Ongoing Care and Maintenance of Military Swords

Posted by Devin on 11/22/2013 to Military Swords
During active duty, the various branches of the military bestow swords upon servicemembers as symbols of advancement in rank. After discharge, military swords remain symbols of a legacy of service. As such, it is important that you care for and maintain your military sword properly so that it continues to appropriately embody the spirit in which the military gave it.

One of the most important ongoing tasks of caring for your sword is giving it a monthly wipe-down with a soft, dry cloth. Do not use any solvents or cleaning products for what amounts to periodic dusting. These and other substances, such as oil from fingerprints, salt air and humidity can discolor the various surfaces of the sword.

Gold components of military swords are gold-plated, which means that any abrasion or rough rubbing is capable of removing the gold altogether. Beyond a soft cloth for regular dusting, use only window cleaner to remove discolorations. Silver polish is appropriate for cleaning the stainless steel of the blade. If you have a leather scabbard, use shoe polish on it. For metal scabbards, use silver polish.

In terms of ongoing care, remember to wipe all fingerprints off your sword after every use. Keep all steel surfaces dry to avoid rust. If you store or display the sword for a long period, keep it unsheathed so that no humidity collects within the scabbard.

Whether you or a family member is active duty, and the sword is carried for ceremonial functions, or whether it is a post-discharge reminder of a military legacy, it is important to properly care for and maintain it. Though swords are tough instruments, they are quite prone to damage with inadequate care.