It goes without saying that Nerf guns and blasters are pretty durable. Made with a younger demographic in mind, Nerf guns are made from hard plastic parts that are supposed to handle a fair bit of rough play outdoors. However, like any toy, Nerf guns certainly aren’t indestructible and weren’t made to last forever.

Nerf guns don’t need a ton of maintenance. But to keep your loadout in good shape and make the most of your money, here are some tips for taking care of your Nerf guns.

Spring Guns

Avoid dry firing as much as possible– This is fairly common knowledge, but dry firing is shooting your blaster without having a dart inside. Especially if you’ve modified your Nerf gun with a stronger spring set up, dry firing causes the plunger head to hit the post of the barrel, and it will eventually chip and break. In general it stresses your spring and creates wear on your blaster though, so not dry firing at all is best.

Don’t keep your blaster primed in storage– If you keep your clip loaded, it weakens the spring over time. After all, if you’re not going to be shooting it soon, why keep the spring compressed and create stress when it’s not needed?

Pump/Air Guns

Clean and check– Every half year or after a major battle, check for damages. You can see if your gun has leaks by placing it underwater. Patch the holes and make repairs as needed. Clean your pump guns using rags and Q-tips to remove dust and grime.

Keep it decently lubricated– For both spring and pump guns, lubricate the moving parts every couple of months or so, or after every major battle.

There is much debate over what lubricant is best for Nerf guns, but in general lithium or silicone based greases appear to be safe to use with plastics and rubber. (They can be found in most hardware stores.)

Vaseline or pure Petroleum Jelly may or may not chemically react, depending on your gun’s materials. Avoid using WD-40 as it will destroy your blaster’s O-ring over time, as well as edible products like vegetable oil or KY Jelly, which grow bacteria.

Custom Painted Guns

Make sure your blaster has a clear coat of sealant or varnish on it. This not only keeps your Nerf gun looking good for longer, but is especially important if you used acrylic paint for your detailing work. Touch up any dings or scratches and maintain that protective layer.

Avoid scraping your gun against rough surfaces. This includes placing it down hard on things like floors and tables.

Don’t leave it in the sun. While your paint job probably won’t melt off, the sun will bleach the color of your blaster, making it look faded (in a bad way).

Lastly, don’t get solvents on your custom painted Nerf gun. This especially includes liquids like nail polish remover and paint thinner, as they are made to strip off paint.

What do you do to maintain your Nerf guns? Tell us in the comments below!