Whether you are a tactical professional or an armed citizen in a concealed carry or open carry state, you are familiar with the importance of a reliable holster. A holster is a crucial part of carrying your firearm. It is a tool designed to be both functional and attractive, usually made in beautifully treated leathers for added appeal and durability. When it comes to gun holster cleaning, this important matter can’t be overlooked as a responsible firearm enthusiast. Here are a few tips on gun holster cleaning to help make sure this essential component stays in pristine condition for maximum functionality.

1. Have a cleaning routine in place

The most important gun holster cleaning tip is to make sure you have a cleaning routine in place. A dirty holster can accumulate buildup and affect the way the firearm fits, as well as interfere with the smooth release of the firearm from the holster. While there is no set schedule of how often to clean a holster, it is a good idea to clean it every 3-6 months, depending on how regularly you use the holster. If you use it every day, you may need to clean it every month.

2. Know your material needs

While a leather holster is the most popular type on the market, it isn’t the only one available. The needs of a thermoplastic holster are different from those of a leather holster. It is important to know the specified cleaning suggestions from the material itself. For example, if you have a thermoplastic holster, you want to avoid the use of hot water to avoid warping whereas a leather holster can use hot water to tighten it up and make it a tighter fit on older, stretched out leather. Make sure you find the guidelines for your material for the best results. You can check with the manufacturer of the holster for this matter.

3. Never dry leather holsters with heat

While a leather holster can handle warm or hot water for cleaning without taking on damage, you want to be careful about exposing a leather holster to heated air as a drying method. This can lead to leather becoming cracked in the surface which weakens the leather over time. It is also worth noting that while you can clean your holster with hot water, you want to avoid soaking it unless you are specifically trying to tighten it up as this can lead to issues as well. To dry a leather holster, towel off excess moisture and leave to air dry for the best result.

4. Use oils the right way

While oiling a leather holster is a necessary action to keep the surface of the material conditioned to avoid cracking, many people go overboard with the oils. You want to apply just a few drops of oil to the leather to avoid making it slippery or weighing it down which can cause it to lose its shape.