Maintenance of steel and metal

Most plate armour and steel weapons are made of carbon steel. Carbon steel is prone to rusting, which means it needs regular maintenance. 

Basic maintenance

When your steel armour or weapons have gotten wet, make sure to dry the steel with a cloth as soon as possible. After the steel is dry, you should oil the steel or spray it with anti rust spray to prevent the steel from rusting.

Removing rust

If there’s only a very small amount of rust on your steel item, you can probably get rid of it purely by polishing (see Polishing page)

If polishing isn’t enough to do the job, you can sand off the rust using steel wool or a wire brush. This can create some scratches on the steel, but that can also be remedied. When the worst of the rust is gone, start using  fine black sandpaper to continue to sand the rust off. When all the rust is removed, you can polish the steel to remove any scratches left behind during this process. After polishing, it is advised to either use sword oil or anti rust spray to prevent the item from rusting again. 

When you need to remove rust from smaller or more delicate items, you can let the item soak in white vinegar for 10 minutes and rub the item with a soft cloth. Use a clean, soft cloth to dry the item. If needed, you can then polish and oil the item. 

This method can also be used for large items, but it’s a bit more complicated. Soak a cloth in white vinegar and wrap this around the item. Leave the item in the cloth for 10 minutes, rub the rust off and dry with a clean cloth. 

Maintenance hack

If you don’t want to clean, polish and oil your steel armour or sword after every use, there is a way to make them last with a bit less maintenance. 

A great way to rust proof steel is by painting it with metal paint. You can use a clear, varnish like paint for this.

However, for plate armour, you can also decide to paint the steel with a coloured paint, as this was done in medieval times as well.