How to Clean a Rusty Sword

Updated February 21, 2017

Many collectors are interested in collecting old, handcrafted or antique swords. This particular type of collectable can actually get quite valuable, especially if you manage to find a sword that actually dates back to a certain period of history. To keep your collector's item looking its best, you will need to use some basic cleaning methods, and if the sword has rust, that should be removed first. Then, you will have a sword that a knight would be proud to use.

Add acid free paste wax to a scrubbing pad. Start with an amount the size of a quarter, adding more as needed, depending on the size of your sword.

Rub the rust on the sword lightly with the pad. It should start to come off after a few rubs.

Wipe off the wax using a soft hand towel, or other similar cloth. Continue adding wax with the pad and wiping it off until the rust is gone.

Pour acetone onto a clean cloth and use it to wipe down the sword. This will remove the remnants of wax and rust.

Use a cloth to add acid free oil to the sword. Rub on a thin layer to protect the sword from future rust.

Put some fresh wax onto the sword using a new hand towel or cloth. This should be a very thin layer. Let it dry on the sword for about two hours.

Polish the sword using a towel until it shines. Hang the sword, if possible, to allow it to continue to dry.


Apply this cleaning method only to swords that have new, red rust. Don't attempt to clean dark rust or damaged areas, and don't apply wax to swords of the Japanese style.

Things You'll Need

  • Acid free paste wax
  • Scrubbing pad
  • Soft hand towels
  • Acetone
  • Cloth
  • Acid free oil
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About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.