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How to Repair a Rusty Sword


Many sword owners can avoid costly repairs and breakage to their prized collection by simply performing routine basic maintenance on their swords. A sword is made out steel and steel is prone to rust. It is a good idea to annually inspect your sword for signs of rust and pitting. If you live in a high humidity area, you may need to check more often and keep your sword sealed away from the elements. Keep your sword away from all moisture. If it comes in contact with moisture, wipe it away immediately.


How To Prevent Rusting

When it comes to sword care, the old adage certainly holds true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some basics steps to keep your sword in mint condition.

·        When you get your sword for the first time, it is likely to have a coating of grease from the factory, meant to protect it during travel. Remove with lacquer thinner or mineral spirits and reapply a coat of light oil or wipe down with a silicone-coated cloth. A gun/reel cloth would suit your purpose nicely.

·        Keep blade away from all forms of moisture, including high humidity environments.

·        Annually inspect the blade to ensure there is no surface rusting. If surface rusting occurs, a fine sandpaper and some oil can help you gently remove the rust.


Advanced Rust Removal

There are always risks associated with cleaning your sword, regardless of method. Any type of cleaning method has the potential to damage your sword or cause you personal injury. If you have any doubts about your capability to clean your sword, seek professional assistance.


·        Chemical Cleaners
A sword cleaning kit, or cleaner like Nev-R-Dull, is a safe option for removing light surface rust and dirt accumulation. You can often find a mild chemical cleaner at a local automotive store. If using Nev-R-Dull, rub the rusted area using a small portion, then wipe clean. Always test the cleaner on a small area if you are unsure of the results.

·        Acidic Solutions

A second, more complicated option is to use acids. Always use extreme caution and go very slow when using acids. Start small with mild everyday acids, like lemon juice. It might take a few days to take effect after application so be patient. Next you can try vinegar followed by Worcestershire sauce. Heavier acids, like a diluted solution of muriatic or phosphoric acids can be found at pool supply stores, but should be used with extreme caution. Eventually the acid could eat into the sword, so check regularly once applied.


There are several other methods for removing rust, such as electrolysis, a process that involves breaking apart rust molecules into iron and oxygen, then causing the oxygen to bind to the more active metal. Also, it is said that exposure to high heat can remove rust. These techniques are not recommended as they can cause unwanted discoloration, distempering, and dulling. If the above solutions do not work, seek professional care.


You can find an extensive collection of authentic samurai swords at Swords Of The East.