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Author Topic: How to keep armor clean?  (Read 2645 times)

Sir Brian

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How to keep armor clean?
« on: 2008-02-23, 12:41:30 »
I brought my armor into work for the sole purpose of cleaning it today. Isnít it amazing at how filthy
maille can get? I canít even handle it without my hands turning black. We have a ultra-sound parts
cleaner here so Iím going to try and give it a bath. If that doesnít get the job done then I guess I can
take it to a carwash and give a powerwasher a try.  ;)

How does everyone else keep their armor clean?
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Sir Wolf

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Re: How to keep armor clean?
« Reply #1 on: 2008-02-23, 14:37:03 »
more mail I put it in a burlap bag and roll it around. now if it gets rusty(it was orange at one point in its life) i put it in a sand bag over and over again. rollinging, slamming it etc. then I brushed it off the a towel etc. clean :)  mail will always be dirty. it comes from the friction of the rings rubbing against each other. every time the rings touch it takes a scratch or layer off the ring.

for plate I wipe it down with 3 in 1 oil every time I use it. if theres a lil rust stop, i use one of those green scotch brite pads.

Sir Edward

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Re: How to keep armor clean?
« Reply #2 on: 2008-02-23, 15:50:57 »
It's even worse with non-anodized aluminum, like mine. Skin oils accelerate the oxidation, leaving a black oily grime on it all the time. The mail-patterns left on my forehead after I take the coif off are amusing... I call them "tire tracks".  :)

With my aluminum, I've only cleaned it a couple of times, but liquid dish soap and a good rinse do a very good job of it. Since it's not steel, I don't have to worry about rust here.

For removing rust, as Wolf said, putting it in a bag with something abrasive, and sloshing it around, will work. Some people use sand, others use fresh kitty-litter. I think it was Jeff Hedgecock of Historic Enterprises that I saw on another forum who recommended not using any sort of sand, but rather wood chips like you'd use in a cage for rodent pets. He said it's enough to scrape the rust off without ruining the finish, and it'll absorb the rust powder (and the rings themselves do most of the work of scraping the rust off).

But your mail is brass plated right? The ultrasonic cleaner sounds like a cool idea. You could probably get away with the soap method I discussed too... I just stuff the whole thing in the sink and get a whole lot of the soap on my hands with a little water and go to town on it.

I've found "Brasso" to be really good at removing brass tarnish, but it might be awkward to try to use it on mail.

« Last Edit: 2008-02-23, 15:53:16 by Sir Edward »
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Sir Brian

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Re: How to keep armor clean?
« Reply #3 on: 2008-02-23, 20:32:56 »
But your mail is brass plated right? The ultrasonic cleaner sounds like a cool idea. You could probably get away with the soap method I discussed too... I just stuff the whole thing in the sink and get a whole lot of the soap on my hands with a little water and go to town on it.

Yes my mail WAS brass plated!  :'( The ultrasonic cleaner was a BAD idea on my part. Fortunately I tested
it with my coif first and was quite shocked to pull it out after only a few minutes to find it had taken it down
to bare steel in some places!  :o

So I went with a power washer and hung it up to dry. It cleaned up pretty good and I even took the
opportunity to convert my long sleeves into half-sleeves. The longer ultra-wide sleeves were bothering me
and I wanted to make room for my splint bracers that I plan to purchase soon.
Check them out:
http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=100

I also want to get the matching greaves:
http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=26&products_id=101

*sigh* I'm starting to sound like my wife after she comes back from shopping at the mall!  :D
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Sir Edward

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Re: How to keep armor clean?
« Reply #4 on: 2008-02-23, 21:23:44 »

It started to take the brass off??? Oh crap, that's not good. Glad the powerwasher worked better.

Those greaves and bracers look great!

Yeah, adjusting the sleeves isn't a bad idea. In my experience, the sleeves are usually made very wide in most of the hauberks you can buy online. At half length this still works OK, but going to the wrist, the mail pattern pulls open under its own weight and makes large cylinders. In period, the longer sleeves would be more tailored, and even have garters tied just below the joints to help keep it snug.

One thing I love about butt-ring mail is how easy it is to make changes if you need to.
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Das Bill

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Re: How to keep armor clean?
« Reply #5 on: 2008-02-29, 05:40:57 »
I think it was Jeff Hedgecock of Historic Enterprises that I saw on another forum who recommended not using any sort of sand, but rather wood chips like you'd use in a cage for rodent pets. He said it's enough to scrape the rust off without ruining the finish, and it'll absorb the rust powder (and the rings themselves do most of the work of scraping the rust off).

I'd never heard that. I've only ever used sand. That's a really cool idea.

Well, I guess I know what my next armour purchase is going to be... I'm off to the pet store!
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