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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I'm new to this forum as a member, but have always turned to this community for answers via other's posts. I have a (1978) 70 Series Nickel Colt Combat Commander with original grips...and would like to "clean" them. This pistol was stolen, used in 2 carjackings and recovered by the LA Sheriff Dept. Needless to say, the thing got a DETAILED strip/cleaning ... but I haven't touched the grips since I removed them. Would any of you have a definitive answer as to how I could safely clean these original, wood grips. (Read through some post about a 1911 getting dropped in cow s***...but no final answer that I could find.) Thank you!
 

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If the surface is sealed with a finish, Windex and a soft brush. But try it on an inconspicuous spot first.

If there is some deposit that Windex (or water) won't remove, you might try naphtha (lighter fluid). It's commonly used on wooden musical instrument parts, and has proven safe on lacquer and catalyzed finishes. Not sure about oil based finishes though. Again, try it on an inconspicuous spot first.

Don't use anything that causes the surface to become tacky.

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Toothbrush and Hoppes #9 or mineral spirits. Neither will remove the finish. Are these fully checkered grips?

Either way they could be stripped and repointed if needed.

But considering the cost of a new decent set of grips maybe you should keep any eye on the WTS category on the forum for a bargain.
 

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Dish soap, soft toothbrush, warm water, air dry, done. I'd try that first, if there is any staining present that is not removed than try a non chemical spray or liquid cleaner with a soft brush.

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Hopefully you have corrected the lapse in security that allowed your pistol to get stolen in the first place.
If you are worried about COVID other contagent on them, Put on some gloves and rub them down with some hospital grade alcohol prep pads. Then immediately wipe off with a soft, lint free cloth. As others have said, try this on a small area on the back of the grips first.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the quick responses. I'll go down and pick up the supplies today!

...and to Steam Boat: Yes, it's been corrected.

It was stolen in a smash and grab that took place in the span of 20 minutes while I was out fixing a plumbing issue at one of my properties. (Yes, I live in "the hood.")

Again, thank you ALL for the advice!
 

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Just clean them with a mild soapy detergent and hot water. No need to nuke them. Be glad you got your pistol back and that it's still in good condition. Most theft victims aren't that lucky.
 

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I have used Murphy's Oil soap on many wooden grips including my Luger's and some dirty stocks with excellent results.
 

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Renaissance Wax will NOT hurt it and should do a decent job. And you'll find a ton of other uses for it too if you don't have a can already.
 

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Some old Colt grips were bare wood or so thin a finish that they were not sealed at all. I would not use any type of petroleum based solvent like bore solvent as it will stain/darken and you'll never get that smell out of the grips.

70% alcohol will disinfect and evaporate completely without staining. A soft toothbrush and alcohol is how I'd do it. Let them set for a day or so afterward before applying any type of sealing finish or wax. When playing with bare stock blanks for shotguns, it's popular among wood sellers to use alcohol to "wet" the blank to show the color/grain it would finish to. In a few minutes the alcohol is evaporated.
 

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I’m amazed to hear/learn any CA LE agency returns guns! Did you have to pay a gun recovery tax?
 

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Use a dry-cleaning solvent like lighter fluid (Naptha) or maybe alcohol. Please do not use any kind of soap and water on any wood at any time.
 

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I’m amazed to hear/learn any CA LE agency returns guns! Did you have to pay a gun recovery tax?
If a firearm is reported stolen and later recovered it is still the owner's property. As anti-gun as they are in California I don't see how they can tell legal owners "Good news: we found your stolen property. Bad news: since it is an evil gun we are going to destroy it anyway and you're not going to be compensated for it.".
 

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If a firearm is reported stolen and later recovered it is still the owner's property. As anti-gun as they are in California I don't see how they can tell legal owners "Good news: we found your stolen property. Bad news: since it is an evil gun we are going to destroy it anyway and you're not going to be compensated for it.".

Shhhhhhhh... Don't give them ideas.
 

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If a firearm is reported stolen and later recovered it is still the owner's property. As anti-gun as they are in California I don't see how they can tell legal owners "Good news: we found your stolen property. Bad news: since it is an evil gun we are going to destroy it anyway and you're not going to be compensated for it.".
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Information on the Law Enforcement Release Program
Home Firearms Information on the Law Enforcement Release Program
The Law Enforcement Release process requires any person who claims title to any firearm, ammunition or ammunition feeding device that is in the custody or control of a court or law enforcement agency and who wishes to have the aforementioned items returned, to submit a LER Application form to the California Department of Justice (the Department) to determine eligibility to possess a firearm, ammunition and/or ammunition feeding device. (Penal Code section 33850)

LER Application Submission Process
Individuals seeking the return of a firearm, ammunition and/or ammunition feeding device that is in the custody or control of a court or law enforcement agency must submit a LER Application along with the appropriate fees to the Department. Additionally, if an individual is seeking the return of a long gun purchased prior to January 1, 2014 which has not been subsequently recorded in their name by either a self reporting application, or registered as an assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle, should submit a Firearms Ownership Report application (BOF 4542A), pdf , along with the appropriate fees.

An eligibility check will be conducted to determine if the applicant is lawfully eligible to possess firearms, ammunition and/or ammunition feeding devices. A notice of the results will be sent to the applicant via U.S. mail. The notice must be presented to the court or law enforcement agency within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice. Notices over 30 days are considered expired. If you allow your notice to expire, you will need to submit a new application and fees to initiate a new eligibility check.

Submission requirements and processing fees are available on the Law Enforcement Release Application (BOF 119), pdf. Applications for firearm only: you may utilize the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) to submit your application.
 
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