Cleaning Your Custom Dust Cover
Lets dive in and get started on how to clean your dust cover
So you got a shiny new custom AR dust cover and you took your gun to the range and had a blast (literally!) and now you want to make sure the ejection port cover works and performs like new for years to come. Due to the simplistic nature this actually isn't that difficult of a process as you may think. Standard Mil-Spec dust covers are made from stamped heat treated steel, and then they are phosphate black coated. The phosphate is a pretty durable coating and should withstand most solvents you throw at your gun. We recommend only gun cleaning solvents like CLP, Hoppe's, MPro7, etc.... If you stick to a name brand solvent that should ensure you don't have any adverse events when cleaning around the port. You do want to be careful regarding your bolt and carrier if you are dousing your cover in a solvent, it might be a good idea to remove the dust cover from your upper receiver, or at minimum pull out your bolt carrier group and stick a towel inside the upper to prevent any back spray from getting in the upper, unless you are cleaning the entire upper. A good lint free cloth will also help with wiping and prevent lint-pills from getting stuck in/around the ejection port. Some people will use the cotton swabs as wipes, this is ok, just be careful to not over-use them to where they are falling apart and leaving bits of fabric on/near the port. For the cerakoted, aluminum, titanium, and other custom dust covers, we also recommend the same procedure, to clean them with your favorite gun cleaning solvent. You should be careful to use a non-abrasive cloth when wiping, as you don't want to scuff up the finish on the dust cover. Our printed covers are printed using a chemical resistant ink, and should be fine using most gun cleaners to lightly rub off any carbon or grime that builds up after a session at the range, we have even soaked them in acetone without any flaking, but we don't recommend that! In a pinch we have even used Windex for some deep cleaning, but just be careful if you use this and make sure to get some oil on the cover ASAP after wiping off any excess.
Caring for your Dust Cover
After cleaning you need to protect the surface
After you have finished cleaning the dust cover, we recommend using a high quality gun oil to protect the surfaces. The standard dust covers are steel, so you need to maintain a coating of oil to ensure no rust forms on the surface. While you are at it, it can be useful to put a dab of oil on the detent and work it down into the housing so the spring and plunger remain in good working order. Our recommended oil is a very thin oil that is clear, RemOil, MPro7, or again if you are just using CLP that will work. Apply a generous amount to a cloth or directly to the cover and distribute it around with a lint free cloth wiping off any excess. The aluminum and titanium dust covers do not require any additional oiling normally, but you still may want to apply a drop of oil to the detent area to make sure it remains in tip top shape.
Overall, the dust cover should be maintained just like any other firearm part for optimum performance. They don't require special care in most cases, and if minimally maintained should last for the lifetime of the gun.