LeatherworkMedievalMedieval WeaponryThrift

Sword Care with Everyday Household Products

When I bought my first sword five years ago, I trolled google for “Sword Care”, looking for ways I could ensure it kept its pretty pretty shine. And then the dollar signs started to wrack up. I’d just laid down $90 odd dollars at the fair for my pretty sword, and the internet wanted me to fork out another $30 plus on a fancy kit that I’d use maybe every 6 months, and would take a couple weeks to arrive.

The thrift shopper in me cringed at this deal, thinking about the even cooler sword I could have gotten with the extra money. And I was impatient to start polishing! Cause… cool sword! So I googled more and now present to you: Sword Care with Everyday Household Products.

  • Cleaning: Windex and a paper towel. That streak free promise? Works just as well on a sword as on the windows. Spray liberally and put some elbow grease into it.
  • Rust removal: Got some red or black dust gathering? Time to break out the steel wool. Just try to go in one direction only so you don’t create any unsightly scratch marks. IF you do end up with scratches, just get an even higher grit piece of wool or sandpaper. Make sure you remove all excess grit/wool with the windex-paper towel combo. Don’t want to leave any on there as it could create more rust. I learnt this the hard way.
  • Oiling: This is the maintenance part that prevents rust. Swords need mineral oil to protect them, because our “skin oil” degrades them. As does any other food or organic oil. So, instead of looking for branded, fancy, traditional sword oils (that come in really fancy pretty boxes), go for homebrand baby oil. There’s probably some in your cupboard already, and if there isn’t, you can get them for $2 at the supermarket most days. Put a couple drops on the steel, grab that paper towel, and spread. I like to do a rubbed in coat first, and then a more generous spread around. But you don’t want it goopy or runny, as oil gathering in your sheath can be ruinous.
  • Conditioning: Leather sheath and handle? Break out some leather shoe conditioner. Or if your sheath won’t touch any of the steel, use a mix of olive oil and vinegar to condition and clean beautifully.


This way you can start cleaning straightaway. Unless you’ve just moved, or you’ve been robbed and they took the olive oil, or you don’t cook or clean or hrm. If that’s the case, head to your nearest supermarket with this simple list:

Sword Care Grocery List:

  1. Windex
  2. Paper Towels
  3. Shoe Conditioner
  4. Steel Wool
  5. Olive Oil
  6. White Vinegar
  7. Baby Oil


I’ve also linked each of them to an online shop if you can’t be bothered to leave the couch. Also, here’s a link to the fancy sword oils if you feel the need to be a traditionalist (it’s so tempting!). But the best part of buying your sword maintenance items from the supermarket, is that all these things are multi-functional. Which makes me happy.