Rifle Cleaning Kit is a minimalist cleaning kit that’s good for stowing in your range bag for a quick clean up before packing up.
It’s not designed for AR-15s in particular, but it is .22 caliber specific, so you aren’t buying a bunch of extra brushes and things for other calibers like with a universal cleaning kit.
It also comes with a 2-ounce container of Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner and a 2¼ ounce container of Hoppe’s Lubricating Oil. Everything stows in a black clamshell carrying case.
- Minimal kit
- Black clamshell case
- Includes a bore patch jag
- Doesn’t come with a receiver/bolt carrier brush
- Doesn’t come with a chamber brush
Otis Technology MSR/AR Cleaning Kit (Best High End)
The Otis Technology MSR/AR Cleaning Kit is about as comprehensive as you can get. It’s specifically for .223/5.56 caliber AR-15s and AR-style rifles.
Instead of a traditional rigid cleaning rod, this kit comes with a 30-inch Memory-Flex cable for compact storage and easy breech to muzzle cleaning. It also comes with 0.5 ounces of Shooter’s Choice FP-10 Lubricant Elite CLP for all in one cleaning and lubrication.
The various detailing tools include a locking lug scraper, picks, and Otis’s B.O.N.E. Tool, which is specially designed to clean an AR-style rifle’s bolt, bolt carrier, and firing pin.
- No Nonsense Warranty
- Made in the USA
- Comes with tons of extras
- Everything stows neatly in a compact case that fits in your shooting bag
M-Pro 7 Tactical Universal Cleaning Kit
The M-Pro 7 Tactical Universal Cleaning Kit is designed for tactical style firearms, but it’s not caliber specific. With five different brushes, you can use this same kit to clean guns from .22 caliber to 12 gauge.
In addition to the basics, this cleaning kit comes with 4 ounces of M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner and 2 ounces each of M-Pro 7 Cleaner Lubricant Protectant and M-Pro 7 Copper Remover. A lint-free gun cleaning cloth allows you to easily wipe down surfaces.
- Can be used on a variety of weapons
- Comes with cleaning liquids
- Comes with a lint-free cleaning cloth
- Cleaning patches only fit .38-.45 caliber
- The case doesn’t keep products as neatly organized as others
- Doesn’t have the detailing tools of some other kits
Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
Our last pick is the Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit.
This versatile kit can be used for rifles, shotguns, and handguns from .17 caliber to 20 gauge, with 14 bronze bore brushes, 9 bore mops and 13 jags. It comes with two sizes of brass rods and four sizes of slotted tips.
It doesn’t have much for details, but it does come with three general-purpose brushes: a brass brush, an iron brush, and a nylon brush. It also doesn’t come with lubricant or cleaner, but it does come with two bottles for you to store your preferred products.
- Unlike most other universal kits, comes with detailing picks
- Comes with cotton swabs
- Can even be used for muzzleloaders
- Doesn’t have some of the detailing tools of other kits.
Final Thoughts On AR-15 Cleaning Kits
Each of these is a high-quality cleaning kit for your AR-15, but for more options, check out our picks for the best gun cleaning kits overall.
And don’t forget the other odds and ends that help with cleaning that may not come with a cleaning kit.
A gun cleaning mat, for example, protects your gun and workspace. We recommend the oil-resistant Real Avid AR-15 Smart Mat. It has a magnetic parts tray and .223 takedown and disassembly instructions with graphics.
Finally, a gun cleaning vise can also be very helpful for cleaning your AR-15, so be sure to check out our recommendations for those as well.