Cleaning the Glock 22

Cleaning Glock 22

Field Strip and Clean your Glock 22

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on field stripping and cleaning the Glock 22, a task essential for maintaining the performance and longevity of your firearm. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a newcomer to handguns, understanding the disassembling and cleaning of your Glock 22 is important. This blog will walk you through the step-by-step process, offering clear instructions, expert tips, and insights to ensure you confidently and efficiently maintain your Glock 22. Proper maintenance enhances reliability and contributes to firearm safety and longevity. So, let’s delve into field stripping and cleaning to keep your Glock 22 operating at its best.

The Glock 22

The Glock 22 is a popular choice among law enforcement and civilian gun enthusiasts. When you properly clean your Glock 22, it’s a trusted tool for self-defense, target shooting, and even competitive shooting. Designed by Austrian engineer Gaston Glock in the early 1980s, the Glock 22 has since become a staple firearm in the industry, earning a reputation as a workhorse pistol that can withstand heavy use and perform under pressure.

The Glock we’ll be cleaning in this post was another Law Enforcement Trade-in. Like my LE Trade-in Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm, the Glock 22 purchase was an excellent price and quality used pistol. If you’ve never shopped the LE Trade-ins, I strongly recommend them.

Handgun Cleaning Supplies

Supplies for cleaning your Glock 22

To properly clean your Glock 22, there are several cleaning supplies that you’ll need.

Firstly, a cleaning rod and bore brush are essential for removing fouling from the barrel. You should use a brass or nylon bore brush to avoid damaging the barrel’s rifling. Next, you’ll need a cleaning solvent to break down the carbon, lead, and copper buildup inside the gun—a cleaning rod and cleaning patches to remove any excess fouling and debris. Finally, a good lubricant is necessary to keep the gun’s internal components moving freely and prevent rust and corrosion. There are degrees of cleaning, but for this blog, I’ll assume you plan on regularly cleaning after shooting if you would like more details on assessing how/when you should clean your pistol. Please see our blog post on “All about cleaning handguns.”

Gun Cleaning Spot

I have a particular gun cleaning area, and if you plan to shoot with any frequency, I highly recommend designating a cleaning area. For several reasons, having a consistent spot and setup when cleaning your firearms is a good idea.

workbench for cleaning firearms

It ensures you have all the necessary tools and supplies, reducing the chances of forgetting anything or stopping midway through cleaning to retrieve something. A dedicated cleaning area will minimize the risk of accidents and ensure that you won’t spill cleaning solvents and oils on furniture or other items.

Finally, having a consistent spot and setup for cleaning your firearms allows you to develop a routine, ensuring you clean your guns thoroughly and regularly.

Good Gun Cleaning Habits

Cleaning your handguns in the same order each time is a good practice that can bring several benefits. First, cleaning your firearms in the same order each time can help you develop a routine and ensure that you don’t forget any critical steps in the cleaning process. It can also save time by streamlining your cleaning process and avoiding unnecessary steps or confusion. Although there will be subtle differences from one firearm to the other, they will be similar enough to maintain your order.

Another advantage is that cleaning your firearms in the same order each time can also help you notice any issues or problems that may arise during the cleaning process. For example, if you notice that a certain part is wearing out or becoming damaged faster than usual, cleaning your firearm in the same order each time can help you quickly identify and address the issue.

Lastly, cleaning your firearms in the same order each time can develop a routine to avoid missing steps. By following a routine, you can ensure that your firearms receive the same level of care and attention each time you clean them, which can help prolong their lifespan and maintain reliability.

Below is the order I clean in and have had for over 35 years; it is by no means more correct than any other order, but it works for me. The takeaway is if you find yourself going in a different order, I will recommend being consistent.

Clearing Your Glock

One of the golden rules about gun handling is “muzzle control“; never point your firearm in a direction that would be unsafe if the firearm discharged. Properly clearing a firearm before cleaning is crucial to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. The first step in clearing a firearm is to remove the magazine and visually inspect the chamber to ensure it is empty. Next, pointing the gun safely, pull the slide back and visually inspect the chamber and magazine well again. Additionally, it’s important to remove any ammunition from the area and never assume that a gun is unloaded. Always treat a firearm as loaded until you have verified that it is not.

Glock 22 Cleaning Video

Glock 22 Slide Removal

Once you’ve cleared your firearm, the first step to cleaning your Glock is removing the slide.

Removing a Glock 22 slide is a straightforward process, but it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging your firearm. Here are the steps to remove a Glock 22 slide:

  • Release the slide by pulling down both sides of the takedown lever on the gun frame, then pull the slide back until it comes off the frame.
  • If the slide does not easily remove and the takedown/release lever is still in the down position, you may have to pull the trigger to assist in guiding the slide off the frame.

Removing Recoil Spring and Barrel

Slide, spring and barrel removed from Glock frame

With the slide removed from the gun frame, locate the recoil spring assembly at the front of the slide. Push the recoil spring assembly forward and lift off the barrel.

Once I remove the recoil spring assembly, I’ll remove the barrel by tilting it upwards and pulling it out of the slide.

Barrel Prep Before Cleaning

Prepping barrel for cleaning

Before I start cleaning my handguns, I will typically spray bore foam in the barrel and stand it up so it runs down the sides. This helps loosen residue before I run the bore brush through.

Some people soak their barrels, and that works also. If you do soak your barrel, know that soaking the barrel in solvent for too long can potentially damage the barrel and other parts of the firearm.

Start with Wiping Your Gun Down

Use a clean cloth or brush to remove any excess dirt or debris from the slide, recoil spring, outside barrel, and frame (that is the order I clean in). Apply cleaning solvent to the cloth or brush and scrub the parts thoroughly. You should see no build-up when complete; you may need to use your nylon brushes to scrub residue off.

A few things to consider during cleaning.

  • Make a note of any shiny spots on the metal; you will need to lube these areas slightly more liberally than other handgun areas.
  • When cleaning the frame, using a Q-tip in hard-to-reach areas is a good idea.
  • On the slide and frame where the rails are inset, be sure to clean the channels and later, you’ll lube those areas.
  • Pay particular attention to the outside of the barrel around the feed ramp (where the bullet enters the chamber); there should be no buildup there.

Cleaning The Barrel

Using a cleaning rod and a bore brush, scrub the inside of the barrel with a good quality gun solvent, paying particular attention to any buildup or fouling.

Run a clean patch through the inside of the barrel with a cleaning patch or cloth. It will remove the solvent and any loosened debris. You’ll need to repeat these steps until the barrel is thoroughly cleaned and the patches come out clean.

If you need to disassemble your Glock 22 further, you can check out our Glock 22 complete disassembly blog post.

Lubing Your Glock 22 After Cleaning

After cleaning your Glock 22, it’s important to lubricate it properly to ensure that it functions smoothly and reliably. Here are some general steps for lubricating:

lubricating firearm after cleaning
  • I always lube in the same order I cleaned the firearm.
  • Select a good quality gun lubricant specifically designed for use on firearms. Avoid using excessive amounts of lubricant, as this can attract dirt and debris and cause malfunctions.
  • I always lube in the same order I cleaned the firearm.
  • Start by selecting a good quality gun lubricant designed for firearms. Avoid using excessive amounts of lubricant, which can attract dirt and debris and cause malfunctions.
  • Apply a small amount of lubricant to a cleaning patch or cloth to the slide rails, recoil spring assembly, barrel hood, and the outside of the barrel. Be sure to cover all the metal-to-metal contact points. Use a toothbrush or cotton swab to apply the lubricant to these hard-to-reach areas.
  • Using your slotted tip, apply a light layer of oil to a patch and lightly oil the barrel.
  • Reassemble the gun and manually cycle the slide to distribute the lubricant throughout the moving parts.
  • Wipe away any excess lubricant with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Extractor, Firing Pin, and Housing

The frequency of cleaning will depend on how often the firearm is used and the conditions in which it is used. If the firearm is used frequently or in harsh environments, it may require more frequent cleaning.

As a general guideline, cleaning and inspecting the extractor, firing pin, and firing pin housing at least every 1,000 rounds is recommended, also, after each use, if the firearm has been exposed to moisture or other harsh conditions. Additionally, it’s important to inspect these components for any signs of wear or damage and replace them as necessary. We will post a blog with instructions for the complete disassembly of your Glock 22 shortly.

Reassembling Your

Reassembling a Glock 22 after cleaning is a straightforward process that can be accomplished in a few easy steps:

  1. Begin by ensuring that all the gun components are clean and lubed. Inspect each part for any signs of wear, damage, or debris that could affect the proper functioning of the gun.
  2. Start the reassembly process by inserting the barrel into the slide, ensuring the barrel hood is properly aligned with the corresponding groove.
  3. Next, install the recoil spring assembly onto the barrel, with the smaller end of the spring facing the front of the gun. Compress the spring and insert the assembly into the slide.
  4. With the slide and barrel assembly complete, insert the guide rod into the front of the slide and attach the slide to the gun frame, ensuring that the rails on the slide align with the corresponding grooves on the frame.
  5. Pull the slide to the rear until it is fully locked, then release it to allow it to slide forward.

Reassemble the gun and perform a function check to ensure it is functioning correctly.

Glock 22 FAQ

How often should I clean my Glock 22?

It’s recommended to clean your Glock 22 after each use to keep it functioning properly. Additionally, if the firearm is exposed to moisture or other harsh conditions, it should be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent damage.

What cleaning products should I use for my Glock 22?

You should use cleaning products specifically designed for firearms. This may include solvent, lubricant, and cleaning patches or cloths. It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the gun.

Can I use a bore snake to clean my Glock 22?

Yes, a bore snake can be a useful tool for cleaning the barrel of a Glock 22. However, it should be combined with other cleaning tools and solvents for a thorough cleaning.

Do I need to disassemble my Glock 22 to clean it?

Yes, it’s necessary to disassemble the Glock 22 to clean it properly. This allows you to access all the components that require cleaning and inspection.

How often should I replace the recoil spring assembly in my Glock 22?

The recoil spring assembly should be replaced approximately every 3,000 to 5,000 rounds or as recommended by the manufacturer. This ensures the proper functioning and reliability of the firearm.

Should I lubricate my Glock 22 after cleaning it?

Yes, it’s important to apply a small amount of lubricant to the moving parts of the Glock 22 after cleaning it to ensure smooth and reliable operation. However, it’s important to avoid over-lubricating, as this can attract dirt and debris and cause malfunctions.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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