Gun Cleaning Mats – Everything You Need to Know to Pick the Best One

Every gun and rifle owner knows about the importance of cleaning his arsenal regularly. However, many of them don’t use a gun cleaning mat, which results in oil stains all over the place.

You probably have a garage or a workshop where you can do the job, but good gun cleaning mat will allow you to clean your guns even in your living room.

Top 5 Best Gun Cleaning Mats (Summary)

Image Product Details
sample-table__image Best Magnetized SectionReal Avid Glock Smart
  • Keeps very small parts in place
  • Has padding that protects the table from scratches
  • Can be rolled up and stored very easy
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sample-table__image Most DurableLyman
  • Keeps items and spills contained
  • Solvent and oil resistant
  • Easy to clean
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sample-table__image Easiest CleanupReal Avid Handgun Smart
  • Lightly padded mat causes liquids to bead up
  • Non-slip backing
  • Magnetized section for small parts
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sample-table__image UsefulThingy
  • Durable and long-lasting material
  • Soft surface pad prevents damage and scratches
  • Informative printing
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sample-table__image TekMat
  • Resistant to water and scratches
  • Rubber back protects work surface and prevents sliding
  • Comes with a simple to follow parts diagram
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For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.

What Is a Gun Cleaning Mat?

Gun cleaning mat purpose is to protect the surfaces from getting dirty or damaged, just like a glass chair mats.

However, gun cleaning mats differ from most of the other mats by their properties.

They are made of a leak-proof material, specially designed for gun cleaning.

Benefits of Using a Gun Cleaning Mat

Cleaning guns and rifles requires time, practice, expertise and willingness to get your hands dirty. Let’s face it, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, oil stains will be all over the place.

Most of the people clean their guns in the workshops or storage sheds that are really tidy and super-clean.

Benefits of Using a Gun Cleaning Mat

But why would you want to make an additional mess when you can buy a perfect gun cleaning mat that protects the surface from oil stains and other damage?

So, the most significant benefit of using gun cleaning mats is saving your home from greasy oil stains.

Also, if you choose the right, durable mat, it will save your money in the long run.

Cleaning your weapons can sometimes become a dull job, so you will probably move the chair you are sitting on a lot. In that situations, you will find a chair mat to be very helpful.

Bamboo is a good material for a chair mat and it will prevent you from damaging your floors. Always keep in mind that best bamboo chair mats are always more durable than a cheap plastic chair mats.

What can be made of plastic is flooring. In case you’re wondering, a bamboo chair mat on a plastic flooring is the best solution.

However, the most important thing is that the kit must have everything you need to clean your guns properly.

How to Clean a Gun Cleaning Mat

As previously mentioned, the worst thing that can happen to you after using a gun cleaning mat is oil all over the place because the mat is not leak-proof.

However, even if the mat you use is durable, leak-proof, made from the most quality materials, you will have to clean it and extend its longevity.

How to Clean a Gun Cleaning Mat

You can use old towels and rugs, soap and water. On some, you can even use detergents and put them in a washing machine.

However, you should always take a look at the manufacturer’s instructions, because some mats can be damaged by certain chemicals and detergents, so take caution before you apply a cleanser.

How to Choose the Right Gun Cleaning Kit

Along with a good gun cleaning mat, you need to have an excellent gun cleaning kit. Without it, you won’t be able to clean your arsenal correctly.

Nowadays, you can buy a gun cleaning kit with a mat combined, but sometimes at least one of the products that the manufacturer sells as a batch won’t be up to the quality standards.

Usually, a mat in a kit is less good then a gun cleaning mat bought separately, so you should take that into account.

For example, these mats are not leak-proof, so when you put them back in the box after the cleaning, the oil will leak off the mat and get everything oily.

That’s the worst thing that can happen to your gun cleaning box, so if you want to buy a complete kit, read the reviews about it carefully.

How to Choose the Right Gun Cleaning Kit

In the matter effect, gun cleaning kits usually don’t even contain a gun cleaning mat.

Owning a good gun cleaning kit should be mandatory for any gun owner. It doesn’t matter if you have one, ten or more weapons in your arsenal, you should keep them clean.

If you do that, you will avoid losing accuracy and damage caused to the barrel of the gun. Also, why would you spend more than $20 to clean your arms at the gunsmith, when you can learn to do this yourself?

Buying a gun cleaning kit is not an easy task. If you don’t pay attention, you will lose time and money on some products which are not good enough for your weapons.

The kit should consist of a gun cleaning oil and brushes, and it should have enough storage to keep everything tidy and in place.

If you have some extra cash, you can buy a stylish wooden kit which would look good next to your arsenal.

The answer to the question how to choose the best gun cleaning mat is the same as the answer to the question how to choose the best floor mats – read reviews and be conscious about what you need.

There is no discussion about the importance of having a gun cleaning mat that is leak-proof.

If you are reading a customer review that says the mat is not leak-proof, do not even consider buying it.

Apart from that, you should choose a mat which is thick enough not to allow guns and rifles to seep into the material.

This will let you clean your weapons comfortably. Also, the mat should be big enough to lay all the components at once.

Therefore, don’t buy a mat which is not big enough to accommodate the weapons you need to clean.

You won’t buy the same mat for a pistol, and a hunting rifle. Check the dimensions of the mat and buy what you need for your weapon type.

Here are reviews of the top 5 gun cleaning mats that will help you decide which mat to buy to clean your weapons more effectively.

5 Best Gun Cleaning Mats

1. Real Avid Glock Smart Gun Cleaning Mat

An important feature that comes with this gun cleaning mat is a red parts tray that helps you see parts of your gun easily. There is also a magnetized section for holding very small parts in place.

Liquids like solvent, that often times spill when you’re cleaning your gun on the kitchen table will almost definitely damage that same table.

However, if this happens on Real Avid’s Glock mat the liquid will bead up and allow you to wipe it away easily. If that’s not enough, padding on this mat will also protect the table from any scratches.

Graphics found on this mat contain lessons and reminders that you will find useful. Once you clean your gun, the mat can be rolled up and stored with no efforts at all.

Real Avid Glock Smart Gun Cleaning Mat


  • Comes with a magnetized section that keeps very small parts in place
  • It has padding that protects the table from scratches
  • Easy-to-follow graphics on how to clean the gun properly
  • Can be rolled up and stored very easy

  • The pad is very thin
  • The magnetized tray is very tiny

2. Lyman Essential Gun Maintenance Mat

This gun cleaning mat’s material is a tough but soft polymer. This makes it chemical resistant while at the same time it protects gun finishes.

It has slightly recessed sections, which keep small items organized. These sections can also contain spills during cleaning and lubrication.

Furthermore, Lyman’s gun cleaning mat is solvent and oil resistant. Also, you will find it pretty easy to clean this mat.

Lyman Essential Gun Maintenance Mat


  • It has recessed sections to keep items and spills contained
  • Solvent and oil resistant
  • Durable soft polymer
  • Easy to clean

  • It doesn’t lay completely flat
  • A large sticky label that this mat comes with is hard to remove
  • The working area is too small

3. Real Avid Handgun Smart Gun Cleaning Mat

Just as the other Real Avid’s gun cleaning mats, this one can also be rolled up when you are not using it, and rolled out flat when you need it again.

Small pins, springs and other parts will always stay on it if you put them on a small magnetized section. The parts tray and cleaning mat are connected one to each other.

Gun lovers will also appreciate that the backing is non-slip which allows it to grip most surfaces to prevent the mat from slipping around when you work on your gun.

This mat is lightly padded and that makes it ideal for dealing with oil, solvents or any other liquids spilled on it.

You will never notice all these liquids soaking through because they will bead up and allow easy and quick cleaning.

Real Avid Handgun Smart Gun Cleaning Mat


  • It has a magnetized section for small parts
  • Lightly padded mat causes any liquids spilled on it to bead up and not soak through
  • Non-slip backing
  • Easy and quick cleanup

  • There is a chemical type of smell in the beginning
  • Only a tiny section is magnetic not the whole tray

4. UsefulThingy Rifle Cleaning Mat

Besides being strong, thick, sturdy and durable, this mat is also portable and can be rolled up.

Its material is very absorbent, and it provides a soft surface pad to prevent damage and scratches to both weapon and surface.

This means that you don’t have to worry that small parts will get scratched or slide around because the non-slip bottom grip and the texture of this gun cleaning mat make this impossible.

Most gun cleaning mats are meant to be used for handguns only. The good thing about this particular mat is that you can clean your rifle and shotgun on it too, as its size is 36 in x 12 in.

What comes in handy is the informative printing you get when you buy this mat which is great for new gun owners, but also for the old rifle enthusiasts, as they get to learn every system on the AR type rifle.

UsefulThingy Rifle Cleaning Mat


  • Made of durable and long-lasting material
  • With its size of 36 in x 12 in it’s larger than most other gun cleaning mats
  • A soft surface pad to prevent damage and scratches to both weapon and surface
  • Comes with an informative printing

  • The printing and graphics are too small and difficult to read
  • It’s a bit thin and narrow

5. TekMat M&P Handgun Cleaning Mat 

This gun cleaning mat measures 11” x 17” and is 3mm thick.

When cleaning your handguns you don’t want them to get scratched, and with TekMat’s soft top surface mat you will not have to worry about that ever.

The backing is made of rubber, which helps in holding the mat in one place and absorbs damaging impacts from accidentally dropped gun parts.

On the mat surface, there is an easy-to-follow parts diagram and an overview of the history of the Smith and Wesson M&P as well.

Repeated washing and cleaning won’t fade this printing thanks to a special printing technology that fuses the ink into the fibers of the cloth via sublimation. Finally, this mat is waterproof and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

TekMat Smith & Wesson M&P Handgun Cleaning Mat 


  • It’s scratch and waterproof
  • Rubber back protects work surface and prevent the mat from sliding
  • Comes with a simple to follow parts diagram
  • Lifetime warranty

  • It’s pretty thin
  • Smaller parts are harder to see due to its color


Although not many people will consider buying a gun cleaning mat because they think they don’t need it, it can be very beneficial to your weapons, your workshop, house, and your family.

If you are married, your wife will appreciate if you don’t make oil stains all over the place, and keep your weapons clean and tidy.

Also, a quality gun cleaning mat will allow you to clean your weapons more comfortably because it is the best possible surface to put your weapons on during the cleaning.

Look at the properties of the mat before you buy it, check if the mat is leak-proof and look at the mat dimensions and make sure you buy what you need.

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