Maintaining Your Plate Armor (In A Modern Fashion)
This will serve as a quick-reference companion to my more detailed video on the subject. This method is what I use and what works for me. There are tons of differing opinions out there and different methods, different preferred products etc., so mine is not the only way to accomplish this task. If you own plate armor, you’ve taken on the responsibility of maintaining it whether you wanted to or not. Armor requires maintenance, there’s no way around it. Even if you’ve made the choice to go with a non-historical material like stainless steel or aluminum, your armor will benefit from proactive maintenance. Straps will wear out and break, rivets can fail, dents can occur etc. This guide, however, will deal specifically with corrosion prevention and removal on rust-prone steels and iron.
Other factors can affect the likelihood of gathering rust as well. One of the big ones is the level of polish on your armor. Rust is caused by water oxidizing the iron in steel. The more opportunities water has to cling to the surface of your armor, the better the chance rust will develop. Polish isn’t just about looking pretty. The more polished a surface, the less micro-irregularities there are on that surface, and in turn the less tiny crags and crevices for water to hide in and start to form rust. I personally don’t like the look of mirror-polished armor, but I do maintain a bright finish on my steel as an aid to prevent rust.
** dislclaimer ** I take no responsibility for any damage anyone may cause to their own armor while attempting to clean it. These techniques represent what I use and what in my experience has worked for me.
A Preventative Approach
I firmly believe that the best way to take care of your armor is through proactive preventative maintenance. What I mean by that is it’s better to prevent corrosion and give rust the smallest opportunity to take hold, rather than retroactively deal with problems that could have been prevented in the first place. If you take care of your armor, it will take care of you! No matter how well you maintain your armor though, rust will occur. You sweat when you wear armor, and all that salt in your sweat aids in the oxidation process that forms rust (especially on the inside of your armor). Much like the pro-active approach to preventing rust, when the inevitable rust does occur, the absolute best way to deal with it is to remove it right away and not to give that rust the opportunity to set in and cause real damage to your armor (potentially catastrophic if left untreated).