Like all other swords and weapons, Samurai Katana, too, require cleaning. Because of the carbon steel used in their manufacturing, if you don’t pay attention to the cleaning of these swords, they can rust. The Katanas are quite intimidating when it comes to maintaining the mirror-like blade surface. But no worries, in this article, we are going to provide you with every essential information regarding Katana cleaning.
The things you’ll need
First things first, you need a special cleaning kit for Katana as they are not just any ordinary swords. Most of the things are not available at home, so getting yourself proper equipment for the cleaning purpose is necessary.
Here are the things you will need for Katana sword cleaning.
Choji oil is an oil used explicitly for Japanese swords to keep them rust free. This oil provides a layer of moisture to the blade and prevents rusting. If you’re unable to find yourself this oil, no worries, you can use any mineral oil as a substitute.
It is a special kind of paper made from rice. It is used for wiping the blade surface to keep it dust free. You can also use an unscented tissue or coffee paper if you don’t have Nuguigami at home.
Uchiko ball is a find silk ball attached to a stick. This ball contains finely grounded stones, and it is used for removing scratches from the blade surface to make it crystal clear.
It is a soft flannel cloth that is not so smooth and its use to apply oil onto the blade.
This cloth could be the same as an oilcloth. But don’t use a single piece of fabric for both as you don’t want to apply oil when you’re supposed to wipe it off.
These are all the things required; once you get these, then the actual process starts.
Step by step guide
Before starting the cleaning process, it’s better to gather all the things around you which you might need for cleaning. Because it’s not a good idea to lay down your katana when it is under the cleaning process.
Wipe off dust
First, you need to Take out your Katana from saya and clean it to get rid of previous oil coatings and any dust particles. Always wipe the blade from Tsuka to Kissaki. Repeat the process several times to remove all oil and dust particles.
Polish the blade
Take Uchiko ball and tap a small amount of stone powder onto both sides of the blade. Rub this powder gently and evenly on both sides.
Wipe off the powder
Next, take the wiping cloth and wipe away all the powder and the remaining oil from the blade surface. Use the same technique as used for cleaning the dust particles.
Oil the blade
Apply a small amount of Choji oil onto the oiling cloth and apply it on the blade surface of your Katana sword. Make sure to apply the oil only once and don’t contaminate any other part of the sword.
Remove the excess oil
Just like the previous steps, take wiping paper and remove the excess oil from the Katana blade. But be careful not to wipe away all oil as it could lead to rusting.
Put it back
Put your Katana back into saya and keep it in its place.
Tip: Before putting your sword back, always tap the empty saya against some hard surface to get rid of any dust particles.
Things not to do
Cleaning the katana blade is a delicate process, and you must pay full attention to it. The slightest mistake can cause big damage. So keep the below things in mind to avoid any mishap.
- Never use harsh cloth for wiping the blade.
- Don’t try to sharpen your blade against some hard surface.
- Never point the tip of Katana towards yourself as it can cause serious injury.
- Never use any other oil (besides suggested ones) for cleaning your blade.
- It is recommended not to hold the Katana blade with your fingers as it is razor sharp.
How often to clean your sword?
When you invest your money in something expensive, it is better to take care of it than regretting its damage. It is highly recommended to clean your Katana once in a while so that the blade remains rust free.
If you’re living in one of the dry regions, then it is suggested to clean your Katana once in 3-4 months. But if you’re a resident of any humid area, then you should replace the blade oil more often to keep it protected.
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