On some of the older small autos the slide comes off by pulling it all the way back and lifting the rear of the slide. Then ease it forward making sure you don't let the spring escape. Anything that you can remove with your fingers can be removed and cleaned. Otherwise hose it down with gun scrubber and then some silicone.
A problem is just an opportunity to buy more tools!
T.A.N.S.T.A.A F.L. Perfection is the enemy of good enough.