Care For Mail, Helmets And Armor
Your chainmail shirt or coif will come to you with a heavy coat of oil on it. The easiest way to remove this oil is by dipping it or allowing it to soak in lacquer thinner. This treatment should only be used for regular steel. For our darkened steel, the lacquer thinner can cause a reaction with the dark finish and should not be used on the metal at all. Of course wiping clean works well too. However once the oil is removed, moisture in the air and perspiration will cause rust to form. There is really no way to avoid this. The best way to remove light rust is to put the mail piece into a sack or pillow case with fine sand and shake it vigorously until the rust is removed. You may wish to spray a clear silicone coat on the mail. This helps to slow rust formation. If you are going to store the mail for a longer period of time, the best thing is to oil it again and keep it in a dry place. Your helmet or armor can be oiled or simply keep it dry and wipe it down with a clean cotton cloth after wearing or handling it.